You do not have to register snowmobiles in every state, so the policy and requirements vary slightly. Fortunately, that also means that most places you can ride a snowmobile are relatively relaxed about the process. Some states don’t even require out-of-state visitors to register at all.
How do you register a snowmobile without registration? I will walk you through the process and explain everything you need to know to keep your sled legal this winter.
To register a snowmobile without registration, you will need proof of sale and proof of your identity. Generally, this means bringing your driver’s license or state-issued ID, though in some cases, alternate evidence of who you are is acceptable. The bill of sale must include your full name, the seller’s name, vehicle information, and description.
Can You Register A Snowmobile Without A Title
You can register a snowmobile without a title. Only a few states require a title for snowmobiles, and you can often obtain this with your bill of sale and ID information.
However, it is essential to inquire first as a few areas have more stringent requirements. For example, you only have 30 days after purchase in Idaho to get a title.
In Massachusetts, you’ll need an application for title and registration, the VIN from your snowmobile, a certificate of origin, a bill of sale, a tax receipt, and a form.
Snowmobile Registration Lookup
The ability to look up who the previous snowmobile owners or registrations would indeed be convenient.
Unfortunately, this service isn’t readily available to the public. The only option is to take the VIN or registration number in states that issue decals and go to the DMV.
When the snowmobile belongs to you, you might be able to get a printout of your previous registrations.
However, there isn’t some universal service that gives people easy access to snowmobile registrations.
Depending on the local and state policy, the DMV may not tell you who owns the snowmobile.
Snowmobile Registration Process
The process for registering snowmobiles varies by state. Most places require a title or a bill of sale to register, and you’ll fill out at least one form.
In some states, you need a document proving the origin of the snowmobile from the company and other documentation.
You can usually find all the registration process information through your local DMV.
However, those living in Massachusetts must go to the Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and people in Wyoming should inquire at the County Clerk’s Office.
Below is an overview of states that require a title and registration to riding a snowmobile legally.
- Alaska – All owners must register sleds through the DMV, and you need a title to do that. You’ll find the form you need to get a title right here. Registrations are 2, 4 or 6 years for $10, $20, or $30.
- Idaho – Dealers may handle title and registration when you purchase in-state. Otherwise, go to the DMV for more information. In Idaho, snowmobiles are considered ATVs.
- Iowa – Snowmobiles bought from private parties must be titled within 30 days and cost $11.50, while registration is $17.75.
- Massachusetts – The Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs handles snowmobile title and registration here. You need an application for title and registration, plus the VIN from your snowmobile, a certificate of origin, bill of sale, tax receipt, and form ST-6 or ST-6E to complete this process.
- North Dakota – Snowmobiles must be titled and registered with the DMV. You’ll need to fill out form SFN-2872 and pay $50. You must renew the registration on odd years.
- Oregon – Fill out form 735-226 for title and registration. The fee is between $98 and $187 depending on the area, and registration is $10.
- Pennsylvania – In Pennsylvania, you need an Affidavit of Ownership, then you must fill out form 1300-FM-DCNR0043 and take it to an authorized ATV or snowmobile dealer. You’ll pay $22.50 for the title plus $20 for registration.
- South Dakota – For SD, you need form MV-608 for title and registration, and it’s a $10 registration fee. Additionally, this state charges an excise tax of 4%.
- Utah – Snowmobiles in Utah are OHVs (Off-highway vehicles), and the title and registration are through the DMV. The permit fee is $30-35, and Registration is $22.
- Vermont – Vermont will have you fill out form VD-038 for title and registration. For used snowmobiles, you’ll need the bill of sale. Alternately, new snowmobiles need a bill of sale, an original copy of the certificate of origin, and either form SU-452 or a Vermont Use Tax Return to get the title and registration.
- West Virginia – West Virginia charges $15 to $25 for titles, and you must have a notarized bill of sale or statement of origin from the manufacturer. Moreover, you must pay a one-time fee of 6% of the purchase price.
