About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Wisconsin Offroad Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Wisconsin ATV Safety Certificate.

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This unit covers some of the basic ATV laws in Wisconsin. See the Wisconsin All-Terrain Vehicle Laws pamphlet for more information.

What Is an ATV?

Illustration of an ATV

According to Wisconsin law, an ATV is a commercially designed and manufactured engine-driven device that:

  • Has a dry weight of 900 pounds or less and…
  • Is 50 inches in width or less and…
  • Is equipped with a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and…
  • Is designed to travel on three or more low-pressure tires or non-pneumatic tires.

A low-pressure tire is a tire that:

  • Has a minimum width of six inches and…
  • Is designed to be inflated with an operating pressure not to exceed 20 pounds per square inch as recommended by the manufacturer.

This definition includes a small ATV—an all-terrain vehicle that has four wheels and that has either an engine certified by the manufacturer at not more than 90 cubic centimeters or an equivalent power unit.

ATV Registration

  • To operate an ATV legally in Wisconsin:
    • The ATV must display current registration decals or…
    • You must have a validated registration receipt (Form 9400-376).
  • Before you register your machine, make sure it is an ATV as defined by Wisconsin law. No homemade vehicles may be registered.
  • The following registration options are available.
    • Public Use registration allows you to operate on any areas open to public riding and on private property with the landowner’s permission. You must have a Public Use registration to operate on the frozen surface of any lake or stream.
    • Private Use, Non-Agricultural registration is available for ATVs that are used exclusively on land owned or leased by you or a member of your immediate family.
    • Private Use, Agricultural registration is a Private Use registration with an Agricultural Use designation. Having this type of registration allows you to transport farm implements, equipment, supplies, or products on a farm or between farms. You may operate on public roads for agricultural purposes, but you may NOT operate on public, frozen waterways or on public lands open to ATVs.
    • Municipal and Government Use registration is available for ATVs that are owned by a state, county, city, or village.

ATV Registration for Nonresidents of Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin law requires all ATVs not registered in Wisconsin to obtain and display a nonresident ATV trail pass. This trail pass must be attached permanently near the forward half of the ATV.
  • If a nonresident's ATV has been in Wisconsin for more than 15 consecutive days, it must be registered in Wisconsin.