Call Us Email Map Contact Us
Search Button

The vehicle procedures manual is currently unavailable until further notice.

Chapter 16 - Off-Highway Motor Vehicles

01/10/2014
2:48 PM

Section A.  Off-Highway Motor Vehicles (OHVs) - General Information
Section B.  Titling and Registering New Off-Highway Vehicles
Section C.  Titling and Registering Used Off-Highway Vehicles
Section D.  OHV Equipment Requirements
Section E.  Requirements for Operation of an OHV Under Age 18
Section F.  Sticker for OHV Operating on Paved Roads?


Section A.  Off-Highway Motor Vehicles (OHVs) - General Information

Revised November 30, 2017

Off-Highway Motor Vehicles (§§ 66-1-4.13(B) and 66-3-1001.1(E))

§66-1-4.13(B) defines an off-highway motor vehicle (OHV) as any motor vehicle  operated or used exclusively off the highways of this state and that is not legally equipped for operation on the highways of this state.

§66-3-1001.1(D) of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act (§§ 66-3-1001 through 66-3-1020) further specifies that an off-highway motor vehicle is designed by the manufacturer for operation exclusively off the highway or road and includes an:

  1. “all-terrain vehicle”, which means a motor vehicle fifty inches or less in width, having an unladen dry weight of one thousand pounds or less, traveling on three or more low-pressure tires and having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebar-type steering control; 
  2. “off-highway motorcycle”, which means a motor vehicle traveling on not more than two tires and having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and that has handlebar-type steering control; 
  3. “snowmobile”, which means a motor vehicle designed for travel on snow or ice and steered and supported in whole or in part by skis, belts, cleats, runners or low-pressure tires; 
  4. “recreational off-highway vehicle”, which means a motor vehicle designed for travel on four or more non-highway tires, for recreational use by one or more persons, and having: 
  1. a steering wheel for steering control; 
  2. non-straddle seating; 
  3. maximum speed capability greater than thirty-five miles per hour; 
  4. gross vehicle weight rating no greater than one thousand seven hundred fifty pounds; 
  5. less than eighty inches in overall width, exclusive of accessories; 
  6. engine displacement of less than one thousand cubic centimeters; and 
  7. identification by means of a seventeen-character vehicle identification number; or 
  1. by rule of the department, any other vehicles that may enter the market that fit the general profile of vehicles operated off the highway for recreational purposes.

Other vehicles that (if not exempted by §6-3-1005 below) meet the definition of OHVs include dune buggies and golf carts.
 

Motor Vehicles Subject to Off-Highway Registration (§66-3-1003)

General rule (§66-3-1003)

Unless exempted from the provisions of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act, a person shall not operate an off-highway motor vehicle unless the vehicle has been registered.

OHVs operating on paved streets or highways (§66-3-1011(C))

If authorized by ordinance or resolution of a local authority or the state transportation commission, a recreational off-highway vehicle or an all-terrain vehicle may be operated on a paved street or highway owned and controlled by the authorizing entity if:

  1. the vehicle has one or more headlights and one or more taillights that comply with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act;
  2. the vehicle has brakes, mirrors and mufflers;
  3. the operator has valid driver’s licenses or permits as required under the Motor Vehicle Code and off-highway motor vehicle safety permits as required under the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act;
  4. the operator is insured in compliance with the provisions of the Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act;
  5. the operator of the vehicle is using eye protection that complies with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act; and,
  6. if the operator is under eighteen years of age, the operator is wearing a safety helmet that complies with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act.

Special plate (sticker) for an OHV operating on paved streets or highways (§66-3-1003.1(A))

The department shall issue a standardized special off-highway motor vehicle paved road use vehicle plate (sticker) indicating that the recipient intends to operate an off-highway motor vehicle on paved streets or highways in accordance with the provisions of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act (see Chapter 16 Section F)?.
 

