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How To Make Your Kawasaki UTV Street Legal

Feb 15, 2021

Most stock ATVs and Side by Sides do not meet Federal Safety Standards for on road use, and such is the case for the Kawasaki Mule and Teryx. Look closely at the fine print and you’ll notice labels from the manufacturer which state that the Mule and Teryx are for off-road use only. That being said, some states, counties, and municipalities have made vehicles like the Kawasaki Mule and Kawasaki Teryx “street legal”… but there’s a catch.

At the very least, you’ll need to retrofit your rig to comply with local laws, and this usually entails adding street legal kits and / or street legal accessories such as mirrors, turn signals, and horns. If you’re in a rural area, you might be totally fine riding gravel back roads with nothing more than an orange slow-moving-vehicle sign (SMV triangle). In other areas, though, making your side-by-side street legal will take a little more work and a lot more cunning. But no matter where you live and regardless of your preferred riding destinations, keep reading and find out how you can make your Kawasaki UTV street legal!

Kawasaki Mule And Teryx Street Legal Kits

Places like Montana and South Dakota are pretty straight-forward with their UTV street legal laws. In places like Indiana, however, each county — as well as each town within each county — can allow UTVs on public streets, allow UTVs on certain streets, or disallow street-legal UTVs altogether. Situations even arise in places like Randolph county where kids can drive golf carts on all streets in the county seat, yet UTVs are still outlawed on public roadways.

In some Michigan counties, you can ride a factory Kawasaki Mule everywhere except State roads and Interstate highways — so long as you have seatbelts and either a windshield or a helmet. In Tennessee, you can ride on any road that has a speed limit under 45mph, and you must also have a rear view mirror, blinkers, headlights, taillights, brake lights, and a windshield or helmet.

Instead of piecing together all the requisite street legal accessories, Kawasaki UTV owners across the nation often choose all-in-one street legal kits like the ones by Ryco, Tusk, Heretic Studio, and XTC Power Products. With turn signals, horns, mirrors, and illuminated license plate brackets, Kawasaki Mule / Teryx street legal kits such as these satisfy all the requirements of states like West Virginia and Utah.

Places like Mississippi and Texas allow you to ride UTVs on public roads if they’re registered as farm equipment. And in some states, a DOT-approved windshield with functional windshield wipers is required. Whether you need a sticker from the DNR for your Pro FXT Ranch edition, a medium-speed registration tag for your Diesel Mule, or an on-road ORV license plate for your Teryx KRX, you’ll pass any inspection and ride with the law on your side by installing the Kawasaki UTV street legal accessories you get from Everything Kawasaki Offroad!

UTV Street Legal Workarounds

Thanks to Article 4, Section 1 of the US Constitution, each state must “respect and honor the state laws and court orders of other states”, which includes rules of the road. Take Florida and Pennsylvania as examples. In Florida, they have relaxed tint laws, but in Pennsylvania, they will dang near hang you for having tinted windows. However, a vehicle driving through PA from FLA is exempt from PA’s rule on window tinting, as the vehicle is simply passing through. The same goes for emissions, where a coal-rolling Cummins from Wyoming is allowed to drive in Colorado, despite it not meeting the state’s emission control standards.

This clause of the Constitution also applies to side-by-sides like the Kawasaki Teryx and Mule. If you live in a state that prohibits on-road UTVs, you can simply license your rig in a state like South Dakota or Montana that permits street-legal side-by-sides. This, however, is easier said than done. To get Montana plates, many riders start up LLCs in the state, then sell their SxS to the very same LLC that they just created. They then insure the vehicle, make it road legal in Montana, and simply wait to receive official license plates in mail.

One caveat to this work-around is that you must own your vehicle outright, since you can’t sell it to your LLC if your machine is financed and still technically owned by the bank. The cost of such a work-around is also quite high, so if your state / county UTV laws aren’t super strict, there are easier ways to make your Kawasaki Teryx or Kawasaki Mule street legal.

Closing Thoughts

Whether you’re wanting to drive your UTV to the store and back, or looking to avoid having to buy a flatbed trailer, there are many reasons why riders choose to register their side-by-sides for on-road use. And with accessories like license plate mounts, plug-and-play turn signals, horn kits, and more, retrofitting your bike with the right Kawasaki UTV street legal accessories is the easy part!