All OHVs designed by the manufacturer primarily for use over unimproved terrain and that weigh 2,500 pounds or less are required by law to display a valid OHV decal to operate on public and state trust lands. This includes “street legal” OHVs that meet these two requirements.
Before the law was passed, nonresident OHV owners could ride their machines within the state for up to 30 days only if their state had a similar in-state resident decal program. There is no longer a grace period allowing nonresidents to operate without an Arizona decal and owners are now required to purchase a decal before operating their machines within the state.
Those caught riding without a current decal can be fined.
Both resident and nonresident OHV decals cost $25 (plus a processing fee) and are good for one year from the purchase date. While the resident OHV decal can be purchased at any Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division office or at www.servicearizona.com, the nonresident OHV decal can only be purchased online through an Arizona Game and Fish Department portal account, which can be created at www.azgfd.gov by clicking “My Account.”
The decal will not be sold at AZGFD offices and nonresidents with multiple machines must purchase additional decals as each OHV must have its own decal. Owners should also know that:
- Decals are not transferable between OHVs.
- The nonresident OHV decal will be mailed within two to three weeks from the date of purchase, but purchasers can show their emailed receipt (or a screenshot of it) for up to 30 days as proof of decal purchase. Owners/riders must have the receipt readily available if requested by law enforcement or until they receive their decal.
- Exemptions from the law include those participating in OHV special events; operating on private land; loading or unloading from a vehicle; operating during an emergency, if directed by a law enforcement officer; or if the OHV it displays a valid dealer license plate.
- Helmets are required by law to be worn by all operators and passengers under the age of 18, but they’re strongly recommended for everyone.
Funding raised by the decal program supports OHV opportunities and rider education in the state. Thirty percent of the funds collected go into the state’s Highway User Revenue Fund, which is distributed to counties and cities for road and highway maintenance. The remaining 70 percent of the funds are split as follows:
- 60 percent to Arizona State Parks for grants and agreements, trail construction, development and maintenance, signage and maps.
- 35 percent to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for law enforcement, education and outreach.
- 5 percent to the Arizona State Land Department for mitigation, signage and enforcement.