Ohio Laws for All-Purpose Vehicles to Change July 1, 2009

June 10, 2009 at 7:30 am 30 comments

Peggy Hall, Director of the Agricultural Resource Law Program for Ohio State University Extension, wrote an excellent article for the June, 2009 edition of the Ohio Ag Manager Newsletter summarizing the upcoming changes to Ohio’s All-Purpose Vehicle laws. The below article is from Ms. Hall and contains all the pertinent information relevant to farms:

Ohio law will soon contain new provisions on criminal trespass, registration and operation of all-purpose vehicles (APVs). The General Assembly included the changes in H.B. 2 this spring, which becomes effective on July 1, 2009. Rural landowners will have interest in the new criminal trespass sections, which increase fines when a trespass occurs with an APV. The law’s license plate program will require APVs to display a license plate and validation sticker like other vehicles. APV operators will pay higher registration fees, but on-farm APVs used as a farm implement will be exempt from registration.

According to Ohio law, an “all-purpose vehicle” is “any self-propelled vehicle designed primarily for cross-country travel on land and water, or on more than one type of terrain, and steered by wheels or caterpillar treads, or any combination thereof, including vehicles that operate on a cushion of air, vehicles commonly known as all-terrain vehicles, all-season vehicles, mini-bikes, and trail bikes.” The definition of “all-purpose vehicle” does not include golf carts or utility vehicles that are designed to transport materials or cargo.

Below is a summary of the new law that will go into effect on July 1.

Criminal trespass with APVs. The law contains stiffer penalties for criminal trespass that involves an APV. Criminal trespass is the entering or remaining on another’s land without permission or privilege, and is a fourth degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $250 and jail time of up to 30 days. Under the new law, when a person commits criminal trespass using an APV, a court must double the fine. Where a person is convicted three times of criminal trespass using an APV, the court may also impound the registration and license plate of the vehicle for at least 60 days.

Registration exceptions. Ohio law currently requires registration of APVs, snowmobiles and off-highway motorcycles, with a few exceptions. The new law changes the exceptions that apply to APVs in two ways. First, the new law removes the registration exception for APVs operated exclusively upon lands owned by the owner or on lands to which the owner has a contractual right. This exception from registration will apply only to snowmobiles and off-highway motorcycles. Second, the law creates a new registration exception for APVs: an owner does not have to register an APV that is used primarily on a farm as a farm implement. The law also increases the penalties for operating an unregistered APV, snowmobile or off-highway motorcycle to no less than $50 and no more than $100.

License plate requirements. The new law requires operators of APVs to display a license plate and validation sticker rather than a registration number after July 1, 2010. An owner must display the license plate so that it is “distinctly visible” and in accordance with rules to be adopted by the Board of Motor Vehicles (BMV). After an owner obtains a license plate, the BMV will issue a new validation sticker to display on the license plate for each three-year registration period. The new license plate provision does not affect snowmobiles or off-highway motorcycles.

Registration fees. The new law increases the registration fees for APVs, snowmobiles and off-highway motorcycles from $5 to $31.25 for the three-year registration period. The registrar may retain up to $5 of the fee and must deposit the remainder into the state treasury for the state recreational vehicle fund, which also receives amounts from fines issued under the law. Purposes of the fund include enforcing and administering laws regarding registration and operation of snowmobiles, off-highway motorcycles, and APVs, purchasing additional land to provide trails and other areas for such vehicles on state-controlled land and waters, and providing safety programs.

Out of state driver’s licenses. The old law requires the operator of an APV, snowmobile or off-highway motorcycle to hold a valid driver’s license from the State of Ohio. The new law allows a person holding a driver’s license from another state to operate the vehicles.

Impoundment. The new law allows a court to impound the registration and license plate of an APV for no less than 60 days whenever a person is found guilty of operating the vehicle in violation of Ohio law.

See these Ohio Revised Code sections at http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/ for changes to APV law: O.R.C. 2911.21, 4519.02, 4519.03, 4519.04, 4519.08, 4519.09, 4519.10, 4519.44, and 4519.47.

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  • 1. Wonder Why  |  December 31, 2009 at 12:26 am

    I wonder why people are leaving Ohio to live elsewhere. Its garbage laws like this. Now you want to tell us we have to pay $30+ dollars, and display is plate to ride and ATV (that we paid tax on) on our own PROPERTY ( that WE pay tax on) that uses gas (that we pay tax on) What next Ohio are we going to have to pay for the privilege of breathing? Crop damage my backside. This was all just an excuse to increase revenue. Ohio will never see another state “APV trail”

  • 2. Forest Campbell  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I don’t give a hoot about revenue! I’m tired of running these atvs off my farm and repairing the damage. If you read the law you don’t have to pay to ride on your own farm. I hope they throw the book at them and take their atvs. I’m also tired of tring to deer hunt and then have one of these atv come streaking by giving me the finger. There are plenty of places in the state that you can ride and obey the law. Sock it to them!

