Florida's four-wheeler laws for underage operators aren't especially onerous, and fall in line with the standard in most other states. While some states require that an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) be licensed in the same manner as would a car, Florida only requires a certificate of title be obtained from the state. All four wheelers need this certificate. Specific laws govern where children can ride on four wheelers and the use of safety equipment.
Florida does not set a minimum legal age for the operation of four wheelers. The manufacturer lists certain minimum age thresholds as appropriate to handle the vehicle. A parent who allows a 6 year old to operate a full size ATV could be charged with endangering a child since the kid is likely too small to control the vehicle.
Four wheelers cannot be operated on paved roads in the state of Florida. No matter the operator's age, such vehicles can be driven only on trails, dirt roads and other designated areas on public lands throughout the state. The rule actually allows you to reach out of the way places not accessible by most cars.
Children under the age of 16 who operate a four wheeler are required to wear eye protection and a helmet, both of which must meet the standards of the state's department of transportation. This law recognizes that younger persons are at higher risk of rolling or falling off the vehicle or riding into an obstacle such as a low hanging tree branch.
Taking an ATV training course for children before they operate a four wheeler would be a good idea, though it is not required by the state. Some manufacturers offer free training with the purchase of a vehicle. Otherwise, riders 16 and older will likely pay about $150 for the course, while younger ones will cost about $55, according to MerchantCircle.com.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images