Dirt Bike Laws in Arizona – Is Dirt Bike Legal in Arizona?

James Albert is a dirt biker for about 6 years with a passion for helping others get into the sport without knowing anything. He shares...Read more

Dirt bikes are popular off-highway vehicles in Arizona. It is an excellent way of stunning outdoor recreation. Unfortunately, dirt bikes aren’t operable everywhere like other motorized vehicles. You must make them street-legal to operate in neighborhoods, highways, and public roads. However, the laws are relaxed to ride dirt bikes in parks, on rocky roads, and on unpaved trails.

The Arizona Legislature has passed a new off-highway vehicle guide in association with state parks and trails, state land department, and state game & fish department. It aims to make OHV riding safer.

As an OHV lover, you need to learn all the required legal issues of the new laws to operate your dirt bike safely. I hope you are at the place to explore everything regarding dirt bike riding in Arizona.

Let’s learn what laws say!

Arizona Off-highway Vehicle Guide: Things to Learn to Ride Dirt Bikes!

According to the Department of Transportation, the number of OHV riders has increased by over 347% since 1998. Therefore, public demand was to design a new guideline for OHV riders. Let’s look at the keynotes of the guideline for dirt bike riding.

Dirt Bike Laws in Arizona

Are Dirt Bikes Off-highway Vehicles?

Dirt bikes are two-wheeler motorized off-highway vehicles designed for non-highway trails. It is a recreational vehicle operated in forests, riversides, hilly roads, and dedicated parks.

The Arizona OHV Guideline defines dirt bikes as OHV vehicles and permits them only on non-highway trails. Both teens and adults love riding recreational dirt bikes to have a happy weekend in natural sites.

Certificate of Title

You must get a certificate of title of your dirt bike in your name. It means that your dirt bike is titled in Arizona and isn’t an out-of-state vehicle. Therefore, it is legal to ride across the state.

However, getting a title certificate doesn’t mean registering your dirt bike. The title of the certificate and registration are two different things. You cannot title your dirt bike under the 49cc engine displacement.

Visit your nearby motor vehicle division office or third-party provider for a certificate of title of your dirt bike. If your dirt bike has an out-of-state title, please convert it into the name of Arizona.

Get more here: https://azdot.gov/motor-vehicle-services


According to the Arizona OHV Guide, no person can legally operate a dirt bike without registration. Register your dirt bike from the motor vehicle division to ride on paved or unpaved trails.

And the dirt bike must have a registration plate with a vehicle identification number (VIN). The registration plate should be visible to the traffic officers on the streets. Visit a nearby motor vehicle office to register your dirt bike.

Get more here: https://azdot.gov/motor-vehicle-services

Driving License

A valid driving license is obligatory to ride a dirt bike on public roads. And the dirt bikes must be street-legal, according to the Arizona OHV Guide. You should follow the guide to avoid trials.

The motor vehicle division office delivers valid driving licenses through driver’s safety programs. You must successfully pass practical and written tests to obtain a license. Moreover, it takes a $3 official fee to issue a license.

Get more here: https://azdot.gov/motor-vehicle-services

Dirt Bike Decals

Both resident and non-resident riders require purchasing OHV decals to ride their dirt bikes or other off-road vehicles. If you are a legal resident in Arizona, you can purchase OHV decals for street-legal or off-highway registrations. You can operate your dirt bike on public ways and non-maintained trails with street-legal decals.

And the non-resident, particularly short-term visitors, cannot purchase street-legal registration. The non-residents can only obtain street-legal decals if they have a domicile here, according to Arizona Laws.

The dirt bike decals are available from the Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), or other third-party service providers in Arizona. You can purchase a resident decal for one year costing $25.

Get more here: https://www.azgfd.com/OHV/Decals/

Rules for Children

Parents can spend quality time outdoors with their kids with dirt bikes. However, children under 16 must be under close supervision of parents and guardians on on-road or off-road trails.

You should never let your kids ride dirt bikes designed for adults. The size of dirt bikes must be compatible with your child’s age and weight. You should follow the manufacturer’s age recommendations.

Laws for Alcohol or Drugs

The Arizona OHV Laws strictly prohibit riding dirt bikes with drugs or alcohol. It is an illegal and punishable offense. The traffic officers can cancel your driving license or decals.

Moreover, the penalties can be more gruesome with legal suits. The traffic court can declare jail or financial compensation in response to this violation. So, don’t drive dirt bikes on roads or off-roads with alcohol influence.

Get more here: https://www.azgfd.com/ohv/faqs/

Regulations to Nature

To ride your dirt bike, you must care about the surrounding wildlife, nature, and environment. The Arizona Off-highway Vehicle Guide has adopted regulations to protect the state’s natural resources and wildlife.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality worries about the ecological degradation due to dirt bike riding in the restricted regions. It is illegal to threaten wildlife habitats and damage natural resources.

