Laws / Safety

California offers some of the greatest off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation opportunities in the nation. The SVRAs, Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service, local city and counties, and private partners offer an extraordinary amount of diverse and remarkable terrain for recreationists to explore.

Of course with the opportunity and privilege to recreate, comes the responsibility to protect those opportunities for yourself and others. Know the California rules and regulations for operating your OHV responsibly and safely.

Latest Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Information Bulletin

The latest Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Information Bulletin, 20-1, explains that properly registered, street-legal, out-of-state vehicles may be able to use public OHV areas in California year-round, even if the vehicle would be considered “red-sticker” in California.

New Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Information Bulletin

On June 5, 2019, the Department of Motor Vehicles released Law Enforcement Information Bulleting 19-11, Subject: New Ignition Interlock Device Restrictions. Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Information Bulletin 19-1 addresses the new restrictions and explains why they apply to OHVs.


As of September 1, 2019, the state of Arizona requires all nonresidents operating their OHVs within Arizona to purchase a nonresident OHV decal. The decal must be purchased prior to riding an OHV within the state. This is a change as prior to this date California residents could operate their OHV in Arizona for up to 30 days with valid California Red or Green Identification Stickers. This new law will require all California residents, as well as residents from all other states, to be proactive because these non-resident permits may only be purchased on-line. Failing to purchase the ARIZONA NON-RESIDENT OHV DECAL before traveling to Arizona could result in a citation. For more information on the program and to purchase permit(s) for your OHV go to:

POST-Certified OHV Law Enforcement Training

Free POST-Certified OHV Classroom Training for Law Enforcement Agencies | SIGN UP ONLINE (

OHV Law Enforcement Training - 6 hours (#21148): An introductory course for officers involved with OHV law enforcment, public safety, and education programs.

OHV Sound Testing Training - 6 hours (#21149):  This class offers an overview of how sound is measured, followed by an afternoon of practical, hands-on experiences operating sound meters and measuring a variety of equipment.

New Law Pertaining to Transportation of Unregistered OHVs

Assembly Bill 2752 was signed into law on September 15, 2014. This law amends the California Vehicle Code Section 38020 by removing the word “transport” from the first line of that section. This removes the prohibition of the moving of an unregistered off-highway vehicle while they are in the process of being transported from one location to another. Citations for having an unregistered off-highway vehicle can only be issued if the unregistered vehicle has been removed from the trailer or truck bed. This law is effective January 1, 2015.

Download Law Enforcement Bulletin [PDF posted 12/2/14]

Laws Pertaining to Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROV)

SB 234 (Walters) was signed into law by Governor Brown on August 27, 2013.  This law amends AB 1266 and AB 1595 allowing 2013 and earlier ROVs with added/aftermarket seating.  The law also defines occupant handhold. (See OHMVR Public Information Bulletin (October 2013) listed below.)

AB 1266, introduced by Assembly Members Nielsen and Cook to amend existing law, was signed into law on September 25, 2012. This law eliminates the requirement of a passenger to have both feet flat on the floorboard of a recreational off-highway vehicle (ROV). The bill also delays the implementation of the prohibition whereas a person operating a ROV shall not allow a passenger to occupy a separate seat location not designed and provided by the manufacturer for a passenger.

AB 1595, sponsored by the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) and carried by Assemblyman Paul Cook, was signed into law by Governor Brown on July 24, 2012 and went into effect on January 1, 2013.

OHMVR Laws Book

OHMVR Law Enforcement

OHMVR Laws Quickbook (2018)

Sharing Our Trails

A Guide to Trail Safety and Enjoyment

SB 249 Information - 2017

View the entire bill on the LegInfo website.