Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Snowmobile Registration Insurance

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Registration Display, Insurance, Trailers and Trailer Registration

Registration numbers are permanently assigned to a snowmobile when it is registered for the first time. These numbers stay with the machine from owner to owner until it is destroyed or permanently removed from the state.

DMV-provided registration number decals must be displayed on both sides of the cowling of the snowmobile at all times. The cowling is defined as the forward portion of the snowmobile surrounding the engine and clutch assembly. Any display position behind the snowmobile cowling (tunnel or seat area) or on the windshield is illegal and could result in an expensive citation for violation of the registration law.

Snowmobile Registration Placement Diagram

Snowmobiles first registered prior to August 1995 must display owner-provided registration numbers on both sides of the cowling. They must be of block type, at least three inches tall, and in a contrasting and reflective color. A hyphen or a space must appear between the last number and the letters.

Snowmobiles registered for the first time after 1995 do not need to show the full display of registration numbers. These sleds only need to show the proper registration decal.

Yearly registration validation stickers must be displayed in the upper left hand corner of the DMV-provided registration number decals, or to the left of the owner-provided registration numbers.

Snowmobiles already registered in another state or province must be registered at a Motor Vehicle office or a snowmobile dealer who participates in the state's prepaid registration program. Snowmobiles legally registered in another state or province are NOT required to display the New York State registration number decals, only the yearly validation stickers. The stickers must be displayed next to the home state or province registration sticker or number.

Insurance Requirements

All snowmobiles operated on any part of a roadway or shoulder of a highway in New York State must be covered by minimum liability insurance.

New York State Parks law requires snowmobilers to carry liability coverage in the minimum amount of $10,000 for an accident involving one person, $20,000 for an accident involving two or more persons, and $5,000 for property damage from one accident.

Proof of insurance must be carried by the snowmobiler and must be displayed on request of any magistrate, law enforcement officer, or anyone who has suffered personal injury or property damage as a result of the snowmobiler's actions.

Trailers and Trailer Registration

Trailers manufactured specifically for snowmobiles are usually the best choices. Your tow vehicle should be big enough and have enough power to handle the trailer easily or you will put yourself and your snowmobiles in a very dangerous situation.

All trailers operated on New York State's public highways must be registered, inspected, and display a license plate with an annual validation tag. The vehicle used to tow the trailer must be insured. You must provide the Department of Motor Vehicles with all required items to receive a valid registration and license plate for your trailer.

Custom-built trailers must meet all equipment requirements of section 375 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, and must be assigned a vehicle identification number by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Contact your county's weights and measures office for local weighing stations.

Trailer Registration Materials Check List

You must have the following items to register your snowmobile:

  • A completed Application for Vehicle Registration form MV-82;
  • Proof of ownership - a complete Bill of Sale AND one of the following:
  • an MCO/MSO for a new trailer, OR a signed Title document for a 1973 or newer used trailer weighing more than 1,000 pounds unloaded, OR;
  • a signed transferable registration for a used trailer not requiring a Title;
  • Proof of payment of sales tax OR tax may be paid at the motor vehicle office;
  • Proof of your identity ands date of birth;
  • A check for the correct fee payable to the "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles".