Friday, May 12, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Off-road adventures abound in the Silver State, but the majority of residents are skirting the law when they jump into their dune buggies or climb aboard their all-terrain vehicles or dirt bikes.
In July 2012, Nevada began requiring registration for almost all off-highway and all-terrain vehicles, and just under five years later, compliance is still low. The Nevada Commission on Off-Highway Vehicles estimates there are 400,000 off-highway vehicles in the state, but as of the end of last month only 43,145 were registered with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
That’s a registration rate of only about 10 percent.
Officials are hoping to boost that number with a new online resource that appeals to owners’ sense of adventure. The Nevada Commission on Off-Highway Vehicles and Clark County this week launched OffRoadNevada.org, a new website to educate off-road enthusiasts about registering their vehicles and provide them with resources on how and where to find off-road adventures.
“This is the first effort to consolidate trail maps from various public agencies,” said Sue Baker, vice chairwoman of the Nevada Commission on Off-Highway Vehicles.
Off Road Nevada includes an interactive map showing where trails are located and what types of off-road vehicles are allowed on them — such as motorcycles, dune buggies and side-by-sides. There’s also a resource list of tour groups, dealerships, clubs and organizations, and annual events.
It’s essentially a one-stop shop for anyone into — or looking to get into — off-roading.
“Nevada has outstanding opportunities for off-road recreation,” Baker said. “Also, Southern Nevada has ample sunshine, which allows for year-round off-road recreation.”
The website also explains the registration process. Nearly all off-highway vehicles with an engine capacity of 70ccs or larger, and 1976 or newer, must be registered, and the registration decal must be displayed on vehicles in order for them to be legally operated in Nevada. Registration is a flat fee of $21 annually per vehicle.
Off-highway vehicles are defined as motorized vehicles designed primarily for off-highway and all-terrain. They include all-terrain vehicles, all-terrain motorcycles, dune buggies and snowmobiles.
Residents with unregistered off-highway vehicles are subject to a $100 fine if caught by local or state law enforcement.
Last year about $1.2 million was raised from registration funds and similar fees. The majority of that money — approximately 71 percent — funded grant programs to support related projects throughout the state, including trail improvement, mapping, signage, law enforcement, education and restoration.
“Funds are funneled back into the community,” says Baker.
Most recently, the nonprofit organization Partners in Conservation received $133,000 to add restrooms near the Logandale Trails, located 45 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Other grantees have included various county sheriff offices and the Friends of Nevada Wilderness.
Off Road Nevada also features a series of videos of residents talking about why they enjoy off-roading and promoting smart, legal off-roading. Eight residents of Clark County are featured.
For more information, visit OffRoadNevada.org.