Most Commonly asked questions on ATV
1. Do you need landowner permission to ride an ATV? Yes
2. Do ATVers need to carry written permission for every trail?
3. Does any landowner permission have to be in writing? Yes,
If you are on cropland, pastureland
or an orchard and are not on a designated ATV trail.
4. Do I need permission if I am on a trail? No, If
you are on a designated (signed) ATV trail (or on a landowner’s
property which has an open land policy. Yes, if it is not
posted as an ATV trails.
5. Can a landowner have an open land policy? Yes,
any landowner, including farmer, can have an open land policy.
6. Where can I ride my ATV? On designated ATV trails,
land open by landowner policy or where you have landowner
7. If I have ridden somewhere all my life, do I still need
to get permission? Yes, unless it is already a designated
ATV trail or the landowner has an open land policy.
8. If I am stopped and asked about permission, how do I prove
I have verbal permission? Give them the landowner’s
name that gave you permission.
9. Have all the large landowners closed their property to
ATV’s? No, many landowners are authorizing ATV
use through clubs on designated trails.
10. What is the fine for riding on land without permission?
$100 to $500 plus automatic loss of all other licenses
issued by Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
11. Can I ride on power lines and pipelines? They
are privately owned and you must have landowner permission
unless it is a designated ATV trail.
1. Are there official opening and closing dates for trails?
No, but the law does provide for a mud season closure.
Actual closure dates will vary across the state based on local
conditions. Landowner or clubs have the right to close trails
at anytime due to trail conditions.
2. Can I ride my ATV on the snowmobile trail? No,
unless it is either a designated as a duel use trail or you
have landowner permission. Just because a trail is authorized
for snowmobiles, does not mean you ride ATV’s on it.
3. Are there any trails open to ride? Yes, there
are over 4000 miles of designated ATV trails and the number
of clubs and miles of trails is growing.
4. How can I find out where it is OK to ride? The
easiest way is to join a local club. You can contact the ATV
program at 287-2751 for a club contact or you can visit www.ATVMaine.org.
5. Can I ride on state owned land? Yes, you can ride
on signed shared use roads or designated ATV trails. There
are many locations and properties where this is allowed. Check
6. Some towns have approved ATV’s on town roads, is
there a list of the towns? The ATV access routes are
authorized in conjunction with a local club and trail system.
Check with local clubs and obey the posted signs. Generally
there is only a section of road that is open.
7. What guidelines apply to ATV access routes on public roads?
Routes will be opened by local ordinance, and will
be posted conspicuously at regular intervals for travel on
the extreme right of the public way.
8. How can I tell if a trail is a designated ATV trail?
It will have a green and white ATV sign with the ATV symbol.
See signing guidelines at www.maine.gov/doc/parks/programs/ATV/atv.html.
9. Are there any park and ride locations for ATV’s?
Most clubs have locations to unload and access their
trail systems, as do the trails on state lands. Check locally.
1. Are Off-Road motorcycles considered ATV? Yes,
under Maine Law they are considered an ATV and must be registered
as one in order to ride off your own land.
2. Is it true that I will lose my hunting, trapping, guiding,
and fishing licenses for certain ATV violations? Yes
3. Who should landowner’s call if they have a problem
with an ATV on their property? For issues in progress,
call the nearest local enforcement agency.
4. I am from another state and my ATV is registered there,
so do I have to register it in Maine? Yes, everyone
is required to register his or her ATV to ride in Maine.
5. Are you allowed to ride an ATV on a road right-of-way?
You can travel up to
500 yards to cross a road on the extreme right travel way.
You can travel further on extreme right travel way if it is
an authorized ATV access route.
6. Can I register my jeep, dune buggy or pickup as an ATV?
7. Do the ATV Laws apply to my dual sport motorcycle? Yes,
when used off road.
8. Do I have to register my Dual Sport Motorcycle as an ATV?
There's nothing in Maine Law that requires someone to register their street registered motorcycle to go off street riding, however if you intend to operate on State owned and maintained multi-use rail trails the ATV registration is required. We encourage you to register as an ATV if you are going to ride on ATV funded trails to support the costs of maintaining these trails. Some private landowners strictly prohibit the operation of motorcycles of any sort on their land.
9. Is a tree farm considered cropland? No, However;
damaging trees in a nursery or tree farm will be considered
abuse of property and carries same penalties in law.
10. Are landowners liable if they allow ATV use on their
property? No, Maine’s recreational liability
law protects them and if it’s a designated ATV trail
the state also provides liability insurance for the club maintaining
the trail and the landowner.
11. Are helmets required? Yes, if you under 18 including
passengers but we encourage everyone. Safety First.
12. What is the fine for riding on a closed trail? $100-$500
plus possible revocation of all IF&W licenses.
13. Can we ride along active railroad tracks? No,
any use except for crossing at approved locations is prohibited.
14. Who has to take an ATV safety course before operating?
A person over 9 years old and under 16 years old.
1. Do I have to belong to a club to ride? No, but
we encourage it because the clubs are taking the lead obtaining
permission and maintaining the trails, creating good will
by addressing landowner problems and they need your support.
2. What percentage of ATV registrations goes to clubs and
trails? After the cost of the registration, 50% goes
to the ATV recreational management fund for club and trail
3. Can joining a club potentially give me more access? Yes,
Clubs are the backbone to the sport. They are obtaining permission
and building trails and they know what is open and what isn’t.