§ 6801 OHV registration — Required.
(a) Except as hereinafter provided, no person shall operate any off-highway vehicle within the State unless such vehicle has been registered in accordance with this chapter. Such registration shall not permit the vehicle to be operated on any highway except as hereinafter specifically provided. No person shall sell an OHV without furnishing the buyer a bill of sale.
(b) Proof of such registration shall be available for inspection upon demand by any peace, environmental protection or law-enforcement officer; however, the operator shall be allowed 24 hours to produce the registration card before a conviction can be obtained under this chapter, such registration having been legally issued at a time prior to the operator’s arrest.
(c) Snowmobiles are excluded from this chapter.
§ 6802 OHV registration — Application; issuance.
Application for registration shall be made to the Department or their authorized agent as provided for in Chapter 21 of this title in such form and in such manner as the Department shall prescribe and shall state the name and address of every owner and be signed by at least 1 owner. Upon receipt of the application and the appropriate fee as provided in § 6803 of this title, such OHV shall be registered and a registration number decal assigned which shall be affixed to the OHV in such manner as provided in § 6805 of this title. In the event that an off-highway vehicle sought to be registered or reregistered does not, after inspection and testing, comply with the provisions respecting equipment established by this chapter or by the regulations of the Department promulgated pursuant to this chapter, the Department may deny the issuance of a registration certificate.
§ 6803 OHV registration — Fees.
(a) The fee for registration of each off-highway vehicle, other than those registered by a dealer or manufacturer pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, shall be $6.00 for 3 years. The fee for a duplicate registration certificate shall be $2.00. The fee for a duplicate registration number decal shall be $2.00. The fee for a transfer of registration certificate shall be $2.00. All fees shall be waived for OHVs owned and used by the United States, or other state or of this State or political subdivision thereof.
(b) OHVs owned by a licensed OHV dealer, as specified in § 6809 of this title, and operated for demonstration or testing purposes are exempt from a registration fee.
§ 6804 OHV registration — Renewal of registration.
Every owner of an off-highway vehicle shall renew the registration in such manner as the Department shall prescribe, upon payment of the same registration fees provided in § 6803 of this title.
§ 6805 OHV registration — Procedure.
(a) Upon receipt of the required fee and an application on forms prescribed by it, the Department shall issue to the applicant a registration certificate stating the registration number, the name and address of the owner and such other information as the Department deems necessary. The Department shall also issue 1 registration number decal per OHV. Such number decal shall contain reference to the State and the registration number and shall be of such size and displayed in such manner as prescribed by the Department. Records of the Department made or kept pursuant to this chapter shall be public records except as otherwise provided.
(b) Upon receipt of the required fee and an application form prescribed by it, the Department shall issue to the applying dealer or manufacturer 10 registration number decals with additional decals being available for a fee of $2.00 per decal.
(c) If a registration certificate or decal is lost or destroyed, the owner may apply for a duplicate on forms provided for by the Department accompanied by a fee of $2.00. Upon receipt of a proper application and the required fee, the Department shall issue a duplicate registration certificate or number decal to the owner.
§ 6806 Surrender of registration certificate.
(a) The owner of an OHV shall notify the Department within 15 days if the OHV is destroyed or abandoned, stolen, sold or an interest therein transferred either wholly or in part to another person or if the owner’s address no longer conforms to the address appearing on the registration certificate. The notice shall consist of a surrender of the registration certificate on which the proper information shall be noted or written notice to the Department that the registration certificate has been stolen.
(b) When surrender of the certificate is because the OHV has been destroyed or abandoned or has been stolen, the Department shall cancel the certificate and enter such fact in its records. If the surrender is because of a change of address of the owner, the new address shall be recorded by the Department and a registration certificate bearing such information shall be returned to the owner. The transferee of a vehicle registered under this chapter, within 15 days after acquiring it, shall apply to the Department for transfer to the transferee of the registration certificate issued to the OHV, giving the transferee’s name, address and the number of the vehicle and pay the Department a fee of $2.00. Upon receipt of the application and fee, the Department shall transfer the registration certificate issued for the OHV to the new owner. Unless the application is made and the fee paid within 15 days, the vehicle shall be deemed to be without a registration certificate and no person shall operate the OHV until a certificate is issued.
§ 6807 Out-of-state OHV registration.
The Department shall issue a 1-year registration number decal, valid for the present calendar year, to out-of-state OHVs operated by a resident of a state or county where registration is not required. The fee for this decal shall be $6.00.
§ 6808 Age requirements.
No application for an original certificate of registration shall be accepted by the Department from any person under 18 years of age unless said certificate is signed by at least 1 parent or guardian of said person, stating consent to said application.
§ 6809 OHV dealer license required.
