All vehicles which are operated on public lands must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The registration fee is $52 per vehicle, and is valid for a two-year period. The OHV fees are used for acquisition of new OHV areas, development and operation of existing OHV areas, enforcement of the rules and regulations, and protection of the natural resources. For additional information regarding the OHMVR Green and Red Sticker Fees, please download the OHMVR Information Bulletin dated April 24, 2009.
DMV will issue a Green or Red Sticker for your off-highway vehicles. Vehicles which can be operated both on- and off-highway will be given a street-legal license.
OHV Registration Requirements
Green or Red Sticker: If you are going to operate a motorized vehicle off-highway only, you must have either a Green Sticker or a Red Sticker that has been issued by the DMV.
The Green Sticker allows vehicles to operate on public lands all year. The Red Sticker is for motorcycles and ATVs model year 2003 and newer that do not meet the emission standards established by the California Air Resources Board. If the vehicle has a "3" or a "C" in the eighth position of the Vehicle Identification Number, it does not meet the emission standards and should be issued a Red Sticker.
The Red Sticker is exactly the same as the Green Sticker except these vehicles can only be operated during certain times of the year. To find out when you can operate your vehicle, call the specific riding area you want to visit or view the information on the Red Sticker Open Riding Schedule web page.
Nonresident OHV Use Permit: Out-of-state visitors to California OHV areas, please refer to the Nonresident OHV Use Permit web page. If you are an Arizona resident, please go to the Arizona OHV Decal Program web page.
Closed Course Competition Transportation Permit: Some race courses can be designated as a closed course. A Transportation Permit must be obtained from DMV to transport your vehicle to and from a race course.
This is only an excerpt of laws relating to OHV recreation. For a complete list, see Division 16.5 of the California Vehicle Code available at DMV offices or on the California Vehicle Code Division 16.5 web page.