If you own any type of all purpose vehicle (APV) such as a 4-wheeler, dirt bike, golf cart, etc… you are most likely affected by this change to Ohio law.
On February 11, 2010 we informed you that a registration exemption for all-purpose vehicles being used on private property was removed from Ohio law. As a result, APVs used on private property or on land to which there is a contractual right are now required to be registered with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Fines for failing to comply with this requirement have been increased from a maximum of $25 to a minimum of $50. There was no change to the farm exemption.
In addition to this change, a new license plate requirement took effect July 1, 2010. Operators of APVs are required to display a license plate and validation sticker rather than a registration number after this date. After an owner obtains a license plate, the BMV will issue a new validation sticker to display on the license plate for each three-year registration period.
These changes were buried in the transportation budget bill passed last year at the request of farm owners who want to be able to identify operators of these vehicles when they are trespassing. Unfortunately, the registration change creates a negative impact on how these vehicles are covered under standard homeowners’ insurance policies. It appears that because these vehicles are now required to be registered, they are excluded from the liability portion of a standard homeowners’ policy. If you own any type of off-road vehicle, please contact us to discuss this issue and how we can provide adequate coverage.
The BMV has indicated that financial responsibility requirements do not apply to APVs as long as they are not being operated on any public roads.