Exemptions (§66-3-1005)

The provisions of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act shall not apply to persons who operate off-highway motor vehicles on privately held lands or to off-highway motor vehicles that are:

  1. owned and operated by an agency or department of the United States, this state or a political subdivision of this state;
  2. operated exclusively on lands privately held; provided that the appropriate tax or fee has been paid in lieu of the motor vehicle registration fees;
  3. owned by nonresidents and used in this state only for organized and endorsed competition purposes; provided that the use is not on a rental basis;
  4. brought into this state by manufacturers or distributors for wholesale purposes and not used for demonstrations;
  5. in the possession of dealers as stock-in-trade and not used for demonstration purposes;
  6. farm tractors, as defined in §66-1-4.6, special mobile equipment, as defined in §66-1-4.16, or off-highway motor vehicles being used for agricultural operations; or
  7. used exclusively on private closed courses, whether owned by the rider or another person; provided that, if applicable, the excise tax and registration fees have been paid and are current.

Section B.  Titling and Registering New Off-Highway Vehicles

Revised November 30, 2017

Requirements for Titling and Registering an Off Highway Vehicle?

  • Manufacturer’s Certificate Of Origin (MCO)
  • Dealer’s Invoice
  • Lien Holder Information (as needed)
  • Title Application, completely filled out
  • Proof of Residence
  • Identification

Issuance of License Plate (Sticker)

Issue “OH” prefix license stickers to all off-highway motor vehicles. The sticker is to be displayed on the rear of the off-highway vehicle. In all cases the sticker must be visible.

Off-highway vehicles are issued staggered (2-year) registration stickers. The computer system will print the registration certificate with an expiration date of 2 years.
 

Note: Vehicles manufactured for off-highway use cannot be registered as street legal. Off-highway vehicles have been manufactured solely for off-high way use. The Motor Vehicle Division will not register off-highway vehicles as “street legal” vehicles even if they are modified by the owner, mechanic, dealer, etc.

See  Chapter 16 Section F for OHVs operating on paved roads.


Section C.  Titling and Registering Used Off-Highway Vehicles

Revised December 1, 2017

Requirements for Titling and Registering Used Off-Highway Vehicles

  1. Certificate of Title (current) or Affirmation Certifying Ownership (ACO)

    The primary document required to register and title a used off-highway vehicle in New Mexico is the previous outstanding negotiable Certificate of Title properly assigned to the purchaser. On used off-highway motor vehicles purchased or owned prior to April 4, 1985, all available ownership documents including the Title, if it exists, must be surrendered.

    In the absence of the ownership document from out of state, where title and registration may not be required, the official document shall be the “Affirmation Certifying Ownership” form (MVD-10010) with (as proof of ownership) an invoice, contract, or registration certificate. The person reflected on the invoice, contract, or registration certificate document must sign the Affidavit Certifying Ownership. Refer to the most current Polk manual for guidance.

    Note: The different titling procedures are the same as for trailers. Many states do not title and/or registered off-highway vehicles.
     
  2. Bill of Sale
  3. Dealer’s Invoice (when off-highway vehicle purchased from a dealer)
  4. VIN Inspection – required for all out of state titles
  5. Proof of Trade-In (as needed).
  6. Release of Lien (as needed).
  7. Proof of Residence
  8. Identification
  9. Power of Attorney (POA) (as needed)
  10. Lien Holder Information (as needed)
     

Issuance of Registration Plate (Sticker)

Issue “OH” prefix registration stickers to all off-highway motor vehicles. The sticker is to be displayed on the rear of the off-highway vehicle. In all cases the sticker must be visible.

Off-highway vehicles are issued staggered (2-year) registration stickers. The computer system will print the registration certificate with an expiration date of 2 years.
 

Note: Vehicles manufactured for off-highway use cannot be registered as street legal.

Off-highway vehicles have been manufactured solely for off-high way use. The Motor Vehicle Division will not register off-highway vehicles as “street legal” vehicles even if they are modified by the owner, mechanic, dealer, etc.


