Registration Waived for Out-of-State Snowmobilers for First Two Weekends in March

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced two free snowmobile weekends for all out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers to rev their engines. This year’s events will occur March 1- March 3 and now March 8 – March 10, encouraging out-of-state visitors to come ride the 10,500 miles of snowmobile trails in New York State.

“Winter is here in New York, and we are ready to welcome visiting snowmobilers to our trails,” Governor Hochul said. “With the help of local governments and clubs, we are now offering two free snowmobiling weekends this year to boost tourism and support local economies. Plan your trip to explore a scenic, beautiful upstate trail this season.”

New York State already set aside the first consecutive Saturday and Sunday in March as free for out-of-state snowmobilers and is now adding a second. During this time, the registration requirement in New York is waived for already properly registered and insured out-of-state snowmobiling enthusiasts. Participants in these free snowmobiling events must operate a snowmobile that is registered in their home state/Province and must carry any applicable insurance as required. Outside of this promotion, out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers are required to register their snowmobiles with New York State before hitting the state’s trails – from the Hudson Valley to the North Country to Western New York.

These free snowmobiling weekends, March 1 – March 3 and March 8 – March 10, 2024, help with tourism for state and local economies and reinforce New York’s commitment to the industry. New York State has made an ongoing commitment to snowmobile trail maintenance and our local grants program is funded by snowmobile registration fees collected by the State Department of Motor Vehicles and deposited into the Snowmobile Trail Development and Maintenance Fund. County and municipal governments distribute the grants to about 230 snowmobile clubs across the state, which in turn groom and maintain the trails.

This announcement is also a good reminder for riders to observe trail conditions and safety procedures while snowmobiling. Trail conditions vary depending on snowfall amounts and other factors. State Parks cautions snowmobilers, fishermen, skiers, and snowshoers to put safety first and to proceed with extreme caution before venturing on ice- or snow-covered bodies of water. Historically, the two leading causes of snowmobile injuries in New York State are excessive speed and operator intoxication.

Check the websites of area snowmobile clubs for information on trail conditions, including the status of grooming. Individuals operating a snowmobile should be familiar with safe riding practices and all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. The New York State Snowmobile Association website provides information about snowmobiling and snowmobile clubs. Maps of the state snowmobile trail network are available on New York State Parks’ website.

More information on planning a great snowmobile getaway and other ways to enjoy winter in New York State is available at iloveny.com/winter. 

DEC recently enacted speed limit regulations, effective immediately, for the length of the Adirondack Rail Trail, which posts limits of 15 miles per hour in Saranac Lake and Lake Clear. Visit DEC’s website for more information on the Adirondack Rail Trail. Visit the DEC website here for more information on snowmobiling on Forest Preserve and other DEC lands.

The DMV reminds New York riders that snowmobile registrations must be renewed annually. DMV allows snowmobilers to renew registrations online on the DMV website, by mail, or in person at a DMV office. Snowmobile registration costs $100 but is decreased to $45 if the snowmobiler is a member of a local snowmobile club.

Non-New Yorkers who wish to use a snowmobile in New York State before or after this promotional weekend can use the NYS Registration for Out-of-State Snowmobile service to get a 15-day registration and operate their snowmobile here immediately. DMV will send a permanent registration in the mail.

For information on snowmobiling, visit parks.ny.gov.