Can A Dirt Bike Be Made Street Legal?


can a dirt bike be made street legal

Probably you want to make your dirt bike street legal, right? Now, your tension is over. I’m here to help you by providing the best guidelines for doing that properly from my experience. 

Almost in every state, a rider can make his/her dirt bike street legal by updating and installing few pieces of mechanical and non-mechanical equipment. Though the requirements of making a dirt bike street legal vary from state to state, it can still be made across the country.

Although some dirt bikes come in the market with the permission of street legal, they’re very few in number. Most dirt bikes haven’t come on the market with street-legal permission. You need to make them street legal in proper ways to ride in the on-roads.  

In this article, I will discuss briefly how you make your current dirt bike street legal. I will also discuss other topic-related points too in this article. So, please consider reading this article thoroughly to get the answer to all of your questions. 

Why Are Dirt Bikes Not Street Legal? 

Dirt bikes are manufactured for off-road riding. You can legally ride them in your private properties, backyards, state trails, or other off-road. But they are not allowed to ride in the on-roads unless you make them street legal.

There are many reasons behind dirt bikes not being street-legal. The tires, headlights, horns, tail and brake lights, turn signals, mirrors, and other pieces of dirt bikes’ equipment are not capable enough to ride it on busy public roads, streets, or highways. The safety system of a dirt bike is also not up to the marks for on-road riding.

But by updating and installing a few pieces of dirt bike equipment according to the Department Of Transportation (DOT) requirements, you can make it street legal. You also can also purchase different brands of dirt bikes that are manufactured by following DOT’s requirements and you can directly ride them legally on the roads.

Why Should You Make Your Dirt Bike Street Legal?

Dirt bikes are made for off-road riding. You can’t ride them on-roads without making them street legal. You will be benefited in many ways if you make your dirt bike street legal. 

First of all, it saves a lot of money. Around $100 is sufficient for making a dirt bike street legal. By making your dirt bike street legal, you will get permission to ride it on public roads, streets, and highways and So, by doing that, you can ride it legally in both on-roads and off-roads. That indeed saves your money from buying an on-road motorcycle or street-legal bike.

To make your dirt bike street legal, you need to update and install some equipment such as tires, headlights, mirrors, etc. It brings the personal customization opportunity to a rider. When you install or update your dirt bike equipment, then you can use your favorite brand’s equipment. It also allows you to set every piece of equipment according to your comfort. 

Your dirt bikes become a symbol of your personal brand whenever you do that. These are the significant benefits that you will get whenever you make your dirt bike street legal. 

What Are The Requirements To Make Your Dirt Bike Street Legal?

To make your dirt bike street legal, you require mandatoryily update or install Department Of Transportation (DOT’s) approved few pieces. These are 1. Mechanical equipment; 2. Non-mechanical equipment. 

Under the mechanical equipment, you are bound to install or update the following DOT approved below things to make your dirt bike street legal:

  • Tires.
  • Horns.
  • Headlights.
  • Side-View Mirrors.
  • Turn signals.
  • Tail And Brake Lights.
  • Fuel Tanks.

As non-mechanical equipment, you require below these things to make your dirt bike street legal:

  • Registration.
  • License Plate Holder.
  • Inspection Certificate.
  • Off-Highway Vehicle Decal.

How To Make Your Dirt Bike Street Legal? 

By installing or updating both mechanical and non-mechanical equipment, you can make your dirt by street legal. Here I discuss everything briefly:

Install Or Updating Mechanical Equipment:

  • Tires:

To make your dirt bike street legal in every state, you are required need to install DOT’s approved tires. Dirt bike tires are manufactured for off-road riding, so they are not safe enough for on-road riding. But when you want to ride them on the roads legally then, you should make them eligible by installing DOT’s approved tires.

  • Horns:

You also require good quality horns to make your dirt bike street legal. Generally, in the market, you will find manual and electric model horns. You can install any of them on your dirt bikes. But in a few states, you mandatorily must require electric horns to make your dirt bike street legal.

