Governor signs law defining rules for OHV use on paved roads

SANTA FE – Riders of off-highway motor vehicles (OHVs) soon will have specific laws to follow when driving on paved New Mexico public roads, as stated in legislation signed by Governor Susana Martinez.

Senate Bill 51, sponsored by state Sen. Steven Neville, allows OHVs to be used on paved roads designated by city or state government officials, provided that the vehicle is equipped with legal headlights, taillights, mirrors and mufflers. OHVs that are driven on paved public roads also must have special license plates, issued by the Motor Vehicle Department for $7.

The new legislation takes effect July 1, 2017. It requires OHV operators who ride on paved roads to have valid New Mexico driver’s licenses or permits, vehicle insurance, and to observe speed limits and other requirements of motor vehicles under the state Motor Vehicle Code. While on paved roads, OHV operators must wear eye protection that complies with the Off-highway Motor Vehicle Act, and operators younger than age 18 must wear an approved safety helmet.

For more information about operating OHVs in New Mexico, please visit and click on the OHV tab.