New law eases fees for some ATV users

SPRINGFIELD – Owners of all-terrain vehicles will be protected when using them on private property under a new law signed by the governor.

In 2012, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law to help finance the Department of Natural Resources through a series of new and expanded fees. However, after hearing from a number of ATV owners who believe the fees for all-terrain vehicles are unfair, state Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, said he began working with DNR to find a solution that ensures the agency gets the funding it needs, while ATV owners get a better deal.

“Many ATV owners I’ve talked to love state parks and are willing to help support them,” Koehler said. “But they didn’t think the system set up in 2012 was fair. I agreed. This new law makes much more sense.”

The flawed 2012 law failed to differentiate between golf carts, vehicles used by people with disabilities and ATVs used in state and local parks and preserves. It also charged a flat fee for all ATVs, failing to differentiate between adult ATVs and vehicles used by children.

The new law, which started out as Senate Bill 2633, cuts the current $15 registration fee to $10 for vehicles with smaller than 75 cc engines (normally used by children). It also provides clear exemptions for golf carts, vehicles for people with disabilities, ATVs used by governments and ATVs used by farmers. It clarifies that ATVs used only on a family’s own property are also exempt, as are vehicles used only in ATV competitions.

The law takes effect immediately.

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