Editor's Note - The simple truth of the matter is that if you are going to be doing a lot of riding then Road Registering a dirt bike, trail bike, enduro or motocross bike is simply a good idea, as is getting a license to ride.
It saves a lot of complications, provides a level of third party insurance and lets you go where you want any time you want.
Though a man's home should be his castle, state and local governments have been eroding some of our rights for decades with the introduction of various legislative amendments and local by-laws. Be very careful - ignorance and mistakes can prove very expensive.
It's also worth repeating that most Dirt Bike Tour operators and Rally Organisers now require participants and entrants to have street legal, roadworthy and registered dirt bikes. Some even enforce noise emission control through random testing.
So, if you want to participate in events that access public roads and lands, a registered bike will be essential.
You may wish to keep that in mind when buying your next bike.
Buying a Used or Second Hand Dirt Bike
Getting Dirt Bike Insurance
Can I Ride My Dirt Bike Unlicensed and Unregistered on Private Land?
Owning your own home and land is an aspiration for many Australians. If your into riding dirt bikes it makes even more sense to have a property where you can take your bike out for a squirt without having to load it on a trailer or ute and drive somewhere first. This article deals with the realities associated with riding on Private Property.
Though the question put to Dirt Bike Australia was simply: "Can I ride an unregistered dirt bike without a license on my own property?" ... A proper answer comes in three parts (see also disclaimer).
- The first part of the answer is to do with the specific question of needing a driver’s license and/or vehicle registration to ride on privately owned land. This question is generally covered by state law and to the best of my knowledge is consistent across Australian states and territories.
You may ride/drive on “Private Property” (as long as you have the owner’s permission) without having either a driver’s license or vehicle registration.
However, and this is important, if the vehicle so much as crosses a public road or other public land (that is driven under power), then the vehicle must be registered and the rider licensed. If you walk it across, then there is no problem.
- The second issue has nothing to do with licensing or registration and is concerned purely with local government by-laws (Shire/Council). These will vary by region, and as such can only be discussed in very general terms.
Due in part to things like zoning and planning regulations, riding on your own property (or a mate's) may still have inherent problems. It may for instance constitute a public nuisance, if for example your neighbours complain of noise pollution. This is the sort of thing that may become a problematic issue, particularly if you regularly invite your friends over to ride around your block.
There may be additional concerns (possibly State Government laws and respective guidelines) to do with wildlife conservation or land management issues that you may presently be unaware of.
So before you spend a lot of time, energy and possibly money building your own motocross circuit across your block of land, you might want to have a word or three with your neighbours, the Local Council and the Shire Offices to find out what you may realistically achieve.
- The third issue has to do with Indemnity or PLI (Public Liability Insurance).
This simply comes down to … if you have your mates over to ride on your property, make damn sure you have insurance cover - or - that they sign an indemnity form (also known as a Waiver) that essentially says they are taking responsibility for their own well being and/or stupidity.
In other words, you won’t have to pay a small fortune in the event that they injure or kill themselves (or eachother ;-) while riding or otherwise messing about on your property.
If you have a Home & Contents Insurance Policy for a premises on that property, a measure of Public Liability Insurance may be included in your policy ... you should check and make sure.
Across Australia government
legislation changes constantly and the politicians don’t email Dirt Bike Australia every time there are changes that effect dirt bikers. So it’s up to you to confirm that the provided information applies in your case, and at your location.
Generally speaking your state Transport Authority can answer specific questions, so call or email them and ask if you have any doubts.
Your local Council and Shire may also be able to provide useful information on what you can and can't do on private land in a given region ... And don't forget to be nice to your neighbours!
Australian State Transport Authorities
Transport Tasmania www.transport.tas.gov.au
New South Wales
New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority www.rta.nsw.gov.au
Queensland Transport www.transport.qld.gov.au
Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure www.dtei.sa.gov.au
Department of Transport www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing
Department of Planning and Infrastructure www.nt.gov.au
Australian Capital Territory
Australian Capital Territory Department of Urban Services www.tams.act.gov.au