If you’re from outside Arizona, or if you know someone from outside Arizona who want to go off-roading here, please take note: any OHVs registered in other states now need to have a non-resident decal before they can be driven off-road in Arizona.
Dee Pfleger of the Arizona Department of Game & Fish explained the new law at the Arizona Peace Trail meeting held Nov. 13 at La Paz County Park. She said the law was signed by Gov. Doug Ducey in 2018, but it wasn’t implemented until Sept. 1 of this year.
Pfleger said the reciprocity that had existed where Arizona honored the registrations of OHVs from other states no longer exists.
“You either have to have an Arizona-registered vehicle, or you need a non-resident decal,” she said.
The cost of the decals is $30, which includes a $5 processing fee. They are 3-inches by 3-inches in size and are bright orange in color.
Pfleger said the decals can only be purchased on the Game & Fish website at azgfd.gov. They will not be sold in Game & Fish offices. To purchase a decal, the customer will need to set up an account. Once payment is made, a receipt will be sent by e-mail or to an individual’s cell phone. That receipt will be valid as proof one has purchased a decal for 30 days or until the decal arrives in the mail.
According to the Game & Fish website, any OHVs designed by the manufacturer for use over unimproved terrain that weigh 2,500 pounds or less are required to display a valid OHV decal to operate on public and state trust land. This includes “street legal” OHVs if they meet the two requirements.
Arizona Game & Fish provided this information on their website, azgfd.gov.:
“Nonresidents with multiple machines must purchase additional decals — each OHV must have its own decal. Nonresidents must display the decal on the left rear quarter panel of OHVs with/ three or more wheels, or on the left fork leg on two-wheeled vehicles.
- Decals are not transferable between OHVs and each machine must have its own sticker.
- The nonresident OHV decal will be mailed within two to three weeks from the date of purchase. Purchasers can show their receipt (or a screenshot of it) for up to 30 days as proof of decal purchase. Owners/riders must have the receipt readily available if requested by law enforcement or until they receive their decal(s).
- Exemptions can be found in ARS 28-1178 and include those participating in OHV special events, operating on private land, loading or unloading from a vehicle, during a period of emergency if directed by a peace officer or if it displays a valid dealer license plate.
- Decals shall be displayed on the driver’s side of the vehicle as shown on the decal paperwork that they will receive with their decals.”
Arizona resident OHV registration will still be handled by the Motor Vehicle Division of the Arizona Department of Transportation. They can be purchased through MVD offices statewide, at official third-part locations providing MVD services, or online at www.servicearizona.com.
A decal will be valid for one year after the date of purchase.
According to the Game & Fish website, 70 percent of the funds from the non-resident decals will go into the state’s Highway User Revenue Fund. The remaining 30 percent will be divided between Game & Fish, State Parks & Trails, and the State Land Department. They will be used for trail, park and staging area maintenance, off-road law enforcement, education and outreach.
Game & Fish said in a press release that sales of the new nonresident decals have been brisk. They have sold more than 3,000 since Sept. 1. They’ve been purchased by residents in 36 states and in Canada. The majority have been sold to residents of California, Utah, Nevada and Idaho.
Pfleger told the Peace Trail group that she and others from Game & Fish are available to speak to OHV clubs and answer any questions related to Game & Fish and their role of off-roading in Arizona. Her office number is 928-342-0091 while her cell number is 928-916-2004. Her e-mail is email@example.com.