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Snowmobiling in Maine

Placeholder Maine Other

A fun way to explore Maine’s winters

There were several changes to the ATV laws made during the 2015 Legislative session which are incorporated within the following laws and rules. For a summary of all new Inland Fisheries & Wildlife related laws, please go to: www.mefishwildlife.com

Snowmobiles Registration & Age Requirements

Registration Fees

Residents**

NonResidents

$45*

Prior to registration, sales or use taxes are due.

Season – $99*

10-Day – $75*

3-Day – $49*

(A person may purchase more than one 3-day or more than one 10-day registration in any season.)

The season registration for a snowmobile is valid for one year, commencing on July 1st of each year.

Age Requirements

Children must be 10 years of age or older to operate a snowmobile, unaccompanied by an adult, on land other than that owned by their parent or guardian and must be 14 years of age before crossing public ways. Anyone who allows a person under 18 years of age to operate a snowmobile is liable (jointly with the minor’s parent or guardian) for any damages caused during operation.

* Plus Agent Fee

** “Resident” means a citizen of the United States or an alien who has been domiciled in the State for one year who:

a) if registered to vote, is registered in Maine;

b) if licensed to drive a motor vehicle, applied for, or possesses a Maine motor vehicle license;

c) if owning a motor vehicle located within the State, registered each vehicle in Maine; and…

d) is in compliance with the State income tax laws

A person who is a full-time student at a college or university in Maine and has satisfied the requirements or A through D, above, can be considered a resident.

Snowmobile Trail Fund Donation Sticker Program. The commissioner shall establish the Snowmobile Trail Fund Donation Sticker Program. The commissioner shall design and issue 3 different Snowmobile Trail Fund donation stickers to reflect a donor’s donation of $25, $50 and $100, respectively. For every donation $2 is retained by the department and the remainder is transferred to the Snowmobile Trail Fund of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Bureau of Parks and Lands.

Each year, Maine Game Wardens interact with thousands of outdoor enthusiasts from hunters and anglers to ATV and snowmobile riders. An average of 135,000 inspections are made every year. Inspection numbers sometimes fluctuate depending upon weather conditions and special enforcement efforts. Inspections are often proportionally related to snow depths found across the state each year. Northern and Western portions of Maine consistently receive moderate amounts of snow, often totaling well over 150 inches each year. When southern Maine finds itself in a light snow year, registrations will often be fewer as well. Non-residents from all over New England choose Maine as their favorite place to ride. Maine offers over 13,500 miles of groomed trails that interconnect to nearly all corners of the State. Registration totals have fluctuated between a low of 75,235 in 2005 to a high of 107,285 in 2002. That is a difference of over 32,000 registrations in just 3 years.

Yearly snowmobile crash totals can fluctuate dramatically depending upon snow depth. To help reduce the amount of snowmobile crashes and provide a safe sport for approximately 100,000 snowmobiling enthusiasts, Maine Game Wardens make snowmobile law enforcement one of their highest priorities during the winter, dedicating thousands of hours toward law enforcement and education. Wardens work from their snowmobiles, at trail crossings, and at snowmobile club meetings to help ensure snowmobile law compliance.

Game Wardens are essentially the front door for the Bureau of Warden Service and often provide the only opportunity for sportspeople to engage in conversations with an IF&W employee. Inspections are critical to the mission of the Warden Service for both public relations and enforcement purposes. Both share an equally important role for the future of the bureau. Game Wardens regularly inspect snowmobiles for safety and registration compliance. Wardens also stop vehicles at fish and wildlife checkpoints used for gathering statistics and enforcing fish and wildlife laws. In addition, Game Wardens have authority to stop motor vehicles for violations observed on Maine’s highways.

A Game Warden may perform a stop of the above vehicles either by signaling you to stop with an obvious body gesture or with the use of emergency blue lights and/or siren. Game Wardens will make themselves known by identifying themselves while in uniform or by providing a badge or State law enforcement officer credential. When signaled to stop by a Game Warden please do as follows:

  • As soon as safely possible, bring your snowmobile to a complete stop and allow the Game Warden to approach you. Failure to stop for a Game Warden may result in criminal prosecution, significant fines, and arrest.
  • Be courteous and follow any directions given by the Game Warden pertaining to the inspection. Your cooperation will expedite the inspection process and we will have you back on your way as quickly as possible.

Game Wardens prefer that each interaction with an outdoor enthusiast is a pleasant experience. Please be polite and courteous. By promptly complying with all requests as directed by the Game Warden, you can help ensure a safe, pleasant, and productive experience. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask the Game Warden for advice or valuable tips.

Landowner relations are essential to Maine’s snowmobiling industry. A substantial portion of Maine’s snowmobile trial system is located on privately owned land. Without landowner support and generosity, our trail system would be in serious jeopardy. Treat land with respect, operate at prudent speeds, and maintain the original exhaust system on your snowmobile; loud exhausts close trails!

Game Wardens continue to respond to snowmobile crashes that involve either property damage, personal injury or in some cases death. Wardens are responsible for investigating snowmobile crashes to gather statistics and determine if violations of law have occurred that may have contributed to the crash. Drunk driving continues to be a contributing factor in many snowmobile related crashes. Always use good common sense, never operate beyond your abilities, tell someone where you plan to ride and when you will return, and never drink and drive.

Maine Game Wardens make snowmobile law enforcement one of their highest priorities during the winter, dedicating thousands of hours toward law enforcement and education.

Maine’s Game Wardens conduct a registration and safety check on one of the state’s trails. Maine Wardens make over 135,000 inspections each year.