Off-Road Vehicles and Golf Carts

On July 14, 2020 the Vanderburgh County Board of Commissioners authorized Off-Road Vehicles to be operated within Vanderburgh County, Indiana, outside the corporate limits of the City of Evansville and the Town of Darmstadt, Indiana subject to the following requirements summarized below:

  • Off-Road Vehicles must not be operated on an excluded county road, sidewalk, bicycle/walking path, or state highway.
  • Off-Road Vehicles must be equipped with headlights, taillights, and fully functional brakes.
  • Off-Road Vehicles operated after sunset must be equipped with two (2) headlights and two (2) tail lamps.
  • Off-Road Vehicles shall not carry more passengers than the vehicle was designed for.
  • Off-Road Vehicle operators must be eighteen (18) years of age AND possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Off-Road Vehicle operators shall carry liability insurance for the Off-Road Vehicle and possess a Certificate of Insurance while the vehicle is being operated.
  • Off-Road Vehicles may cross a prohibited roadway, but only at a right angle and only when the operation can be done safely.
  • Off-Road Vehicles must be operated in compliance with applicable state laws.

The complete Off-Road Vehicle ordinance is available here: County Ordinance 10.60

Golf Carts

By state statute and local ordinance, golf carts are not considered Off-Road Vehicles and NOT currently permitted to operate on any county or city roadway. For more information, please click here.

Penalties

An Off-Road Vehicle operator who violates any provision of the county Off-Road Vehicle ordinance is subject to a fine of $50 for a first offense, a fine of $100 for a second offense, and a fine of $500 for a third offense (within the same calendar year).

Registration

For information regarding how to register your Off-Road Vehicle, please visit the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) website.

The BMV will not register an Off-Road Vehicle as a normal motor vehicle (regardless if lighting, street tires, and safety equipment has been retrofitted).

Helmets

Indiana Code 9-18.1-14-11 requires an individual less than eighteen (18) years of age who is operating or riding on an Off-Road Vehicle to wear a DOT-approved helmet. IC 14-16-1-33 places responsibility for ensuring underage riders wear helmets on the owner or possessor of the Off-Road Vehicle.

Under the law, owners of ORVs who allow children younger than age 18 to ride their ORV on public or private property without wearing an approved helmet can be charged with a Class C infraction, which carries a maximum penalty of $500.

View the County Off-Road Vehicle Map below (Click map for larger view)

Vanderburgh County map
Pictured above: County Off-Road Vehicle Map. Off-Road Vehicles may not be operated on roadways depicted in red or blue or within the City of Evansville or the Town of Darmstadt.

Off-Road Vehicles in Indiana

Visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website to learn more about Off-Road Vehicle safety and operation.

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