Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 16 of 38

Chapter 15: Off-Highway Vehicles

15.080 Nonresident OHV Vehicles (VC §38040)

Nonresidents who retain nonresident status may operate a vehicle off-highway in California whether or not the vehicle is registered in the owner’s home state. Nonresident status will be determined by the owner’s or operator’s possession of a valid nonresident driver’s license. The owner may wish to obtain a permit from the Department of Parks and Recreation, as referenced below. If the owner of a nonresident vehicle is a California resident, the vehicle must be registered. Refer to the Original OHV Registration Application section in this chapter for procedures.

Off-Highway Nonresident Special Operating Permit (VC §38087.5)—For a fee, the Department of Parks and Recreation may issue a special permit to a nonresident owner which allows the nonresident to operate an OHV that would otherwise be required to be registered.

Do not process off-highway vehicle (OHV) transactions for exempt agencies.


The procedures below must be followed:

If an application to register an OHV is received from an exempt agency:

  • Inform the representative that their agency is exempt from displaying indicia on their OHVs.
  • Return the application to the exempt agency.