Therefore, you should be responsible for protecting personal properties or natural resources while driving your dirt bike on unimproved roads, trails, and routes. Don’t be an irresponsible driver at all.

Get more here: https://www.azgfd.com/ohv/habitat/

Air Quality Laws

The Federal Air Quality Laws restrict the operation of dirt bikes on unpaved roads, riverbeds, and open fields to reduce the risk of dust emissions and air pollution. You cannot ride your dirt bikes in the restricted areas defined as “Area-A.”

On the days of High-pollution Advisory (HPA) for particular matter (PM10), the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality restricts riding recreational vehicles like dirt bikes. It may include both public and private roads and trails.

Get more here: https://www.azgfd.com/ohv/dust/

Hunting Acts

No one can discharge firearms or shoot from their dirt bikes. The Arizona Game & Fish Department has been involved in the OHV recreation regulation to prevent wildlife habitats.

You must follow Arizona hunting regulations and requirements to avoid legal penalties. Moreover, don’t trespass on private lands, lawns, and forests to hunt your targeted animals. The trespassers will face civil and criminal penalties under trespassing laws.

Get more here: https://www.azgfd.com/ohv/habitat/

What Are the Dirt Bike Street-legal Requirements in Arizona?

Dirt bike operators must obtain street-legal approval from the MVD office to operate their dirt bikes on maintained roads. According to the 28-1179 section of the Arizona Revised Statutes, the street-legal authorization of dirt bikes requires following modifications.

What Are the Dirt Bike Street-legal Requirements in Arizona

1. Braking System

The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) doesn’t declare any dirt bike street-legal without a safety braking system. It must have at least one brake operable by hand or foot to stop or hold.

You should control your dirt bike while driving it on highways, city streets, and neighborhoods. Without the proper braking systems, it can cause fatal accidents and injuries on the maintained streets.

2. Headlight

Install a headlight to your dirt bike that meets the guidelines of original equipment. The lighted headlights must be Arizona DOT approved. Of course, it will focus at least 500 feet away.

The Arizona Revised Statutes section 28-1179A regulates riding dirt bikes with headlights between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise. Don’t disturb other riders with lighted headlights.

3. Taillights

A street-legal dirt bike must be equipped with rear stop lamps that emit red or yellow lights. It helps you to turn left or right on highways. Moreover, you can avoid collisions while stopping your dirt bike.

The tail lights should be visible from both rear and front riders on highways. It must be understandable from at least a hundred feet during daytime and nighttime. Don’t project any dazzling lights that disturb other riders on the streets. Install the taillights that are in good working conditions.

4. Horn

No dirt bikes are street-legal without an audible horn under section 28-95A of the Arizona Revised Statutes. It must be in good condition to warn from 200 feet minimum. However, you shouldn’t unreasonably louder to lead to sound pollution.

The safe operation of the horn is mandatory in neighborhoods near hospitals, schools, churches, and parks. You must follow the rode-side indications for using a horn. It should be a traffic signal complaint for street legality.

5. Rearview Mirrors

According to ARS 28-956, street-legal dirt bikes need rear view mirrors for highways and neighborhoods. It helps riders to supervise following vehicles on the streets.

Modify your dirt bike with the DOT-approved rear view mirrors that can cover at least 200 feet. Therefore, you can safely turn and stop your motorbike on highways. Keep it dust-free for a clearer rear view.

6. Muffler

You must modify the mufflers of your dirt bike’s exhaust system to make it street-legal. The Arizona Revised Statutes 28-955 (B) prohibits any vehicle on highways with a muffler cutout, bypass, and similar devices.

Install the mufflers that emit minimum noise and fumes. The good-conditioned mufflers must be compatible with the department of environmental quality guidelines. If you violate the section, the traffic officer can charge you at least $100. So, save your surrounding environment with less noise and fumes.

7. Seat & Footrests

A dirt bike’s street-legal registration requires a seat for its operator and footrests for passengers. The Arizona Revised Statutes 28-964B legitimates seats and footrests for OHV street-legal registration.

You need to install a quality seat for comfortable riding on highways for a long time. If your dirt bike’s manufacturer design permits a passenger, add rear footrests for the passenger’s comfort and safety.

8. License Plate

No recreational dirt bikes are street-legal without license plates issued by the DMV office. You must attach the license plate rear of your dirt bike. It should be visible and understandable away.

According to section ARS-28-2512G, the director will issue an OHV license plate after consulting with the Arizona game & fish department and the Arizona state parks board. It costs $8 to give a license plate.

9. Insurance

Dirt bikes’ renewal or initial registration requires financial responsibility verifications. You must have an insurance policy to cover financial responsibilities under the code ARS-28-4142.

