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Dirt Bike Laws by US State

When riding your dirtbike in the US, it’s up to state dirt bike laws to determine the legality of the activities where you are. While some more liberal states may allow transforming a dirt bike into a road legal dirt bike, the same cannot be said for others. Even though street legal mini bikes aren’t around yet, you can still have fun off-road or get ahold of a street legal dirtbike that’ll go the distance.

Finding legal places to ride dirt bikes near you can sometimes be challenging. Most places don’t allow you to ride a mini bike in a neighborhood, but there are always solutions if you’re willing to research and travel. In general, are dirt bikes street legal in the US? Not usually, but that doesn’t mean finding dirt bike riding near you is always a difficult task.

Below you’ll find some of the largest and most common states to ride your dirtbike in and the dirt bike laws that are associated with every state. Even if you’re not riding at some of the best dirt bike tracks, we know you’ll still find somewhere to have fun!

 

California Dirt Bike Laws

California Dirt Bike Laws

Can you ride dirt bikes on the road in California?

According the law, you are not allowed to ride dirtbikes on the road unless they have been heavily modified to do so. Even with some work, it’s not guaranteed that you’d be able to get your dirtbike titled and registered in the state of California. It’s both easier and smarter to buy a dual sport model that’s already a road legal dirt bike if you intend to commute or take extended road trips.

Do you need a California license to drive a dirt bike?

While California offers special off-road learner’s permits starting at 14-years-old, these aren’t completely necessary unless your youngster intends to ride alone on public land. Private land is fair game for riding without a license. However, dirt bike law says that minors under 18 that do not have proper safety certification should be accompanied by a certified & licensed adult. 

Even though a license isn’t required per dirt bike laws, most dirt bike models require registration with the state prior to riding. Check out the California OHV Registration Requirements to see how your dirt bike needs to be registered before you make an extended trip.

How old do you have to be to ride a dirt bike in California?

Fortunately, California doesn’t define a specific age in their dirt bike laws. However, we can say comfortably that youngsters should be accompanied by a licensed & experienced adult for safety’s sake. With so much outdoor access and different terrain, you’ll always have somewhere to ride dirtbikes near you.

Do dirt bikes have titles in California?

California dirt bike laws state that green-sticker dirtbike models are valid for use on open public lands the entire year, while red-sticker models (produced between 2003 and 2021) don’t meet emissions standards. Starting in 2022, new models of this type can only be used within closed courses on public lands, or on private lands with the owner’s permission.

Out of state visitors are required by dirt bike laws to register their dirtbike as an OHV. If no equivalent registration from your home state exists, visit the California State Parks website to obtain the appropriate permit.

Can you make a dirt bike street legal in California?

The answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as some others. If you want to attempt to make your dirt bike street legal, you’ll have to do a ton of work on it to add the correct features. This includes adding head & tail lights, mirrors, reflectors, blinkers and horns to start with. 

Even after modifying your dirt bike, you have to make sure that you truly have a street legal mini bike according California’s dirtbike laws, which usually requires going through a title agency. We recommend sticking with the easier plan and buying a street legal dirt bike that’s most ideal for your needs.

 

Texas Dirt Bike Laws

Texas Dirt Bike Laws

Can you ride a dirtbike on the road in Texas?

Like California, Texas dirt bike laws also prohibit riding standard dirtbikes on the road. However, updated dirt bikes that have met all requirements for the state are considered road legal dirtbikes with the proper registration. It’s up to you whether you want to go through this process, or whether it’s more appropriate to buy a dual sport version that’s already a street legal dirtbike.

Do you need a Texas license to drive a dirt bike?

Per state dirt bike laws, a Texas license is not required to ride a dirt bike off-road. However, you will need an OHV decal if you’re planning to ride your dirt bike on public land. OHV decals can be acquired through the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. 

Like most other states, anyone wanting to ride a street legal motorcycle in Texas will need to apply for Class M status on their license.

How old do you have to be to ride a dirt bike in Texas?

While Texas dirt bike laws dictate that no minor under the age of 15 can ride on-road without a permit, there are no laws stipulating any minimum age for off-road dirtbike riding. Despite this lack of enforcement, it’s best to go riding with an experienced rider that knows their way around the outdoors for peace of mind.

Do you have to register your dirt bike in Texas?

Most of Texas is considered to be private land, and there’s no stringent dirt bike laws that say your dirtbike must be registered for these areas. However, your dirtbike must be registered with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department if you intend to ride on public lands. Post registration, you’ll receive an OHV decal for your dirtbike so that you can ride on public or authorized lands without any issue. 

Can you make a dirt bike street legal in Texas?

Dual sport motorcycles are the only street legal dirtbikes in Texas as of 2022. At this time, off-road dirt bikes are not street legal in Texas, but they are certainly capable of being modified to on-road bikes if you’re ambitious enough to adhere to Texas’ dirt bike laws. 

 

Arizona Dirt Bike Laws 

Arizona Dirt Bike Laws

Can you ride dirt bikes on the road in Arizona?

Arizona dirt bike laws have some requirements for the backroads that are found off the beaten path. With that being said, you can’t just go riding around on most roads unless you’ve first done the work to make your dirt bike road legal. 

