Maine Snowmobile Laws (2022)

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Maine Snowmobile Laws (1)
Maine Snowmobile Law

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Common sense, courtesy and safety are the basis of snowmobiling regulations in the state of Maine. If you know the laws, respect other people's rights and snowmobile safely, you'll have fun, rather than problems.

(Video) Snowmobile Legal Safety

Here's a very brief discussion of Maine snowmobile law as presented in the Maine snowmobile lawbook. These snowmobile laws can be viewed on line on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W) website. If you require a printed copy, contact IF&W, 207-287-8000.

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(Video) Snowmobile Registration

REGISTRATION: The Maine snowmobile trail system operates on a sled registration system. There is no trail pass required, but all Maine residents and non-residents must register their sleds in Maine to ride in Maine.
Resident Registration is $56 (one year commencing from July 1). Non-residents have three options - a 3 consecutive day registration is $75; a 10 consecutive day registration is $100, and a full season is $120. (Plus a small agent processing fee). You can register at numerous agent locations throughout the state - a list of Registration Agents is available on the IF & W site as well (scroll down their page to view the list). You can also register through the mails or purchase a resident renewal or non-resident season registration on-line on the IF&W web site .

WHERE THE MONEY GOES: Much of the registration money goes to the Snowmobile Trail Fund of the Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands where it is distributed through grants to snowmobile clubs, towns, etc. to develop, construct and maintain snowmobile trails and assist with the purchase of grooming equipment; a portion is credited to the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife for snowmobile enforcement and related expenses, some goes to the state's general fund and, in the case of Maine residents, a percentage is distributed to their municipality. In a number of cases, the municipalities will return those funds to the local snowmobile club to assist with their trail activities.

WHERE YOU CAN RIDE: There are over 14,000 miles of snowmobile trails in Maine, and (depending on the snow cover), your registration allows you access to every mile. There are many places where you cannot operate a snowmobile: You may not operate a snowmobile in a cemetery; within 200 feet of a dwelling, hospital, nursing home, convalescent home or church; along or adjacent to railroad tracks without the written permission of the railroad; across the tracks of a railroad if forbidden by the railroad or if the tracks are posted. On a plowed road, sleds need to travel off the portion of road used by motor vehicles and only for a very limited distance - if you're crossing the road, 300 yards - if you're crossing a bridge, overpass or underpass, 500 yards. Some communities do designate snowmobile access routes into their town in order for sledders to get to gas stations, restaurants, etc - these should be well marked and noted on the local trail map - travel slowly and to the extreme right when using these routes. Never ride on any property, unless you are on a signed snowmobile trail, without the landowner's permission. Check your snowmobile law handbook for further details on where you can and can't ride. The best way to enjoy snowmobiling in Maine is to get hold of a trail map and ride on the groomed and marked trail system where landowner permission has been obtained for everyone, snowmobile laws have been complied with, trails have been maintained, snow has been groomed, and signs are in place. That's where you can ride without concern of breaking the law, irritating a landowner, waking up the baby, damaging forest growth and cropland or disrupting Sunday services.

SPEED: There are no speed limits on Maine trails. Sledders are judged by the standard of "reasonable and prudent speed for the existing conditions". Reasonable means remembering that many families are out riding together, enjoying the outdoors. Slow down when you meet other sledders, ease up when you come to a curve, bridge or rise in the trail. If you are unable to control your sled enough to keep it to the right hand side of the trail and stop in a safe and prudent manner - you're speeding.

RECKLESS OPERATION: It is illegal to operate a snowmobile in a manner which endangers another person or property.

OUI LAW: Maine has a tough OUI law with penalties for operating or attempting to operate a snowmobile under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 21 years of age or older: .08%. Under 21: any amount of alcohol. The MSA has endorsed zero tolerance of alcohol/drugs while operating a sled.

BORDER CROSSINGS: You must stop at customs to cross the Canadian border. Travel with the same paperwork you would carry if you planned on touring Canada by automobile - passport/passport card, proper registrations and insurances. Contact the Quebec Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (514)252-3076 or the New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (506)325-2625 for information/required paperwork for snowmobiling in their provinces. Crossings in Jackman and in Fort Kent are open 24 hr/7 days a week, as are major crossings into New Brunswick. Some less traveled crossings have limited hours of operation, so check locally and plan your trips accordingly. If you are planning to ride into our neighboring state of New Hampshire, contact the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association at (603)224-8906 for information regarding snowmobiling in their state.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: You must stop for game wardens, foresters, rangers, troopers, local law enforcement - anyone in uniform who asks you to halt. You also need to stop for any landowner who asks you to - it's their property! Safest bet is to come to a halt for anyone who is flagging you down on the trails and find out what it is that they want.

