Is Your Child Ready to Ride?

By Iowa law, a person under 12 years of age shall not operate an all-terrain vehicle, including an off-road motorcycle, on a designated riding area or designated riding trail or on ice unless one of the following applies:

  • The person is taking a prescribed safety training course and operation is under the direct supervision of a certified all-terrain vehicle safety instructor.
  • ATV and off-road motorcycle riders under the age of 12 must be under the direct supervision of an adult possessing a valid drivers license. Direct supervision means maintaining visual and verbal contact at all times.

In Iowa, a person 12 years of age or older but less than 18 years must obtain and possess a valid safety certificate.

To make an informed decision, parents must consider:

  • Physical ability: Can your youngster sit comfortably on the ATV and reach the controls easily?
  • Motor skills: Is your child's coordination adequate for the challenge of riding an ATV?
  • Visual perception: Does your child have good depth perception, peripheral vision, and the ability to judge distances?
  • Maturity: Will your youngster under­stand the risks involved in riding an ATV, make good decisions to avoid accidents, and drive responsibly?