March 26, 2013
ATV REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
By: Kristen L. Miller, Legislative Analyst II
This report summarizes the registration requirements for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in Connecticut. It updates information contained in OLR Report 2010-R-0442.
Connecticut residents must register ATVs they own and intend to operate on land in the state that they do not own or lease. The registration fee is $20 for a two-year registration, plus the $5 plate fee and $10 federal Clean Air Act fee. Nonresidents can operate their ATVs in the state if their home states grant Connecticut residents reciprocity.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) commissioner must assign the ATV an identification number and give the ATV owner a registration certificate and plate. The owner must display the identification number on each side of the ATV's front. The registration certificate must be (1) carried on the ATV and (2) available for inspection whenever the ATV is being operated.
By law, Connecticut residents cannot operate or allow others to operate their ATVs off their property without registering them with DMV. This requirement applies to any vehicle that is self-propelled, designed to travel over unimproved terrain, and unsuitable for operation on public highways, as determined by the DMV commissioner. These vehicles are not eligible for a regular motor vehicle registration, but must obtain a special registration (CGS §§ 14-379 and 14-380).
Nonresidents may operate or allow others to operate their ATV without registering it if the owner holds a valid, effective registration certificate issued by another state or by the United States and these jurisdictions grant substantially similar privileges to Connecticut residents (CGS § 14-380).
The registration fee for an ATV is $20 for a two-year registration (CGS § 381). An owner must also pay a $5 plate fee and a $10 Clean Air Act fee when he or she registers an ATV. The plate fee covers the production costs and is required for each newly issued plate. The Clean Air Act fee is charged on new registrations and renewals of gasoline or diesel powered vehicles.
Certificate and Plate
When the DMV commissioner receives a registration application and evidence of ownership, she must assign the ATV an identification number and give the owner a registration certificate and registration plate. The owner must put the plate on the ATV as the commissioner prescribes. He or she must also display the registration number on each side of the ATV's front, midway between the top and bottom, in letters or numbers that are at least three inches high and made of reflective material. The registration certificate must be (1) carried on the ATV and (2) available for inspection whenever the ATV is being operated (CGS § 14-381).
The owner of a registered ATV must notify the commissioner in writing within 48 hours after changing his or her address. The owner must also notify the commissioner in writing within 24 hours after (1) transferring all or part of his or her interest in the ATV, other than the creation of a security interest or (2) destroying or abandoning the ATV. The owner must surrender its registration certificate and plate with the notice of transfer, destruction, or abandonment.
If someone transfers ownership of an ATV and surrenders its registration certificate and plate, he or she may register another ATV in his or her name for the remainder of the registration period. The fee for transferring a registration is $3.50 (CGS § 14-382).
Additional information about the process for registering ATVs in Connecticut is available on DMV's website at: http://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=810&q=285500.