Moreover, section 28-4135 of the Arizona Revised Statutes defines the failure to produce financial responsibility as a civil traffic violation. The law enforcement officer can proceed with the allegation to court.

Therefore, meet the financial responsibility requirements of your dirt bike under an insurance policy to avoid legal issues. It helps you to protect your license and registration from unwanted cancellation too.

What Are the Safety Equipment and Requirements to Ride Dirt Bikes?

Dirt bike drivers must use all required protective gear to prevent fatal injuries in sudden accidents. According to the Arizona OHV riding guide, you need to wear the following equipment to operate dirt bikes.

Equipment Applicable For Legal Quote Inventory
Helmet Obligatory for those under 18 & recommended for all 28-964 Check Me
Eye Protector Obligatory for those under 18 & recommended for all 28-964 Check Me
Riding Jersey Obligatory for those under 18 & recommended for all 28-964 Check Me
Chest Protector Obligatory for those under 18 & recommended for all 28-964 Check Me
Elbow Guards Obligatory for those under 18 & recommended for all 28-964 Check Me
Hip Pads Obligatory for those under 18 & recommended for all 28-964 Check Me
Knee Pads Obligatory for those under 18 & recommended for all 28-964 Check Me
Riding Boots Obligatory for those under 18 & recommended for all 28-964 Check Me

Source: https://azdot.gov/

What Are State-legal Dirt Bike Riding Roads and Trails in Arizona?

The Arizona State Parks & Trails Board and the Department of Transportation deal with legal issues to make outdoor recreational riding safer and happier. Moreover, the state Motor Vehicle Division and the Arizona Game & Fish Department are responsible for making the OHV trails safe for riders.

Trail Name Location Find on Google Map
Cinder Hills OHV Area Flagstaff, AZ 86004, United States Trail Map
Munds Park 17415 Crystal Brook Rd, Munds Park, AZ 86017, United States Trail Map
Alto Pit OHV Recreation Site 86301, 2971 Willow Creek Rd, Prescott, AZ 86301, United States Trail Map
Standard Wash Arizona 86406, USA Trail Map
Kelly Canyon Arizona 86001, USA Trail Map
Saffell Canyon Arizona 85938, USA Trail Map
Pima Motorsports Park 11700 S Harrison Rd # 100, Tucson, AZ 85747, United States Trail Map
Great Western Trail Circle Pines Rd, Williams, AZ 86046, United States Trail Map
Bulldog OHV Canyon Area Arizona 85264, USA Trail Map
Rolls OHV Trailhead Fort McDowell, AZ 85264, United States Trail Map

Warning: Get permission to enter the state-owned trails. You must obey the wildlife rules and state MHV regulations to ride your dirt bike in these places. Never pose threats to natural resources and public properties. Moreover, follow the guideline of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Frequently Asked Question

Can I Ride My Dirt Bike in the Neighborhood?

The Arizona Revised Statutes prohibit riding naked dirt bikes in residential neighborhoods. However, the Department of Transportation permits street-legal dirt bikes in surrounding areas. It must be equipped with safety requirements under the approval of the Motor Vehicle Department.

Therefore, make your dirt bike street-legal first with headlight, tail lights, brakes, horns, tires, and license plates. And you need to purchase an OHV decal to drive your dirt bike in neighborhoods.

What Should I Do to Regain My Lost License Plate?

If your dirt bike is titled and registered in Arizona, you can reissue the lost license plate costing only $5 from any MVD office or third-party agents. And if the dirt bike registration is out-of-state, contact the Arizona game & fish department to regain your lost license.

Are There Any Dirt Bike Decal Exceptions?

Though purchasing OHV decals is mandatory to ride dirt bikes in Arizona, you can enjoy exceptions to some extent.

  • Riding in the private lands
  • Driving for training purposes
  • Loading or unloading from vehicles
  • Riding for special events
  • Driving in emergencies with authority approval

The decal exceptions for dirt bikes are under particular consideration. Therefore, don’t try this at usual riding for recreations and races. Visit https://www.azgfd.com/ and https://azdot.gov/ for decal details.

Concluding Comment

Arizona is an amazing US state filled with natural beauty. Of course, you are never eager to miss riding your recreational dirt bike there. However, the public safety laws are strict in the state for motor vehicles.

Moreover, the OHVs are operable under close consideration of the Arizona Revised Statutes and wildlife rule. You cannot disturb human or natural ambiance while driving your dirt bike.

And street-legal registration is mandatory to ride dirt bikes on city streets, highways, and neighborhoods. The violation of the rules and regulations is punishable under civil and penal acts. Ride with Laws!

James Albert is a dirt biker for about 6 years with a passion for helping others get into the sport without knowing anything. He shares his expertise and reviews dirt bikes and related tools.

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