Operating Rules

Age Requirements

Children under the age of 14 are not permitted to operate ORVs unless supervised, accompanied by, and at all times, within clear view of a parent or a person who is at least 18 years old and authorized by the parent.

Helmet Use

All ORV operators and riders must wear properly fastened safety helmets unless the vehicle is equipped with rollover protection and the occupants are wearing securely fastened seat belts.

Safety helmets must conform to all the requirements of any one of the following standards:

  • Canadian Standards Association Standard D230, "Safety Helmets for Motorcycle Riders", bearing the monogram of the Canadian Standards Association Testing Laboratories
  • Snell Memorial Foundation "Standard for Protective Headgear" bearing the certificate of the Snell Memorial Foundation
  • United States of America "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218" bearing the Symbol DOT
  • American National Standard "Specifications for Protective Headgear for Vehicular User" Z90.1 bearing the American National Standard Institute Label
  • British Standards Institution "Protective Helmets for Vehicle Users" respecting motorcycle helmets

Farmers, commercial fishermen, hunters and trappers are exempt from mandatory helmet requirements when engaged in their occupations. Manitoba Hydro staff north of the 53rd parallel are exempt from helmet regulations between May 1 and October 31 only while servicing tower lines.

Designated Snoman Inc. trails

If you wish to travel on designated trails maintained by Snoman Inc., you must by law have a Snopass licence plate*. Snopass licence plates come free with the purchase of a Snopass. You must have one for each m achine that you own and operate on the4 designated trails. Manitoba Conservation and the RCMP patrol the trails regularly. The fine for riding on designated trails without a valid Snopass is over $400. Snopasses can be purchased year-round anywhere Autopac is sold. A number of payment options are available. Find out more about Snopasses here.

* Seven day and non-Manitoba resident Snopass permits are also available for purchase.

Roadways and Shoulders

Operating an ORV along a roadway is strictly prohibited. Crossing a roadway is permitted within five metres of an intersection if you hold a valid driver's licence, other than a beginner's permit. Only one ORV is allowed to cross a roadway, where permissible, at a time (two or more cannot cross together). The ORV must come to a complete stop and yield right-of-way to pedestrians and approaching traffic.

If intersections are more than three kilometres apart, you may cross at any other point along the highway where you have a clear view of oncoming traffic.

Only ORVs with more than two wheels and being used for agricultural purposes, are allowed to operate along the shoulder of a roadway. They must display slow-moving vehicle signs on the rear and must not be driven more than 40 km/h. To operate these vehicles on the shoulder, you must hold a valid driver's licence, other than a beginner's permit, and must travel to the right of the roadway in the same direction as vehicle traffic.


Operating an ORV on or across the median of a divided highway is prohibited.


Operating an ORV in ditches is allowed as long as you travel to the right of the roadway and shoulder in the same direction as vehicle traffic on that side of the roadway. However, four-wheel drive motor vehicles which can also be registered under The Highway Traffic Act and The Drivers and Vehicles Act are not permitted to operate in ditches.

Parking Lots

An ORV can only be operated in a parking lot if it is used to gain access to or from an ORV use area; or to the vehicle which was used to transport the ORV to the ORV use area.


An ORV cannot tow a trailer, sleigh, cutter, toboggan or other apparatus across a roadway if the towed vehicle is carrying a person. The exception to the law is if the person on the towed vehicle is non-ambulatory or the towed vehicle is disabled and needs a person to steer it.

Private Land

You can't operate an ORV:

  • On privately owned land without permission of the owner/occupier
  • Within 30 meters of a dwelling between midnight and seven o'clock in the morning unless the dwelling is on the operator's own property, or the operator is an invited guest, or the dwelling is under the operator's control
  • Within 30 meters of a playground or area set aside for recreational use, unless the area is fenced or the ORV is being used for maintenance or operation of the area