Other Vehicles

​Last ​Updated: June 14, 2023​


Effective March 5, 2020, Governor Evers signed 2019 Wisconsin Act 183  into law. Act 183 expands the models eligible for registration. See below for more information on what meets the definition of an ATV and UTV.

An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is defined by Wisconsin law ss 340.01(2g)  as a commercially designed and manufactured motor-driven device that weighs 900 pounds or less, was manufactured with a width of 50 inches or less, has a seat that the user straddles and has three or more tires. This includes small or child-sized ATVs. The Department of Natural Resources provides complete information about what can be registered as an ATV.

ATVs that do not fit this definition can be registered as UTVs.

Wisconsin law ss 23.33(1)(ng)  ​ defines a utility-terrain vehicle (UTV) as a commercially designed and manufactured motor-driven device that is designed to be used primarily off highway, and originally manufactured with: weight 2,000 pounds or less, four or more tires, steering wheel, tail light, brake light, two headlights, width of not more than 65 inches, seat belts, and roll bar or similar device. The DNR provides more information about what can be registered as a UTV.

ATVs and UTVs operating in Wisconsin and that meet the statutory definitions need to be registered with the Wisconsin DNR

Keep in mind that title and registration are required for trailers over 3,000 pounds. A title and registration are not required for trailers operated at or less than 3,000 pounds (unless used for hire or rental). Title and registration are encouraged for trailers that will be used on roads outside of Wisconsin, as other states may have different registration laws.


Wisconsin does not have a law that requires residents to carry liability insurance for their ATVs or UTVs (although some states do). While not required by law, insurance coverage can protect you from financial loss in the event of a collision, ATV theft, or accident-related lawsuit.

Many people think that their homeowners insurance will provide coverage for ATVs and UTVs. However, any coverage homeowners policies offer is very limited and may depend where the ATV or UTV is used and what it is used for.

OCI recommends that you talk to your insurance agent or company to find the coverage (liability and comprehensive) that provides financial protection from the costs of medical fees, repairs, and litigation. 

Wisconsin has over 15,074 lakes which make up over 1 million acres of the state.  It is no surprise that boating and water recreation are very popular activities in Wisconsin.

Boats must be registered with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and registration stickers must be properly displayed. You must have a Wisconsin Certificate of Number (registration) and expiration decals to legally operate a boat. Exceptions to the registration requirement:

  • Sailboats less than 12 feet in length and not equipped with a motor, and sailboards

  • Manually propelled vessels that are not equipped with a motor or sail

  • Vessels registered in another state and using Wisconsin waters for less than 60 consecutive days


Keep in mind that title and registration are required for trailers over 3,000 pounds. A title and registration are not required for trailers operated at or less than 3,000 pounds (unless used for hire or rental). Title and registration are encouraged for trailers that will be used on roads outside of Wisconsin, as other states may have different registration laws.


In 2021, there were 119 “reported boating incidents"— defined as any incident resulting in loss of life, injuries that require medical treatment beyond first aid, boat or property damage over​ $2,000, or complete loss of a boat — resulting in 25 fatalities and 61 injuries.

Stay safe on the water: always have at least one US Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person on board, leave alcohol on shore, and take a DNR safety education course . Remember, life jackets work best when you wear them.


Wisconsin does not require boat owners to carry insurance coverage by law, except for commercial fishing boats. However, that does not mean it is not an important consideration. Collision with another vessel, a swimmer, or skier can lead to injury and property damage claims. Boating insurance can protect you from financial loss and legal fees, up to the limits of your policy.

Liability coverage will provide you with coverage for accidents resulting in property damage or injuries to others. Comprehensive coverage provides compensation if your boat is vandalized, stolen, or damaged in an incident other than a collision. If you take out a loan to buy a boat, the lender may require that you carry comprehensive boat insurance.

Don't count on coverage under your homeowners policy; contact your insurance agent or company regarding a separate policy covering your boat.

Most standard homeowners policies provide little coverage for golf carts and possibly no coverage once you leave your property. A standard car insurance policy typically does not cover golf cart accident either.

Even though you're not legally required to buy golf cart insurance (depends on the state), it may make sense for you to do so. Golf carts can get stolen or damaged, and they can cause serious damage or injuries in an accident.

Talk to your insurance agent or company regarding which type of policy and coverage options are right for you. 

In 2020, there were 2,104 motorcycle crashes in Wisconsin, resulting in the injury of 1,796 and the death of 112 motorcyclists. High-quality rider education and training can help make motorcycle riding safer. Rider courses are recommended for anyone who wants to ride a motorcycle or improve their motorcycle handling skills.

Anyone who drives a motorcycle must have a Class M motorcycle license or motorcycle instruction permit. You can operate a moped with a Class D regular or probationary license, but it is not legal to operate a moped with only a valid instruction permit.


