New York State Dirtbike Laws
The laws regarding dirt bike ownership and riding can vary from state to state. New York has some of the stricter dirt bike laws in the country. Unlike New York, some states allow for certain modifications to the dirt bike to make it street legal. In New York, the places an individual can use a dirt bike are very limited.
It is perfectly legal to purchase a dirt bike, but New York State laws make it illegal to register a dirt bike and use it on any public street. There is virtually no place to ride a dirt bike on public land, highways or city streets. New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, says the dirt bikes are not tailored to meet the needs of city driving and are designed to be used off-road. Individuals caught with a dirt bike on city streets are subject to fines and arrest.
Riding on Private Property
There are laws regarding the use of a dirt bike on private property. However, they can vary depending on the county where you reside. It is best to call your local jurisdiction regarding laws specific to your county. There aren’t many public trails for dirt bikes in the state of New York, and riding on state land, such as parks, is prohibited. Most owners must seek out private property to use, according to the New York State Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Association.
Qualify as an ATV
According to the New York DMV, some dirt bikes can qualify as an ATV. In rare cases, the ATV can be registered for off-road use, which excludes roads, streets and highways. Any qualifying ATV requires a vehicle registration. The qualifications for an ATV vehicle registration include that a dirt bike must be less than 70 inches wide and weigh less than 1,000 lbs. Contact your local DMV to see if the bike qualifies. This is done on a case-by case basis.
Living in New York City, Nicholas Briano has been a professional journalist since 2002. He writes for "The Wave," a community weekly covering the borough of Queens. Briano holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brooklyn College.