Navigating laws relevant to off road vehicles can be tricky. We recommend clicking the links provided and printing the full text of the relevant laws and keeping them in your glove box of your Jeep for reference. It could save you time and possibly a fine! Here are a few common issues offroaders face in Massachusetts.
Tires that extend beyond the fender flare.
Larger-than-stock tires sometimes extend beyond the fender flares and our friendly inspection station attendant says that’s a no-no. People often end up putting stock tires on just to get it inspected and then put their real tires back on when they get home. This is silly, wouldn’t it make more sense for the inspection attendant to actually inspect the tires and wheels we drive on 364 days per year? Did you know that Massachusetts General Laws, Part I, Title XIV, Chapter 90, Section 19 actually allows our tires to extend beyond the fender flare?
“Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no passenger motor vehicle shall be operated on any way if such vehicle has the side wall or thread of any tire projecting outward beyond the outer portion of the fender or side body panel, unless such vehicle is equipped with four-wheel drive or is otherwise modified and intended for off-the-way use.”
Off-Highway Recreational Vehicles in MA
In 2010, changes were made to MA laws regarding off-highway recreational vehicles. If you leave a public way you are now required to register your Jeep as an offroad vehicle. If you do not, you could be fined by the MA Environmental Police. This must be done initially at a Boat, OHV and Snowmobile Registration Bureau office but may then be renewed online every two years.
All ORVs must be currently registered in Massachusetts under MGL c. 90B. New Massachusetts Recreation Vehicle Laws require the display of registration on the left and right side of the vehicle. Additionally, motor vehicles registered under chapter 90 must now also register as a recreation vehicle under chapter 90B (on/off road motorcycles, Jeeps, etc.) when used for recreation or pleasure once they leave a public way as defined in chapter 90. Out of state recreation vehicle registrations are not valid in Massachusetts. Contact the Division of Environmental Law Enforcement for registration information: (617)626-1610 or Registration
Please note that this information is provided as a courtesy and should not be considered legal advice. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in full compliance with all relevant laws.