Can You Drive a Side by Side on The Road

Can You Drive a Side by Side on The Road


In recent years, side by sides (SxS) have become increasingly popular for off-road adventures. Riders enjoy their versatility, ruggedness, and ability to conquer various terrains. However, many enthusiasts wonder if they can legally drive a side by side on public roads. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the regulations surrounding street legal side by sides, explore the necessary modifications, and provide insights into state-specific laws across the United States.

What is a Side by Side (SxS)?

Side by sides, also known as utility task vehicles (UTVs), are four-wheeled off-road vehicles designed for multiple passengers. They feature a side-by-side seating arrangement, similar to that of a car, and are equipped with a roll cage for safety. SxS vehicles are versatile and used for various purposes, including recreation, work, and transportation in rural areas.

Understanding Street Legal Side by Sides

To drive a side by side on public roads legally, it must be street legal, meaning it complies with local regulations and requirements. Street legal side by sides have essential safety features, including headlights, tail lights, turn signals, mirrors, seat belts, and a horn. These features ensure the vehicle is visible to other road users and can safely navigate through traffic.

How To Make Side By Side Street Legal

Understand Street Legal Requirements

Before making modifications to your side by side, research local laws and regulations regarding street legal vehicles. Each state has specific requirements, and understanding these regulations is crucial to ensure compliance.

Make Necessary Modifications

To make your side by side street legal, you may need to make certain modifications and additions. This could include installing aftermarket parts such as lighting kits, mirrors, turn signals, and safety equipment. It's essential to choose high-quality, compliant parts that meet regulatory standards.

Obtain Necessary Documentation

Once modifications are complete, you'll need to obtain the necessary paperwork for registration and licensing. This may involve obtaining a title, registration, and license plate from your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or equivalent agency. Ensure all documentation is accurate and up to date to avoid any issues during the registration process.

Pass Inspection

Before hitting the road, your side by side will need to pass a vehicle inspection to ensure compliance with street legal requirements. This inspection typically includes checks on lights, signals, brakes, tires, and other safety features. Prepare your vehicle for inspection by conducting a thorough inspection and addressing any issues identified.

Street Legal UTV States

Regulations for street legal side by sides vary by state. Some states have specific requirements and restrictions, while others may have more lenient laws. It's essential to research and understand the regulations in your state before driving your side by side on public roads. Here's the 2024 street legal states list:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming


In conclusion, driving a side by side on the road is possible if it meets street legal requirements. By understanding these requirements, making necessary modifications, and complying with local regulations, you can enjoy the convenience and versatility of driving your side by side on public roads. Remember to stay informed about state-specific laws and regularly maintain your vehicle to ensure continued compliance.


Q: How do I get my UTV street legal in Texas?

A: To make your UTV street legal in Texas, ensure it has headlights, tail lights, turn signals, mirrors, seat belts, and a horn. Obtain a title, registration, and license plate from the Texas DMV. Your UTV must pass a vehicle inspection.

Q: Are UTVs street legal in California?

A: Yes, UTVs can be made street legal in California by installing required safety equipment and registering with the DMV. Compliance with California Vehicle Code (CVC) regulations is necessary.

Q: Can I drive my UTV on the road in Wisconsin?

A: Yes, you can drive your UTV on Wisconsin roads if it meets state requirements. Ensure it has all necessary safety equipment and is registered with WisDOT.

Q: Can I drive a UTV on the road in Florida?

A: Yes, UTVs can be driven on Florida roads if they have headlights, tail lights, turn signals, mirrors, seat belts, and a horn. Register your UTV with the DHSMV and display a valid license plate.