Ontario Rules

Ontario’s Off-Road Vehicles Legislation/Regulations


Off-road vehicles (ORVs) now have more access to the shoulder and paved portions of some Ontario highways. These new regulations, effective July 31, 2003, apply exclusively to one category of ORV. This is defined as an off-road vehicle that:

  • has four wheels, the tires of which are all in contact with the ground
  • has steering handlebars
  • has a seat that is designed to be straddled by the driver
  • meets requirements of federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI standard). New regulations do not apply to other types of off-road vehicles such as mini-bikes, dirt bikes and moto-cross bikes

Municipal Authority Regarding Off-Road Vehicles

As of July 2003, municipalities were given the authority to determine whether or not off-road vehicles (ORVs) should be allowed access to highways under their authority. Municipalities must put a by-law in place for ORVs to be allowed access to their highways. Municipalities can determine which highways, where on the highway, time of day, and season that ORVs are allowed access. They can also set speed limits that are lower than those set out in the regulation. If a by-law does not exist, ORVs are not allowed access to that municipality’s road.
More information specific to municipal authority is available at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/orv.shtml, Statutes and Associated Regulations, Highway Traffic Act, Section 191.8.

It is the ORV operator’s responsiblity to research the ATV by-law in the municipality they wish to ride.

Where Off-Road Vehicles Can/Cannot Travel
Driver's Licence and Registration Requirements
Vehicle Equipment Standards
Measures for Environmental Protection
License and Registration