What are the age and other requirements to operate a snowmobile?


There is no helmet use requirement for snowmobiles.

Age Requirements

  • Children under the age of 12: no operation off lands owned by the operator’s parents unless accompanied by an adult. Accompanied by an adult means being on the same snowmobile as the operator.
  • Any person born on or after January 1, 1985 must possess a valid Snowmobile Safety Certificate in order to operate a snowmobile on public trails, lands or frozen waters. No adult supervision is required if operator possesses a valid Snowmobile Safety Certificate.
  • Age requirements do not apply on lands owned or leased by the operator’s parents.

Registration Requirements

  • No person may operate and no owner may give permission for the operation of a snowmobile unless the snowmobile displays valid registration or the operator produces an agent validated registration receipt from the DNR or dealer.
  • Public use registration is valid for 2 years expiring on June 30th.
  • Private use registration is valid until ownership of the snowmobile changes, but is only valid when the snowmobile is used on the owner’s/immediate family member’s private property.
  • A Wisconsin Non-Resident Snowmobile Trail Pass is required on snowmobiles not registered in Wisconsin. Out of state registered snowmobiles in Wisconsin longer than 15 days must be registered in Wisconsin.

Operation on Highways

No person may operate a snowmobile on the highway except in the following manner:

  • To cross a roadway only after stopping and yielding to other vehicles.
  • On the roadway to cross a bridge, culvert or railroad right-of-way only after stopping and yielding to other vehicles. Unless posted (prohibited) by local authorities.
  • On extreme right side of roadways which have been designated as snowmobile routes by local ordinance. Signs must be in place to identify routes.
  • On roadways which are not maintained by snow removal (no plowing all winter).

Operation Adjacent to Roadways

Snowmobiles may be operated adjacent to a roadway in the following manner:

  • Along U.S. numbered roadways, state and country roadways at a distance of 10 or more feet from the roadway edge.
  • Snowmobile operation within the median of a divided highway is illegal.
  • Operation in the ditch is illegal on the roadway.
  • Along town roadways outside of the roadway (not necessarily in the ditch, but not on the roadway); no portion of the.
  • At night, travel shall conform to the direction of vehicular traffic in the nearest lane while within 40 feet of the roadway.
  • Snowmobiles shall observe roadway speed limits.

Miscellaneous Requirements

  • No person may operate a snowmobile on private property (including public snowmobile trails when closed) without consent from the owner or lessee.
  • No person may operate a snowmobile on frozen waters within 100 feet of a person not in or upon another vehicle or within 100 feet of a fishing shanty at a speed exceeding 10 miles per hour.
  • No person may operate a snowmobile while under the influence of an intoxicant or controlled substance or BAC of 0.08% or higher. Except as noted, the intoxicated operation law is applicable on all premises held out to the public for use of snowmobiles whether private or public. It does not apply to snowmobile use on private property (when not on a public snowmobile trail) unless an injury accident occurs and the operator was there without landowner permission.

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7. What are the age and other requirements for all terrain vehicle (ATV) operation?
8. What are the age and other requirements to operate a snowmobile?
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