Last Updated on February 1, 2024

The world of dune buggy regulations is as varied as the terrains they conquer.

If you’re contemplating the idea of owning a street-legal dune buggy, you gotta deal with the cumbersome process of understanding your state regulations, modifying your vehicle and registering it accordingly.

Each state, and even counties within states, have their own set of guidelines that must be met before your dune buggy can legally hit the pavement.

That said, it is possible to make a dune buggy street legal in every US state, even when if the regulations are very strict (with a workaround).

While the process can be time-consuming, and there several ways to go about this, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Below, an overview of the three methods you can adopt to register your dune buggy as street legal in the US.

Modifying a Dune Buggy to make it Street Legal

This is the easiest and most reliable option if you live in a state with “difficult” regulations for off-road vehicles.

Dirt Legal will handle all the paperwork and inspections for you.

They will also provide you with a temporary registration and license plate, which will allow you to drive your dune buggy on public roads.

Once you have completed the registration process, you can apply for a permanent registration and license plate from your state DMV.

Dirt Legal specializes in making any kind of off-road vehicles street legal.

They have a team of experts who understand the laws and regulations in each state, ensuring that your dune buggy will meet all the necessary requirements.

They are also able to provide out-of-state registration if your state has strict regulations against dune buggys and other ATV vehicles.

Pros

  • Easy and reliable
  • Handles all of the paperwork and inspections
  • Provides temporary registration and license plate
  • Able to register your vehicle even in states that do not allow registration

Cons

  • More expensive than doing it yourself
  • Register vehicles out-of-state through a LLC to bypass regulations in states that prohibit registration

Man with street legal dune buggy

The DIY option is more challenging, but it can be a good choice if you want to save money or if you have a specific vision for your dune buggy.

To make your dune buggy street legal yourself, you will need to follow the same steps as if you were converting a non-street legal dune buggy.

You will need to install all the required safety equipment and components, and then have your dune buggy inspected and approved by your state DMV.

This method requires a good understanding of your state’s vehicle laws and a fair amount of mechanical knowledge.

But the satisfaction of doing it yourself and potentially saving money can make it worth the effort.

Pros

  • Save money
  • Allows you to create a dune buggy that meets your specific needs

Cons

  • More challenging
  • Requires more time and effort
  • May be more difficult to pass inspection
  • Not viable in many states where dune buggys are banned

This option is available in some states and is similar to modifying and registering the dune buggy yourself, but it is a bit more streamlined.

With kit car registration, you purchase a dune buggy kit that meets all applicable safety standards.

The kit manufacturer or a licensed kit car builder will then construct the dune buggy for you.

Once the dune buggy is constructed, you will need to file the required paperwork with your state DMV and have the dune buggy inspected.

Kit cars are a popular choice for many car enthusiasts. They offer the opportunity to own a unique vehicle that you can customize to your liking.

Plus, many kit cars are designed to be easier to make street legal than a typical dune buggy.

Pros

  • Streamlined process
  • Less control over the build process

Cons

  • Only available in a few states

For more specific and up-to-date information on how to make a dune buggy street legal in compliance to your state’s specific laws, you can have a look at the Dirt Legal website:


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Read also: How does Dirt Legal work?


How to make a dune buggy street legal
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