Until recently, it was a very high bar to clear in order to get your UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) street-legal. The first thing you need is a title for the vehicle, so if you’re working with a kit (Unassembled Vehicle), that means finding a manufacturer who’s willing to sell you one.
Then, you need to meet NHTSA’s lighting or Montana vehicle registration requirements if you are registering your vehicle in Montana. You do so by adding turn signals, brake lights, and specific reflectivity and visibility requirements for those lights. Mirrors are also required on each side of the vehicle, and possibly lights on the rear end. Depending on where you live, additional requirements like windshields or seat belts may exist.
Here is how to make your UTV street legal
Decide where you’re going to put the horn. Most off-road street-legal vehicles don’t have room in the front or back, but there’s plenty of space on the sides of your vehicle to tack on a few small horns that passing motorists can easily see.
A license plate holder is essential
If you don’t have one, you risk getting pulled over and fined. The best part is that there’s no limit to how stylishly you can mount your license plate.
Turn signal lights
All street legal ATV must have turn signal lights installed so drivers in other vehicles can see when you are turning. Your turn signal lights must be visible from at least 500 feet away when driving at night. The most effective way for your UTV/ATV to display a turn signal light is to install amber-colored blinking LEDs on both sides of your front bumper. These blinkers are incredibly bright, but you should still ensure they are visible from all angles and placed away from other lights on your UTV/ATV.
UTVs are great for off-roading but not so much for driving on the street. If you want to use your UTV to drive to work, you’ll need to get it street-legal. One way to do this is by adding mirrors to the sides of it.
Mirrors must be placed in a specified location, though. They should be mounted in the same plane as the vehicle’s centerline and must be visible from the driver’s seat. Drivers should also be able to adjust their mirrors so that they can see vehicles behind them.
As you know from driving around in your car, a big part of road safety comes from tires. It can have severe consequences if these are too worn out or unsuitable for the conditions. The same is true for your UTV. When choosing your tires, make sure that they’re in good shape and that they’re suitable for road use. This will increase their durability and give you more traction.
However, if you are registering your vehicle in Montana, be sure to involve a Montana registered agent.
If you’re a responsible UTV owner, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your side-by-side street legal in case you need to take it out on the streets. You may even need it for off-roading purposes. The process is simple. If your state has its laws governing UTVs, consult them first. Many states have requirements for what needs to be done for your three-wheeled vehicle to be considered roadworthy.