    • 3. horaace  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      you do have to pay to ride on your own land if you do not have tax id # for farm use

  • 4. C Moore  |  February 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I do agree that they should drop the hammer on tresspassers IF they are tearing up your ground, excesive noise, littering etc., but forcing ATVs to buy expensive plates, GOOD LUCK enforcing that one! If Ohio wants some revenue they need to WAKE UP and take some tips from WV, when they started the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system back in 2000 (I think) they never imagined that it would grow to what it is today. I Have been down there several times to ride, and everybody that lives there says that it has been a big boost to their economy, not only from the sale of state permits to ride there, but also from a big increase in campground, cabin and hotel/motel rental, gas stations, restraunts, etc., it’s a huge trickle down effect. It is all State Run And Controlled. There are many places in Ohio to ride that could use a boost like that. WAKE UP OHIO!

    • 5. Cy  |  October 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      One of the BIG reasons Hatfield has been doing so well is because of how bad things are here in Ohio. WV decided to embrace the sport instead of fight it, or accept it as a necessary evil like Ohio has done. Hats off to WV!

  • 6. mike c  |  February 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    when i purchase an Ohio place, thats fine, now i can ride my four-wheeler on the road. I have head lights, tail lights, and its no different than a motorcycle. BRING on the plate Ohio !

  • 7. b  |  February 7, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Do they really think the tresspassers are going to register? I feel for the farmers that get there land tore up. There are many bad apples in the ATV riding bunch, but there is also a lot of land never used by greedy land owners. And if you really the stats horses do way more damage than atvs. Its a fact. And to forest, where are the quote plenty of places to ride in Ohio? There are none in southwestern Ohio. And for the record they cannot impound the atvs. They can impound the registration and plate. It never says a thing about impounding the vehicle. But in the farmers defense we have signs allowing us to on the outside of farmers fields but there always a few jackasses who have to cut straight through and ruin the crops and that is wrong and grounds for punishment. I ride a utility vehicle so not much of this effects me anyway. Just my 2 cents.

    • 8. Cy  |  October 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm

      I’m tired of the BAD APPLES comment in the ATV bunch! I’m sick of it! Completly.

      As soon as you say ATV or Four Wheeler it’s like people think your some sort of biker gang. There can easily be Bad Apples in any bunch. The problem boils down to the fact there is limited LEGAL places to go. That’s really it!

      Imagine how big of a problem it would be if there was one lake which it was LEGAL to operate a boat on in Ohio? Can you imagine the problems?

      That is what it is like for APV enthusiasts in Ohio.

  • 9. ripped off  |  March 6, 2010 at 1:18 am

    My kids ride in the back yard but since it is not a farm I have to buy plates. This is total B.S. This will lead to mandatory insurance on them so someone else can shaft the working class!

    • 10. Cy  |  October 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      The insurance part is already in place. Check your home owners insurance. I’d almost guarentee that it will not cover your APVs unless they are used as farm equipment to maintain the premises.

  • 11. hmmm  |  April 12, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Does this mean we are going to be able to ride the roads since we have a plate? And for the farmers if it was that bad you would put a fence up. This new law is just going to make a bunch of people that never did those kind of things go rip through a field. Next time I am out and see a field i am going to rip through it just to give you somehting to cry about i can pay the fine and do the time in jail. So next time you sorry people wanna cry about people in your fields look at what’s gonna happen in the long first. You make people mad and have to spend a lot more money and they are going to do what most of them never thought of doing before.

    • 12. horaace  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      i dont think it is the farmers they may agree but not them ….its all $ for the state

      • 13. chad  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm

        This is a terrible comment YOUR additude is the reson this law has come about GROW UP? DO NOT TRESSPASS ON YOUR NEIBOR owning a toy does not give you the moral right to be on peoples property that do not want you there. Regardless if you are creating damage or not have respect. The same respect you expect from others I am not a farmer and do not own land but I do have a ATV and I ride with respect for others ………..

  • 14. jim  |  June 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    who are the people that came up with this money grab? more from the politicians who live off the backs of the middle class working man, I wonder how much of this really came from the farmers?

  • 15. jim  |  June 8, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    let me clarify my comment, welfare bums in suits refers to carer politicians, especially ones that are from political family’s that have been stealing and spending our money for generations buy coming up with crap like this.I’d like to see the fools that came up with this money grab removed from office !!

    • 16. BigMike  |  June 15, 2010 at 10:59 pm

      I agree!!

