Knowledgebase-Operating an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) on City Streets


Information Product

Title:Operating an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) on City Streets
Summary:MTAS was asked about the legality of operating ATVs on city streets.
Original Author:Darden, Ron
Co-Author:
Product Create Date:08/29/2008
Last Reviewed on::06/02/2017
Subject:Motor vehicles--Laws and regulations
Type:General
Original Document: ATV Letter.pdf

Reference Documents: PC 959.pdf

Text of Document: August 29, 2008


Honorable Jasper Brewer, Mayor
City of Collinwood
108 Third Avenue North, P.O.B 98
Collinwood, Tennessee 38450

Dear Mayor Brewer

You recently inquired about the legality of operating an all terrain vehicle (ATV) on city streets. I have reviewed your inquiry with MTAS legal consultants and it is my opinion that the city can operate an ATV on city streets as long as it complies with state regulations or until the city prohibits such use by ordinance.

TCA 55-8-191 provides that low speed vehicles, those vehicles designed with top speeds between 20-25 mph may be operated on streets with a posted speed limit of thirty-five (35) mph or less. It requires that the operator have a class “D” driver’s license and it provides that the city may prohibit their use on city streets by ordinance.

Public Chapter No. 959 of the Public Acts of 2008, copy attached, amended TCA 55-8-191 to provide for medium speed vehicle use on streets, those vehicles designed with top speeds of between 30-35 mph, may be operated on streets with a posted speed limit of 40 mph. It retained the requirement for a class “D” driver’s license and the provision that the city may prohibit their use on city streets by ordinance. I believe this chapter clarifies that both electric and internal combustion powered vehicles are subject to the regulations.

There may be a registration requirement for ATV’s that you may need to review with the county clerk.

Please call me if you have questions or comments.

Respectfully Yours


Ron Darden
Municipal Management Consultant

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