Off-Road Vehicle Law

A new law went into effect on November 2, 2006 which is designed to decrease the number of injuries associated with Off-Road Vehicles.

In the past few years police have noticed an increase of illegally operated off-road vehicles, ATV and other similar vehicles operated in the county. These off-road vehicles pose a substantial safety risk to all riders whether on public or private property. A new law in the County Code Chapter 7A, Off-The-Road Vehicles has specific requirements designed to increase the safety of the rider and increase responsibility for parents of juvenile riders. The changes in law are as follows:

  • Safety equipment is required (helmet and eye)
  • May not operate on county or park property without written permission by the County Executive
  • Not allowed on public access property (malls and apartment complexes)
  • May not operate on private property unless:
    • Has safety equipment
    • Has express written permission from property owner
    • The operation is between the hours of 7am and 8pm
  • Age 16 and under must be supervised by an adult.

By definition an off-road vehicle means:

  • (a) has a saddle or seat for use of the rider
  • (b) designed to travel on two or more wheels in contact with the ground
  • (c) designed generally for use off public roads
  • (d) not subject to registration requirements under Maryland Vehicle Law
  • (e) generally includes the following vehicles; off the road motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, and motorized mini-bikes
  • (f) motor scooters, mopeds, wheelchairs and Segways are enumerated exceptions.

Laws for Mopeds and Motor Scooters:

  • MUST have a driver's license from any state - any class (including moped license)
  • Maximum speed limit of 30mph
  • Cannot be on any road that has posted speed limit greater than 50 mph
  • Specifically exempt from requiring registration/tags or insurance


  • Non-Pedal Vehicle
  • Seat for operator
  • 2 wheels, 1 of which is 10 inches or more in diameter
  • Step-through chassis
  • Has a motor
  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 cc or less engine
  • MUST have a driver's license to ride


  • Operated by human power or with assistance of motor
  • Equipped with pedals that mechanically drive wheels
  • 50 cc or less - engine
  • Has 2 or 3 wheels - one of which is 14 inches in diameter or more
  • MUST have a driver's license to ride

Vendors are required to disseminate information regarding legal operation of vehicles.


  • Violators will be issued civil and traffic citations
  • Vehicles can/will be impounded

If Vehicle is Towed (retrieval of off-road vehicle):

  • Tow fee: $237.00
  • $22.00 per day storage fee
  • Owner must have the following to pick up vehicle:
    • Title
    • Certificate of origin
    • Money for tow bill

Montgomery County is seeking voluntary compliance of this new law in an effort to keep riders safe and riding in a responsible manner to avoid tragic incidents to the riders or others. State Law already prohibits the use these types of vehicles on ANY public space to include streets, sidewalks, parking lots, etc.

Anyone with questions regarding the new law should contact the Montgomery County Police Department at 301-840-2881 or via e-mail at