Every person operating a motorcycle in Wisconsin must have liability insurance at a minimum. Make sure you have your proof of insurance with you; law enforcement may ask for proof of insurance at any traffic stop or accident. Wisconsin driving laws require you to have insurance and carry proof of coverage with you ​ failure to do either may result in citations or fines. 

Minimum liability coverage amounts in Wisconsin are $10,000 for property damage, $25,000 for the injury or death of a person, and $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person. However, the minimum may not be enough to protect your personal assets from the cost of a bodily injury or property damage claim against you. Like auto insurance, you can add additional coverage, including comprehensive and uninsured motorist coverage, to your motorcycle policy.

Talk to your insurance agent or company to determine the policy and coverage that is right for you. 

Personal watercraft, or PWCs (known by brand names like Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, or WaveRunner) are smaller and more agile than other motorized boats and may appeal to a younger, less experienced boater. In addition, newer models are much faster than the original versions. This can lead to property damage and injuries.

Personal watercraft owners face certain personal and financial risks on the water. PWCs are not generally covered by homeowners insurance. You can purchase personal watercraft insurance as a stand-alone policy or as an endorsement to your homeowners insurance policy.

A personal watercraft policy covers you or someone you allow to operate your PWC for incidents that result in bodily injury to another person, bodily injury to you that is caused by an uninsured watercraft operator, legal costs if you are sued due to an accident, or property damage to another boat or dock.

You can protect your finances from the cost of damage, liabilities, or even injuries, with a policy that covers PWC. Talk to your insurance agent or company to find the right policy and coverage for you. 

“Recreational vehicle" or RV, as defined in Wisconsin state statutes, is a vehicle that is designed to be towed upon a highway by a motor vehicle, that is equipped and used, or intended to be used, primarily for temporary or recreational human habitation, that has walls of rigid construction, and that does not exceed 45 feet in length.

“Fifth-wheel recreational vehicle" means a recreational vehicle that is towed by a vehicle with a flatbed frame so the trailer hitch of the recreational vehicle is bolted to the flatbed frame of the towing vehicle.

“Camping trailer" means a vehicle with a collapsible or folding structure designed for human habitation and towed upon a highway by a motor vehicle.

You can register your Recreational Vehicle Trailers (campers and mobile homes under 40 feet) online with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. A title and registration is not required for collapsible camping trailers at or less than 3,000 pounds unless they are used for hire or rental. Title and registration are encouraged for vehicles that will be used on roads outside the state of Wisconsin, as registration laws in other states may be different.​

If you own a motorized RV or motorhome, and not a trailer-type, like an automobile, you will need state mandated liability coverage at the very minimum. This will be included in an RV policy, to cover injury and property damage claims against you if you are in an accident.

Each type of RV/camper/trailer is characterized differently and meets a different need. Talk to your insurance agent or company to find the right fit for you. 

Insurance for your snowmobile is not compulsory in Wisconsin, but registration is required. You can register your snowmobile with the Department of N​atural Resources . All snowmobilers who are at least 12 years old must take a Wisconsin-approved snowmobile safety course. You can find more information about snowmobiling in Wisconsin on the DNR w​ebsite .

Although not mandatory, purchasing snowmobile insurance is a good idea. Snowmobile insurance helps to protect you from expenses associated with injury and property damage. These can include payments for another person's medical costs and property damage as well as your legal fees and the costs of a lawsuit.

If you are buying a new sled and are getting it financed, the lender will typically require you to buy insurance.

Like other types of insurance, snowmobile insurance policies consist of collision, comprehensive, and liability.

  • Collision coverage - Whether you slide into a fence or other structure, or collide with another snowmobile, repairing your snowmobile can be expensive. Collision coverage may help pay for the cost of those repairs so you can get back out on the trails.

  • Comprehensive coverage may help pay for repairs or replacement if your sled is stolen or damaged by something other than a collision. Covered risks may include hail or vandalism.

  • Liability coverage may help protect you financially if you are involved in an accident. Some states require liability coverage. The two types of liability coverage for snowmobiles:

    • Bodily injury liability coverage - If you injure someone else in an accident, you may be found legally responsible for their medical expenses. Bodily injury liability coverage may help cover the costs of their resulting medical bills.

    • Property damage liability coverage – should you accidentally damage someone else's property, such as a fence or home, while riding your snowmobile, property damage liability coverage may help pay for the cost of repairs. If you're found responsible for an accident with another snowmobile, this coverage may also help cover the cost of repairs to the other rider's sled.

​The National Association of Insurance Commissioners notes that your snowmobile will typically not be covered by your homeowners, renters, or auto insurance policies.

Talk to your insurance agent to get the right coverage for you.