RENO — Nevadans are facing a Monday deadline to register their off-highway vehicles under a new state law, but only a fraction of owners have done so.
As of mid-June, a total of 12,335 OHVs were registered with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, but that’s less than 1 percent of the estimated 260,000 in the state, said Paul Jackson, chairman of the Nevada Commission on Off-Highway Vehicles.
He told the Reno Gazette-Journal that he expects registrations to pick up considerably after the Monday deadline, and violators could be cited.
“We are expecting the floodgates to open,” he said.
The registration program, which was enacted by the 2009 Legislature, was designed to end Nevada’s status as the lone western state that did not register the vehicles. OHVs include all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles, dune buggies and snowmobiles.
Supporters say the program is aimed at halting irresponsible use of the vehicles while also protecting off-highway sports.
Since July 2012, newly purchased OHVs have been required to be registered and to display a decal. Titles also must be purchased for newer vehicles.
As of Monday, the registration requirement will extend to all vehicles with limited exceptions, but titles are optional for vehicles purchased prior to July 2012.
Jackson said that while violators could face fines of $100, most law enforcement agencies likely will focus at first on educating owners about the new requirements.
“I don’t think they have any intention of getting harsh right away,” he said. “But if you don’t have the decal, you could get a ticket.”
Jackson expects about 100,000 OHVs to be registered across Nevada by the end of the year and said that number could rise to more than 200,000 by the end of 2014.
Most of the proceeds from the $20 registration fee will be used to benefit the OHV community through trail construction and renovation, land purchases, signage and restroom installation, Jackson said.