Frequently asked questions

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Do I need a driver’s licence to ride my quad bike or off-road buggy?

No. Recreational quad bikes and buggies cannot be used on public roads, and a driver’s licence is not required when on private property.

Note: ATVs with work-related conditional registration may require certain legal requirements be met, including that the operator hold a current NT “C” class or appropriate “R” class driver’s licence.

Do I need to register my quad bike or off-road buggy?

No. Recreational quad bikes and buggies cannot be registered for on-road use. Conditional registration can be applied for where it can be demonstrated that a specific work related task cannot be performed in a complying vehicle.

Where can I ride my quad bike or off-road buggy?

Recreational quad bikes and off-road buggies can only be ridden on privately owned property, including at specialised motorsport events and competitions.

Riders with an approved hunting permit are allowed to use their ATVs on gazetted roads within the Shoal Bay and Harrison Dam Hunting reserves. For more information on hunting permits and reserve restrictions, please contact the Permits and Concessions office at Parks and Wildlife on 08 8999 4814 or

It is illegal to use these vehicles on a public road or public place including a park, beach or footpath unless you have work-related conditional registration. Quad bikes and off-road buggies are not designed for the road and do not meet national safety standards for road vehicles. The Motor Accidents Compensation Scheme (MACC) only covers people injured in quad bike accidents in very limited circumstances.

Can children ride quad bikes?

ATVs are not “one size fits all.” Children under 16 years old should never ride adult sized quad bikes – they do not have the physical strength or size to handle adult sized quad bikes.

Some ATVs are specifically manufactured for young children. Youth model ATVs are designed for smaller hands and feet, and travel at slower speeds appropriate for their age. Always supervise when children are riding and make sure they wear a helmet that fits them correctly.

Do I have to wear a helmet when riding my quad bike or off-road buggy?

It’s a fact that helmets can save lives. In a quad bike crash, wearing a helmet could reduce your risk of a fatal head injury by as much as 40%. Better safe than sorry.

Legally a helmet is not required when riding these vehicles on private property. However, because quad bikes have a heightened risk of rollovers it is highly recommended you do wear a helmet; even if the vehicles are fitted with operator protection devices.

Remember, helmets should be fitted correctly, not too loose or too tight, and should comply with national standards AS/NZS 1698:2006 or UNECE22.05.

Note: ATVs used for work purposes must comply with certain legal requirements under the Work Health Safety Act. Additionally, ATVs with conditional registration may require minimum restrictions such as wearing an approved motorcycle helmet when riding. For more information on quad bikes in workplaces, visit NT WorkSafe.

Can I carry passengers on my quad bike or buggy?

Yes, but only if the vehicle is designed by the manufacturer to take a passenger.

On quad bikes, there has to be proper passenger provisions such as a seat and passenger foot pegs. The long seat on a sit-astride a quad bike may look like it has room for a passenger, but this must not be used to carry passengers: the extra space is to allow the single operator to manoeuvre themselves.

Buggies are designed with side-by-side seating and are better equipped to carry passengers than quad bikes. However, the number of passengers should not exceed the number of seats and seatbelts available.

Can I get ATV, quad bike and buggy training?

Training helps riders understand the risks associated with using quad bikes and buggies and their attached equipment, and can help with active riding techniques. General training can be provided by a retail supplier, manufacturer or industry training provider. Motorsport clubs can also be a source of learning new skills, but tend to be focussed more on competitive riding techniques.

The following NT providers currently deliver specialised training courses for work-related riding or driving:

A national unit of competency (AHCMOM217 Operate Quad Bikes) has been developed and around 230 RTO Australia wide deliver this training.

Where can I get further information about quad bike safety?

Further information about quad bike safety can be obtained from the following sources: