Do You Need a License To Drive a Dirt Bike?

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Do You Need a License To Drive a Dirt Bike?

Riding a dirt bike off-road has become an incredibly popular pastime, especially with young people, who find they can go wild while being able to stay relatively safe. 

Although most states don’t require you to have a license for driving a dirt bike off-road, there are still regulations in place to protect riders. 

On most private land, including off-road trails and your own property, you are free to let your inner daredevil run wild. However, if you plan on driving it on public roads or highways then having a valid driver’s license is essential as you will need to be conversant with specific road regulations while staying safe.

About half of the states have age restrictions, so it’s important to consult your local laws and make sure anyone under the legal age is supervised when riding. 

Additionally, approximately one third of the states require that riders have a rider training certificate. This may seem superfluous, but it helps ensure that everyone stays safe while they’re getting the best out of their riding experience.

Are dirt bike legal on roads?

If you’ve ever dreamed of taking your motorcycle off-road, linking trails with roads is a great way to get started — but before you rev up your dual sport bike and hit the pavement, make sure you have a valid street bike license.

Don’t forget: dirt bikes are not legal on public roads so if you plan to link trails with roadways, the dual sport motorcycling is the best way to go.

Where You Can Ride Your Dirt Bike?

Dirt bikes are made for one thing and one thing only – off-road racing. Not only is it a bad idea to take your dirt bike out in an urban setting, such as on your street or sidewalk, but it’s also illegal! 

Sure, dual-sport bikes may bridge the gap between legally driving around town and going full throttle in the wilderness but if you’re looking to head into town, it’s better to rely on a licensed vehicle that can keep you safe on roads and sidewalks alike. 

Besides the legal aspects, riding a dirt bike down the street treats your bike poorly given its specs and intended purpose. Remember: riding a dirt bike down your street makes you look like an irresponsible rider who doesn’t care about anyone else but themselves.

Places that don’t require a license to ride dirt bike

1-Your Own Private Property

If you’re fortunate enough to have access to a wide, spacious outdoor space or backyard, then you can have even more fun as you won’t need any driver’s license. 

You can also ride your dirt bike in your friends or neighbor’s private backyard as well. 

However, make sure that you are familiar with your state’s laws and regulations concerning dirt bike use. Different states have their own requirements for operating motorbikes, so it’s important to keep up-to-date on these rules and regulations so that you can remain safe and legal when riding.

2-Local Trails & Tracks

With riding parks and trails right in your own state, what more could an outdoor enthusiast ask for? 

Local trails in your area can be another great place to ride your dirt bike without license. 

Enjoy the great outdoors without having to travel far. Experience the thrill of an adrenaline-pumping dirt bike ride with family and friends. 

With safety guidelines being taken seriously across all parks and trails, you can rest assured that you’re protected as you partake in this exciting adventure! Get ready to rev up your engines and head off into the wilderness knowing you have a safe place to explore. 

3-Forest Trails & Mountain Roads

If you’re looking for a thrilling and unique off-roading experience, then you should explore the public lands in some states. You don’t need a driver’s license to ride or drive through these areas approved and monitored by the Bureau of Land Management.

 Not only can you find yourself amidst stunning nature, but there’s also plenty of obstacles that will make your journey even more exciting. 

Plus, the varying terrain like creeks, loam, forests, mountain roads or beaches provides an extra challenge that will truly take your off-roading experience to the next level.

How to make your dirt bike street legal?


If you’re an off-road enthusiast looking to take your bike out on public roads, the right features can make a big difference in the safety of your ride. Adding the correct lighting, mirrors, and other components to your dirt bike allows you to comply with local regulations without sacrificing maneuverability or style. 

Other features, headlight, tail light, speedometer, exhaust, indicators and horn kits, may also be necessary for their approval on public roads. 

From the DMV you’ll need an OHV decal, which allows you to legally ride your dirt bike in public areas. In addition, you will also need an inspection certificate in order to register or license your bike as street legal. While obtaining these documents may seem like an inconvenience at first, having them is sure to make your experience smoother in the long run!

Not only do these features help keep you and other drivers safe when venturing out onto public highways, but they also allow you to comfortably navigate rocky terrains with peace of mind. 

Making sure that your dirt bike is properly upgraded with the correct features will ensure that there are no unwelcome surprises during your rides.

Some Popular State Dirt Bike Laws

1- Hawaii Dirt Bike Laws

If you plan to ride an unlicensed dirt bike in Hawaii, it is important that you obtain a riding permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Fortunately, you can do this easily and quickly online. However, if your vehicle has gone through the licensing process, then no driving permit is required. Additionally, riders need to understand that there are limitations as to where they can ride – generally excluded areas include public roads and highways. Being aware of these restrictions ensures everyone’s safety while also allowing for plenty of off-road fun!

2- Virginia Dirt Bike Laws

It is important to keep safety in mind and adhere to state laws – in Virginia, operating dirt bikes on public roads or properties are strictly prohibited for everyone.

To protect young riders, Virginia bike laws further specify that riders under 16 must not operate vehicles over 90 cc; only those ages 12-16 can operate dirt bikes less than 90cc. So when (and if) you plan to hit the trails with your dirt bike, make sure you do it responsibly – avoid public areas and stay within your age group’s limitations.

3- Colorado Dirt Bike Laws

Colorado has several stringent laws when it comes to dirt bike registration, which include several documents such as a Certificate of Equipment Compliance for Motorcycles and a State of Colorado Statement of Fact. As part of the process, you must also have a title and pass an in-person inspection by the Colorado State Patrol Office. There is also a fee that must be taken care of – currently this stands at $25.25 – before your motorcycle becomes fully legal in the state. This registration runs from April 1 to March 31 every year and you will receive a visible sticker for your bike which confirms its legitimacy. Don’t forget about out-of-state OHV permits if you plan on taking your dirt bike traveling outside of Colorado!

4- New York Dirt Bike Laws

Mini-bikes, dirt bikes, go-carts, and golf carts may seem like an entertaining way to get around but unfortunately they are unable to be registered as vehicles in New York State. This is because they cannot follow the same safety regulations that other cars have to abide by – making it dangerous for drivers, passengers and other people on the roads. For this reason, these motorized vehicles are not allowed on sidewalks, streets or highways. If the roads are avoided then those who are operating these types of motorized devices can enjoy a fun ride without having to worry about potential danger.

5- Dirt Bike Laws in Arizona

Everyone in Arizona that wants to ride a dirt bike is required by law to have it registered and to purchase an OHV decal. You can easily get the decal online or in any authorized office, but you must prove the ownership of your dirt bike by showing a valid title first. 

The registration fee for the OHV decal is only $25, which makes it very economical, and remember that it’s only valid for one year – so you’ll need to renew every year. If you plan on taking your dirt bike out on public roads, then there are other requirements that you need to meet such as having insurance and ensuring that the unladen weight is less than 2,500 pounds. Dirt biking can be a fun activity but please make sure you stay safe and legally follow all state laws when out riding so that you don’t find yourself unknowingly breaking any rules!


How old do you have to be to get a dirt bike license?

Well it depends from state to state, some states require minimum age to be 18 years while some require 14 to 16 years. Depending on where you live, the legal age for getting driving license for dirt bike can vary from state to state. Generally speaking, most US states require drivers to be at least 14 years old or older to obtain a full license.
For example state of New Jersey requires the age of an individual to be at least 14 years for license requirement while state law of Hawaii requires the rider to be minimum 16 years old. To get the clearest picture of how old you have to be in your area, it's best that you consult your state OHV vehicles laws guide.

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