With the recent dusting of snow, many people are eagerly looking forward to snowmobile season. While snowfall the last few years has been sparse, you never know what Mother Nature could throw at us this year. It’s a good idea to be ready, so that you can take advantage of the fresh powder whenever it hits.
The first thing that you need to do if you are an Indiana resident is register your snowmobile. Indiana law IC 14-16-1 states that all ORV/snowmobiles purchased after Dec. 31, 2003 must be registered. If you’ve already registered your snowmobile, it’s still a good idea to double check that you aren’t up for a renewal. Snowmobile registrations only last 3 years in the state of Indiana.
Registration is required because it helps law enforcement identify stolen property and/or people who may be breaking various snowmobiling laws. The fee, a mere $30 for 3 years, also helps pay for the maintenance of the many snowmobiling trails throughout Indiana, so make sure you take advantage of this benefit by planning a day trip to a trail near you.
You may immediately think of Michigan when you think of snowmobile trails, but northern Indiana actually boasts 200 miles of public snowmobile trails all on its own. These trails are generally open December 1st to March 31st. Just make sure you stick to the trails. The area surrounding the trails is often considered private property and you could be charged for trespassing. Snowmobiles are also allowed on some private property and roadways with permission and depending upon county laws. Click here for a map of snowmobile laws by county within the state of Indiana.
If you’re ready to get started riding and you need to register your snowmobile, just head on over to your local BMV Branch. Upon registration you will receive a decal to place on your snowmobile as well as a certificate of registration that you should carry along with you when riding. Only after receiving these items and placing the decal on your snowmobile is it legal to ride. The exception to this is if you have just purchased the snowmobile. In that case, keep a copy of the bill of sale with you and you will be allowed to drive the vehicle for up to 31 days until you obtain your legal registration.
Now that you’ve got yourself covered when it comes to registration, make sure you know the basics when it comes to snowmobiling safety by taking this online snowmobiling safety quiz or by reading our previous blog post on Snowmobiling Safety.
Happy riding, and always remember if you’re involved in an accident—contact the personal injury attorneys that will fight for you. Boughter Sinak will fight for your snowmobile accident case so that you get the compensation and treatment that you deserve!