Safety & regulations

Licenses, permits, regulations


OHV regulations for youth riders

Youth under age 18 who are operating an ATV or as a passenger on an ATV must wear a DOT certified Helmet.  

Class 1 ATV operation for youth

Under age 10

Age 10 & 11

Age 12 to 15

Age 16 & 17

Youth Operators with Passengers

As an operator 12 to 17 years of age, you may carry one passenger on a Class 1 ATV only if the passenger is your parent or legal guardian.

Class 2 ATV Operation

Anyone under the age of 15 may NOT operate a Class 2 ATV anywhere.  15 year olds with a valid ATV Safety Certificate may operate a Class 2 on the right shoulder or the extreme right-hand side of public road when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian on a separate ATV.

ATV Fit Requirement for Youth

If you are under 16, you must be able to properly reach and control the handlebars and reach the foot pegs while sitting upright on the machine to operate an ATV on public lands or water, or on state or grant-in-aid trails.

Seat clearance:    

A minimum of 3 inches of clearance between the seat and the top inseam of the pants when standing on the foot rests is required to enable the operator to maintain balance when turning and riding over obstacles and rough terrain.

Upper legs:   

While seated, the operator’s upper legs should be horizontal (parallel to the ground).

Arm length:

While seated and gripping the handle bar, there should be a distinct bend in the arm at the elbow.

Hand size:

With the hand gripping the handle bar, extend the fingers to the brake lever. The first joint of the index finger should extend beyond the brake lever. If it doesn’t, then the hand is too small to safely operate the brake. Also, check to see that the arm length is sufficient to properly operate the brake lever and throttle while the handlebars are turned to the far left and right.

Nonresident Youth and ATV Operation in Minnesota

Nonresident youth has in possession evidence of completing an ATV safety course offered by the ATV Safety Institute or another state’s ATV Safety training program which is similar to Minnesota ATV safety training course.

Nonresident youth is accompanied by a person 18 years of age or older who holds a valid driver's license