Registration of off-road vehicles (ATVs, snowmobiles)

Off-road vehicle is a vehicle powered by an engine, which is designed to be driven off-road and is not a power-driven vehicle for the purposes of the Traffic Act. Categories of off-road vehicles are brought out in the article of categories.

Off-road vehicles include both wheeled off-road vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles.

Off-road vehicles must be registered in Estonia.

The following documents must be submitted for registering an off-road vehicle:

  • application to register an off-road vehicle;
  • documents proving legal acquisition of the off-road vehicle;
  • personal identification document of the applicant;
  • authorisation document in case the applicant is a representative of the owner of the off-road vehicle.

A state fee should be paid for the registration.

The regulation and management of driving off-road vehicles is regulated by Chapter 8 of the Traffic Act. The Nature Conservation Act prohibits driving off-road vehicles in special management and limited management zones. Driving off-road vehicles in protected areas is permitted only with the consent of the manager of the protected area. The local authority has the right to establish additional requirements for driving off-road vehicles on the territory of their municipality or town.

A wheeled off-road vehicle may be driven by a person who holds a driving licence for driving a motor vehicle of any category, except AM category (because AM category only permits to drive a moped that is equipped with a spark ignition engine, the capacity of which does not exceed 50 cm3). Dipped-beam headlamp(s) and rear light(s) and at least one reflex reflector on the front, rear and on both sides, are compulsory. It is prohibited to drive off-road vehicles on roads (except for crossing roads). The driver of an off-road vehicle must wear a strapped motorcycle helmet and not carry a passenger who does not wear a strapped motorcycle helmet.

In case the off-road vehicle complies with the regulations set out for a power-driven vehicle (e.g. L7e category), it is possible to register it as a power-driven vehicle which will allow it, unlike off-road vehicles, to be driven on roads. The driver of a vehicle registered as an L7e category power-driven vehicle must hold the right to drive vehicles in category A2, A, B1 or B. In case the engine capacity does not exceed 125 cm3 and the power of the engine does not exceed 11 kilowatts, the vehicle may also be driven with the right to drive vehicles in category A1. The vehicle must have EC type approval, speedometer and lighting equipment of a road vehicle.

Periodic roadworthiness test of a new off-road vehicle will take place in three years at the latest, roadworthiness tests of used vehicles must be carried out every two years.