- Wyoming – Wyoming handles snowmobile titles and registration through the County Clerk’s office and issues decals for $35 that must go on the left front side of the cowl. Decals of registration are valid from December to April 1st.
How To Register A Snowmobile In Wisconsin Without A Registration
Registering a snowmobile in Wisconsin does not involve a title because this state doesn’t issue titles for sleds.
Registration means having decals and a certificate that permits you to operate.
To register in this state, you must talk to the Department of Natural Resources and file this form.
There are three ways to get registered. You can go to a DNR resource center in person, mail your forms and information, or register online.
The website for snowmobiles is available right here. You must register any snowmobile in Wisconsin for more than 15 days unless it meets one or more of the exemption criteria below.
- Your snowmobile has the name and owner listed on its cowling and is owned by the United States or a political subdivision of the state.
- Your snowmobile is registered under a DNR agreement with a federally registered Indian Tribe or Band. Like out-of-state sleds, these still need to be registered if they are off the reservation for more than 15 days.
- You have and display current out-of-state registration and a valid Wisconsin Nonresident Snowmobile Trail Pass.
- Your snowmobile is used exclusively at a racing facility.
How To Register A Snowmobile Without Registration In Michigan
Registering a snowmobile in Michigan without previous registration is very straightforward.
According to the Michigan House Fiscal Agency, you only need a bill of sale.
The bill of sale requires the following information to be considered valid:
- Hull identification number
- The year and make of the sled
- Full names and current addresses of the buyer and seller
How To Register A Snowmobile In NY Without A Registration
If you live in New York and you’ve lost your registration, you can get it replaced by going to the DMV and filing form MV50.
Otherwise, you have two choices to register a snowmobile in NY without registration. When you buy from a registered dealer, they will provide all the paperwork.
For those who cannot prove the sled was registered in NY previously or who never had a snowmobile registered, file form MV-51V-Statement of Ownership and either take a picture or make a pencil tracing of the VIN.
How To Register A Snowmobile In PA Without A Title
The only way to register a snowmobile in PA without a title is typically to apply for a new title. There is no legal workaround as far as I know.
The Department of Conservation & Natural Resources makes exceptions under the following circumstances:
From the DCNR page on titles and insurance for snowmobiles: All snowmobiles in Pennsylvania must have a title issued by DCNR. The cost of a title is $22.50.
The exceptions to this requirement are:
- Snowmobiles owned by a dealer before and until the sale
- Snowmobiles bought or acquired before October 23, 2001
- Snowmobiles owned by a Pennsylvania resident but registered and used in another state
- Snowmobiles owned by a nonresident
- Snowmobiles owned and operated by a federal, state, or local government body
Helpful Tips To Know About How To Register A Snowmobile Without Registration
You can typically get registration for snowmobiles as long as you can prove ownership and your identity.
However, some states have much higher standards and require additional paperwork.
Here are a few more helpful tips to know about how to register a snowmobile without registration.
- If you can track down your receipt or you bought directly from a local shop, you may be able to get a copy of your bill of sale from the original dealer. However, this only works for records in the last 5-7 years, and some companies may charge for copies or require proof of identity and a bill on sale.
- You also need a trail pass in Wisconsin to ride snowmobile trails legally. The fine for not having the pass is $295.
- Some states offer discounted registration for snowmobiles that are considered antique. It is always worth asking if there are any deals or specials, even when buying new from a dealer.
- In most places requiring registration, riders under 16 may not be allowed to use snowmobiles on public lands because you can’t register until you’re old enough to drive.
Most places that require snowmobiles to be titled and/or registered have relatively lax rules about the paperwork.
Many people register snowmobiles without prior registration every year. You must show a bill of sale with the correct information and fill out a form.
You may also need to prove your identity. However, it’s always worth checking at your local DMV first because rules change.
Even if the DMV doesn’t handle snowmobile registrations in your state, they should have the correct information on where to go.