  • 17. Chris  |  June 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I would like to know were the money is going.
    There is 19,000 acres operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in Coshocton County. There is no designated area for four wheeler riding or allowed in our county.

  • 18. BigMike  |  June 15, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    There is plenty of room to ride in Ohio.It is called Wayne National Forest in southeast Ohio.Thousands of acres to ride on without harming the environment.If the gas and oil companies would want to drill for oil or coal there,and they do, they would tell them yes. But if we want to ride our 4 wheelers there they tell us no.The local economy can really use the boost.But as for purchasing a tag, or a liscense, or registering my ATV, Mr. Politician, you had better keep your hands out of my pockets I and many people like me have had enough of your nickle and diming us to the poor house.Read the writing on the wall, the days of the rich politician are numbered.

  • 19. BigMike  |  June 15, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    By the way, when a person is fined for trespassing, who recieves the money when the fine is paid? It should be the land owner who was trespassed against, but NO the money goes to the courts so they can grow an even bigger government.The landowner gets NOTHING.

    • 20. horaace  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm

      i agree

      • 21. Cy  |  October 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm

        The Money should be awarded to the land owner.

  • 22. Horse  |  June 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Whats next a fat fine for having mud on the plate, no license plate light to illuminate the plate at night, emissions checks annually, and the list keeps going and going, these politions should focus thier new laws on the criminals not the working man and as for the farmers I don’t think anybody should be on thier land without permission…I’ve been an atv rider many years and always ask for permission and if not granted then we just go around. Wake up Ohio

  • 23. Ron  |  July 5, 2010 at 11:01 am

    The state if Ohio just opened up a gold mine for states like W.Va. Ky. Tenn. and other surrounding states that have places to ride ATVs. I will not buy a license plate for the two that I own. I understand the tresspassing problem that the farmers are having, however there is no comphensation that I can see being paid to a farmer who has sustained damage. I have in the past obtained a permit for my ATVs and gone to Wayne National Forest to ride. I will not obtain ths permit again and will not pay the fees to ride in Wayne. I will not buy my additional ATVs in Ohio, but will instead do business with sates that are more friendly to my recreational activity. I have a truck and a trailer that are registered and licensed in Ohio, and I will use these vehicles to go out of state. This is for the collection of additional revenue for politicans, nothing more.

  • 24. dave  |  July 8, 2010 at 2:31 am

    i do feel bad for the farmers, its not right for ppl tearing up there fields and crops. but as far as buying plates in ohio, for what, where i live in southern ohio, outside of waverly. 12 years ago we used to be able to ride several thousand acres in pike state forestry, now we get booted and all the trails we made our now used for horses. and which i agree i beilieve is worse. when it rains them big hoove prints hold water. then a wheeler goes through or anything for that matter and leaves big nasty ruts making us look bad.. its whatever, def need to figure somthing out ohio and quick.. until then, ill be the one giving u a wave when ur trying to get me pulled over.. bahaha

  • 25. Ima Fedup  |  September 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    The way I feel is that if you don’t have a place to ride ’em you shouldn’t have bought ’em. As a landowner, I owe you NOTHING!!

    I live in the country and have had four wheelers run through my yard & other property, watched them spin around in the church’s yard down the road, and almost hit me head-on on the roadway (no, I don’t antagonize these people….I stay to myself).

    I see people on government assistance with two and three 4-wheelers in their yard and out on the roadway. I know of instances where some of these people have been life-flighted at taxpayers expense because of poor judgement while riding an APV.

    I have absolutely ZERO, again ZERO, tolerance for these things. So, you can imagine, I have no sympathy for those of you who feel that landowners owe you the right to play with your toys on their property.

    I pay taxes and upkeep on my propery for my pleasure and enjoyment. I am not obligated to share as a lot of you may feel I should. This is the same mentality shared by city dwelling deer hunters that feel a landowner is somehow obligated to allow them to hunt simply because they have a license, a gun, a tag, & the desire to kill something that is likely smarter than they are.

    I have seen fences cut and a stray slug peel away a barn roof. Give ’em a gun or give ’em a 4-wheeler, it’s all the same when it comes to poor judgement and an entitlement attitude.

    I also have zero sympathy for those of you who are parents that allow your children to operate one of these unsupervised and without protective gear. Don’t let me hear you crying about “how this could happen to your little baby”. In my humble opinion, you should be tried and accused of child endangerment and treated accordingly. I will pity the child, but certainly not you.

    Perhaps instead, you should spend some personal time with your child rather than toss them the keys to a piece of equipment that easily outweighs them 3X or better so you won’t be so bothered by them crying about how bored they are.

