Dirt Bike Laws in Ohio – Riding Guide Under Vehicle Code!

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

The Ohio Traffic Laws define dirt bikes as off-highway vehicles designed for unimproved roads. Every dirt bike rider must follow all related motor vehicle rules and regulations with public safety standards.

You need street-legal approval from the Department of Transportation to operate your dirt bike on public streets. It requires installing safety equipment, including a headlamp, tail light, horn, brake, etc.

The peace officers can impede your way if you don’t have a license plate rear to your dirt bike. Sometimes, they can issue legal tickets with a fine. Besides, it is illegal to ride any motorbike without registration.

Hello guys! Don’t worry; I am your motor vehicle attorney to elaborate on an all-about dirt bike riding laws and requirements here. Go through the article to learn the dos and don’ts of driving dirt bikes in Ohio.

Read on!

Ohio Revised Code (Title-45): Motor Vehicle Driving Guide!

Title-45 of the Ohio Revised Code has set the traffic rules and guidelines for motor vehicle riders, owners, and dealers. You must obey the following sections to operate your dirt bike in the state.

Motor Vehicle Driving Guide

Certification of Title for Dirt Bikes

Like other motorists, dirt bike riders must check their bikes’ certificate of the title while purchasing or transferring ownership. It is a prerequisite to issuing the certificate of title to register a dirt bike.

Therefore, check the certificate of title of your desired dirt bike from its seller while purchasing. If you want to register your old dirt bike, apply for the certificate of title in the prescribed form first.

The certification of title by the registrar requires charges at particular rates. For example, if it is within 30 days of delivery, the charge will be five dollars for each certificate of title. Check more about charges here.

According to section 4505.99 of the Ohio Revised Code, violating the certificate of title laws is a punishable offense. The punishment may include a fine or compensation, or both.

Learn the Law: https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/chapter-4505

Registration of Dirt Bikes

No persons in the state can ride their motorcycles on highways or public streets without vehicle registration. So, if you don’t register your dirt bike, you cannot operate it in maintained public ways.

Moreover, the new residents of the state must issue a license for their dirt bikes within 30 days of residential approval. Otherwise, you cannot move with your motorbike licensed by another state. The registrar of motor vehicles asks for financial responsibility clearance papers, taxation documents, owner’s information, and vehicle details to register a dirt bike.

You must submit all required papers with your application. Moreover, you must pay $2.5 fees for registering your dirt bike. However, the fee can vary based on your bike’s engine dimension.

And making the license plate visible is vital to satisfy the peace officers on the streets. Present the license plate rear or front of your dirt bike that is understandable from 200 feet.

Learn the Law: https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/section-4503.103

Driver’s License

The registrar of motor vehicles issues valid drivers’ licenses for eligible applicants who meet the requirements. And no person can operate dirt bikes on public roads or highways without a valid license.

You must be a US citizen under the state and 18 years old or more to apply for a driving license. And the age limit is 65 years maximum. The conditions are the same for renewing a driver’s license.

The applicants will go through rigorous written and practical tests to prove their eligibility for a license. You can try again on the same process if you fail once. However, you have to pay the fee each time.

Under the driver’s licensing laws, the registrar or deputy-registrar of motor vehicles can cancel your license due to traffic misdemeanors. Moreover, it is a punishable violation of the driver’s license law.

Learn the Law:  https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/section-4507.02

Insurance for Dir Bike

Dirt bike riders must take financial responsibility for property or bodily injuries while operating on public roads and highways. The street-legal dirt bikes would come under insurance bonds or policies.

You can apply to the superintendent of insurance to issue a policy for your street-legal dirt bike. After evaluating your application, the authority will declare your policy following financial responsibilities.

Coverage Liability
One hundred thousand dollars Bodily injury and death of one person in an accident
Three hundred thousand dollars Bodily injury and death of two persons in an accident
Fifty thousand dollars Injury or property losses in an accident

However, the superintendent of insurance reserves the right to investigate and report accordingly to award insurance coverage. And the motor vehicle registrar verifies the reasons for the accident to claim financial responsibilities.

Learn the Law: https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/section-4509.20

Dirt Bike Driving Crime

The vehicle crimes under the revised code are also applicable for dirt bike riding on private or public properties. For example, it is a crime to operate dirt bikes on highways without a valid driving license.

