An All-Terrain-Vehicle (ATV) is an Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) that:
The following are not considered ATVs, but instead, types of ORVs:
By law, all ATVs must be registered with the Ministry of Transportation, even if operated only on your property. A one-time fee is payable at a Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office. A licence plate and registration permit is provided together with mounting instructions.
ATV's may not be registered to anyone under the age of 16.
Persons under 12 years of age are not permitted to operate an ATV except on the owner's property or trails while under close supervision of an adult.
. Persons between the ages of 12 and 15 years of age are permitted to operate an ATV unsupervised on public or private trails.
. If crossing the road on an ATV, the driver must be in possession of a valid G2/G driver's licence or an M2/M motorcycle licence.
. A helmet meeting the standards of the Highway Traffic Act must be worn when operating an ATV on premises other than property owned by the vehicle owner (i.e. helmets certified by DOT,SNELL, or other agencies that meet the standards).
It is unlawful to operate ATV's on any public roadway, street, highway or park in the city of Ottawa. This includes the entire area between the boundary lines of adjacent property, including ditches. ATV's may however be operated directly across a highway, provided the driver has a driver's licence. It should be noted that the driver must wear a helmet and no passengers are allowed on the vehicle when crossing a highway. If the AVT was manufactured after January 1, 1998, a brake light is required.
The Highway Traffic Act does not permit ATVs to be operated on municipal roadways unless permitted by city by-law. Currently, the City of Ottawa does not have a by-law in place permitting the use of ATVs on their roadways.Passenger or "two-up" designs are a form of ORV and are only allowed on public trails or private lands, and cannot cross the road carrying passengers.
To drive on private land the operator must have the landowner's permission. No insurance is required off-road on land the owners occupy, lease or own.
Both the owner and operator of an ATV (or parents if applicable) are responsible for any violations of the Highway Traffic Act and are liable for any injury or property damage caused by the vehicle.
The law requires that ATVs be insured under a motor vehicle liability policy. In Ontario, this means an automobile insurance policy. Both the owner and the driver are liable for injuries or property damage arising out of the operation of an ATV.
Personal, Universal, and Farm Liability Policies are not considered motor vehicle liability policies in accordance with the Insurance Act. In fact, personal and farm liability policies usually exclude "the operation of any vehicle subject to motor vehicle registration" such as ATVs. Therefore they would offer no protection or defense against legal action.
Before operating your ATV, verify your coverage with your insurance company.
Many ATV-related injuries are caused by children using adult size ATVs as there is a drastic difference in weight between the child and the machine. Also, ATVs have a high centre of gravity, making them more likely to roll over and land on the rider.
Manufacturers of adult size ATVs prohibit children under 16 from operating their machines. When choosing an ATV for your child, it is important to review the ATV's specifications and to take into consideration your child's size and skill level.
For safety reasons, operators under 16 years-of-age are not permitted to cross the road. You must posess a driver's licence to cross the road. Also, ATV's may not be registered to anyone under the age of 16. See also Driver Requirements for laws on youth operating ATVs.
It is against the law to operate an off-road vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. ATV operators can be charged for drinking and driving like any motor vehicle such as cars, trucks, boats etc.
A temporary trip permit cannot be issued for ATVs however visitors can operate their ATV in Ontario for a period of up to three months, provided they carry the original or a true copy of the vehicle registration or Certificate of Title for their ATV. In addition, visitors must have proof of insurance and a driver's licence.
A licence plate is not required on an ATV if the location where the visitor resides does not require one.