Montana Snowmobile Registration, Permits, Laws

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

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

There are over 4,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the state of Montana. 

For more information and other details regarding snowmobiles, trails, and more, please visit: https://fwp.mt.gov/buyandapply/registerboatsandvehicles/snowmobile-regulations-and-registration 

Montana Snowmobile Registration Requirements

To legally ride a snowmobile on public land in Montana, you’ll need to register it and purchase a trail pass. 

To register your snowmobile, you’ll need to:

  • Visit your County Treasurer’s Office. 
  • Provide proof of ownership. 
  • Complete a snowmobile registration application. 
  • Pay the one-time snowmobile registration fee. 

Your snowmobile registration will be valid until you decide to sell the sled. 

Additionally, you’ll need to purchase a Montana trail pass to use any of the groomed snowmobile trails within the state. 

Trail passes can be purchased:

Non-residents are also required to purchase a non-resident trail pass to ride their snowmobile within Montana. 

Both resident and non-resident trail passes are valid for 2 seasons. Trail passes expire on December 31 of the second year. 

Snowmobile decals should be displayed in a visible spot on the upper left side of the cowling. 

Montana Snowmobile Registration Cost

The fees for your Montana trail pass and registration are as follows:

  • Resident trail pass: $20.
  • Non-resident trail pass: $35.
  • Permanent snowmobile registration: $60.50.

Note that residents can save money by purchasing a trail pass first, and then applying for their permanent registration through their county office. You’ll generally be able to deduct $20 from the cost of your permanent registration fee. 

Snowmobile Laws in Montana

When riding between sunset and sunrise, you are required to use a headlight and taillight. 

You are only permitted to ride on a road or highway if the following conditions apply:

  • You hold a valid driver’s license. 
  • The local government allows snowmobiles to travel on the road. 
  • The road is covered by snow so that travel by other vehicles is impossible. 

To legally operate a snowmobile you’ll need to hold a driver’s license OR possess a snowmobile safety certificate. 

Minors must have a safety certificate and ride under the supervision of an adult. 

Be sure to also check the rules, regulations, and fees for the Montana 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 Montana 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