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Can you make an ATV street legal in Canada?

Can you make an ATV street legal in Canada?

Have you ever wondered if ATVs are legal to use on public roads in Canada? Look no further, because we've got you covered on all fronts. If you own an ATV or want to visit Canada in the summer to enjoy the country's natural beauty while riding an ATV, it's important that you familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations that govern their use.


What is an ATV?

An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is a motorized off-highway vehicle with a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control that travels on four low-pressure or non-pneumatic tires. 

Based on the manufacturer's design, ATVs are divided into two categories:

  • Type I ATVs are meant to be operated by a single person with no passengers. 
  • Type II ATVs are designed to be used by an operator and a passenger, and come with a dedicated seating place behind the operator. 

Riders must also take into account the various ATV sizes. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all ATV. According to the ATV industry, all riders should ride an ATV that is appropriate for their age. Kids' ATVs are designed with smaller hands and feet in mind, and they travel at a slower speed than adult ATVs.

Surprising uses for ATVs


How do you make a quad street legal in Canada?

In Canada, street-legal automobiles are those that are explicitly allowed to be driven on the streets, roads, and highways. Because there is no national law allowing ATVs on Canadian highways, they need to be regulated at a lower administrative level and there are differences between provinces and municipalities. 

However, there are several things that they all have in common. On private property, you can more or less do whatever you want. On the road, however, an ATV must be legally registered and insured by a private liability policy with $ 500,000 or more coverage, and the rider must have a driver's license and helmet, as well as be 16 years of age or older, to be considered street legal.

It’s important to ride well below the speed limit, especially in towns and residential areas, wearing all the required safety equipment, showing extreme respect for cars and pedestrians, signaling our turns, keeping our bikes quiet, and never blipping the throttle where it might annoy others. While not required for all types of equipment, rear-view mirrors are a valuable safety feature when riding on the road; they are a terrific and inexpensive addition to any ATV. 

Personalize your ATV


Can you drive ATVs on roads in Canada?

Here are important ATV laws to know:

  • When riding on a designated road, all riders must wear an approved motorcycle helmet and have a valid G2/M2 or higher driver's license.
  • All ATVs, including those used solely on your own property, must be registered with the Ministry of Transportation and have current permission.
  • Anyone under the age of 16 cannot register an ATV.
  • Persons under the age of 12 are not permitted to operate an ATV unless they are on the vehicle owner's property and are closely supervised by an adult.

This does not take precedence over any existing municipal regulations. Riders need to be aware of local rules, especially in southern Ontario, where many places prohibit riding on any public road.

Everything you need to know to avoid ATV accidents


Do you need a license to drive an ATV in Canada?

You might believe that because an ATV isn't a car, it doesn't require any particular permits or licenses. That isn't the case at all. In Ontario, ATV drivers are subject to unique rules. The driver of an ATV, like those who drive automobiles, is liable for their passengers, and they will be cited for any violations.

A valid driver's licence is required to operate an ATV. To operate an off-road vehicle, you must have either a G2 or M2 licence. To drive, the driver must be at least 16 years old. A motorist must always wear the right safety equipment while driving. A motorbike helmet is included in this.

On an ATV, no youngster under the age of eight is permitted to ride as a passenger. And the driver must never have more passengers than accessible seating – it is extremely dangerous and unlawful to drive with buddies sitting on each other's laps.


How do you get an ATV license?

The Ministry of Transportation is required by the Off-Road Vehicles Act to register and plate an ATV. You must have evidence of insurance in order to register. Anyone under the age of 16 cannot register an ATV.  Canadians who need ATV or UTV training can also take an online course and then schedule a follow-up appointment with a Canada Safety Council teacher to receive their certification. 

ATV wheel spacers pros and cons


Can four-wheelers be street legal?

The provincial government has officially authorized all types of ATVs (as of July 1, 2015). This includes all 2-ups, UTVs, and Side-by-Sides, which were previously illegal to ride on public streets in Canada.

This applies to any municipality that has previously permitted the use of single passenger ATVs on the road in their catchment areas, and local rules, such as not riding on particular roads, split four-lane highways, and so on, still apply. Helmets, seat belts (where applicable), speed limits (usually, 20 km in a 50 km speed limit or less, and 50 km in designated places beyond 50 km), insurance, plates, and all other standard rules apply.


Why are quads not street legal?

Quads are not authorized for use on roads and highways in various parts of Canada for different reasons: 

  • They lack critical safety features such as turn signals and brake lights.
  • Despite being motorized vehicles, they do not require a driver's license to operate.
  • Operating them does not necessitate the purchase of motor vehicle liability insurance.
  • They do not receive license plates like street authorized cars do.
  • They were not designed or built to be used on highways or roads.

Do ATV drivers need insurance?

Despite the fact that ATVs are not road vehicles, they require insurance. If you own an ATV in Canada, there's a good chance you'll use it in public (roads, trails, and parking lots). As a result, just like a car, you need insurance for these vehicles.

Many city ordinances require residents to obtain insurance coverage for their ATVs. Property damage coverage, liability coverage, and accident benefit coverage are all included. For your ATV, you can also choose collision, comprehensive, specific perils, and all-risk coverage. 

A new ATV is also not inexpensive. In the event of theft, a good insurance policy will protect your investment. As you travel across Canada's beautiful outdoors, insurance can provide you with some much-needed peace of mind.

Learn how to protect your ATV


Shop for ATV accessories

Perfex Industries is a Canadian manufacturing company of ATV and UTV accessories. Our company’s goal is to elevate the riding experience of ATV enthusiasts by helping them make the most of their ATVs. We sell a range of different accessories such as: 

All of our products are designed based on input from users as well as vehicle manufacturers. The designs are carefully prototyped, thoroughly tested, improved, and tested some more. When a product fully meets the requirements for which it is built, we  start production and add improvements. We value and rely on user feedback to keep our product development current and relevant.

Make the most of your ATV

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