If you don’t follow the traffic rules set by the transportation department, it will be a criminal offense under the state revised code. Moreover, you must respond to the peace officers’ calls on the streets.

It is a complete violation of the vehicle code to ride dirt bikes under drug or alcohol effects. And you cannot carry any drug while driving your dirt bike on highways. It is a criminal misdemeanor.

Never forget to follow the environmental compliances while operating your dirt bike on natural landscapes like forests, river banks, and parks. And comply with the state clean air act to avoid legal issues.

Learn the Law: https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/section-3704.16

Dirt Bike Street-legality: Equipment and Requirements

The Ohio Department of Transportation doesn’t permit any unsafe vehicles on private or public ways. Therefore, no dirt bikes are street-legal without the proper safety equipment. According to chapter 4513 of the Ohio Vehicle Code, you need to bring the following changes with your dirt bike for street legality.

Dirt Bike Laws in Ohio

DOT-Approved Headlight

You must modify your dirt bike with a DOT-approved headlight for street-legal authorization from the Secretary of State. No riders can operate their dirt bikes on public ways before sunrise and after sunset without good working headlamps.

According to section 4513.04 of the Vehicle Code, every motorbike must have at least one headlamp but not more than two headlights. Its violation is a punishable misdemeanor under the section.

DOT-Approved Tail Lights

The riders must mount at least one tail light rear of their dirt bikes to ensure safety from the following vehicles in public ways. And it should be visible from at least 500 feet rear distance.

Place the tail light at the proper place from where it can illuminate the rear registration plate. Therefore, the traffic patrolling officers can recognize your street legality. You can be guilty of a minor misdemeanor if you violate section 4513.05  while driving your dirt bike in public ways.

Braking System

You cannot operate your dirt bike in public ways without a safety braking system. It requires at least one adequate brake controlled by hand and foot, meeting the public safety department’s guidelines.

The braking system must be original and in good working condition. Driving motorbikes on maintained roads with operative brakes is obligatory in Ohio. Otherwise, you can be guilty of a vehicle code violation.

DOT-Approved Horn

Horn is a piece of much-needed safety equipment for dirt bike street legality in Ohio. No motor vehicles, including dirt bikes, are legal to ride on public roads without a cautionary horn. However, it must be DOT-approved.

Your dirt bike’s horn should be audible from 200 feet at least under normal conditions. So, install a horn in good working order. However, you cannot spoil public peace and safety with a harsh sound.

Rear View Mirrors

The street-legal dirt bikes must be equipped with rearview mirrors to locate other vehicles and pedestrians surrounding roadsides. You need clear and unobstructed views of objects for safer riding.

Moreover, the rear-view mirrors help riders avoid motor vehicle collisions on streets. The Ohio Commission of Public Safety prohibits riding motorcycles without rear-view mirrors.

DOT-Approved Tires

You must replace the metallic tires of your dirt bike with rubber or fabric tires. The Ohio Department of Transportation (DOT) permits pneumatic or solid dirt bike tires. It must be original and DOT-approved.

The street-legal dirt bike tires should be compatible with improved road surfaces. If you violate the guideline, the Secretary of State can punish you under section 4513.99 of the state vehicle code.

Eco-friendly Muffler

All street-legal motor vehicles must have eco-friendly mufflers for clean and calm emissions. It prevents excessive noise and smoke. Replace your dirt bike’s current exhaust system with modern mufflers.

You shouldn’t use a muffler cut-out, by-pass, and similar device with your dirt bike on highways. Never forget to equip your dirt bike’s mufflers with baffle plates to resist extensive emissions in wildlife and the neighborhood. The violation of section 4513.22 involves a minor misdemeanor for dirt bike drivers.

What Are Required Legal Endorsements for Dirt Bike Street Legality in Ohio?

The Ohio Department of Transportation verifies legal endorsements to declare a modified dirt bike street-legal. You must submit your application for street-legal authorization with the following documents.

What Are Required Legal Endorsements for Dirt Bike Street Legality in Ohio

  • Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title
  • Local Motor Vehicle License Tax
  • Licensing of Motor Vehicle
  • Financial Responsibility and
  • Inspection Report

The Secretary of State can cancel your dirt bike street legality application without these legal endorsements. Therefore, obtain these authorized papers and attach them to your application.

10 Best Legal Trails for Dirt Bike Riding in Ohio!

Ohio is one of the appealing US states for off-highway dirt bike riders. You will get plenty of private and public trails for operating your recreational dirt bike across the state. Let’s explore the land of beauty!

