Dirt Bike Laws in Texas – Is OHV Riding Legal in the US State?

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

Can I ride my dirt bike in Texas? It is a common question among Texans. And what does the Texas Transportation Code say about riding dirt bikes? Today, I will give you a better understanding of the state dirt bike laws as a motor vehicle attorney and OHV lover. It is needless to say that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles works to ensure safety first for all. Therefore, you must obey some traffic safety laws to ride your dirt bike in the US state.

Of course, you wouldn’t love facing traffic penalties and compensations to ride your dirt bike. So, stay with me here and find all about dirt bike laws in Texas to have a pleasant riding experience. Continue reading more!

Texas Transportation Code: What Should I Know to Ride My Dirt Bike?

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations have addressed dirt bikes as off-highway vehicles (OHVs) under the transportation code. According to section 502.140(c) of the Texas Transportation Code, the Department of Motor Vehicle may not register a dirt bike for highways and neighborhoods.

What Should I Know to Ride My Dirt Bike

However, the transportation code allows alteration of the dirt bike designs with required safety features to get street legality. Then, you can legally ride your dirt bike on the city streets and communities.

You cannot operate your OHV on public land and political subdivision unless you have a safety certificate. And you can get the safety certificate only after completing the educational program under the 551A.012 section.

The Texas Department of Transportation prohibits unregistered dirt bikes on the public streets under the 551A.055 section. However, the section sanctions off-highway vehicles in certain areas, including planned communities, restrictive covenants, nearby golf courses, etc.

If the law enforcement officer impedes your way, show your safety certification for legal exemptions under section 551A.015. At the same time, you should deter yourself from riding your dirt bike in restricted areas for the greater public interests.

According to the 551A.032 section, guardians and adults must supervise the younger riders under 14 to let them operate dirt bikes. Otherwise, it can be fatal for your kids on the highways.

You must wear the required safety apparel to ride your authorized dirt bike on the public grounds, beaches, highways, and neighbors. Section 551A.072 emphasizes wearing a helmet, eye protection, seat belts, and others to meet DOT standards.

Texas Traffic Laws 2022: What Should You Learn to Ride Your Dirt Bike?

Like other counties of the USA, Texas commits to confirming safe transportation for all. You can get some relaxation from the off-highway ridings, but the state laws are strict for the public street ridings. Get some here!

Texas Traffic Laws

  • Laws for License: The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation urges a valid class M driving license to operate dirt bikes. You must overcome both written and practical tests to have an authorized driving license. And it requires the completion of the public safety curriculum also.
  • Laws for Helmet: You must wear a dot-certified helmet to drive your dirt bike on the off-road and on-road topography. However, it offers an exemption of wearing a helmet for those above 21 years old with $10000 medical insurance coverage.
  • Laws for Parking: According to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, you cannot park your dirt bike in disabled areas, on the streets, and in striped areas. It is an offense under the Texas Transportation Code.
  • Laws for Lane Splitting: You may have to face a traffic sergeant due to lane splitting. It is a violation of the state traffic safety laws. Moreover, lane splitting is deadly for drivers. So, don’t practice lane splitting with your dirt bike.

Off-Highway Vehicle Programs for Texas Parks & Wildlife: Don’t Disturb Nature!

The Texas legislature introduced the Off-highway Vehicle Programs for Texas parks and wildlife in 2005. In 2006, the Texas Department of Transportation enacted the program to open more legal dirt bike riding grounds for recreational purposes.

At the same time, the Off-highway Vehicle Program carries a great value in saving eco-parks and wildlife across the county. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department asks for the OHV decal from the dirt bike owners to let them ride in wildlife.

Therefore, you must follow the guidelines of the off-highway vehicle programs to ride your dirt bike in parks and wild areas. Otherwise, it can be a clear breach of the Texas wildlife act.

Laws for Alternating Dirt Bikes to the Street-legal Vehicles in Texas!

You cannot ride your off-highway dirt bike in public places unless you alter its design to the street vehicle. The Texas Transportation Code has addressed the issue and remarked on the safety requirements to make a dirt bike street legal.

Dirt Bike Laws in Texas

According to section 551A.071 of the Texas Transportation Code, you must consider the following equipment and safety requirements to alter your dirt bike’s design.

  • Brake System: You must equip your dirt bike with a braking system to ride on the public streets. It should be a good-operating system to have a safe riding experience in any tough terrain.
  • Muffler System: Upgrade the muffler system of your dirt bike to make it neighbor-friendly. Of Course, you cannot disturb your neighbors or wildlife with harsh and loud operational sounds.
  • Headlight: A dirt bike must have a headlight to get safety certification from the department of licensing and regulations. You must install a DOT-certified headlight to get street legality.
  • Taillights: You need to install tail lights in your dirt bike to ride it on beaches, highways, and city neighborhoods. It makes you safe from sudden collisions by your fellow riders while turning.
  • Exhaust System: A dirt bike rider cannot operate a dirt bike in municipal areas without installing an eco-friendly exhaust system. It is strictly prohibited under the Texas Transportation Code.
  • Display Plate: Attach a license display plate to your dirt bike to get a traffic exemption. It proves that you have authorization from the state traffic department to ride your dirt bike.

Courtesy Warning!

The Texas Transportation Code discourages OHV riders from riding one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. And you must minimize your speed near kindergartens, hospitals, parks, and homes.

What Are the Legal Procedures to Make Dirt Bikes Street-legal in Texas?

