New Mexico OHV Regulations and Rules References

(This document is not intended to be an exhaustive OHV reference. Consult the NMDG&F website for complete OHV laws, regulations and statutes.)

Protect Your Right to Ride and Recreate!

  • KNOW THE LAW and comply with it.
  • Please STAY ON THE TRAIL, or don't ride.
  • Practice good trail etiquette. There are many resources for etiquette education:

  • If you don't know the law or area, ASK the appropriate land use, agency office for an official map(s) of the designated roads, trails and areas.

Vehicles that are OHVs and operate on public lands must be registered, including:

  • All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
  • Motorcycles
  • Off-road vehicles (ORVs, UTVs, etc.)
  • Snowmobiles

Safety Requirements

Riders under 18 must:

  • Wear an approved (e.g., DOT), securely fastened helmet.
  • Wear approved, protective eye wear.
  • Never carry a passenger, even on OHVs designed for two persons.
  • Be visually supervised when operating an OHV, unless:

    they are 13 years old or above with a valid motorcycle license, or

    they are 15 years old or above with a valid driver's license

  • Complete a certified OHV course (NMDG&F class), obtain and carry a safety permit (NMOHVA encourages a 'hands-on' OHV training course in addition to any web-based or online course).
  • Must be under the supervision of a guardian, parent or someone responsible for the under-18 rider and his riding behavior and practices.
  • No ATV shall be operated without a lighted headlight and taillight when visibility is limited.

Riders under 10 years old may only operate age-appropriate, size-fit ATVs.

Riders under 6 may not operate an ATV on public land.

Stay on the Road or Trail!

This document is not to be used as a substitution for New Mexico Statutes 66-3-1001 to 66-3-1020 or Title 18 of the New Mexico Administrative Code. It is intended to provide basic information only regarding the requirements for OHVs and users, and is not a complete resource for OHV compliance or New Mexico law. It is your responsibility to know and comply with the law.

The Dept of Game & Fish can be contacted at 800.366.4868 to report any illegal sign posting, littering, or OHV violation.

NMOHVA,, it's officers, directors, finances or membership can not be held liable or responsible in any way, shape or form for this document's content, inaccuracies, use, misuse, or interpretation. The reader or user is solely responsible for knowing New Mexico OHV laws, regulations and statutes, and must inquire with appropriate authorities for up-to-date laws, regulations or statutes regarding OHV operation.