Illinois Snowmobile Registration, Permits, Laws

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Ready to go snowmobiling in Illinois? It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the laws regarding snowmobile registration, permits, and other rules. 

Whether you’re an Illinois resident or an out-of-state visitor planning to ride your snowmobile during your stay, we’ve compiled the information you need. 

For more information and other details regarding snowmobiles, trails, and more, please visit: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/recreation/snowmobile/Pages/Information.aspx 

Illinois Snowmobile Registration Requirements

All snowmobiles must be registered to legally ride on public land and trails in Illinois. 

To register your snowmobile, you’ll need to:

  • Complete a snowmobile application, available online at: https://www.exploremoreil.com/ 
  • Provide the necessary ownership documents. 
  • Pay the registration fee. 

You’ll be able to use the temporary permit copy of your application as proof of registration for up to 60 days until your permanent decals and documents arrive. 

Your snowmobile registration can be renewed each year online or by phone. 

You’ll need to following to renew your snowmobile registration:

  • Your IL registration number. 
  • The snowmobile body serial number (found on your registration card). 
  • A record of your confirmation number (after the transaction). 
  • Payment for your renewal fees. 

You should receive your new decals in about 2 weeks. 

Non-resident snowmobilers visiting Illinois are required to purchase an annual snowmobile trail permit. 

Non-resident trail passes are available from a number of licensed vendors, which can be found here: https://www.exploremoreil.com/agentlocator 

You must hold a valid liability insurance policy to operate your snowmobile on Illinois public trails and land. 

Illinois Snowmobile Registration Cost

The fees for your annual snowmobile registration are as follows:

  • IL resident snowmobile registration: $45. 
  • Duplicate registration or decals: $5. 
  • Non-resident trail use permit: $25.

Snowmobile Laws in Illinois

In Illinois, you are required to hold a liability insurance policy for your snowmobile. 

Snowmobiles in Illinois are required to have the following equipment:

  • Headlight and taillight. 
  • Brakes. 
  • Reflective material on each side of the sled’s cowling. 
  • Muffler/sound suppression. 

Other Illinois snowmobiles to be aware of include:

  • You must not operate your snowmobile at too fast of a speed for current conditions nor in a reckless manner. 
  • It is illegal to ride on highways unless a crossing is allowed. 
  • No riding closer than 10 feet from the side of the road. 

Riders must be at least 10 years old to operate a snowmobile. 

Riders ages 10 to 12 must ride while accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

Riders age 12 to 16 can only ride alone if they hold a snowmobile safety certificate. 

Be sure to also check the rules, regulations, and fees for the Illinois snowmobile trails you plan on riding. Local laws and regulations may vary. 

Regardless of whether a particular state or trail requires it, snowmobile operators and passengers should always wear the proper safety equipment and helmets while riding. 

Never ride a snowmobile under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Failing to obey the snowmobile laws of Illinois and the local jurisdiction may result in tickets, fines, and penalties. 

Check out some of these other great snowmobile resources from MotorcycleZombies.com:

How to Ride a Snowmobile

Snowmobile Pre-Ride Inspections

Snowmobile Helmets

Snowmobile Cost

Snowmobile Insurance