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Tennessee Laws on ATV Riding

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Before doing recreational ATV riding in any part of Tennessee, you must first read and learn about Tennessee laws on ATV Riding

While Tennessee can be very very welcoming to all kinds of ATV riders, knowing and abiding by the laws is always the best way to avoid injuries and getting into trouble with the law in the future. 

Tennessee Laws on ATV Riding
Tennessee Laws on ATV Riding

If you plan to operate an ATV in Tennessee, it’s essential that you know the laws and regulations that govern ATV use in the state. In this post, we take a look at the ATV laws in Tennessee. 

Tennessee ATV Laws

“Off highway motor vehicles (OHV) are vehicles that are not intended to be driven or moved on a public highway. However, if specifications are met, vehicles not intended for highway use may qualify for registration plates and may be operated on certain roads in Tennessee.”

Tennessee Department of Revenue
  • As an ATV owner in Tennessee, you are not required by the state to register your vehicle or apply for a special license to drive it.
  • However, all ATV owners in Tennessee must get a certificate of title for the ATV and attach a special identification a Tennessee Department of Revenue, or TDR, sticker on your ATV showing that you were issued a certificate of title for it.
  • The special identification plate or sticker is nontransferable and nonrenewable meaning it will become invalid once you sell it.
  • Non-Tennessee resident ATV owners don’t need to obtain the special identification plate as long as they have proof that the ATV was either titled or registered in their home state.
  • ATV riding is allowed one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Your ATV must be equipped with headlights and taillights.
  • ATV headlights must produce a driving light sufficient to render a person two hundred feet (200′) ahead visible.
  • Your ATV must be equipped with a muffler to keep the noise output acceptable.
  • Anyone operating an ATV in Tennessee must be 16 years of age or older and have a valid driver’s license. 
tennessee utv laws
Tennessee Laws on ATV Riding

Tennessee is one of the best states in the United States for ATV riding.

While riding, please ensure that you obey all the Tennessee ATV laws at all times.

Failure to follow these laws can result in hefty fines, loss of privileges to operate a vehicle, and other more serious consequences. 

Can You Ride An ATV On The Road In Tennessee?

ATV riding is only allowed in certain areas of the state of Tennessee.

  • Only roads marked for off-road vehicle use allow ATVs. Riders are always encouraged to use only designated roads and trails in TN and be aware of private property and prohibited access roads.
  • ATV riding is not allowed on highways except to cross a two-lane highway which should be at an angle of 90 degrees, or you’re using it for agricultural purposes.
  • An ATV can be moved adjacent to a roadway in a nonmechanical fashion so long as they don’t interfere with highway traffic and are being moved only for the purpose of accessing or returning from a designated riding area when no alternative routes are available.
  • ATVs are prohibited from state parks and it is illegal to cause any type of damage to natural resources on state forests with an ATV.
ATV laws Tennessee
Tennessee Laws on ATV Riding

Tennessee ATV Helmet Laws

The state of Tennessee requires all minors to wear an ATV helmet. Those 18 y/o and above can wear helmets at their own discretion while riding, but we strongly recommend you wear one. Here are our ATV helmet guides to help;

tennessee atv helmet laws

Driving an all-terrain vehicle can be an exhilarating experience for ATV enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.

To ensure that everyone has a fun and safe time, you must always learn and adhere to the different ATV laws in each state.

Fun ATV Riding Clothes

While protective gear is essential on the trail, it’s ok to look cute and share your wilder riding side with the world. I’m a big fan of ball caps and love this adorable “ATV hair, Don’t Care” hat from Sew Vivid Design on Etsy. Be sure to Check out all this cute ATV apparel.

Get Your FREE ATV Pre-Ride Checklist Now!

Recommended ATV Riding Resources


Now that you’ve learned the laws and brushed up on your safety practices, time to check out the best ATV trails in Tennessee!

And if you want to know more about the state of Tennessee, make sure you plan a visit to the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville.

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