Meeting OHV Equipment Requirements

Requirements for Riders

Before an OHV may be operated in Massachusetts, the vehicle and its riders must have the required equipment.

Anyone operating, riding on, or being towed by an OHV must wear a helmet that is properly fitted and fastened. The helmet must:

  • Be designed for motorized vehicle use.
  • Have a safety-approved label from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).

Requirements for Vehicles

Before an OHV may be operated in Massachusetts, the vehicle must have the required equipment.

Brakes: An OHV must be equipped with an adequate braking system.

Lights: An OHV must be equipped with at least one headlight, a red taillight, and a red rear reflector.

  • Lights must be displayed between sunset and sunrise.
  • Lights must be displayed when visibility is less than 300 feet due to snow, fog, or other unfavorable conditions.

Trailers: If a trailer is attached to an OHV, the trailer must have a red rear reflector.

Spark Arrestor: An ATV, recreation utility vehicle, or dirt bike must be equipped with an adequate spark arrestor.

Noxious Fumes and Noise Limits

It is illegal to emit noxious fumes or excessive noise from your OHV. An OHV must be equipped with an adequate muffler.

  • For OHVs manufactured on or after January 1, 1998: The engine noise level may not exceed 96 dbA when measured from a distance of 20 inches.
  • For OHVs manufactured before January 1, 1998: The engine noise level may not exceed 101 dbA when measured from a distance of 20 inches.

It is illegal to use a muffler cutout, bypass, straight pipe, or similar device on an OHV.