Youth OHV Safety Course

Youth OHV Safety Course

North Dakota law requires youth ages 12-15 who do not have a valid driver's license or learner’s permit to take a safety certification class. The certification is needed in order to legally operate OHVs on land other than their parents' or legal guardians', which includes designated OHV trails and highway right of way.

In order to become certified, the following guidelines must be met:

  • Attend a free hands-on class in your area, or take the online certification course from home for a fee.
  • Be at least 12 years of age.

NOTE: Children who are 11, but turn 12 within six months of a class date, may take the hands-on course, but will not receive their certification card until they turn 12.

OHV safety certification hands-on sessions are held May through August. The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department offers the hands-on courses for free in an effort to increase OHV safety awareness and prevent accidents. 

Hands-On Safety Classes

Register online for an upcoming in-person OHV safety class. Each class is limited to eight participants. A free helmet will be provided at the beginning of the course for students to keep.

All students must:

  • Complete the introductory e-course online prior to the in-person course and bring their certificate number (PLEASE NOTE: This pre-requisite e-course is free. The online safety certification course below can be completed instead of the in-person safety course for a fee.)
  • Wear over-the-toe shoes, long pants, and long sleeve shirt 
  • Provide their own eye protection

Online Safety Course

You may obtain your certification card on your own time by completing the entire OHV Safety Course online. The online course fee is $34.95.

Practice Quiz

Test your ATV safety knowledge; take a free ATV safety practice quiz at

Helmet Safety

Dirt bikes, ATVs, and side-by-sides are popular off-highway vehicles (OHVs) among North Dakota residents. However, an increasingly significant issue in North Dakota is the lack of helmet use by youth and adults. Helmets are important for an OHV rider's safety.

Riders and passengers under age 18 are required by law to wear a DOT-approved helmet when riding any OHV, including dirt bikes, ATVs, and side-by-sides. 

Helmet Safety Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to wear a helmet when riding an off-highway vehicle?

Riders under age 18 are required by law to wear a DOT-approved helmet when riding any off-highway vehicle (OHV) including dirt bikes, ATVs, and side-by-sides. Helmets may reduce the risk of death in an accident by 42%. (Source: Consumer Products Safety Commission) Accidents can happen when riders encounter unpredictable terrain or changing weather conditions so Ride Safe. Ride Smart by wearing a helmet at all times.

What do I look for when buying a helmet?

Make sure to consult an expert, such as an OHV salesperson, when choosing a helmet. They will ensure that the helmet fits and protects the rider properly. Follow these helmet guidelines for maximum injury protection:

  • The helmet fits properly - It is imperative that a helmet fits properly. It should be snug and fasten securely. Improperly fitted helmets can reduce your field of vision and may not provide adequate protection.
  • The helmet is not outdated - Helmets have a shelf life of approximately five to eight years. After that time the protective materials inside begin to break down and offer less protection. Also, as new technology is developed, helmets become more advanced and provide greater protection. For your safety, make sure that your helmet has the latest technology. Also, check the helmet for a DOT (Department of Transportation) stamp or sticker which signals the helmet meets all current safety standards.
  • The helmet is not cracked or damaged - A cracked or damaged helmet can allow almost as much damage as no helmet at all. Before using a helmet, give it a quick assessment to make sure that it is not cracked or damaged. A helmet can only withstand one serious impact before losing its protective qualities.
  • The helmet provides maximum protection - Many different types of helmets are available, but be sure to choose the one for your protection needs. Common injuries include dental and facial damage, so consider a full face helmet for full protection.

Where can I purchase a helmet?

Helmets can be purchased in a variety of locations, including online or at OHV dealerships. It may be wise to contact your local dealer regarding special helmet deals, promotions or giveaways. As part of the Ride Safe. Ride Smart campaign, dealerships across the state may be conducting safety presentations, helmet fitting clinics, and helmet giveaways targeted toward youth safety.

Laws & Regulations

OHV Laws

The following resources provide more information on the proper use of OHVs and laws that govern the use and ownership of OHVs in North Dakota.

North Dakota Century Code Chapter 39-29

OHV Brochure