Chandler's ATV Law Questions and Answers

The answers to the questions below are for informational purposes only. These answers are not professional advice nor does transmission of this website information create an attorney-client relationship. Viewers should consult their own attorneys before taking or failing to take action based on content provided here.

When is Chandlerís Law effective?

July 1, 2011.

How old do I have to be to drive an ATV?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that youth be at least 16 years of age.  By law in South Carolina, a child must be 6 years old to ride an ATV.  

What size ATV can I drive?

You can only drive an ATV that is labeled for your age group. There are age restriction warning labels on ATVs that tell you what age group that ATV is designed for.

The age restriction warning labels look like this: Always follow the manufacturerís minimum age recommendation warning label on the ATV:

Can I have a passenger or a friend ride on the ATV with me?

Chandlerís Law does not allow you to have passengers if you are under age 16 and do not have a driverís license.

Do I have to take the training class if I have already been riding ATVs?

Yes. If you are 15 years old or younger and you will be riding the ATV on public land or on private property without your parent or legal guardianís direct visual supervision. You do not need to take the class if you only ride the ATV for hunting, trapping, wildlife habitat management, farming, ranching, or with your parent directly watching you.

What safety equipment do I have to wear?

If you are 15 years old or younger, you must wear an approved helmet and safety goggles. You can get these items from an ATV dealer.

When do I have to wear the safety equipment?

Chandlerís Law states that you have to wear the safety equipment all of the time except when:

  • your parent or legal guardian is visually supervising you on private property; and
  • you are operating the ATV for hunting, trapping, farming, ranching, or wildlife habitat management.

You should wear the safety equipment all of the time. Its purpose is to help keep you safe, but it only works if you actually put it on.

I want to ride at my friendís house aand his parents will supervise us. Do I have to wear the safety equipment and meet the other requirements of Chandlerís Law?

Yes. Your friendís parent is not your legal guardian so you will need to wear the safety equipment, be riding the right size ATV, and have completed a hands-on safety training course. If your parent or legal guardian comes along and visually supervises you, then you donít need to meet the requirements.

How do I prove I have taken the hands-on training course?

Your ATV Safety instructor will give you a certificate and a small card to carry with you after youíve finished the course.

When do I have to have an adult with me?

If you are 16 years old or younger, Chandlerís Law requires that you have an adult with you when operating an ATV on public land. ATVs can be dangerous so it is always a good idea to have an adult there to watch out for you.

What other rules do I have to follow on public land?

  • You have to follow any local rules about ATVs.
  • You have to turn on the ATV headlights between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise.
  • You canít cross any water unless it is a designated crossing on a trail, bridge or designated ford.
  • Your ATV must have a muffler, approved spark arrester (to prevent forest fires), and brakes in good working condition.
  • You canít operate an ATV in a reckless (wild) manner or under the influence.
  • You can operate an ATV on a beach if local rules allow for it.

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