Not all vehicles have or require titles, and some, like snowmobiles, only have titles in some areas. Unlike a regular car, snowmobiles don’t usually travel over publicly maintained roads, so most states don’t feel the need for owners to get titles and license plates.
Do you need to get a title for a snowmobile? It depends on where you live and travel.
Only a few states require titles and registration to own a snowmobile. Although it’s not required to get a title, it is always a good idea. A title is proof of ownership, which is very useful when selling your snowmobile or theft cases where you may need to identify and prove the snowmobile is yours.
Does Snowmobiles Have Titles
Snowmobiles do have titles in some areas because they are considered vehicles.
However, much like e-bikes and other unusual forms of transportation, snowmobiles are subject to different legal statuses depending on how each state sees them.
If you don’t have a title, it’s a good idea to inquire about it as soon as possible.
Call your local DMV to find out whether it’s required and how to obtain one if you don’t already have it.
Investopedia reminds us, “The title serves as proof of ownership and includes identifying information about the vehicle, such as its make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN). A title is essential for registering or selling a vehicle.”
What Year Did Snowmobiles Get Titles
Snowmobiles began to rise in popularity drastically in the 1980s. The sudden growing interest led to more use and, unfortunately, more damage to natural areas.
Although snowmobile titles didn’t have a universal start date, most US states began requiring them in the early to mid-80s. Initially, titling these machines was an attempt to help curb damages by holding the owners and operators responsible.
Do Older Snowmobiles Have Titles
The age of the snowmobile has no bearing on whether it is titled. Most states don’t require a title.
However, they may still need to be registered with the local DMV. If you have no title, you must prove ownership through other means such as purchase receipts.
The following 13 states require both title and registration with the DMV regardless of how old the snowmobile is:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Do New Snowmobiles Have Titles
It is always important to determine if your state requires a title for your snowmobile.
Without the proper title, you can’t sell your snowmobile, and you could end up in trouble with the law if something happens while you’re out riding.
Proving you’re the owner is essential. Below I will go over the top 7 states where people want to know if their snowmobiles have titles.
Do Snowmobiles Have Titles In Michigan
Michigan does not require titles for snowmobiles. However, you do have to register them with the Secretary of State here.
To do this, you need a complete bill of sale, including the name and address of the purchaser and seller.
- Michigan.gov also says that, “…residents and nonresidents that operate snowmobiles on public land in Michigan are required to purchase a snowmobile trail permit. The trail permit enables snowmobilers to ride state-designated trails, public roads, and public lands (where authorized). Your snowmobile trail permit is valid for one year, which begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30 of the following year. State-designated trails are open Dec. 1-March 31, and grooming occurs when there is enough snow on the ground.”
Do Snowmobiles Have Titles In New York
New York snowmobiles do not have titles. However, you need to register them because a signed registration confirms ownership in this state.
To accomplish this, you must submit proof of ownership and fill out a form with the DMV.
- Additionally, according to DMV.ny.gov, “If your snowmobile is registered in your home state, you can use the NY State Registration for Out-of-State Snowmobiles online service to get a temporary (15 day) NY State registration and operate your snowmobile here immediately (if you registered your snowmobile in New York before, you can renew your registration). We will send you your regular registration in the mail. “
Do Snowmobiles Have Titles In Illinois
Illinois snowmobiles require a title and registration, which you can get from the DMV by filling out a simple form with proof of purchase.
Like other vehicles and recreational vehicles in this state, riders (except on private property) must carry liability insurance in case of accidents and damage.
You also need an annual trail pass to operate on state and public lands.
- According to Illinois.gov, “State law requires that the purchaser of a snowmobile shall within 15 days after purchase, make application to the Department for Registration/Titling… An Illinois resident having a valid out-of-state snowmobile registration must also have a valid Illinois snowmobile registration if operating in Illinois with the exception of operating on their own property.”
Do Snowmobiles Have Titles In Minnesota
In Minnesota, snowmobiles do not have or need titles. If your out-of-state snowmobile has a title, that is fine.
However, this state does not offer them as snowmobiles are classed differently than road vehicles, and you cannot operate them on public roads.
Instead, new owners provide a bill of sale and pay registration and transfer fees to get the snowmobile into their name legally.
Registering a snowmobile in MN involves a trip to the DMV. You must provide a bill of sale to prove ownership.
Insurance and trail fees are not required except as/if deemed necessary by your county or city.
Do Snowmobiles Have Titles In Idaho
Some snowmobiles require titles in Idaho, but not all of them. Moreover, they do not need to be registered.
Smaller snowmobiles under the stated engine size limit, less than 50 ccs, can’t get a title.
However, all other snowmobiles must be titled through the nearest County Assessor’s office.
- According to Justia Idaho code 49-501. Titling requirements say, “…Exemptions. (1) The provisions of this chapter shall apply to every vehicle required to be registered with the department in chapter 4, title 49, Idaho Code. (2) In addition, the titling requirements of this chapter shall apply to the following vehicles which are not required to be registered under the provisions of chapter 4, title 49, Idaho Code: (a) All-terrain vehicles, motorbikes, snowmobiles and utility type vehicles as defined in section 67-7101, Idaho Code, except that such vehicles having an internal combustion engine with a displacement of less than fifty (50) cubic centimeters will not be titled;”
Do Snowmobiles Have Titles In Wisconsin
Wisconson does not issue titles for snowmobiles. Likewise, it does not have insurance requirements.
You must register with the DMV, which involves providing proof of purchase, proof of identity, and filling out a simple form.
- In addition to the registration, Snowmobilecourse.com notes, “In Wisconsin, all persons who are at least 12 years of age and who were born on or after January 1, 1985, are required to take a Wisconsin-Approved Snowmobile Safety Course and obtain a snowmobile safety certificate when riding on public lands.”
Do Snowmobiles Have Titles In Colorado
Residents of Colorado must register their snowmobiles with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, but nonresidents do not.
All you need to accomplish this is valid proof of purchase and ID. According to Colorado’s DMV, titles became available but not compulsory in 2014.
When registering, you can obtain a title through the local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office with a simple additional form.
Helpful Tips To Know About Do Snowmobiles Have Titles
Typically, snowmobiles do not have titles. Only a little over 1/4 of US states offer titles for this type of vehicle.
Here are more helpful tips to know about do snowmobiles have titles.
- When using a personal snowmobile on private property, you do not need to register your snowmobile. Like other vehicles, including cars and trucks, licenses and other paperwork are only mandatory on public property like roads and state land.
- If you plan to purchase any large item, such as a snowmobile, always get a bill of sale that shows who sold it, who bought it, current addresses for both, and what was paid or exchanged.
- Even found (abandoned), custom-built and gifted snowmobiles are subject to the same laws as those bought from businesses and private owners. If your state requires a title, registration, insurance, and proof of ownership, you are responsible for obtaining those items no matter how you got your snowmobile.
Most states do not require or even offer titles for snowmobiles. However, in the places that do, it is almost always mandatory.
Laws are regularly added to and modified, so I strongly recommend checking into your state and local vehicle registration and titling requirements every year or two.