EHB 1251
C 121 L 21
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Concerning the authorization of wheeled all-terrain vehicles on state highways.
Sponsors: Representatives Orcutt, Dent, Eslick and Robertson.
House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation

A wheeled all-terrain vehicle (WATV) is a specific category of off-road vehicle (ORV) that is subject to certain regulatory requirements in addition to those that address all ORVs, generally.  There are two types of WATVs that are regulated with respect to travel on public roads:

  • a motorized nonhighway vehicle with certain specifications:  handlebars of 50 inches or less in width; a seat with a height of at least 20 inches; a maximum weight of 1,500 pounds; and four tires with a maximum diameter of 30 inches; and
  • a utility-type vehicle designed for and capable of travel over designated roads and that has certain specifications:  four or more low-pressure tires of 20 pounds per square inch or less; a maximum width of less than 74 inches; a maximum weight of less than 2,000 pounds; and a wheelbase of 110 inches or less.  This category of a WATV must satisfy one of three additional specifications:  a minimum width of 50 inches; a minimum weight of 900 pounds; or a wheelbase of over 61 inches.


The operation of WATVs is allowed on public roadways with a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour (mph) or less under certain conditions.  Any city and any county of 15,000 persons or more must approve the operation of eligible WATVs on roads under its jurisdiction before such travel is allowed.  Operation of an eligible WATV on public roadways is allowed in a county of less than 15,000 persons, unless the county designates its roadways to be unsuitable for use by WATVs.  Any county or city road which was designated as of January 1, 2013, as either open or closed for WATV use is unaffected by the requirements pertaining to eligible WATV use.  Operation of an eligible WATV on a state highway is allowed only inside city limits.


A person operating a WATV may travel on a state highway segment with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less in an unincorporated area of the state, if the county in which the segment is located has passed an ordinance authorizing travel on the segment.  The county must consult with the Department of Transportation prior to passing the ordinance.

Votes on Final Passage:
House 96 1
Senate 46 3

July 25, 2021