Trail Name Location Google Map
Perry State Forest Clayton Township, OH 43783, USA Direction
Beans MX Park 579 Beans Rd, Sherrodsville, OH 44675, United States Direction
Pike State Forest 334 Lapperell Rd, Latham, OH 45646, United States Direction
Smith Road Raceway 6800-6868 W Smith Rd, Medina, OH 44256, USA Direction
Battlesburg Motocross Park Waynesburg, OH 44688, United States Direction
Pusheta Creek MX Park 10190 Winemiller Rd, Wapakoneta, OH 45895, USA Direction
Wildwood Lake Raceway 2392 Wildwood Lake Rd, Little Hocking, OH 45742, USA Direction
Sandusky Valley Riders 232 Co Hwy 37, Tiffin, OH 44883, United States Direction
Route 62 MX 2825 Millersburg Rd, Martinsburg, OH 43037, USA Direction
Pine Lake Raceway & Trails 3796 Maple Rd, Jefferson, OH 44047, United States Direction

Warning: Never trespass private or public trails without authority approval. You must pay attention to wildlife and other trail habitats to ride your recreational dirt bike. Obey laws everywhere!

What Are the Best Factory Street-legal Dirt Bikes?

Turning old dirt bikes into street-legal motorbikes requires time, money, and effort. The factory street-legal dirt bikes can be a cost-effective solution to the issue. Let’s explore some popular factory street-legal dirt bike models.

Dirt Bike Model Weight Maximum Power
Suzuki DRZ400S 319lb 39hp
Yamaha WR250R 256lb 28hp
Honda CRF230L 280lb 14hp
KTM 450 EXC 247lb 51hp
Aprilia SXV 450 275lb 60hp

Though purchasing a factory street-legal dirt bike is costly, it saves valuable time to own a road-legal bike. These dirt bike models can meet your recreational and daily commuting demands too.

Can I Ride My Dirt Bike in Neighborhoods?

The Ohio municipalities don’t allow dirt bike driving in residential areas and neighborhoods unless it is street-legal by the Secretary of State. You can operate a dirt bike in your community if it meets safety issues.

  • Headlight
  • Horn
  • Turn light
  • Brake and
  • Silent exhaust

None can endanger the peaceful living environment in their neighborhoods while driving dirt bikes. The Ohio Department of Transportation (DOT) reserves the right to make dirt bikes street-legal in neighborhoods.

Is It Legal to Ride a Dirt Bike on the Sidewalk of Ohio?

Fortune favors the brave (Quoted)! Yes, you can drive your dirt bike on sidewalks in Ohio. The Secretary of State allows recreational dirt bikes on sidewalks with the proper safety equipment and requirements.

Is It Legal to Ride a Dirt Bike on the Sidewalk of Ohio

  • Driving license
  • Registration plate
  • Financial responsibility schemes
  • Safety configurations
  • Authority approval

Of course, you cannot arrange a race on sidewalks that can commit fatal accidents and unavoidable injuries or deaths. Moreover, you must ride your dirt bike on sidewalks at a decent speed.

How Fast Can You Move With Your Dirt Bikes?

You must care about your maximum driving speed while moving with a dirt bike. Both kids and adults should follow the riding speed limits to be safe on the streets. It depends on riders’ age, bikes’ engine capacity, size, and weight. See the average riding speed table.

Age Engine Speed
Under Seven 50cc 35mph
Up to Teen 110cc 45mph
Under Thirteen 125cc 55mph
Up to Nineteen 250cc 60mph
Adult 450cc 75mph

(Recommended by the Ohio Department of Transportation)

However, the average riding speed may vary based on maintained and unimproved trails. Therefore, the roadside speed marker to operate your dirt bike accordingly. It makes you safe all the way.

Veteran Verdict!

We are very lucky to live in Ohio, where dirt bike riding is legal with proper safety equipment and required authorizations. The Ohio Revised Code condemns all illegal operations of motor vehicles across the state.

However, the Secretary of State applauses legal riders to maintain public safety and property security. The state traffic laws don’t pay any relaxation in protecting public interests from any violation.

You must be a good neighbor and loyal citizen to state rules and regulations while driving your dirt bike. It makes no sense to face legal proceedings, compensations, and punishments. Be safe and make safe!

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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