Section D.  OHV Equipment Requirements

Revised November 30, 2017

Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Equipment Requirements (§66-3-1010.3(A))

In addition to a number of requirements regarding the operation of OHVs, §66-3-1010.3(A) requires that a person shall not operate an off-highway motor vehicle:

  • unless the vehicle is equipped with a spark arrester approved by the United States forest service; provided that a snowmobile is exempt from this provision;
     
  • when conditions such as darkness limit visibility to 500 feet or less, unless the vehicle is equipped with:
    (a) one or more headlights of sufficient candlepower to light objects at a distance of 150 feet; and
    (b) at least one taillight of sufficient intensity to exhibit a red or amber light at a distance of 200 feet under normal atmospheric conditions; or
     
  • that produces noise that exceeds 96 decibels.

Section E.  Requirements for Operation of an OHV Under Age 18

Revised November 30, 2017

Under-18 Off-Highway Vehicle Operation Requirements (§66-3-1010.3(B))

§66-3-1010.3(B) imposes additional requirements on any individual under the age of 18 who operates an off-highway motor vehicle:

A person under the age of eighteen shall not operate an off-highway motor vehicle:

  • or ride upon an off-highway motor vehicle without wearing eye protection and a safety helmet that is securely fastened in a normal manner as headgear and that meets the standards established by the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Safety Board;
     
  • without an off-highway motor vehicle safety permit; or
     
  • while carrying a passenger.

§66-3-1010.3(C) and (D) further specify that:

  • A person under the age of 18 but at least 10 years of age shall not operate an off-highway motor vehicle unless the person is visually supervised at all times by a parent, legal guardian or a person over the age of 18 who has a valid driver's license. 
     
  • This subsection shall not apply to a person who is at least: (1) 13 years of age and has a valid motorcycle license and off-highway motor vehicle safety permit; or (2) 15 years of age and has a valid driver's license, instructional permit or provisional license and off-highway motor vehicle safety permit.
     
  • A person under the age of 10 shall not operate an off-highway motor vehicle unless: (1) the all-terrain vehicle is an age-appropriate size-fit vehicle; and (2) the person is visually supervised at all times by a parent, legal guardian or instructor of a certified safety training course.

 

Section F: Sticker for OHV Operating on Paved Roads

Revised December 1, 2017

As noted in Section A  of this chapter, §66-3-1011(C) provides that a recreational off-highway vehicle or an all-terrain vehicle may be operated on a paved street or highway if authorized by ordinance or resolution of the local authority.

Senate Bill 51, enacted by the Legislature in its 2017 Regular Session, created a new §66-3-1003.1 providing for issuance of a special plate (sticker) for OHVs whose owners intend to operate them on paved streets or highways.
 

Special plate (sticker) for an OHV operating on paved streets or highways (§66-3-1003.1(A))

The department shall issue a standardized special off-highway motor vehicle paved road use vehicle plate … indicating that the recipient intends to operate an off-highway motor vehicle on paved streets or highways in accordance with the provisions of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act.
 

Tapestry can now process ON Highway registration stickers.

The new sticker varies from the regular Off-Highway registration sticker in color and the use of PERM and ON so that the difference can be spotted from a distance.

The ON Highway sticker will use the same registration number as the current regular OHV registration.

At point of sale in the field office, the customer will receive the temporary ON Highway registration and the actual sticker will be mailed out from Santa Fe the same way the regular OHV stickers are processed.

Off highway vehicles must be titled and currently registered as off-highway to be eligible for an on-highway perm registration. For first-time applicants for an OHV registration, that simply means that the off-highway registration must be completed before adding the on-highway registration and sticker.

If you are processing a first-time renewal OHV registration, and the customer is adding the ON Highway registration, they will need to be provided two temporary registrations (one OFF, one ON). They will receive two separate stickers in separate envelopes in the mail.

Customers should place the stickers next to each other on the vehicle.

ON highway registration stickers cannot be added or removed online. If a customer renews an OHV online it will only send the regular OHV registration.

back to list
Latest News:

Locate an MVD Office

Find an MVD Service Provider Near You

MVD Home          Site Map          Privacy & Security          Site Policies          Accessibility          About Us          Contact Us

Governor Susana Martinez

New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division Facebook Page


Call Email Map Contact