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How to Register an Off-Highway Vehicle

Off-Highway Vehicles

"Off-Highway Vehicles" (OHV) are vehicles such as motorcycles, trail bikes, dune buggies, all-terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles.  These vehicles are operated off public roads and highways on lands that are open and accessible to the public.  A vehicle operated in this matter must be registered as an OHV unless it is registered for regular highway use and is not otherwise exempt from registration.

What type of license plate will I get?

OHV license plates are green or red self-adhesive stickers with a numbering system that is unique to OHVs.

Will I get a green or red sticker?

Green stickers are issued for all 2002 year model and older OHVs, including those that were previously issued a red sticker, and to 2003 and newer vehicles that comply with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission standards for California.  Green stickers allow year round use at all California OHV riding areas.
Red stickers are issued for 2003 and newer year model OHVs that are not certified to California OHV emission standards.  If your 2003 and new year model OHV has a "3" or "C" in the eighth position of the vehicle identification number (VIN), it will be issued a red sticker.  Red sticker allow seasonal use only in California OHV riding areas.
NOTE: If your OHV is a motorcycle that you use solely in organized racing or competitive events on a closed course, you may obtain a permit (from your local DMV) that allows transportation of the vehicle to and from course events.  The permit is a red and white numbered sticker that must be mounted on the vehicle in a clearly visible location.  This transportation permit, for which there is a fee, remains valid until the vehicle is sold or dismantled.


What documents will I need to register my OHV that has never been registered in California before?

If you purchased an OHV that has never been registered in California from anyone other than a California dealer, you will need:

  • An Application for Title or Registration
  • A vehicle verification by an authorized DMV employee or law enforcement
  • A Manufacture's Certificate of Origin endorsed to the non-licensed dealer and any bills of sale needed to establish a chain of ownership to the applicant
  • OHV fees and use tax, if due.

**For more detailed information on this suggest, please visit California DMV Website.


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