The effort to get all-terrain vehicles registered has suffered a major setback.
A Senate committee defeated a bill Tuesday that would have made registration mandatory.
The five-to-four vote came in the Senate Transportation Committee, which was to consider two separate four-wheeler bills.
The second bill would add new safety measures to current ATV regulations. That bill was not taken up Tuesday.
The committee defeated a bill that would require all owners of four-wheelers to pay $10, one-time registration fees and put license plates or decals on their vehicles.
Senators who voted against the bill said it would create new layers of bureaucracy in the state and infringe on the personal freedom of ATV owners.
The legislation could return as an amendment to another bill, but its chances of passage have been seriously weakened by the vote.
The measure was backed by the Division of Motor Vehicles and the State Police.