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    Snowmobiles and Off-Highway Vehicles

    The Department of Natural Resources is in charge of enforcing rules and regulations regarding snowmobiles and off-highway vehicles, but you still may need to visit your local DVS office for some tasks.

    Snowmobiles

    Snowmobiles need to be registered at a Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) location, or at:

    • DNR License Bureau
    • 500 Lafayette Road
    • St. Paul, MN 55155

    If you're buying from a dealer, the dealer should handle the registration.

    Both new registrations and renewals for non-trail use cost $48.50, and are good for 3 years. You may renew at the same locations, or online. Be sure to affix your registration decal in the proper spot.

    Snowmobiles do not need to be titled.

    Trail Stickers

    Those using a snowmobile on state or grant-in-aid trails must have a state trail sticker. Stickers cost $35 and $1 to issue. There are several methods for purchasing the sticker. The stickers are good for each snowmobiling season, running from November 1-April 30.

    Safety Certificates

    To legally operate a snowmobile in the state, residents born after December 31, 1976 will need to either have a snowmobile safety certificate, or a safety certificate indicator on their driver's license. Successfully complete a snowmobile safety course to get the certificate.

    However, there are some exceptions to this rule, as listed in the state's snowmobiling guide. Both the state's snowmobiling guide and the DNR site are loaded with information concerning proper snowmobile use, safety, and state regulations.

    Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs)

    In Minnesota, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles (OHMs), and off-road vehicles (ORVs) all fall under the heading of off-highway vehicles. Let's take a quick look at how Minnesota lawmakers define these different vehicles.

    ATVs

    Defined as a motorized, flotation-tired vehicles with between 3 to 6 low-pressure tires, ATVs have a 800 cc engine displacement (or less). If the vehicle weighs under 900 pounds, it's labeled a Class 1 ATV. If it's between 900-1,500 pounds, it's a Class 2 ATV. If it's over that weight, the vehicle is considered to be an ORV.

    OHMs

    These are motorized, off-highway vehicles traveling on two vehicles, with a seat or saddlebag meant to be straddled by the driver and a handlebar for steering.

    A motorcycle may be considered legal for highway use, while also being classified as an OHM, if used in this manner on rough terrain or trails.

    ORVs

    These are motorized, recreational vehicles that can be used on cross-country travel on natural terrain. While four-wheel drive vehicles are in this category, snowmobiles are not.

    Registration

    OHVs need to be registered at a Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) location, or at:

    • DNR License Bureau
    • 500 Lafayette Road
    • St. Paul, MN 55155

    If you're buying from a dealer, your registration should be handled by the dealer.

    You may renew at the same locations, or online. Be sure to affix your registration decal in the proper spot.

    The DNR provides a complete OHV fee schedule.

    OHVs do not need to be titled.

    OHVs may be driven on public land, trails, and frozen public waters that permit these vehicles, and on private land with the permission of the landowner.

    The state provides a wealth of information about OHVs, including safety procedures and operating rules, in its OHV section. Also check out the DNR site for more information.

    Trailers

    Registering your trailer depends on weight:

    • Under 3,000 pounds―Requires a permanent registration decal that fits on the tongue of the trailer.
    • Trailers larger than 3,000 pounds require plates and must be renewed annually. Fees are based on weight.

      Contact your deputy registrar for help in determining exact fees.

    Registering Other Recreational Vehicles

    By the way, if you're interested in information about boats, recreational vehicles, or custom-built vehicles, we have separate sections covering these areas.
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