OHV dealers, as defined in § 101 of this title, shall be licensed by the Department in accordance with such rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the Secretary. A fee of $50 shall be assessed for such license which shall be valid for 3 years. OHV dealer licenses are not transferable and may be revoked for violation of such rules and regulations as may be specified for that privilege. OHV dealers shall be required to carry personal liability insurance in an amount at least equal to that required of dealers under no-fault insurance provisions or as otherwise specified by the Department.
§ 6810 Exceptions and exemptions to OHV registration.
(a) A vehicle registered under this title, Title 23 (boats) or Title 2 (aircraft) is exempt from the registration provisions of this chapter.
(b) Registration is not required for an OHV which is operated exclusively in a special event upon a special area location of limited duration which is conducted according to a prearranged schedule under a permit from the governmental unit having jurisdiction.
(c) No registration hereunder shall be required for the following described off-highway vehicles:
(1) OHVs covered by a valid registration of another state or country and which have not been within this State for more than 15 consecutive days.
(2) OHVs being operated by a resident of a state or country which does not require off-highway vehicle registration and which have been issued a 1-year permit sticker as provided for in § 6807 of this title.
§ 6811 Vehicle identification number.
(a) Beginning not later than January 1, 1978, a manufacturer of an OHV shall stamp or permanently affix to the frame or body members of the OHV an identifying number unique to that vehicle in an easily visible location. The vehicle identification number shall be entered on the registration certificate issued by the Department to the OHV owner.
(b) Possession of an OHV with an intentionally altered, defaced, or obliterated vehicle identification number is punishable by the penalties in § 6831 of this title.
§ 6812 Special vehicles.
The owner of a specially constructed or reconstructed OHV may make application, accompanied by the required fees, in such form as may be prescribed by the Department, for a special vehicle identifying number. The owner shall furnish such information as will satisfy the Department that the person is the owner, whereupon the Department shall assign a special vehicle identification number for the vehicle. The owner shall cause said number to be affixed as directed by the Department. Such special number shall be regarded as the permanent vehicle identification number of said vehicle.
§ 6813 Specific OHV dealer responsibilities for rented or leased OHVs.
(a) A dealer shall maintain in safe operating condition an OHV offered for rent or lease by the dealer. The dealer, the dealer’s agents or employees shall explain the operation of the OHV being rented or leased and if the dealer, the dealer’s agent or employee believes that person to whom the OHV is to be rented or leased is not competent to operate the OHV with personal safety or safety to others, the dealer shall refuse to rent or lease such OHV.
(b) The Department shall require such insurance and compliance with such additional rules and regulations regarding rental or lease of OHVs as it may deem necessary.
§ 6814 Operation of OHVs — Upon public highways, streets, sidewalks or rights-of-way; penalties for violation.
(a) OHVs shall not be operated upon a public highway or street or sidewalk or right-of-way thereof located within this State except under the following conditions:
(1) An OHV may be pushed across or along such public way provided such OHV is in neutral or that the power train is otherwise disengaged, and further provided that such use shall be in conformance with Chapter 41 of this title.
(2) An OHV may be operated on a street or highway located within this State for a special event of limited duration, conducted according to a prearranged schedule only under permit from the governmental unit having jurisdiction.
(b) A person convicted of a violation of any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall be punished by the penalties in § 6831 of this title.
§ 6815 Operation of OHVs — Excessive rate of speed.
A person shall not operate an OHV at a rate of speed which cannot be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance.
§ 6816 Operation of OHVs — While under the influence or with a prohibited alcohol or drug content.
A person shall not operate an OHV while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, a combination of drugs and alcohol, or with a prohibited concentration of alcohol or illicit or recreational drugs as defined in § 4177 of this title. A violation of this section shall be an unclassified misdemeanor.
(1) When such operation is upon private property with the express permission of the person in control of the property or such operation is not upon public property, a public highway or street or sidewalk or right-of-way thereof, the penalty provisions of this chapter shall apply.
(2) The provisions of this section, § 6831, § 6832, or § 6833 of this title, or any other statute to the contrary notwithstanding, all provisions of § 4177 of this title and provisions of this Code related thereto shall be applicable to the operation of an OHV while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, a combination of drugs and alcohol, or with a prohibited concentration of alcohol or illicit or recreational drugs as defined in § 4177 of this title when such operation is upon private property without the express permission of the person in control of the property or such operation is upon public property, a public highway or street or sidewalk or right-of-way thereof located within this State.
(3) The provisions of this section, § 6831, § 6832, or § 6833 of this title, or any other statute to the contrary notwithstanding, all provisions of § 4177 of this title and provisions of this Code related thereto shall be applicable to the operation of an OHV while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, a combination of drugs and alcohol, or with a prohibited concentration of alcohol or illicit or recreational drugs as defined in § 4177 of this title when such operation causes physical injury, serious physical injury, or death to another person. Nothing in this section shall preclude conviction for a violation of either this section or § 4177 of this title and any offense as defined elsewhere in this Code.
