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Spring is here and many Idaho recreationists will be out enjoying the great outdoors. For many, a popular way to explore the more remote ares of Idaho is with a UHV/UTV or side-by-side. Here are some helpful tips and links to keep your adventures safe and legal!

Registration and Licensing

It’s crucial to ensure that your UHV/side-by-side is properly registered and licensed in Idaho. These vehicles are considered off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and require an OHV sticker, which can be obtained from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. Failure to register your UHV could result in fines or legal penalties. Visit Idaho Vehicle Registration for all of your registration needs. 

Safety Gear

When operating a UHV/side-by-side, it’s essential to wear appropriate safety gear. This includes a helmet that meets safety standards, goggles or a face shield to protect your eyes, and appropriate clothing that covers your arms and legs. Additionally, it’s recommended to carry a first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher in case of emergencies.

Riding on Public Roads

In Idaho, UHVs/side-by-sides are permitted to operate on certain public roads, but there are specific rules and regulations to follow. They must have a valid license plate, turn signals, and other required equipment to be street-legal. Additionally, you must have a valid driver’s license, and all passengers must be seated and wearing seatbelts.

Trail Etiquette

If you’re riding on off-road trails, it’s important to practice proper trail etiquette. This includes yielding the right-of-way to hikers and horseback riders, staying on designated trails, and avoiding sensitive areas or private property. Additionally, be mindful of your speed and your impact on the environment.

Alcohol and Drugs

Operating a UHV/side-by-side while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and extremely dangerous. Idaho has strict laws regarding impaired driving, and you could face severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, or even jail time.

Respecting Wildlife and Landscapes

When riding in Idaho’s beautiful landscapes, it’s essential to respect the wildlife and natural environments. Avoid harassing or disturbing animals, and stay on designated trails to minimize your impact on the delicate ecosystems.

Group Riding Safety

If you’re riding in a group, it’s important to establish clear communication and follow safety protocols. Designate a leader, maintain safe following distances, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Additionally, make sure everyone in the group is aware of the planned route and any potential hazards.

By following these safety and legal guidelines, you can ensure an enjoyable and responsible UHV/side-by-side experience in Idaho’s great outdoors.

Want to learn more about Idaho ATV laws, rules and guidelines? Visit:

OHV Laws, Rules, and Guidelines | Department of Parks and Recreation

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