New law clarifies requirements for ag-related ATVs

ATV-Depositphotos_11108903Changes in the law that regulates all-terrain and off-road vehicles go into effect July 1, and some of those affect agriculture.

House Enrolled Act 1491 addressed several provisions related to vehicles, including when ORVs such as ATVs and utility vehicles must be titled and registered.

Vehicles classed as ATVs and utility vehicles are generally considered ORVs and subject to title and registration requirements. Those same vehicles which are now exempt from the titling and registration requirements so long as they are “used in farming.” This change tracks current farm use which has seen these vehicles replace small tractors for many chores.

The actual definition in the regulation states that three-, four- or six-wheeled vehicles used in farming or construction that are “capable of cross-country travel without the benefit of a road” are eligible for the exemption. This would include John Deere Gators, Kawasaki Mules and similar vehicles, explained Justin Schneider, INFB state government relations director.

Starting July 1, state law will require children under age 18 to wear an approved helmet when riding any off-road vehicle on public or private property in Indiana, per the provisions of House Enrolled Act 1200. However, Schneider noted that if the vehicles are primarily used for agriculture, they are exempt from this requirement since they are technically considered “farm wagons” and not ORVs.

“If it’s something that you have for the kids to go out joyriding in, you have to title and register it because it’s not a farm wagon. And if it doesn’t fit the definition of ‘farm wagon’ or is being used as a toy, riders under age 18 should be wearing a helmet,” he explained.

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