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  Chandlers Law and ATV Safety
ATV Laws and Restrictions

What is an ATV?

All-terrain vehicles (ATV) are designed primarily for off-road travel on low-pressure tires, which have three or more wheels, and handle bars for steering. ATVs do not include lawn tractors, battery-powered children’s toys or a vehicle that is required to be licensed or titled for highway use.  


What is Chandler’s Law?

South Carolina’s ATV Safety Act became effective on July 1, 2011.  The legislation is referred to as “Chandler’s Law” and provides safety regulations and requirements for operating all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). This information is a summary of the safety regulations and requirements found in the SC Code of laws pertaining to ATVs. (Reference SC Code of Law Title 50, Chapter 26 for additional information on ATV safety laws.  Reference SC Code of Law §56-19-1010, 1020, and 1030 for information on titling ATV’s.)


ATVs must have the following equipment in good working (operating) condition:

• An effective muffler system

• USDA Forest Service approved spark arrester

• Brake system


Age Restriction Warning Label

It is against the law to remove the Age Restriction Warning Label affixed to the ATV by the manufacturer. 


Restrictions for Operating an ATV

It is against the law for anyone to operate an ATV:

• one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise unless it is operated with headlights turned on.

• While under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance

• In a reckless manner


Parents or legal guardians

It is against the law for parents or legal guardians to allow anyone less than:

• six years of age to operate an ATV.

• sixteen years of age to carry a passenger

• sixteen years of age to operate an ATV in violation of the Age Restriction Warning Label affixed by the manufacturer of the ATV.


Sixteen year olds and younger

It is against the law for anyone sixteen years of age or younger to operate an ATV unless accompanied by an adult. 


Fifteen year olds and younger

It is against the law for anyone fifteen years old or younger to:

• operate an ATV unless they successfully completed a “hands-on” ATV safety course approved by AVSI (All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute).

• operate or ride an ATV in SC unless they wear a safety helmet and eye protection. 


Links to ATV Resources

Specialty Vehicle Institute of America

All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute

ATV Info


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