Registering Your ATV
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?
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.
- 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.