OHVs In Moab

driving an ohv in moabThrottle Down In Town sign

Utah law allows street-legal OHVs to be driven through town and directly to backcountry trailheads. However, noise from off-highway vehicles (OHVs) is a significant concern to Moab’s residents.

To help curb noise, the City Council has enacted a lower 15-mile-per-hour speed limit for OHVs on City streets. The Council has also enacted a noise ordinance that includes regulations for street-legal ATVs/UTVs and offl-road motorcycles.

OHV TIPS
Drive slowly
To reduce noise and improve the quality of life for Moab residents, the City of Moab requires all street-legal OHVs to comply with the 15 mile-per-hour speed limit on posted City streets.

  • All street-legal OHV Drivers must obey the 15 MPH speed limit 
    Citations will be issued for speeding
  • Avoid driving through residential neighborhoods whenever possible
  • Avoid driving at night to help maintain peace and quiet in residential neighborhoods

Please consider
The City of Moab is in a unique situation regarding OHV noise. Moab is located in a valley, so noise echoes off the surrounding walls and is amplified in surrounding neighborhoods. Also, the most popular routes for OHVs (for example Sand Flats and Kane Creek) are accessed primarily through residential neighborhoods.

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Noise Guidelines for ATVs/UTVs

  • Vehicles that exceed 92 dBA (when measured from a stationary test at 20 inches from the exhaust outlet and 45 degrees to its exhaust axis with the vehicle at 50 percent of maximum RPMs of the vehicle) may not be driven on City streets at any time.
  • Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) under 10,000 that exceed 85 dBA (when measured from a stationary test at 20 inches from the exhaust outlet and 45 degrees to its exhaust axis, with the vehicle at 50 percent of maximum RPMs of the vehicle) may not be driven on City streets between the hours of 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • All vehicles must be equipped with a muffler or other effective noise-suppressing system in good working order and in constant operation. A person may not use a muffler cut-out, bypass, or similar device on a vehicle.

Noise Guidelines for Motorcycles

  • Motorcycles manufactured after December 31, 1985, must be equipped with an exhaust muffler bearing the Federal EPA required labeling applicable to the motorcycle’s model year, stating that the exhaust system meets the 80 dBA standard at 50 feet, as set out in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 40, Parts 205.152 and 205.158.
  • Off-road motorcycles manufactured after December 31, 1985, must be equipped with an exhaust muffler bearing the Federal EPA required labeling applicable to the off-road motorcycle’s model year, stating that the exhaust system meets the 82 dBA standard at 50 feet, as set out in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 40, Parts 205.152 and 205.158.

What Does dBA Mean?

The Decibel A Scale (dBA) is a logarithmic system of measuring sound as the human ear experiences it. The scale assigns a weight to the decibel value of sound based on the sensitivity of the ear at a particular frequency. The scale is calibrated in units called A-weighted decibels or dBA.

Read the City of Moab Noise Ordinance

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Street-legal OHV requirements

Street-legal ATV drivers must follow the same regulations required for motor vehicles, including license regulations, insurance, and safety inspections.

OHVs may be driven on streets, paved roads, and highways (not interstate highways) in the Moab area when the vehicles are:

  •  Properly licensed and registered as street-legal.
  •  Properly insured and inspected for highway use.
  •  In compliance with all of the Utah street-legal equipment requirements including headlamps, tail lights, turn signals, a braking system other than the parking brake, a muffler, a horn, and other equipment.

Utah Street-Legal OHV Requirements

Utah OHV Licensing Information

Utah Off-Highway Vehicle Laws and Rules Handbook
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Non-Resident Use of OHVs in Utah

Anyone who operates a nonresident off-highway vehicle on any public land, trail, street, or highway in Utah must: 

  • Apply for an off-highway vehicle decal issued exclusively for an OHV owned by a non-resident of Utah;
  • Pay an annual off-highway vehicle user fee;
  • Provide evidence that the owner is a non-resident

Utah Non-Resident OHV Permit Information

Utah Code Requiring Non-Resident Decal Purchase
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 If your OHV does not meet these requirements, it must be transported by trailer to and from the trailhead.

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Additional resources

For more information about OHV use in Moab and the surrounding backcountry, visit the Moab Area Travel Council website and watch the Travel Council video.