LEGAL REQUIREMENTS TO OPERATE A SNOWMOBILE IN NEW YORK STATE
Anyone who is at least sixteen years old may operate a snowmobile in New York State without any other qualification except as defined by state and local laws regulating that operation. However, it is recommended that all operators complete a recognized snowmobile operation course of instruction.
Youths between the ages of 10 and 16 may operate a snowmobile without adult or other supervision if they have completed a snowmobile safety-training course recognized by the State of New York. The Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will issue a snowmobile safety certificate to youths that successfully complete this course. Youths who do not hold this certificate are subject to the same restrictions as children under 10 years of age.
Children under 10 years of age may operate a snowmobile only on lands owned or leased by their parents or guardian, except when accompanied by a person over 18 years old, or by a person who holds a snowmobile safety certificate. Children under 10 years of age or a youth that does not hold a safety certificate may not operate a snowmobile on or across a highway at any time.
Any snowmobile operated in New York State must be registered with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), even if it is registered in another state or province, except under special circumstances.
Registration is not required for snowmobiles:
- operated exclusively on the owner's property,
- for snowmobiles operated in approved competitive events,
- for snowmobiles owned and operated by the United States government.
- exemptions are also made for snowmobiles covered by a valid registration of a neighboring state or province and operated on a border trail that occasionally and sporadically crosses into New York State, and is specifically designated as a cross-border trail by the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The registration is the proof of ownership and may be used to sell the machine.
The selling dealer does registration at the time of sale. A snowmobile obtained in a private sale or from an out-of-state source may be registered by the new owner at any Motor Vehicle office or by a dealer participating in the state's prepaid registration program.
DMV-provided registration number decals must be displayed on both sides of the cowling of the snowmobile at all times. The cowling is defined as the forward portion of the snowmobile surrounding the engine and clutch assembly. Snowmobile manufacturers provide specific space on snowmobile hoods for this purpose. Refer to your owner's manual for more information. Any display position behind the snowmobile cowling (tunnel or seat area) or on the windshield is illegal and could result in an expensive citation for violation of the registration law.
Snowmobiles first registered prior to August 1995 must display owner-provided registration numbers on both sides of the cowling. They must be of block type, at least three inches tall, and in a contrasting and reflectorized color. A hyphen or space must appear between the last number and the letters.
Yearly registration validation stickers must be displayed in the upper left-hand corner of the DMV-provided registration number decals, or to the left of the owner-provided registration numbers.
Snowmobiles already registered in another state or province must be registered at a Motor Vehicle office or a snowmobile dealer who participates in the state's prepaid registration program. Snowmobiles legally registered in another state province are not required to display the New York State registration number decals, only the yearly validation stickers. The stickers must be displayed next to the home state or province registration sticker or number.
TO REGISTER A SNOWMOBILE IN NEW YORK STATE YOU NEED:
A completed Snowmobile Registration Application form MV-82SN - Click HERE for a pdf
A Proof of ownership.
Requirements to Register a Snowmobile in New York State - Click HERE for a pdf