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North Carolina ATV Law

North Carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-171.15. Age restrictions.
Persons less than 8 years of age may not operate ATV Persons less than 12 years of age may not operate an ATV with 70 cubic centimeter displacement or greater. Persons under 16 years of age may not operate an all-terrain vehicle with an engine capacity greater than 90 cubic centimeter displacement, and unless under the continuous supervision of a person 18 years of age or older.

§ 20-171.16. Passengers.
No operator of an all-terrain vehicle may carry a passenger, except on those vehicles specifically designed by the manufacturer to carry passengers in addition to the operator.

§ 20-171.18. Equipment requirements .
All ATVs must have:

  • A brake system maintained in good operating condition.
  • An effective muffler system maintained in good working condition.
  • A United States Forest Service qualified spark arrester maintained in good working condition.

§ 20-171.19. Prohibited acts by owners and operators.
No person may operate an all-terrain vehicle on a public street or highway or public vehicular area when such operation is otherwise permitted by law, unless the person wears eye protection and a safety helmet meeting United States Department of Transportation standards for motorcycle helmets. No person under 18 years of age may operate an all-terrain vehicle off a public street or highway or public vehicular area unless the person wears eye protection and a safety helmet. Operating while under the influence of alcohol, any controlled substance, or a prescription or nonprescription drug that impairs vision or motor coordination prohibited. Operating in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger or cause injury or damage to any person or property prohibited. Operation on any public street, road, or highway prohibited except for purposes of crossing that street, road, or highway. Operation prohibited on interstate or limited-access highway. Operation during the hours of darkness prohibited, from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise and at any time when visibility is reduced due to insufficient light or atmospheric conditions, without displaying a lighted headlamp and taillamp, unless the use of lights is prohibited by other applicable laws.

§ 20-171.20. Safety training and certificate.
Safety certificate required for all operators born on or after January 1, 1990.

§ 20-171.22. Exceptions.
Does not apply to any owner, operator, lessor, or renter of a farm or ranch, or that person's employees or immediate family or household members, when operating an all-terrain vehicle while engaged in farming operations. Does not apply to any person using an all-terrain vehicle for hunting or trapping purposes if the person is otherwise lawfully engaged in those activities. Age requirement does not apply to any person 16 years of age or older if the person is otherwise lawfully using the all-terrain vehicle on any ocean beach area where such vehicles are allowed by law.

Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.

Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.

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