Alabama ATV Laws: Where And How To Ride Your ATV Legally

alabama atv laws

ATVs are one of the best vehicles ever created, unlike regular cars that can only be driven on smooth terrains, like highways and streets. ATVs can be driven across a wide variety of terrains, so to reduce the risks and occurrence of ATV accidents, there are laws enforced. We will look at Alabama’s ATV laws.

In Alabama, registration of all-terrain vehicles and other off-road vehicles with the Enforcement Agency is voluntary. You can legally ride your ATV in any of these locations: Flint Creek, The Ridge, Bankhead National Forest, Hollytree Off-road Park, and others. ATVs are restricted from highways.

As long as you are careful to observe and comply with all the ATV laws in Alabama, you will encounter no problem. Alabama has some of the best ATV trails in the United States, and you would have fun riding on any of them.

Alabama ATV Laws

There are many confusions and complexities in trying to understand ATV laws in Alabama. It isn’t easy to differentiate fiction from factual laws. You do not have to worry, we will ensure to identify and talk about all Alabama ATV laws, so you would know what to abide by.

welcome to Alabama sign

Laws On Registration And Ownership of ATVs

It is not mandatory to have your ATV titled in Alabama; they do not need to be registered because they are not operated on public highways. However, you can register your all-terrain vehicle with the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency, or you can request the MSO of the vehicle when you purchase it and keep it.

You can only register your ATV with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency if you have at least one of the following verified by a license plate issuing officer:

  • The Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) or Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO). This document shows that the ATV is in compliance with the FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards). It will be reflected in the document that the vehicle is for off-road use only.
  • A certification label that meets the specifications of the Alabama ATV law. The label shows the manufacturer of the vehicle, the month and year the vehicle was manufactured, the vehicle’s identification number, and a statement that reads, this vehicle is in compliance with all FMVSS.
  • An imported vehicle in compliance with FMVSS. An imported vehicle that is 25 years old or older is not subject to FMVSS and must be titled and registered.

Every ATV that does not require titling but can be registered must have proper documentation of ownership. This includes a court order, bill of sale, MCO, MSO, or any other documents required by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

ATV Registration

To register an ATV in Alabama, you can either apply through the dealer when you purchase the vehicle or apply directly to the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency. After applying, you must complete the ATV Registration Form and submit a Bill of Sale or Purchaser’s Certificate.

This document shows the serial number, identification number, seller’s name, and address. Then, you submit the application to the ALEA, as well as the proper documents. The cost of registration of an ATV for public use is $45 for three years and $15 for private use, also valid for three years.

Laws For Operation Of ATV

Some of the laws that regulate the operation of ATV in Alabama are:

  • ATVs are strictly prohibited from operating on public roads and properties, including dunes and beaches.
  • You do not need to own a driver’s license or pass any safety course to operate an ATV.
  • ATVs can only be operated on private property and ATV trails and parks.
  • There is no age restriction for the operation of ATVs.
  • It is prohibited to operate an ATV under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Every ATV rider should display proper care to avoid collisions with any pedestrian, object, or property.
  • Every ATV rider should give a warning when necessary by sounding the horn to avoid collisions.
  • Every ATV rider must observe proper precaution when they see a child, a confused, intoxicated, or incapacitated person.
  • It is forbidden to operate an ATV carelessly that poses a threat to lives and properties.
  • It is unlawful to operate an ATV at a speed that will endanger the life of other people and properties.

When operating an ATV in Alabama, you must ensure your vehicle has working headlights, taillights, and a horn at all times. Other items required by other states, like helmets and mufflers, are not a must in Alabama since you cannot operate an ATV on public highways.

Popular Places To Ride Your ATV

Alabama is famous for its exceptional ATV trails and parks; unlike other states, these are private and public-owned. So, you can decide to ride in either a private park or a public park.

Bankhead National Forest Trails

Bankhead National Forest is one of the four national forests in Alabama that permits the operation of ATVs. This forest has a 16-mile trail open to motorcycles, ATVs, bikers, horses, and hikers. This trail is open in both directions, so you need to be very cautious when going around curves and corners. There are about 13 campsites in Bankhead National Forest.

Top Trails Park

Top Trails Park is a private park located in Talladega County, and it has some of the best ATV trails in the state of Alabama. The park has over 3000 acres of land with 100+ miles of trails open to ATVs, side by sides, and dirt bikes. However, there is an option of a daily fee or an annual membership fee.

The trails in this park are for every level of ATV rider, from beginners to complex and challenging. There is a full campground, camping bunkers, 4 cabin trailers, a supply store, and on-site concerts. If you want to spend the weekend off-roading and camping, you should visit Top Trails Park.

atv in the middle of a field

Southern Ridge Park

This park is located in the Southern part of Alabama, and it has over a thousand acres of trails for ATVs. There are swamps, roads, bogs, and hills in this park, the dream of every ATV rider. There are different events at this park every weekend, so it is always filled during the weekends.

The Ridge Resort

Unlike the other parks mentioned, the Ridge is a resort and a park, so there are other activities you can engage in besides ATV riding. The Ridge Resort is located near Springville, and it is the perfect location for motorcycles, side by sides, ATVs, and other 4-wheelers.

It has over 36 miles of one-way trails and 15 miles of single-track trails. The best time to visit this resort is before the wet season because the trails may be closed if it is too wet. You can also visit the two airsoft fields, play golf, fish, or have a zipline adventure in the Ridge Resort.

Bama Slam

Bama Slam is one of the most visited entertainment destinations in Alabama. It is not only an ATV park, but it also has a water park, a swimming pool, and other attractions. The area is about 1600 acres with over 40 miles of ATV trails. Bama Slam has the largest ATV mud racetrack in the United States, known as the Mud Coliseum.

The price rate at Bama Slam for ATV riders is $10 daily for one person, $25 for ATV registration and driver combo at weekends, $10 for a passenger during weekends. It cost $10 daily for children aged 6 to 15 years and $15 for the weekend combo.

Final Thoughts

If you are an ATV rider visiting Alabama, you need to know all the ATV laws to avoid prosecution. Every state in the United States has its ATV laws, and you should never assume the laws are similar. Read about Alabama ATV laws before you go ATV riding in the state.

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.