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#425307 - 07/28/09 03:40 PM Own a: Rhino, RZR, Mule, or other UTV? USE LIMITS
dcg9381 Offline
New Boot

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 24
I purchased a 2006 Yamaha Rhino with the goal of being able to use it to access a lake front easement a few blocks from my rural property. It was to be insured and comply with Texas' Slow Moving Vehicle designation - basically safe for use on public streets as long as the speed limit was under 35mph and the vehicle was insured. A similar classification exists for Golf Carts and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles.

As of 9/2008 - the DMV has sent out an internal memo to prevent registration of UTVs and recall registration of over 1500 legally registered UTVs within the state of Texas. The DMV policy is that a UTV IS an ATV. ATVs are expressly prohibited from operating on public roads under any circumstances - with exceptions given to law enforcement an municipal use.

Note, no LAWS have actually changed. This is simply an internal policy change within the DMV that has taken place at the director level. You can fully equip your UTV to be street legal, have it pass a DPS inspection, and the DMV will REFUSE to allow you to register it. However, your neighbor with a gas gold cart will be allowed to register his vehicle.

There are two very serious consequences of this internal policy change:
1) Owners of UTVs are now substantially restricted in their neighborhoods and other locations.
2) Owners of UTVs can now no longer use those vehicles at beaches and state parks where normally registered and insured vehicles are allowed.
3) There is an unintended restriction on these vehicles on Federal Land. That is, both the Bureau of Land Management and United States Forest Service classify the Rhino (and similar vehicles) as an OHV. Per federal requirements, OHVs must be registered and insured to be used on federal property. Because Texas is now denying registration on UTVs, UTVs taken out of state to federal land Texas cannot be used on these properties. In contrast, ATVs CAN be used because there is no registration requirement. Texas UTVs are now illegal on all national parks and forest service roads, as they cannot be plated.
4) UTVs, regardless of safety equipment and even DOT tires, full DPS inspection, will not be registered by the DMV due to internal policy - not state laws.

This internal policy change seems to stem as a reaction to a few irresponsible UTV owners that were operating UTVs on public highways - and unsafe operations (injuries) of both stock and modified vehicles. Law enforcement does not understand that vehicles can be plated and insured, but not allowed on roads that exceed 35mph (per Low Speed Vehicle registration restrictions). Basically, we've had existing laws in place that could be enforced to address these issues, but the DMV is choosing a simpler path of denying registration for all owners.

If you have an opinion on this issue - the person to email at the DMV is:

rdavio@dot.state.tx.us (Rebecca Davio, DMV Director)

http://www.txdot.gov/drivers_vehicles/golf_carts.htm (definition of ATV - includes a "saddle" type seat)

Letter Pulling Registration from legally registered UTVs in Texas

Motor vehicle - Low Speed Vehicle Standards by State

Original DMV policy on registration:

MCO indicates "Utility Vehicle" as the body style.
Are manufactured for utility, industrial, and agricultural use.
Are manufactured for "off-highway" use only.
Are not required to be titled.
Applicants wanting to perfect their security interest should file under the Uniform Commercial Code with the Texas Secretary of State, not by applying for title.
At the owner’s request, may be titled and registered as "slow-moving vehicles" with "GC" as the body style, if the maximum speed is 25 miles per hour or less (Form VTR-471). Will also require liability insurance and classification will be passenger or truck.
Are non-titleable if their speed exceeds 25 miles per hour.
Please contact your local VTR Regional Office if you have any questions regarding the information in this bulletin. Thank you.


#425619 - 07/31/09 11:34 AM Re: Own a: Rhino, RZR, Mule, or other UTV? USE LIMITS [Re: dcg9381]
dcg9381 Offline
New Boot

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 24
Dang, I expected a little more interest out of this group... maybe not a lot of UTV owners here.


#426030 - 08/04/09 09:05 AM Re: Own a: Rhino, RZR, Mule, or other UTV? USE LIMITS [Re: dcg9381]
DFW250X Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 3
I was going to buy a Teryx with the intention of getting Texas plates, I guess my plans have changed. I think all atv and utv's should be able to run
on city streets up to 45mph. Look at the revenue the state would receive
on tagging our atv's etc. At these speeds they are just as safe as motorcycles.


#512099 - 09/06/11 11:21 PM Re: Own a: Rhino, RZR, Mule, or other UTV? USE LIMITS [Re: dcg9381]
Rowland Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Tyler county, Texas
I just saw you post so I have joined this network, I have the same problem, so I have sent a msg to MS Davio, asking her to explain this ruling. It does not make any sense my Kawasaki Mule is a lot safer to drive than a golf cart. Hope other people will also send msg. Thanks for your post and enabling me to find who to send a msg to.


#515504 - 10/19/11 10:17 AM Re: Own a: Rhino, RZR, Mule, or other UTV? USE LIMITS [Re: Rowland]
Bennche700X Offline
New Member

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 1
I have just purchased a Bennche 700 Crew from Ross Motor Sports in Lufkin Texas. I pick it up this Friday and it will have a Texas inspection sticker and Paper plates. This machine meets all Neighborhood Vehicle requirements.


#524779 - 01/31/12 01:32 PM Re: Own a: Rhino, RZR, Mule, or other UTV? USE LIMITS [Re: Bennche700X]
kenv Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 1
If you try to take that Bennche on the beach roads....you will get a ticket. That UTV is no different than a Polaris or Rhino...I don't care what they tell you.


#597320 - 10/12/20 09:46 AM Re: Own a: Rhino, RZR, Mule, or other UTV? USE LIMITS [Re: kenv]
Roland Rocka Offline
New Member

Registered: 10/12/20
Posts: 1
I have a street legal UTV in Magnolia, Texas full plates and registration. full coverage insurance. drive it on the beach all the time. It is a 2019 Odes 800


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