Want to keep riding? Keep your off-highway vehicle legal.

Photo of some off-highway vehicles.Start your engines: for many outdoor enthusiasts, May long weekend is the unofficial start of off-highway adventure season.

Alberta’s legislation designates motorcross bikes, ATVs, and quads as off-highway vehicles. Built to handle rough terrain, they’re powerful – and as we know, with great power comes great responsibility. Here’s what you need to do to keep your vehicle legal.


  • All vehicles – including off-highway vehicles – used on Alberta’s highways or public lands must be registered. Registration helps us keep track of vehicles and their owners, so that we can enforce Alberta’s laws.
  • You can register at any Alberta Registry Agent office. Click here to search for a registry agent near you.


  • According to Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act, all off-highway vehicles must be insured before being operated on Alberta’s highways or public lands. This applies whether the vehicle is being used for work or play.
  • Insuring your vehicle protects you in case it’s stolen or damaged. In addition, if someone is injured while riding your off-highway vehicle, insurance can help you cover the cost of liability.
  • Check with your insurance agency to see if they register off-highway vehicles. If they don’t, they can recommend another agency that does.


Close-up photo of a dirt bike

Grass and other debris that ends up wedged in vehicle ‘hot spots’ can easily become a fire hazard.

  • Any vehicle used on public land requires working headlines, taillights, and mufflers. Make sure your vehicle has these, and that they work.
  • Off-highway vehicles can start wildfires – and if yours does, you could be footing the bill. Make sure to clean and check your vehicle’s ‘hot spots’ regularly
  • Youth under 14 years of age need to be directly supervised by an adult in close proximity when using any off-highway vehicle on public land.
  • Some trails have maximum width and height allowances for vehicles. Know these numbers for your vehicle, and check your route before you go.

Enforcement officers will be out and about this summer checking compliance with these rules. Following them is the best way to make sure that you have a safe, worry-free weekend – and that you can keep riding all summer long.



2 thoughts on “Want to keep riding? Keep your off-highway vehicle legal.

    • Hi Katlim,

      Here is what the Rules and Regulations from Alberta Transportation says in regards to OHVs and licenses. For more details please visit, http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/Content/docType41/Production/small_vehicle_booklet_final.pdf

      Off-highway operation: You are not required to have an operator’s licence when operating off-highway. On-highway operation: You are required to have an operator’s licence
      when operating on-highway. Minimum driving age: The minimum age for operating off-highway vehicles on public land or highways is 14 years where permitted. If you are younger than
      14 years, you may operate on public land with supervision by someone 18 years of age or older who is either on the same off-highway vehicle or in close proximity.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s