Street Legal Side By Sides: What States Are They Legal In?

street legal side by side

If you own a side by side and consider driving it through the streets, the first thing you must do is find out if they are legal in your state. If it is illegal to drive side by side through the streets in your state and you are caught driving it, you could be punished severely.

Side by side is legal in most states in the United States. States like Washington, Ohio, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Colorado, Montana, Minnesota, Indiana, Kansas, Arizona, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Michigan, Vermont, Idaho, Kentucky, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Nevada.

The requirements needed to drive side by side through the streets vary from state to state. So, before you go driving, ensure you have all the requirements. Hop in, let us find out which states side by sides are street legal.

In What States Are Side By Sides Street Legal?

The laws regulating cars and other vehicles vary from state to state. It would be best if you did not assume that every state has the same laws and regulations. For example, in Ohio, it is illegal to drive a vehicle between 1 am, and 5 am during the first 12 months of receiving a driving license. You cannot assume this is the law in every other state; in California, the time is between 11 pm and 5 am.

We will look at some of the states where it is legal to drive side by side on the streets.

Arizona

Arizona is one of the states in the United States that is ATV-friendly. However, side by side vehicles have to be registered like every other type of vehicle. Every regular requirement of any normal vehicle is also applicable to side by side vehicles. Such requirements include registration, insurance, title, registration fee, and emissions testing if you are operating in an emissions area.

Colorado

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Colorado is part of the top three states that are ATV-friendly. Previously, there was a ban on off-road vehicles in the state. However, the state has changed its rules, so the operation of off-road vehicles is determined by the local counties.

Side by side vehicles are required to pay twenty-six dollars annually to receive a registration sticker in Colorado. The registration sticker has to be displayed on the vehicle, and it expires every March 31 of every year regardless of when it was purchased.

Kansas

One of the laws regulating the operation of side-by-side vehicles in Kansas is that the vehicle must be registered with the state and its registration renewed annually. Also, side by side vehicles are allowed on public roads in Kansas.

When riding a side by side vehicle on public roads, the city you are riding in must have a population of not more than fifteen thousand.

Nebraska

In Nebraska, the use of side by side vehicles is only allowed for agricultural purposes and must be operated only on the shoulder of roads. The roads where side by side vehicles are operated must be outside city limits and must not fall under the controlled-access highways.

When driving a side by side vehicle in Nebraska, you must not exceed the speed limit of 30 mph. You must have some things if you are a side by side vehicle operator. These are; a license, a triangular safety flag, and insurance.

North Dakota

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To operate a side by side vehicle in North Dakota on a public road, your vehicle has to be registered with the state and must meet all the requirements. The speed limit for side by side in North Dakota is 55 mph. If you are caught exceeding the speed limit on a public road, you could be banned from driving your side by side through public roads, limiting you to only off-roads.

Below is a list of the states where side by side are street legal and the states where it is illegal.

State  Legal/Not Legal
Washington DC Legal
Alabama Legal
Alaska Not Legal
Arizona Legal
California Legal
Arkansas Legal
Colorado Legal
Connecticut Legal
Delaware Not Legal
Florida Legal
Georgia Legal
Hawaii Not Legal
Idaho Legal
Illinois Not Legal
Indiana Legal
Iowa Legal
Kansas Legal
Kentucky Not Legal
Louisiana Legal
Maine Legal
Maryland Legal
Massachusetts Legal
Michigan Legal
Minnesota Legal
Mississippi Legal
Missouri Legal
Montana Legal
Nebraska Legal
Nevada Legal
New Hampshire Legal
New Jersey Not Legal
New Mexico Not Legal
New York Legal
North Carolina Legal
North Dakota Legal
Ohio Legal
Oklahoma Legal
Pennsylvania Legal
Rhode Island Legal
South Carolina Legal
South Dakota Legal
Tennessee Legal
Texas Not Legal
Utah Legal
Vermont Legal
Virginia Legal
West Virginia Not Legal
Wisconsin Legal
Wyoming Not Legal

General Laws For Operating A Side by Side

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If you are lucky to reside in one of the states that allow side by side to be operated on public roads, you should take note of some things before you start operating your side by side. However, it is vital to know that these laws vary across states. The laws are:

  • Before you can operate a side by side, it must pass the state’s safety inspection and emission tests.
  • Insurance is required to drive side by side on a state-maintained highway.
  • Before driving a side by side, you must possess a valid driver’s license.
  • All roads with high-speed limits and are in highly populated areas are off-limits to side by sides.

Prerequisites For A Side By Side To Be Roadworthy

For your side by side vehicle to become roadworthy, there are some prerequisites that the vehicles must have. Without these prerequisites, if you drive your side by side vehicle in any state in the United States, you will break the state rules. We will look at some of the states and their requirements.

Washington DC

For your side by side to become roadworthy in Washington DC, your vehicle must have the following:

  • Headlamp
  • Reflectors
  • Two Tail lamps
  • Turn signals
  • Stop lamp
  • Brakes
  • Windshield
  • Two mirrors.
  • Spark arrester and muffling device
  • Horn or warning device
  • Seatbelts

Arizona

To convert your side by side into a street-legal vehicle in Arizona, your vehicle must possess the following;

  • At least a break, either hand or foot-operated
  • Two headlights that shine at least five hundred feet ahead.
  • Brake light
  • License plate light
  • License plate fastened to the rear of the vehicle
  • Audible horn which must be heard from a distance of at least two hundred feet.
  • One tail light.
  • Rearview mirror
  • A muffler
  • One red rear reflector if it is separated from the taillight.
  • Fuel tank cap
  • Seat and footrests

California

For your side by side to be street-worthy in the state of California, you must possess the following;

  • Side view mirrors
  • Tail light
  • Rearview mirror
  • Brake lights
  • Horn audible from a distance of 250 feet
  • Rear-facing tag holder and tag
  • High and low beam headlight
  • Speedometer
  • Mudflaps
  • Rear reflectors
  • Windshield
  • Front and rear turn signals.

Texas

A side by side to be legally approved for operations on the highway of Texas must have these;

  • A muffler system
  • A brake system
  • Headlights
  • Tail lights
  • U.S Forest Service spark arrester
  • An Off-Highway vehicle decal.

Final Thoughts

Although side by side is not designed for streets, you can drive them through the streets. Nevertheless, you must ensure you meet all the requirements or face some serious charges. The severity of the punishment for violating the law varies from state to state.

Please do not assume that it is the same laws enforced in all the states; that would be a big mistake. Ignorance is no excuse at all, and you do not want to be on the wrong side of the law because you are ignorant of the laws.

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.