Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Certification Requirements

This page last updated October 10, 2013.


This page provides a list of emission-related regulations, test procedures, Manufacturers Advisory Correspondences (MACs), and related documents applicable to off-highway recreational vehicles (OHRV) including off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicies (ATVs), off-road utility vehicles, off-road sport vehicles, sand cars, and electric golf carts, and is primarily for the interest and needs of manufacturers and others that are required to obtain certification from ARB. For more public-oriented materials, please visit ARB's Regulations for Off-Highway Motorcycles page.

Please sign up to the new Mobile Source Mailouts and MAC list server. By doing this, you will be notified when a new Mobile Source Mailout (e.g. proposing a new rule or amending an existing rule) or MAC (e.g. providing ARB's policy decisions and interpretations of the regulations and test procedures) has been posted to the Mobile Source Mailouts or MAC webpages. These email notices can replace any of the mobile source hard copy mailing lists you may already be on. If you subscribe to the ms-mailings list serve, you may wish to delete your subscription to the hard copy lists by notifying Alex Axt.

What's New:


EPA Verify Not Forwarding Motorcycle (ONMC) and Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle (OHRV) Data To ARB E-Cert.

California’s application for certification of ONMC and OHRV consists of two parts: (a) emission data and descriptions of the vehicle, engine and emission control systems (data/descriptions), and (b) supporting information such as emissions label format, warranty, adjustable parameters and anti-tampering methods, etc.  The manufacturer uploads the data/descriptions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Verify system, which automatically forwards such data/descriptions to the Air Resources Board’s (ARB’s) E-Cert system.  The manufacturer uploads the supporting information to the ARB’s Document Management System (DMS) separately.  Upon staff’s review and determination that the data/specifications and supporting information meet all certification requirements, ARB will issue an Executive Order.  New ONMC and OHRV must be covered by an Executive Order to be legal for sale into California.

For the past two weeks, ARB has not been receiving E-Cert data from EPA.  There was a maintenance issue that prevented EPA from forwarding Verify data/descriptions to E-Cert from about September 25, 2013; ARB staff was about to resolve this issue with EPA when the federal government shutdown happened.  Since the federal government shutdown began, the Verify system has not been forwarding ONMC and OHRV data/description to ARB’s E-Cert system.

This notice is to advise manufacturers of an interim certification process for applications that were/are submitted on and after September 25, 2013 and for which the manufacturer needs to have an Executive Order in the next thirty days in order to support its marketing schedule.  To receive an Executive Order under these circumstances, the manufacturer may use the DMS to provide the data/descriptions that it normally submits into Verify.  Such data/descriptions may be submitted as a .pdf, MS Word or Excel file in the same workflow as the engine family specific workflow. When complete and valid data is received, ARB staff will be able to process the application. If you have any questions please contact your ARB certification representative. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Overview A presentation summarizing the process by which OHRV manufacturers can certify their vehicles for sale in California. This presentation is taylored for the sand car industry, however the certification procedures for other OHRVs such as off-road motorcycles, ATVs, etc. are similar. (PDF - 146K). Printer friendly version. (PDF - 74K)
Regulations The California emissions regulations for OHRV are in Title 13, California Code of Regulations, (13 CCR) Sections 2410 - 2415 which are posted at ARB's Off-Road Recreational Vehicles Regulation page.  These regulations are re-posted here. (PDF - 246K)
In November 2009 the Large Spark-Ignition Engine (LSIE) regulations were amended to require that, starting with the 2011 model year, LSIEs with an engine displacement  1.0 liter used in OHRVs that, with the exception of payload capacity, meet the "Off-Road Sport Vehicle" or "Off-road Utility Vehicle" definition in 13 CCR §2411, must meet the exhaust emission standards in 13 CCR §2433 (b)(1)(A).  LSIEs with an engine displacement > 825 cc but  1.0 liter need not meet the 2015 and subsequent exhasut emission standards in 13 CCR §2433 (b)(1)(A).  These engines are subject to the test procedures and certification procedures for OHRV.
  • §2433. Emission Standards and Test Procedures - Off-Road Large Spark-Ignition Engines. (PDF - 33K)
Test Procedures The regulations above reference the the "California Exhaust Emissions Standards and Test Procedures for 1997 and Later Off-Highway Recreational Vehicles and Engines." (PDF - 1282K)
The OHRV Test Procedures Incorporate by reference, with noted modifications, sections of Subparts E and F, Part 86, Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, and Subparts A, B, C, F, and I, Part 1051, Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations.  These federal regulations are available from the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Nonroad Engines, Equipment, and Vehicles web page.
Emissions Label The California emissions labeling requirements for OHRV are in 13 CCR §2413. (PDF - 246K)
Manufacturers Advisory Correspondences MAC 2007-01, Policy regarding the use of Electronic Signatures in the Air Resources Board's (ARB) Document Management System for Certification. (PDF - 87K)
Mail-outs MSO 2008-01, Compliance Assistance and Certification Workshop for Highway Motorcycles, Off-Highway Recreational Vehicles, and Small Off-Road Engines and Equipment. (PDF - 35K)

Presentation - (PDF - 6131K). Printer friendly version. (PDF - 471K)
MSO 2007-03, New Requirement to Report Carbon Dioxide Emissions from 2008 and Subsequent Model Year California Certified Vehicles and Engines. (PDF - 85K)
MSO 2000-12 , Manufacturer Quarterly Reporting Requirements for Off-Highway Recreational Vehicles and Engines. (PDF - 21K)
MSO 99-04, Certification of Non-Emission-Compliant Off-Road Motorcycles (OFMCs) and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).(PDF - 13K)
M/O96-16, Guidelines for Certification of Off-Highway Motorcycles and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).(PDF - 231K)
Frequently Asked Questions Confirmatory Testing by ARB, Highway Motocycles and Off-Highway Recreational Vehicles (PDF - 70K)

Pre Delivery Checklist for ARB Confirmatory Test Vehicle - Highway Motorcycles, Off-Highway Recreational Vehicles (PDF -12K)
ARB Certification Administrative Requirements New vehicle manufacturers are required to register with ARB as a manufacturer to gain access to the Document Management System (DMS). See these web pages:
For more information regarding highway motorcycle certification, please contact the On-Road Light-Duty Certification staff listed on the On-Road New Vehicle and Engine Certification Program web page.

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