The Texas Transportation Code has fixed the legal vehicle issues in the county. And the Texas Department of Transportation has addressed dirt bikes as OHVs under legal restrictions on riding in public places. However, fortune favors the brave through the following formulae.

What Are the Legal Procedures to Make Dirt Bikes Street-legal in Texas

>Get the Title> Install Safety Features>Invite for Inspection>Submit Application>Get Final Approval

As a Texan, you don’t get such difficulties in making your dirt bike street-legal under some legal procedures.

  • Firstly, meet your local motor vehicle licensing office and get the title of your dirt bike. And ask for the required safety installations from the officials.
  • Secondly, bring some modifications with the prescribed equipment and safety features for the next steps.
  • Thirdly, invite the authorized officials to inspect your total installation process and equipment.
  • Fourthly, apply to your nearby transportation and licensing office for the street legality of your dirt bike. And
  • Finally, wait for the required working days to get the desired street-legal approval.

Please visit: https://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/register-your-vehicle for more about fees and forms.

Texas Dirt Bike Street-Legal Calculator-Fix Your Budget!

You must spend a remarkable amount to make your dirt bike street-legal in Texas. The required safety and mechanical equipment prices can vary from brand to brand and county to county.

Here, it is an estimation according to the price quote from Amazon.

S. L Name of Item Number of Items Price Quote Remarks
1 DOT- Certified Headlight One set $55 See Me
2 DOT- Certified Tail Lights One set $21 See Me
3 DOT- Certified Mirrors Two $20 See Me
4 DOT- Certified Horn One $19 See Me
5 DOT- Certified Brake Rear-Front $25 See Me
6 Display Plate One $11 See me
7 DOT- Certified Tires Two $150 See Me
8 Total Ten $301 Price Changeable

However, the average cost can vary based on the bike’s overall conditions and required installations. Don’t miss trying to curtail the installation costs. At the same time, don’t compromise the quality of items.

7 Best Legal Trails to Ride Dirt Bikes in Texas!

Texas is a terrific destination for recreational OHV dirt bike riding. But the legal limitations become an issue for riding dirt bikes in the county. Ride on the best one of the 7 best legal OHV trails.

S. L Trail Name Locate on Google Map
1 Red River Motorcycle Trails Trophy Club Park, 2885 Trophy Park Dr, Trophy Club, TX 76262, United States
2 Hidden Falls Adventure Park 7030 Ranch Rd 1431, Marble Falls, TX 78654, United States
3 River Valley Motocross 733 Co Rd 4757, Boyd, TX 76023, United States
4 Sam Houston National Forest 394 FM 1375 West, New Waverly, TX 77358, United States
5 Emma Long Metropolitan Park 1600 City Park Rd, Austin, TX 78730, United States
6 Village Creek Motocross Park 4840 Shelby Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76140, United States
7 Trophy Club Park 2885 Trophy Park Dr, Trophy Club, TX 76262, United States

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Dirt Bike Laws in Texas!

You may face different legal issues when planning to turn your OHV dirt bike into a street-legal one. The answers to the following questions can offer you a more pleasant dirt bike riding experience than ever.

Do I Need a Driving License to Drive My Dirt Bike on Highways?

According to the Texas Transportation Code, you must issue a valid driving license to ride your dirt bike on the public streets and neighborhoods. Otherwise, the traffic police officer can arrange a trial for you.

You must pass the written and practical riding tests taken by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations. Finally, you will get the certification to ride your dirt bike.

Is It Legal to Drive a Dirt Bike in Texas Neighborhoods?

The Texas traffic laws don’t permit a dirt bike to ride in residential areas. Because it doesn’t meet the required safety features. It generates harsh sounds to spoil the peaceful environment in neighborhoods.

However, a modified dirt bike is operable in the neighborhoods across Texas county. You must install the required safety features and equipment to get street legality under the Texas Transportation Code.

Can I Legally Ride My Dirt Bike on the Sidewalks in Texas?

Though the sidewalk is appealing for riding a dirt bike, it is not legal to ride it on the sidewalks. The Texas traffic laws have devoted sidewalks to pedestrians. If you ride your dirt bike there, it can lead to fatal accidents.

You must deter yourself from riding your dirt bike on the sidewalks to avoid legal trails, compensations, and unexpected injuries. Ride on the roads.

Is It Legal to Operate Dirt Bikes on Beaches in Texas?

The Texas Department of Transportation reserves the right to ride the dirt bikes on beaches. If the OHV riding disturbs the surrounding marine ecosystem, the authority can prohibit dirt bike riding on beaches.

However, a person can ride a dirt bike on beaches under the 551A.033 section of the Texas Transportation Code. It requires a driver’s license and vehicle registration to get riding permission on beaches.

May I Cross Highway Intersections With My Dirt Bike?

If you have street-legal approval, you can legally cross highway intersections with your dirt bike. There are no legal bindings for the registered OHV dirt bikes to move across the streets.

But never forget to follow your fellow riders and vehicles to cross the intersections. At the same time, minimize your riding speed while crossing the intersections. Keep your dirt bike’s headlight a taillight on if needed.

Final Statutory Statement!

Texas dirt bike laws encompass the state transportation code and traffic rules. And the Texas Transportation Code prohibits pure dirt bikes on the public streets and neighborhoods. But there is an exemption of the traffic rules for the altered and modified dirt bike operators. It requires mechanical upgrades under sophisticated legal procedures. The alteration process costs some pennies.

Therefore, get street-legal approval first and ride your dirt bike in neighborhoods and highways later. Be loyal to 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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