New ROV Rules & Regulations

It is incredibly exciting that the Town of Red River provides us all the opportunity for our families to enjoy the freedom of using Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles(ROVs) inside the town limits. As of recent, some of the rules and regulations have been updated!

Understandably, some of the town’s rules are more restrictive than what would be allowed on a trail – and these rules are strictly enforced. To avoid the fines, and make sure you’re able to enjoy your time to the fullest, browse the new rules and regulations below.

Key Changes in ROV Rules

If you’re already familiar with the rules and regulations, here’s a quick recap on the changes:

  • The hours are now 8 AM – 8 PM. This is changing from 7 PM – giving you an extra hour!
  • You are now allowed to park on town property except Main Street. You’ll be able to park on side streets to shop or go to restaurants etc.
  • The statement of operation for the sole purpose of accessing trailheads has been removed.

Definition of an ROV

For this ordinance, a Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV) shall be defined as: a motor vehicle designed for travel on four or more non-highway tires, for recreational use by one or more persons and having:
(a) a steering wheel
(b) non-straddle seating
(c) maximum speed capability greater than 35 miles per hour
(d) gross vehicle weight rating no greater than 1750 pounds
(e) less than eighty inches in overall width, exclusive of accessories
(f) engine displacement of less than 1000cc
(g) identified by means of a 17-character vehicle identification number

***ATVs are strictly forbidden from being operated inside town limits.***

Registration Requirements

All ROVs must be registered under NM 66-3-1003. Registration can be obtained at the MVD office at the town hall if you are a resident of NM. All out of state vehicles can be registered online through NM Game & Fish. There is a kiosk for registration available at the Visitor Center inside the Red River Conference Center on River Street across from Brandenburg Park.

Additional Rules

In addition to registration, the following rules shall apply:
(a) Operation of ROVs inside town limits shall be allowed between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM.
(b) No operation of ROVs on NM 38 (Main Street) shall be allowed between Caribel Trail on the west side of town and Jayhawk Trail on the east side of town. This includes stopping, standing or parking. It shall be allowable to cross NM 38 (Main Street) at intersections with other town streets so long as the crossing is done safely and directly across at the shortest possible distance.
(c) ROVs shall be allowed to park on town property except for on NM 38 (Main Street).
(d) No operating of ROVs at a speed greater than the posted speed limit shall be allowed on any streets inside the town.
(e) Drivers must follow all laws and ordinances pertaining to the operation of motor vehicles as described under NM statute 66-7 (Traffic Laws; Signs, Signals, and Markings; Accidents; Traffic Safety).

(f) All drivers must be at least 16 years of age and have a valid driver’s license. A learner’s permit of any
type shall not be valid for the purpose of this ordinance. A motorcycle license shall not be valid for the
purpose of this ordinance. In addition, drivers under 18 must, in accordance with state law;
1. Never carry a passenger, regardless of design
2. Obtain and carry a certificate showing completion of an OHV operation safety course
(g) The vehicle must be insured under the provisions of the Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act (NM 66-5-2-5) and the operator must be able to show proof of the insurance or have proof of financial responsibility. The proof of insurance or proof of financial responsibility must have the vehicle identification number of the vehicle being operated clearly shown on the said proof. A homeowner’s policy will not suffice under this ordinance.
(h) All ROVs must be operated in single file and are never to be operated side by side with another ROV.
(i) All drivers and occupants under the age of 18 must wear eye protection and safety helmets as defined by NMSA 66-3-1010.3 (B) (1).
(J) Pursuant to NMSA 66-3-1011(c) ROVs must have the following equipment:
1. One or more headlamps that comply with OHMVA (NM 66-3-1001)
2. One or more tail lamps that comply with OHMVA (NM 66-3-1001)
3. Brakes
4. At least one mirror
5. Muffler which keeps the maximum noise to a limit no greater than 96db
(K) All drivers and occupants shall be properly secured by safety restraints.
(L) No approaching of wildlife while on ROVs is allowed.
(M) No driver or passenger may be seated anywhere that is not a designed seat.
(N) ROVs shall be operated in the proper traffic lane and shall be as far to the right of
any lane as safely possible.
(O) In addition to the listed rules and restrictions, no person shall operate an ROV in a careless, reckless, or negligent manner to endanger the person or property of another.

A Certified Peace Officer may stop an ROV at any time for a random inspection of required items and ordinance compliance without the necessity of a violation being seen.


Have fun!

It is an incredible opportunity to be able to use ROVs all over Red River! While the regulations are put there for your safety and the safety of others, we are so proud to be a town that allows this freedom for our adventurous souls! Let us help you book your ROV’s home-base while visiting! We have over 100 unique rentals to choose from! Check them out!

2 Responses

  1. When I was in Red River in July, there were ROVs parked on main street and driving up and down main street. Has the rule changed or just not enforced?

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