City May Say “OK”- But State Roads Are A No-Go For Off-Highway Vehicles

Off-highway vehicles are not allowed on state roadways

Riders may be cited

DEMING – The New Mexico Department of Transportation is seeing an increase of off-highway vehicles (OHV) on state roadways. These include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), dirt bikes, off-road vehicles, and snowmobiles.

The NMDOT does not allow OHVs on state-owned roadways. The New Mexico Legislature amended Section 66-3-1011 NMSA 1978, to allow a county or municipality, by ordinance or resolution, to authorize the operation of OHVs on paved streets or highways owned and controlled by the county or municipality but the use of these vehicles on state roadways is banned and riders may be cited. NM Stat § 66-3-1011 (2016).

 “Various cities, towns and counties are now allowing the use of OHV’s on their roadways, but these vehicles are not allowed on state roads and people may be having a tough time distinguishing the difference,” says NMDOT District Engineer Trent Doolittle. “The safety and wellbeing of the traveling public has always been our number one concern. The department wants everyone to be aware of the rules and regulations to avoid a citation and prevent injury.”

New Mexico’s requirements for OHVs are designed to protect the safety of all riders and ensure responsible and sensitive use. The law requires all riders to register their OHVs if used on public land. New Mexico residents must purchase OHV registration decals from the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). Non-residents can purchase OHV registration decals from the Department of Game and Fish Online Sales.

Please refer to the state OHV laws and rules for complete requirements. Local authorities can enact and enforce further restrictions as long as they are not in conflict with state law. It is the responsibility of any OHV operator to know the state and local laws and rules before riding. These laws and rules can be found by visiting:


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