ATV Safety Instructor Operations Guide

Operating an Off-Highway Vehicle in Texas

A person may not operate an off-highway vehicle on public off-highway vehicle land or a beach unless the person meets at least one of the stipulations below:

  • The person holds a safety certificate, indicating that they have successfully completed ASI’s ATV RiderCourse. The course must include hands-on training.
  • The person is actively engaged in taking a safety training course under the direct supervision of a certified ATV safety instructor.
  • The person is under the direct supervision of an adult who holds a safety certificate.

Operation in Texas State Parks

No person shall operate an off-highway vehicle on land designated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for off-highway vehicle use unless an off-highway decal has been affixed to the off-highway vehicle in compliance with Texas Parks and Wildlife Code §29.003.


The approved curriculum for ATV instructors to teach is the most current version of ASI’s ATV RiderCourse that includes hands-on training.

Vehicle Requirements

All off-highway vehicles used for training in a safety training course shall be no greater than the recommended size for the person in accordance with the age/size recommendations of the manufacturer.

A person who operates an off-highway vehicle on a public highway pursuant to Texas Transportation Code §551A.057 or §551A.058 must have a warning flag mounted on the rear of the vehicle that meets the following standards:

  • the warning flag must be comprised of a fluorescent-orange-colored, triangular-shaped flag, a staff or pole, and a mounting apparatus
  • the flag must measure not less than 7.5 inches nor more than 10 inches across the base and not less than 16 inches nor more than 24 inches from the base to the point of the triangle and must be constructed of a coated fabric or other material sufficient to render it resistant to deterioration by the elements
  • the staff or pole must measure not less than 8 feet nor more than 9 feet from the mounting surface to the tip, must be not less than 1/4 inch nor more than 1/2 inch in diameter, and must be constructed of a material or in such a manner as to allow it to flex or bend as much as 45 degrees without breaking and return to a vertical position
  • the mounting apparatus must be sufficient to attach it securely at the base to the rear area of the vehicle and in an upright position

Training Course Locations

ASI will determine appropriate locations for safety training courses based on the quantity of training requests and the availability of training facilities and instructors.

Course Completion Certificates

An ATV instructor shall issue a safety certificate to a student immediately following the student’s successful completion of a safety training course.

Reporting to TDLR

ASI must provide the names of all persons who have successfully completed a training course to TDLR, no later than 45 days after the date of course completion.

Duplicate Certificates

ASI may issue duplicate certificates to students upon request.

Students Under 18 Years of Age

A child under the age of 18 years of age may not participate as a student in a safety training course unless the program sponsor (ASI) has obtained:

  • the signed, written consent of the child’s parent or guardian on a form that includes the appropriate age recommendations listed in the most current ASI Instructor Guide, and
  • written consent, signed by a parent or other person listed in Texas Family Code §32.001(a), for the individual to receive medical treatment for any injury that may occur during the course

Safety training courses attended by children under age 16 shall be modified according to the most current standards of ASI.