The push will come Thursday.
The penalties could follow.
The Department of Motor Vehicles will stage a statewide crackdown Thursday on businesses that sell off-highway vehicles without an agency-issued license. OHVs are described by the DMV as an all-terrain vehicle, all-terrain motorcycle, dune buggy, snowmobile or "any motor vehicle used on public lands for the purpose of recreation."
The DMV Compliance Enforcement Division not only will contact registered dealers who have been slow to comply, they will approach - in person - big-box stores, auto parts outlets, garages and other retailers who have been selling the vehicles unaware that a DMV license was required.
A registered dealer is one with a state business license. Thirteen of the state's 37 registered dealers are in Southern Nevada.
"It's a safety concern for the public. We want to make sure the public is doing business with a legitimate dealer, and a legitimate dealer has to have a license issued by the DMV," compliance enforcement administrator Donnie Perry said, explaining that selling an OHV is akin to an auto dealership selling a car.
Perry could not say how many - or which - businesses will be approached, but his entire compliance enforcement staff of 16 will be in the field Thursday.
DMV staff will order offenders to "cease and desist" all sales until they are licensed by the agency; hence, the push. Fines and criminal penalties could follow for those who fail to comply and continue to sell; hence, the penalties.
"This is the first year for some new rules and regulations regarding OHVs, so the focus on Thursday is education over enforcement," Perry said. "We want to get them to come into voluntary compliance."
Still, penalties could be handed down Thursday to businesses that earlier were told to stop sales until they were issued a DMV license but continued to sell OHVs, Perry said.
A licensed dealer must be bonded, have a fixed place of business and follow strict standards on advertising and financing, according to DMV regulations. The OHV licensing fee is $125.
Yamaha of Las Vegas, 7001 W. Arby Ave., was one of the state's first OHV dealers to become compliant. Sales manager Matt Holt said while there was "some extra paperwork to fight through," the additional licensing further solidifies a credibility bond with the public.
"When a customer buys a vehicle from a licensed dealer, he knows he's getting a full, personalized commitment from the company. It's not like he's buying something out of a garage or the back of someone's business, that might be fly-by-night - there one day but maybe not the next," Holt said.
"He knows that if there's a problem with the machine, we'll be there for him, the Yamaha name will be there for him. It's a good law to ensure the public's protection."
The licensing of dealers, and the processing of titles for OHVs, is tied to a new law requiring the registration of such vehicles by their owners. The law, passed by the Legislature in 2009, required that beginning in July of this year dealers must be licensed and owners must begin registering their OHVs.
Owners were given a full year, to July 1, 2013, to become compliant.
The cost to register an OHV is $20 and can be done through the DMV's OHV website (nvohv.com). The newly registered owner will receive a decal for their vehicle.
There are an estimated 300,000 OHVs in Nevada, which will generate approximately $6 million in registration revenue once everyone complies.
The DMV will keep a portion of the registration fees to maintain the OHV program, while the balance will go into a fund for yet-to-be determined projects related to OHV usage.
Nevada is the last Western state to require OHVs to be registered. While off-roaders have groused on the Internet about the need to register their vehicles, Perry stressed the benefits of doing so - among them, having a paper trail should an OHV be stolen.
"It's protection of their property. ... We've had some theft of these vehicles in the past, and now with titles and registrations we have a tracking mechanism," he said.
Other benefits, Perry said, is that the decals will make it easier to identify people using their OHVs illegally or tearing up the land, and vehicles registered in Nevada will be validated for use in other Western states.
Contact reporter Joe Hawk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2912. Follow him on Twitter: @RJroadwarrior.