Mandatory equipment for off-road vehicles

An off-road vehicle (ORV) must be equipped to make sure you and other road users are safe. You must therefore make sure that your vehicle is fitted with the following equipment.

Mandatory equipment for all ORVs

All ORVs must be equipped with the following:

  • white headlight at the front (for the utility task vehicle [side-by-side], this requirement is replaced by two white headlights);
  • red rear position light;
  • red rear brake light Read the content of the note 1 ;
  • rearview mirror firmly attached to the left side of the vehicle Read the content of the note 2 ;
  • exhaust system (except in the case of an electric vehicle);
  • braking system;
  • speedometer.

Mandatory equipment for a utility task vehicle (UTV)

In addition to the mandatory equipment for all ORVs, a UTV (side-by-side) must be fitted with the following equipment:

  • two white headlights placed at the same height, on either side of the central vertical axis, and as far apart as possible;
  • a protective frame consisting of at least two roll bars connected by at least two crossbars;
  • doors or retention nets for each access to the vehicle’s passenger compartment;
  • a handgrip for each passenger;
  • a safety belt with three or more anchorage points for each vehicle occupant;
  • a head restraint for each vehicle occupant;
  • an engine with a maximum displacement of 1,000 cm3;
  • a rear-view mirror on the inside of the vehicle, attached to the centre of the upper front part of the protective frame (not applicable to a single-seat UTV).

In addition, every off-road tire on a UTV must bear one of the following markings on its sidewall:

  1. AT or A/T;

  2. NHS or not for highway service;

  3. Not for highway use.

The tire dimensions must be marked on the sidewall as follows: overall height, width and diameter of the rim on which it can be mounted.

Mandatory equipment for a sled or trailer

Any trailer or sled pulled by an ORV must be equipped with the following:

  • a red rear position lamp (applies to trailers or sleds built after January 1, 2015);
  • a red brake light at the rear (applies to trailers or sleds built after January 1, 1998);
  • two red reflectors located at the rear, as close as possible to the extremities of its width;
  • two red side reflectors, right and left, located at equal distances from the front and rear;
  • a rigid tiller that prevents overturning and sheering, pivots 90° to either side and allows pitching without compromising stability.

Efficient exhaust system mandatory

Your ORV must not generate excessive or unusual noise that may disturb other users of the premises. You may not modify a factory-installed exhaust system to make it louder, alter its operation or increase the risk of burns.

A police officer may stop a vehicle with a modified exhaust system. They can require the vehicle to be taken to a suitable location and detained at the owner’s expense until the situation has been corrected.

You are liable to a fine of $350 to $700 if you:

  • operate a vehicle that generates excessive or unusual noise;
  • have tolerated or allowed someone to drive your vehicle without a properly functioning exhaust system;
  • allowed or caused a non-conforming repair or modification to be made to your vehicle’s exhaust system;
  • sold or distributed a non-compliant exhaust system;
  • performed or caused to be performed work on a vehicle that eliminates or reduces the efficiency of the exhaust system, making it louder or increasing the risk of burns.

In the case of a company, the fine is between $2,000 and $20,000.

Exhaust systems on snowmobiles

It is forbidden to sell or install an exhaust system on a snowmobile whose muffler does not bear the SSCC/11 mark and the name of the original manufacturer. The Detailed Standards and Testing Specifications and Procedures, SSCC/11 supplement, published by the Snowmobile Safety and Certification Committee Inc. certifies that an exhaust system meets noise emission requirements.

Unless your snowmobile was manufactured before 2011, you could be fined between $350 and $500 if you:

  • operate a vehicle equipped with a straight or loud-sounding exhaust system; a shortened, perforated or drilled muffler; a bypass or similar device;
  • operate a snowmobile with an exhaust system that does not comply with SSCC/11;
  • sell a new snowmobile or demonstrator with an exhaust system that does not comply with the SSCC/11 standard;
  • install or have installed a muffler on a snowmobile that does not comply with the SSCC/11 mark.

In the case of a company, the fine is $2,000 to $15,000.

Booster seat

It is allowed to add a booster seat to carry a passenger on a snowmobile or quad bike (ATV or four-wheeler) originally designed for one person.

However, certain conditions must be met:

  • the seat must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations;
  • the rider must be at least 18 years of age to carry a passenger on a motorcycle modified by the addition of a booster seat;
  • the load limit specified by the vehicle manufacturer must be respected.

Registration and driving licence

ORVs or maintenance vehicles must be registered This hyperlink will open in a new window. to circulate on public roads, trails, public land or even the private land of a specific individual.

In addition, all ORV and maintenance vehicle owners must pay a contribution of $21 for all-terrain vehicles and $40 for snowmobiles. This contribution allows us to establish or maintain financial assistance programs aimed, among other things, at assisting ORV user clubs, developing and maintaining infrastructure for these vehicles, and protecting wildlife and wildlife habitats.

Last update: November 8, 2023


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