§ 6817 Operation of OHVs — Without lights.
A person shall not operate an OHV during the period after sunset until sunrise without displaying a lighted headlight and lighted taillight.
§ 6818 Operation of OHVs — Without brakes.
A person shall not operate an OHV unless such OHV is equipped with a brake or similar device adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold such OHV.
§ 6819 Operation of OHVs — In a manner causing damage or disturbance.
(a) A person shall not operate an OHV in a manner to cause excessive damages or disturbances of the land, wildlife or vegetative resources, or endanger, disturb or annoy other persons or property. Disturbance or annoyance of other persons shall be presumed if the operator has received either verbally or in written form notice of such annoyance or disturbance from the complaining party. However, nothing in this subsection shall be construed as prohibiting the operation of OHVs at a race track designed for the lawful racing of said vehicles.
(b) The operator of the OHV shall be held liable for any damage to private property, including, but not limited to, damage to trees, shrubs or growing crops, injury to living creatures or damage through OHV operation in a manner so as to maliciously create erosive or other ecological damage to private property. However, if the operator is a minor, the parents or legal guardian of the operator shall be held personally liable for any and all damage and/or injuries, including civil or criminal liability, caused by the minor in the operation of the OHV.
(c) The owner of such private property may recover from the person responsible nominal damages of not less than the amount of damage or injury.
§ 6820 Operation of OHVs — Without spark arrestor type muffler.
(a) A person shall not operate an OHV unless such OHV is equipped with a spark arrestor type muffler, in good working order and in constant operation, from which noise emission under 60% of the maximum RPM, measured at 50 feet at right angles from the vehicle path on a constant speed pass, by measurement does not exceed 88 DBA on a sound level meter which meets the requirements of ANSI-514197, using procedure and ancillary equipment therein described. During the test procedure, the ambient sound including wind effects due to sources other than the OHV being measured shall be at least 10 DBA lower than the anticipated level of the test OHV. A vehicle subject to this chapter, manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1978, and used, sold or offered for sale in this State shall conform to the noise emission levels of this chapter unless preempted by federal E.P.A. legislation.
(b) Competition vehicles shall be exempted from this section only while in competition.
§ 6821 Operation of OHVs — On property.
(a) A person shall not operate an OHV upon any property in either public or private ownership without the express permission of the person in control of the property or knowingly in violation of any restrictions imposed on such use by the person in control of the property.
(b) Penalties. — (1) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to the following penalties:
a. For the first offense, a fine of $100 and an impoundment of the OHV at time of conviction for up to 30 days, which may be suspended by the court.
b. For each subsequent offense, the OHV owner shall be fined $1,000 and the OHV will be impounded for a minimum of 60 days from date of conviction. A subsequent offense, before being punishable as such, shall have been committed within 24 months after commission of the first offense.
c. Under this section, the OHV will be returned to the owner once the fine and impoundment costs have been paid by the OHV owner or, if the fine is appealed, once the owner has complied with the court’s decision or the court decides the owner and/or operator is not guilty of the offense under subsection (a) of this section. The owner will not be responsible for impoundment costs if found not guilty by the court.
(2) In addition, restitution shall be made for value of damage to real or personal property which results from a violation of this section.
§ 6822 Operation of OHVs — In violation of traffic controllers or traffic-control devices.
A person shall not operate an OHV in violation of instructions of any person authorized to direct, control or regulate traffic or in violation of any official traffic-control device applicable thereto.
§ 6823 Operation of OHVs — Helmets.
(a) A person shall not operate a 2-wheel or 3-wheel OHV unless the operator and all passengers are wearing a protective helmet meeting U.S. Department of Transportation standards on their heads, with the chin straps properly fastened.
(b) A person under 18 years of age shall not operate any ATV unless the operator is wearing a protective helmet meeting U.S. Department of Transportation standards on his or her head, with the chin straps properly fastened. A person under 18 years shall not be a passenger on an ATV unless the passenger is wearing a protective helmet meeting U.S. Department of Transportation standards on his or her head, with the chin straps properly fastened.
§ 6824 Operation of OHVs — By minors, incompetent persons or persons under mental or physical disabilities.
(a) A person less than 12 years of age may operate an OHV only if:
(1) The person is under the direct supervision of a person who is at least 18 years of age; or
(2) The person is on land owned by or under the control of the person’s parent or legal guardian.
(b) Persons 12 years of age and older may operate an OHV without adult supervision provided such use is in compliance with all other provisions of this chapter.
