Rock Falls now allows UTV, other off-highway vehicle traffic

The metal plate and sticker that will be issued to off-highway vehicles in Rock Falls once they have passed inspection.

ROCK FALLS – UTVs and other off-highway vehicles now can be driven inside city limits, once they have been inspected and a permit has been purchased.

The City Council Tuesday passed an ordinance, modeled after Dixon’s 6-year-old law, that allows such vehicles on streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less, and in alleys and parking lots.

They can’t be driven on First Avenue/state Route 40, U.S. Route 30 or McNeil Road, or on sidewalks, bike paths, public property or off-road in parks.

Lawn mowers and vehicles with a straddle seat and no steering wheel, such as dirt bikes and ATVs, are not allowed.

Vehicles can be driven between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Drivers must be 18 or older with a valid driver’s license, and they and their passengers must wear seat belts.

The machine must be insured and inspected by Rock Falls police before a permit will be issued.

Permits, which will be issued as annual stickers for a metal plate, will cost $100, and $50 a year to renew after that. Permits issued this year and next will be valid until April 30, 2024, and will expire on April 30 every year after.

Lost or stolen plates will cost $25 to replace.

The vehicle:

• Must be motorized and designed to travel primarily off-highway.

• Must weigh 2,000 pounds or less if it has a gas engine, and 3,000 pounds or less if it is electric.

• Must be up to 64 inches wide with four or more nonhighway tires, a rearview mirror, red reflectors front and rear, a slow-moving vehicle emblem, a headlight visible for 500 feet, a red taillamp visible for 100 feet, brake lights and turn signals.

Permits can’t be shared or transferred between vehicles, but if a vehicle is replaced, the permit can be transferred to the new vehicle once it has been inspected.

Permit applications are available at the Rock Falls Police Department, 1013 Seventh Ave., or at

Schedule inspections at 815-622-1140, option 3 (police administration).

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Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.