Off-highway vehicles are not permitted on state roads

SANTA FE, NM (KTSM) — Friday morning, officials from the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) and the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish to help residents understand Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) rules and regulations for Understanding NM Roads.

Officials cite an increase in OHVs on state roads — including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), dirt bikes, SUVs and snowmobiles — as the reason for clarifying the guidelines.

Essentially, these departments want to remind residents that not all roads allow OHVs on state roads unless a maintenance agreement has been passed by the NMDOT Commission.

“Various cities, towns and counties are now allowing the use of OHVs on their roads, but these vehicles are not legal on state highways and people may have difficulty telling the difference… The safety and well-being of the traveling public has always been like this.” our greatest concern. The department wants everyone to know the rules and regulations to avoid citations and prevent violations.”

Deputy NMDOT Secretary Trent Doolittle.

Officials say the New Mexico Legislative Section 66-3-1011 NMSA amended in 1978 to allow a county or municipality, by ordinance or ordinance, to authorize the operation of OHVs on paved roads or highways designated by the county or municipality owned and controlled by him, but the use of these vehicles state roads is prohibited and drivers can be quoted. NM Statistics § 66-3-1011 (2016).

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In addition, the law requires all drivers to register their OHVs when used on public land. New Mexico residents are required to purchase OHV registration stickers from the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) for both off-road and on-road use. Non-residents can purchase OHV registration stickers from the Department of Game and Fish Online Sales.

Officials are asking residents to refer to state OHV laws and rules for full requirements.

They add that local authorities can issue and enforce other restrictions as long as they do not conflict with state law.

“It is the responsibility of every OHV operator to be aware of state and local laws and regulations before driving,” NMDOT officials said.

Watch the OHV Rules Video with NMG&F Officer Desi Ortiz at NMDOT | to Santa Fe NM | Facebook

The laws and rules can be viewed during a visit this link