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

hawaii atv laws

Hawaii is the fourth-smallest state in the United States. It is known as the Aloha state and has diverse natural scenery, several public beaches, active volcanoes, a warm tropical climate, and oceanic surroundings. ATV riding is one of the great and fun ways to explore this great state.

Some of Hawaii’s ATV laws include: ATVs can be operated on a street only for agricultural purposes, and the operator must have a driver’s license. You can ride your ATV in Sand Island State Park OHV Area, Kahuku Motocross Park, Wailua MX Track, and Hilo MX Track. 

Regardless of the location, you are going ATV riding, there are laws you must abide by. Each state in the United States of America has its unique ATV laws, so it is important to have knowledge of these laws and not assume. Although most of the laws are very similar, a few are unique to each state.

hawaii state sign with palm trees

Hawaii ATV Laws

In Hawaii, ATVs are categorized as motor vehicles designed for off-highway operation, with a width of sixty inches or less, has a steering wheel for control, has a weight of 1300 pounds or less, is equipped with seat belts, travels on four to six tires, is equipped with rollover protection, and accommodates a driver and a passenger.

Below are Hawaii ATV laws:

  • ATVs should not be operated on the streets unless the ATV is used for agricultural purposes by a county, city, or state worker acting within his official duties. The operator must have a current category driver’s license.
  • You must only ride an ATV on the street with no more than two lanes, and you must not exceed the speed limit of 35 mph.
  • You must not operate an ATV on the streets after daytime and without a safety helmet with a securely fastened chin strap.
  • It is highly illegal to ride an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV in a manner that endangers the safety of a person.
  • You must not operate an ATV on the state shorelines and beach parks.
  • It is illegal to use an ATV when hunting unless you have obtained a Special Interim Permit for disabled hunters on public hunting areas.
  • To be qualified for a Special Interim Permit, you must have a physician attest that you suffer from either a permanent mobility impairment, have permanently lost the use of one or both upper or lower limbs, are permanently blind, are restricted by lung disease, or have a cardiac condition classified as severe.
  • ATVs in Hawaii do not require registration or a certificate of title.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV while possessing a loaded firearm, except you have a Special Interim Permit.
  • If you are hunting with an ATV, you must never shoot across any public highway.

Where Can You Ride An ATV In Hawaii?

Hawaii has stunning scenery that can be best explored by ATV riding. Most of the islands in Hawaii feature an ATV tour guide for visitors; however, only visitors above age 16 can ride an ATV during these tours.

We will look at some of the places in Hawaii where you can ride your ATV. You are allowed to freely ride your ATV on private property as long as you have the property owner’s permission.

Wailua MX Track

Wailua MX Track is open only during the weekends and holidays from 10 am to 6 pm. This track overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is managed by Kauai Motocross Riders Association. Several race events are held at this MX track yearly. You do not require a permit to ride at this track, and there is no noise limit for vehicles.

Unlike most ATV trails, this MX track does not require vehicles to have a spark arrestor exhaust silencer or an end cap before they can be operated. Dirt bikes, Motorcycles, and ATVs are the off-road vehicles permitted at this track. Other vehicles such as Side-by-sides, Jeeps, Sand rail 4x4s, UTVs, SUVs, and Dune buggies are prohibited.

Every vehicle operating at Wailua MX Track is required to always stay on the trail. There are no fees for entry and parking at this track; however, riding costs $5 per rider for members, while for non-members, it costs $25. To register as a member of Wailua MX Track, you will have to pay a fee of $100 for an annual membership.

Sand Island State Park OHV Area

Sand Island State Park OHV Area is one of the few state parks in Hawaii that allows the operation of ATVs. It is open all year round and permits only vehicles with a spark arrestor exhaust silencer or an end cap. This OHV area has a recreational area that offers a boat ramp, primitive camping, and a beach area.

There is no fee for entry, riding, and parking in the area. This OHV area opens all types of off-road vehicles like ATVs, SXSs, Dune buggies, SUVs, Dirt bikes, UTVs, Jeeps, and Sand rail 4x4s; it is also open to RC and BMX users. Night riding is not permitted at this park.

A campground is available at this OHV area, and a camp tent costs $12. Sand Island State Park OHV Area is suitable for novice, amateur, and expert riders. This OHV area is a 32-acre trail consisting of hardpack, mud, sand, berms, trees, rocks, loose dirt, and dust.

atvs lined up in a row

Kahuku Motocross Park

Kahuku Motocross Park is located on Oahu Island and is open during the weekends from 8 am to 6 pm and on Federal holidays from 8 am to 3 pm. It is an off-road park that offers natural terrain and a peewee track. The terrain at this park consists of loose dirt, small jumps, trees, berms, large jumps, steep hills, mud, hardpack, rocks, and dust.

This park is a 400-acre reddish-colored trail that winds through a hilly tropical forest and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. You do not need a permit to ride in this park, and vehicles do not need to have a spark arrestor before they can be operated. There is no noise limit for vehicles at this park, and all riders are required to wear a helmet when riding.

The only vehicles allowed at Kahuku Motocross Park are ATVs, Motorcycles, and Dirt bikes. Camping is allowed at this park; however, campfires and night riding are prohibited. Entry into this park costs $5 per person, while riding costs $5 for members and $20 for non-members.

Where Can’t You Ride An ATV In Hawaii?

Although there are several places to ride an ATV in Hawaii, some areas are still not open to ATVs. Riding in those prohibited areas has its consequences. You cannot ride your ATV on a public street or highway except in special situations.

You should also avoid operating an ATV near or on the state shorelines. You cannot ride your ATV in any beach park as the laws of Hawaii prohibit it. It is against the laws in Hawaii to ride an ATV in any public hunting area unless you have a Special Interim Permit.

Final Thoughts

Hawaii is a great state, famous for its pristine coastline dotted with volcanoes. That ancient culture of Hawaii can still be felt in the state. There is no better way to enjoy a good ATV ride than to ride in Hawaii.

However, as an ATV rider, you must always keep in mind to always obey the ATV laws of Hawaii so that you do not get into trouble with law enforcement agents. As long as you obey the ATV laws, you can fully enjoy your exploration.

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.

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