When you operate an all-terrain vehicle, you must obey the Act respecting off-highway vehicles, the regulations made under that Act, and some provisions of the Highway Safety Code.
All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, include quad bikes and all-terrain motorcycles
Quad bikes are four-wheel motorized all-terrain vehicles, which include recreational off-road vehicles.
The certificate is issued upon successful completion of a mandatory course.
If you must operate an off-road vehicle on a public road, trail or any other area of use that is not covered by the Highway Safety Code, you must hold a valid driver’s licence or probationary licence of any class, or hold a valid learner’s licence and abide by its conditions.
Driving on public roads is prohibited, other than in the few exceptional cases provided for by law.
You may cross a public road or drive on it only if a road sign allows you to do so.
You must register your all-terrain vehicle, even if it is only used on designated trails.
The licence plate must be affixed to the all-terrain vehicle.
Refer to our page on registering an all-terrain vehicle for information on the steps to follow.
If you have an accident that doesn’t involve an automobile (if you run into a tree, for example), you are not covered by the SAAQ for your injuries. The fact that you paid the registration fees for your off-road vehicle doesn’t change that fact.
However, if you have an accident involving an automobile or any other vehicle operating on a public roadway, you may receive compensation for your injuries. For more information, see the section on the automobile insurance plan.
You must hold private civil liability insurance for at least $1,000,000 to ensure compensation for any bodily injury or property damage caused by your vehicle.
Proof of insurance may be requested by a police officer, trail patrol officer or provincial officer. You must always have your proof of insurance with you; otherwise, you face a fine.
A valid trail permit is required if you wish to drive your all-terrain vehicle on trails maintained by off-road vehicle clubs.
Trail permits are sold by the clubs in question. They can be bought in a number of locations, including at dealerships and in gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants and other stores and services with easy access to the trails.
Driving an all-terrain vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs or medication is prohibited. The Criminal Code also applies to the operation of off-road vehicles.
If you commit an offence under the Highway Safety Code on a public road, trail or any other area of use that is not covered by that Code, the same penalties apply as for an impaired driving offence while at the wheel of any other type of motorized vehicle.
When operating an off-road vehicle, you must always have the following with you:
You can carry a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle provided:
The speed limit for an all-terrain vehicle is 50 km/h, unless otherwise indicated.
Keep your headlights on at all times in order to help other drivers see you.
Last update: September 10, 2021