    Most of you who are doing the crying are likely the ones abusing the privelege. If you take it on the roadway and I run into the ditch or over the bank trying to keep from killing you I will likely be cited for failure to control my vehicle. I’m certain 99% of you will not stick around to see the result. In addition, my insurance will have to cover the cost of repairs and the installments may increase because of the claim. NOT FAIR !!!

    If I DON’T swerve to miss you I will likley kill you or maim you for life. At that point I am liable for lawsuit. Even if you wouldn’t win (provided you live) I will be out of a lot of money for legal costs.

    Or, perhaps your survivors would try to sue. Again, NOT FAIR !!

    I’m all for legislation that does away with the pieces of crap. Short of that….tax the crap out of ’em and fine the crap out of those who abuse the laws, etc. Better yet, confiscate and scrap their toys.

    Have a great day!!!

    • 26. Cy  |  October 8, 2010 at 12:25 pm

      Sounds to me like you have some real low life neighbors.

    • 27. chad  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      I am 100% with you the truth is the truth

    • 28. R. Grossnickle  |  February 14, 2011 at 8:45 am

      Actually no, I have very good neighbors. The problems are with others who go from place to place via the backroads and then happen by my place. Generally, there are three or more running together. And, it seems that the more there are in the group, the more a pack mentality exists and the more inclined they are to do something “cute”, for lack of a better word.

      Happily, state forestry officials are taking more of a stand. This past year several had their vehicles towed and fines were levied. As a result, I noticed less traffic by my home. Fear is a motivator. If they’re making money by doing so, then so be it. I like the results. Speaking with one officer I found that the vehicles that are confiscated are cut with a torch & scrapped. Some of the better ones are used for state duties after which they too are cut & scrapped. Gives me a warm & fuzzy feeling.

      Oh, and a first occurred this past fall, after my first posting. I saw two girls drive by my home on an old three wheeler. They appeared to be 14-15 years old. The girl driving had her right hand on the throttle and was TEXTING with the other. And, at one point, she turned her head to yell something back at her passenger. All this while preparing to go into a blind curve! Apparently, the gene pool has been diluted to a larger degree than I suspected. I wonder if I have a moral obligation to shovel the carnage out of the roadway when something like this goes bad? I guess it reflects back to what I originally stated when a parent wonders “how it could happen to their little girl”. Geesh.

  • 29. Brett  |  October 4, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Licensing, Registration, and Plating (and stickers, e-checking, and so on, and on and on) s primarily a form of taxation.
    The soon-to-be required insurance for ATVs, is welfare for insurance companies. However, I do believe ATVs should be titled if theft is a problem (is it a problem?).

    We already have criminal trespass…. why do we need a special law for ATVs?

    And farmers (or anyone) can (and alway could) sue in civil court for trespassing damages.

    Then what’s the big whip for ATV’s?

    “I HATE people that YoYo (you know: the spining top toy) so I’m going to push for a law that’ll ban people from Yo-Yo-ing. ” I hear many, many people, who say things like this. Laws like this are taking people’s freedoms away. Of course, I doubt the politians in C-Bus care. They really care about the tax revanues, however. Now Ohio can hire more cranky beauracrats at the local BVMs to issue the additional licenses/plates/stickers/whatever. Yeah!

  • 30. Cy  |  October 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I do believe PA has been requiring plates for some time. My biggest issue with the new law is until today I’ve heard nothing about it. Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock? I own 4 registered off road vehicles and I didn’t receive ANYTHING to explain these changes to me? REALLY?

    My other issue is I feel this is PURELY A CASH GRAB and nothing more UNLESS the money is used to open and maintain APV areas for the public. Having lived here for 36 years I highly doubt we will be seeing it used for anything that benefits APVs. We would rather tie up land with failing outlet malls or city subsidized golf courses then create a place for people to operate an off road vehicle.

    Anyone who thinks this is going to solve some sort of trespassing issues is out of their gourd! The TRUE problem is the limited LEGAL places to ride. This is why we have the situation we have today. Law makers would rather fight the issue instead of trying to find a real solution. They would rather see NO off road vehicles, than try to find a working solution. Putting up fences, bigger trespassing fines, additional registration laws are not going to solve these issues. Acknowledging the fact that there exists an abundant population of off road enthusiasts and working together to find a solution the enables enthusiasts to enjoy their sport LEGALLY is the only answer.

    The few state areas that do exist are horribly maintained let me rephrase that HORRIBLY MAINTAINED. Wayne National Forest is the ONLY exception. It truly is the ONLY good public place to ride in Ohio. Due to the lack of areas in Ohio you will find my friends and I loaded up and heading out of state to Michigan, W. Virginia, or Pennsylvania in order to find a fun LEGAL place to operate our APVs.


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