New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Archive News Releases 2007-2013

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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Clint Henson, (575) 445-2311
Public contact: (505) 476-8000



SANTA FE -- New Mexico law enforcement agencies will conduct roadblocks, saturation patrols and safety blitzes statewide in an effort to educate the public and check for compliance with the requirements and safety provisions of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act.

The act defines an Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) as any motorized vehicle designed specifically for off-highway travel, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs, often called four-wheelers), snowmobiles, dirt bikes and go-carts.

State residents are required to register all Off-Highway Motor Vehicles through the Motor Vehicle Division if the vehicles will be operated on public lands. Nonresidents can purchase temporary permits from the Department of Game and Fish. 

The law prohibits any riders under age 6 from operating an ATV on public land. The law also includes specific regulations for riders younger than age 18. Riders under age 18 must:

  • Wear an approved, securely fastened helmet.
  • Wear approved, protective eye wear.
  • Never carry a passenger, even on OHVs designed for two persons.
  • Complete a certified OHV course and obtain a safety permit.
  • Be visually supervised when operating an OHV, unless they are:
    • Age 13 or older with a valid motorcycle license.
    • Age 15 or older with a valid driver's license.

Department of Game and Fish officers will be assisted by officers with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Police and county sheriff's departments during the statewide OHV education and compliance efforts.

For more information about the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act, please visit For information about the off-highway motor vehicle program, please call the Department of Game and Fish at (505) 476-8140.


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