Do you need an Arizona license to drive a dirt bike?

No, an Arizona license is not required to ride a dirt bike. However, a valid license is required for road legal dirt bikes to ride on the pavement like anywhere else.

How old do you have to be to ride a dirt bike in Arizona?

Children under the age of 18 are required by dirt bike laws to wear a helmet while riding in the state of Arizona, but this is the only stipulation that underage riders must follow. 

Do you have to register your dirt bike in Arizona?

Per Arizona dirt bike laws, you need to register your dirtbike with the state. As of 2019, out-of-state visitors are required to purchase a non-resident OHV decal for every dirt bike they bring. Get your non-resident decal by creating an account on The Arizona Game & Fish Department portal.

For in-state residents, dirt bike laws dictate that title plates are required no matter where you’re riding. Title plates are different than registration plates or street legal dirt bikes, so it’s important to be aware of what you need. In addition to the minimum title plate, you’ll need a current OHV decal placed in the top left corner of your plate. Residents can easily apply for an OHV decal on the Service Arizona website at any time. 

Can you make a dirt bike street legal in Arizona?

You can absolutely make your dirt bike street legal for use in Arizona. Like most states, a variety of upgrades are required to ensure your dirt bike complies with the appropriate dirt bike laws. Arizona State Parks & Trails has supplied a quick list of what you need to have installed before you contact the Arizona Department of Transportation for proper registration of your road legal dirt bike.

 

Washington Dirt Bike Laws

Washington Dirt Bike Laws

Can you ride a dirtbike on the road in Washington?

As per Washington dirt bike laws, dirtbikes are not legal to ride on-road. You can certainly ride your dirt bike on private land, assuming you have the permission of the owner. 

Do you need a Washington license to drive a dirt bike?

No, a Washington driver’s license is not required to ride a dirtbike within the state. The only reason you’d need a driver’s license is if you had a street legal dirt bike that you intended to drive on the road.

How old do you have to be to ride a dirt bike in Washington?

Anyone above the age of 13 can ride a dirt bike freely in the state of Washington according to dirt bike laws. Kids under 13-years-old must be accompanied by a legal adult in order to ride a dirt bike. Plenty of beginner dirt bikes for 13-year-olds are safe to learn on, and with the proper kids dirt bike gear and kids dirt bike helmet, there’s nothing left to do but get out there!

Do dirt bikes have titles in Washington?

According to dirt bike laws, any dirtbikes that are not street legal must be registered with the Washington state government. Residents can easily acquire registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

For out-of-state visitors, Washington will likely honor your off-road registration if your home state has similar dirt bike laws. If you’re visiting from a state that does not require OHV registration, you can easily acquire a Temporary ORV Permit to bridge this gap.

Can you make a dirt bike street legal in Washington?

Like other states, you can make your dirt bike road legal if you modify it according to Washington state dirt bike laws. Add-ons like lamps, brakes, mirrors, turn signals and fenders are just the start of the necessary equipment to make your dirtbike street legal.

 

Colorado Dirt Bike Laws

Colorado Dirt Bike Laws

Can you ride dirt bikes on the road in Colorado?

It’s obvious by now that almost all states do not allow dirtbike riding on the road, and Colorado is no different, with the exceptions of valid emergency situations or agricultural purposes. However, there are plenty of places around the state where you can still ride dirt bikes off-road.

Do you need a Colorado license to drive a dirt bike?

According to Colorado dirt bike laws, you’ll only need a license to drive a dirt bike in Colorado if you’re using a street legal dirt bike on the road. Otherwise, all that’s required is that you register your dirtbike with the state.

How old do you have to be to ride a dirt bike in Colorado?

Public area dirt bike laws require riders to be at least 10-years-old to operate a dirtbike, but private property does not have an age requirement. If your young rider is between 10 and 16 years of age, an adult with a current driver’s license must be present. In addition, children under the age of 18 must wear a DOT-certified helmet to keep themselves safe. 

Do you have to register your dirt bike in Colorado?

According to Colorado dirt bike laws, all ATVs must be registered with the state. The only exceptions to this rule are vehicles used for agricultural purposes, organized races, private property use and out-of-state visitors staying for less than 30 days.

If you don’t fit into one of those categories, you must have current Colorado registration. For residents, an OHV registration card, along with two current OHV registration decals above the forks on your dirtbike, are required to ride your dirt bike in public areas.

Non-residents have similar requirements per dirt bike laws. Whether you go with the sticker version or carry the permit with you in the form of a card, you need to register your dirt bike for use on public lands. You can find more information and resources for obtaining these permits at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website.

Can you make a dirt bike street legal in Colorado?

You can certainly make your dirt bike street legal, as long as it meets the dirt bike laws within Colorado law to do so. Though between modifications and legal processes, it might be in your best interest to buy a dual-sport bike that’s meant for riding on the road.

No matter what state you’re riding in, it’s important to keep yourself informed on their dirt bike laws and expectations. No one needs a fine or a shortened day for a small detail that could’ve been taken care of in advance. We hope this article helps keep you up to date with current laws, and we’ll be sure update it as needed. Until next time, have fun out there!