  • Headlights:

You should install functional headlights, and that should be approved by the DOT’s to make your dirt bike street legal. Functioning headlights have the features of switching between low and high beams. This feature helps the rider by improving his/ her visibility while riding on a dark road, streets, or highways. You should follow your state requirements for installing headlights in your dirt bike.

  • Side-View Mirrors:

Some dirt bike riders have known know side-view mirrors as rear-view mirrors. There are two types of side-view mirrors. One is double side-view mirrors, and the other type is single side-view mirrors. You should install double side-view mirrors to make your dirt bike street legal in every state. Because they provide far better views than the single side-view mirrors.

  • Turn Signals:

The requirements of installing turn signals aren’t mandatory in every state. But from my experience, I recommend installing DOT’s approved turn signals because it helps you smoothly take the side turns by notifying other riders properly on a busy public highway.

  • Tail and Brake Lights:

Tail and brake lights are one of your dirt bike equipment that you need to update or install to make it street legal. You need approval from DOT on tail and brake lights. They only give permission for those tail and brake lights that batteries can energize for a minimum of 20 minutes. You also can use led lights instead of it.

  • Fuel Tank:

You can require a DOT’s approved fuel tank to make your dirt bike street legal in many states. According to the DOT’s requirement, your fuel tank should be made of steel. Otherwise, it doesn’t get approval for on-road riding.

Install Or Updating Non-Mechanical Equipment:

  • Registration:

To make your dirt bike street legal in your state, you should register it. If you are caught by the police on the road without a registration paper, they will punish you. You can go to the local DMV office to register your dirt bikes.

  • License Plate Holder:

To display your registration and license number legally, you should install such a license plate holder that appropriately shows the number. It is wise to mount the dirt bike’s license plate to avoid law issues.

  • Inspection Certificate:

You must achieve the inception inspection certificate to make your dirt bike street legal. By spending a few pennies, you can earn it from nearby motorcycle shops. The cost of the inception inspection certificate depends on where you will go.

  • Off-Highway Vehicle Decal:

You mandatory must need an off-highway vehicle decal to make your dirt bike street legal. It is the most essential non-mechanical equipment that you require. The local DMV office provides you with the OHV decal. The cost of OHV decals varies from state to state.

How Much Does It Cost To Make A Dirt Bike Street Legal?

You already know that to make your dirt bike street legal, you need to spend some amounts of money. There is no fixed amount for doing that. Someone can make a dirt bike street legal by spending more than $500 while others can do it under $400. But being a canny person, I will help you by providing the complete guidelines on making a dirt bike street legal for under $200. 

One thing I want to mention here is that the charge of non-mechanical equipment or documents varies from state to state, and it is a fixed cost. At the same time, they are also not optional. 

Here I uphold  an approximate budget for both mechanical and non-mechanical equipment that need to be updated or installed you require updates or installed to make your dirt bike street legal:

Approximate Budget For Mechanical Equipment To Make Your Dirt Bike Street Legal:

Mechanical EquipmentApproximate Budget
Tires$40
Horns$5
Headlights$10
Side-View Mirrors$5
Turn signals$10
Tail And Brake Lights$30

Approximate Budget For Non-Mechanical Equipment To Make Your Dirt Bike Street Legal:

Non-Mechanical EquipmentApproximate Budget
Registration$40
License Plate Holder$10
Inspection Certificate$5
Off-Highway Vehicle Decal$40

By following my approximate budget, you can make your dirt bike street legal spending only $195, though the cost of both mechanical and non-mechanical equipment varies from brand to brand and state to state. The state requirements also vary. Please check the DOT requirements and contact the local DMV office to know the accurate information of your state.

Last Few Words:

I hope my article is fruitful to clear every confusion about making your dirt bike street legal. Let me know what’re you are thinking about additional permission requirements to ride a dirt bike on-the roads.? Feel free to ask me dirt bikes related to any questions in the comment box below. I will be happy to assist you.

Md. Saifur Rahman

Hey guys, This is Md Saifur, mdsaifurrahman.com I have been riding dirt bikes, motorcycles, ATVs since childhood. Recently, I have built this blog so that I can share my riding experience with you. So be with me.

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