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All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, are popularly used for outdoor recreation or to drive over rough terrain. Thanks to a 2018 change in the law (Wis. Stat. s. 23.33), ATVs and UTVs  are not allowed on Interstate highways, but are allowed on state highways with approval from the DOT within municipalities allowing for their use on local roads. 

The law allows for ATV/UTV route postings on streets and roads at the territorial boundaries, so there may not be as many signs along an individual road. Riders are required to stick to authorized areas where riding on roads is allowed and must travel at the appropriate speed. 

Headlights are required. To stay safe while riding, helmets and protective gear should be used. ATVs/UTVs are not permitted to use connected space such as ditches or shoulders. and an ATV/UTV rider should recognize they must always yield the right of way. 

The law varies from town to town and not every place allows the use of ATVs on streets, so you will need to check the town, village, or city to see if they have an approved ATV route that would allow you to ride in the municipality. 

Penalties For Violating Wisconsin ATV Laws

When driving an ATV in Wisconsin you must always be sure to operate within the rules to avoid fines, jail and/or injury. If you are found operating in violation of the law, a Conservation Warden, state patrol officer, county sheriff or municipal peace officer may enforce the law. Fines for violating ATV laws in Wisconsin can be anywhere from $150 to $2,000. Furthermore, you can serve up to 1 year in prison.

Know the laws before you ride. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation does not have the approval authority of local government ordinances. They can only review ATV ordinances prior to processing traffic signing permit applications for ATV routes to verify that a town, village, city or county has referenced the appropriate sections of the law. 

Contact Us

If you have been hurt in an accident involving an ATV and it appears that another party may have been at fault, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation. To discuss your options, contact the personal injury attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier at 800-242-2874.