July 2014

Minitrucks are sold as off-road vehicles for farms and construction sites and are far smaller than conventional small trucks sold for on-the-road use. These vehicles go by many names, including Japanese minitruck, Kei truck, microtruck, and utility transportation vehicle.  Minitrucks have the capacity to reach top speeds of 55 mph or more, but many are sold with devices that limit their speed to 25 mph.

Federal safety standards don't apply to minitrucks because they are sold as off-road vehicles, even though they are permitted on public roads in some states. Twenty states now allow minitrucks on specific portions of public roads. In Illinois and Missouri, minitrucks are allowed only by local ordinance. Minitrucks must comply with federal safety standards for low-speed vehicles in five states (Illinois, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire and Tennessee).

The table and map below describe state laws that specifically address the use of minitrucks on public roads. In states without those laws, there may be provisions in other state laws, such as those permitting incidental use of off-road vehicles on public roads, that allow the limited use of minitrucks on public roads.

Hover over map for more detail.