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The Great Outdoors is calling, but check out these tips before you go:

  1. Use your head and protect it too. Always wear an appropriate helmet and encourage your friends to do the same.

2. ATVs and alcohol don’t mix! ATVs are like any other motor vehicle; don’t ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

3. Be prepared. Ensure that ALL equipment is functioning properly. Pack an emergency kit and tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return. Dress appropriately for the weather and bush conditions.

4. Size does matter. Younger children are too small to properly control a large ATV and can be seriously injured or even killed in ATV accidents. Adult-sized ATVs are powerful machines that should not be operated by anyone younger than sixteen. Don’t overload your vehicle with items OR people.

5. Responsible riding rocks! Coexist, and share the outdoors with other riders, campers, and hikers. Respect the land and its animals, so future generations can ride too.


1. Make sure your registration and insurance are up to date. Properly attach your licence plate and carry proof of your insurance.

2. Check your helmet. Invest in a new one if it’s damaged by any dents or cracks.

3. Give your ATV a twice-over. Check that all equipment, including brakes, lights, engine, and tires are in good condition and functioning properly.

4. Familiarize yourself with local regulations and bylaws regarding ATV usage.

5. Get your emergency kit ready to go, including any or all of the following: blanket, snacks/food, waterproof matches, a whistle, insect repellant and sunblock, a flashlight, spare fuel, tea or coffee, water/water purification tablets, duct tape, signal mirror, tool kit, first aid supplies, rope, flares, spare keys, a sharp knife, and/or compass. 

6. If your children want to ride, consider an ATV safety course. If you haven’t ridden before or could just use a refresher, do the same. Don’t let your children use adult-sized ATVs.

7. Consider taking a first aid course. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

8. Get yourself in the mindset for a great riding season. Have fun!



Q: Do I need to register my ATV?

A: Like any car, truck, or motorcycle, your ATV needs to be registered. In 2007, NWT riders registered 549 ATVs.

Q: Where can I register my ATV?

A: You can register your ATV at your local
Issuing Office. Be sure to bring the required documents.

Q: Do I need a licence to drive an ATV?

A:  You do not need a licence, but you must be 14 years of age to drive on the highway, and you must wear an ATV helmet at all times.

Q: Where can I find safety training?

A: The
Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council offers free safety and training information online.

Did You Know?

In the NWT, the phrase “all-terrain vehicle” means a motorized vehicle that runs on wheels, tracks, skis, or air cushions, and is designed for cross-country travel on land, water, snow, ice, marsh, swamp, or on other natural terrain. That includes, but is not limited to, ATVs, snow vehicles, three-wheeled ATVs, and motorized pedal bicycles. “Special all-terrain vehicles” operate on three or four wheels.

To read the legislation and regulations on All-Terrain Vehicles, please click


Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council

ATV Safety Institute - Respect the Outdoors

Safe Kids Canada



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