California offers some of the greatest off-highway vehicle recreation opportunities in the nation. The vehicular recreation areas found within the State Park System, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, local city and counties, and private partners offer an extraordinary amount of diverse and remarkable terrain for recreationists to explore.
Of course with the opportunity and privilege to recreate, comes the responsibility to protect those opportunities for yourself, other outdoor enthusiasts, and the natural resources that make these public outdoor spaces unique.
Know Before You Go. Please take the time to review the information on this webpage prior to leaving to your outdoor destination.
The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division recommends that land managers no longer require off-highway vehicles (OHVs) to have registration or identification as a requirement to compete in sanctioned, open and closed-course competition events.
Land managers and their law enforcement staff need to understand that while the Polaris RZR Pro R looks very much like the other Polaris RZR models, it is not an ROV and not subject to enforcement under Section 38600 (Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles) of the California Vehicle Code.
Beginning with Model Year 2022 Off-Highway Motorcycles and All-Terrain Vehicles, which would have received a Red Sticker registration in the past, will no longer be able to be registered for use on public lands. See the complete OHV Bulletin by clicking on the link (This is Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Information Bulletin 21-2).
Effective January 1, 2022 the State of California will no longer recognize another State’s OHV registration program unless that State also recognizes California’s program. Beginning next year out of state recreationists must purchase a California non-resident permit to ride on public lands if his/her home state requires residents of California to purchase a non-resident permit for his/her currently registered OHV. See the complete OHV Bulletin by clicking the link.
The latest Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Information Bulletin, 20-1, explains that properly registered, street-legal, out-of-state vehicles may be able to use public OHV areas in California year-round, even if the vehicle would be considered “red-sticker” in California.
On June 5, 2019, the Department of Motor Vehicles released Law Enforcement Information Bulleting 19-11, Subject: New Ignition Interlock Device Restrictions. Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Information Bulletin 19-1 addresses the new restrictions and explains why they apply to OHVs.
As of September 1, 2019, the state of Arizona requires all nonresidents operating their OHVs within Arizona to purchase a nonresident OHV decal. The decal must be purchased prior to riding an OHV within the state. This is a change as prior to this date California residents could operate their OHV in Arizona for up to 30 days with valid California Red or Green Identification Stickers. This new law will require all California residents, as well as residents from all other states, to be proactive because these non-resident permits may only be purchased on-line. Failing to purchase the ARIZONA NON-RESIDENT OHV DECAL before traveling to Arizona could result in a citation. For more information on the program and to purchase permit(s) for your OHV go to:
Free POST-Certified OHV Classroom Training for Law Enforcement Agencies | SIGN UP ONLINE (ohv.parks.ca.gov/ohvsignup)
OHV Law Enforcement Training - 6 hours (#21148): An introductory course for officers involved with OHV law enforcement, public safety, and education programs.
OHV Sound Testing Training - 6 hours (#21149):
This class offers an overview of how sound is measured, followed by an afternoon of practical, hands-on experiences operating sound meters and measuring a variety of equipment.
Assembly Bill 2752 was signed into law on September 15, 2014. This law amends the California Vehicle Code Section 38020 by removing the word “transport” from the first line of that section. This removes the prohibition of the moving of an unregistered off-highway vehicle while they are in the process of being transported from one location to another. Citations for having an unregistered off-highway vehicle can only be issued if the unregistered vehicle has been removed from the trailer or truck bed. This law is effective January 1, 2015.
Download Law Enforcement Bulletin [PDF posted 12/2/14]
SB 234 (Walters) was signed into law by Governor Brown on August 27, 2013. This law amends AB 1266 and AB 1595 allowing 2013 and earlier ROVs with added/aftermarket seating. The law also defines occupant handhold. (See OHMVR Public Information Bulletin (October 2013)
AB 1266, introduced by Assembly Members Nielsen and Cook to amend existing law, was signed into law on September 25, 2012. This law eliminates the requirement of a passenger to have both feet flat on the floorboard of a recreational off-highway vehicle (ROV). The bill also delays the implementation of the prohibition whereas a person operating a ROV shall not allow a passenger to occupy a separate seat location not designed and provided by the manufacturer for a passenger.
AB 1595, sponsored by the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) and carried by Assemblyman Paul Cook, was signed into law by Governor Brown on July 24, 2012 and went into effect on January 1, 2013.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has recognized that some single seat Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs) are being registered by DMV staff as All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). They have submitted a memorandum to all offices defining the differences and mandating that these vehicles be registered in strict compliance with CVC 500 and CVC 111 (See VIN 2016-01).