(c) A parent or legal guardian shall not permit a child under the age of 12 to operate an OHV except under the direct supervision of an adult.
(d) The owner of an OHV shall not permit:
(1) The vehicle to be operated by a person under the age of 12 except under direct adult supervision.
(2) The vehicle to be operated by a person who is incompetent to operate such vehicle because of mental or physical disability or because of being under the influence of intoxicating liquor or controlled substance as defined by § 4177 of this title.
(e) No person under 18 years of age shall operate an ATV while carrying passengers, regardless of whether or not the vehicle was specifically designed by the manufacturer to carry passengers.
(f) No person under 18 years of age shall be a passenger on an ATV unless the ATV was specifically designed by the manufacturer to carry passengers and is being operated by an individual who is 18 years of age or older.
§ 6825 Identification of persons operating OHVs upon public or private property.
Any person operating an OHV upon public or private property shall stop and give identification upon the request of the person in control of the property and shall promptly comply with such restriction as may be imposed or remove the OHV from the premises if requested to do so.
§ 6826 Safety education program.
(a) The Department shall implement a comprehensive OHV information and safety education program which shall include the preparation and dissemination of information and safety advice to the public.
(b) In implementing a program which is established pursuant to this section, the Department shall cooperate with private organizations and associations, private and public corporations, the Department of Education, state and local parks and recreation departments, local governmental units and local and county law-enforcement agencies.
§ 6827 Accidents.
(a) The operator of an OHV involved in an accident resulting in an injury to another person or in a death shall immediately report such accident by the quickest available means of communication, to a State Police officer or the local law-enforcement officer for New Castle County or the municipality wherein the accident occurred.
(b) The operator of an OHV involved in an accident resulting in damage to private property, except that of the operator, shall notify the owner of said property within 48 hours of the occurrence of such accident.
(c) Accidents resulting only in injury to the operator and/or damage to the operator’s personal equipment need not be reported.
(d) The operator of an OHV involved in an accident upon either public or private property, resulting in injury to or death of any person, shall immediately stop and remain at the scene of such accident and shall render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance in securing medical aid or transportation for the injured person or persons.
(e) This section shall not apply to accidents involving competition vehicles damaged while engaging in special or competition events.
§ 6828 Enforcement of chapter.
Any peace, police or environmental protection officer, acting in the lawful performance of duty, shall be empowered to enforce this chapter.
§ 6829 Registration numbers or numbered decals as prima facie evidence.
In a proceeding for a violation of this chapter involving prohibited operation and conduct, the registration number or numbered decal displayed on an OHV shall constitute prima facie evidence that the owner of the vehicle was the person operating the vehicle at the time of the offense, unless the OHV committing the violation was in fact a stolen vehicle at the time of the violation.
§ 6830 Unlawful for operators of OHVs to disobey command to stop.
It shall be unlawful for any operator of an OHV to wilfully disobey a signal to bring such OHV to a stop when such signal is given by hand, voice, emergency lights, siren or other visual or audible signal by a uniformed police, peace or environmental protection officer acting in the lawful performance of duty. A violation of this section shall be an unclassified misdemeanor with the penalties set forth in § 6831 of this title.
§ 6831 Penalties.
A person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter is subject to the following penalties, unless otherwise provided for in this chapter.
(1) For a first offense, a fine of $100 and impoundment for up to 100 days, at the expense of the owner, of the OHV at the time of conviction.
(2) For a subsequent offense that occurs within 24 months of a prior conviction of this chapter or of a similar off-highway vehicle state or local law, statute, or ordinance, a fine of $400 and impoundment for a mandatory minimum time period of 6 months, at the expense of the owner, of the OHV at the time of conviction.
(3) In addition to impoundment of an OHV upon conviction, a uniformed police, peace, or environmental protection officer acting in the lawful performance of duty may have an OHV towed and impounded if that law-enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the OHV was used in violation of this chapter.
§ 6832 Jurisdiction.
The Courts of the Justices of the Peace shall have jurisdiction over violations of this chapter except that the Family Court shall have jurisdiction over violations of this chapter when such violation is committed by any person under the age of 18 years of age.
§ 6833 Conflicts with other statutes.
Should any provision of this chapter conflict with other statutes, the provisions or requirements of this chapter shall apply.
§ 6834 Rules and regulations.
The Secretary of Transportation may adopt and enforce such rules and regulations concerning off-highway vehicles and designate such agencies as may be necessary to carry out this chapter, provided such rules and regulations are not contrary to this chapter.
§ 6835 Civil liability.
Any other statute notwithstanding, a violation of § 6823 or § 6824 of this title shall not be considered as evidence of either comparative or contributory negligence in any civil suit or insurance claim arising out of any ATV or OHV accident.