YOUNGER SNOWMOBILERS: Snowmobiling in Maine is a family activity. Grandparents, parents and youngsters sled together and activities for children are a big part of local snowmobile club's schedules. However, there are a few restrictions for younger snowmobilers. Everyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while operating or riding on a snowmobile on a trail funded under the Snowmobile Trail Grant program. Children must be 10 years of age or older to operate a snowmobile on land other than that owned by their parent or guardian, unless they are accompanied by an adult. A child must be fourteen years of age before crossing a public way while operating a snowmobile. If a person under 18 years old has a snowmobile accident, the owner of the sled, the person who furnishes the sled and the parent or guardian responsible for the minor are jointly liable with the minor for damages caused in the operation of that sled. In other words, don't plop some inexperienced 15 year olds on powerful sleds and let them loose on the trails without some safety and handling instruction. (And some supervision.)


LANDOWNER LIABILITY: Maine has a solid landowner liability law. The people of Maine have a long tradition of generously sharing their land with others for recreational use, and a real Maine sportsman would never jeopardize that tradition by holding landowners responsible for a recreationist's actions. Snowmobilers, hunters, hikers, ATV operators, bikers, fisherman - people whose recreation depends on access to privately held land, all strongly support this law that protects the landowner who allows us access.

ABUSE OF ANOTHER'S PROPERTY: It seems incredible that laws must be on the books to keep recreationists from damaging the property of the very people who allow them access, but unfortunately some people just don't get it. If a snowmobiler tramples or destroys crops, tears down or destroys a landowners fence or leaves open a gate or bars on someone else's land - they are guilty of the crime of abusing another's property. If a person enters someone else's property and breaks glass, damages the road, draining ditch, culvert, bridge or any other structures and dumps litter/trash in any amount, they're breaking the law. If someone destroys, mutilates or defaces the landowner's signage, they are breaking the law. We're all guests on Maine's snowmobile trails - stay on the marked trail, carry in carry out, and respect both the land and the landowner.

SNOWMOBILE ACCIDENTS: If you have the misfortune of ending up in a snowmobile accident which results in a fatality or an injury requiring the services of a physician, you or someone acting on your behalf must give notice of the accident by the quickest means possible to the nearest law enforcement officer. If you are in an accident which results in property damage only of $1000 or more, you must report the accident within 72 hours using a form provided by the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife - these forms are available at branches of the Maine Warden Service and area dealerships - and online at the IF & W web site.

That's a very quick overview - there's much more specific information in the Maine Snowmobile Law handbook, so be sure to become familiar with it.

FAQs

Can you drive a snowmobile without a license in Maine? ›

§13102 – License not required. An operator's license is not required for the operation of a snowmobile.

Can you carry a gun on a snowmobile in Maine? ›

It is unlawful to have a loaded firearm or crossbow in or on a motor vehicle (including trailer, ATV, aircraft, snowmobile, or railway car). A loaded clip may be carried in a motor vehicle, but it must not be inserted in a firearm.

How much is the fine for an unregistered snowmobile in Maine? ›

B. The following penalties apply to violations of this subsection. (1) A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

Does Maine have a speed limit for snowmobiles? ›

SPEED: There are no speed limits on Maine trails. Sledders are judged by the standard of "reasonable and prudent speed for the existing conditions". Reasonable means remembering that many families are out riding together, enjoying the outdoors.

Is off trail snowmobiling legal in Maine? ›

Even with 14,500 miles of trails, Maine is seeing a sharp increase in off-trail riding in many areas of the state. While this activity is allowed unless it is prohibited by landowner policy, it is important to remember that being guests on someone's property requires courtesy and common sense.

Can 2 people ride on a snowmobile? ›

Yes, two people can ride on a snowmobile as long as it's designed or modified to accommodate two passengers. This means the sled should have a longer seat or a separate passenger seat behind the operator.

Can I have a loaded gun in my car in Maine? ›

A person may not shoot while in or on a vehicle, have a loaded firearm or crossbow while in or on a vehicle or rest a loaded firearm or crossbow on a vehicle except as provided in subsection 3. [PL 2017, c. 176, §2 (NEW).] 3.

Is Maine a stand your ground state? ›

Maine's Stand Your Ground

Maine does not have a stand your ground law, and there is a duty to retreat before force for self defense can be used.

Is Maine a pro gun state? ›

In general, yes, Maine would likely be considered a gun-friendly state. Maine is a shall-issue, constitutional carry state where anyone 21 or older who can legally possess a firearm is allowed to carry openly or concealed.

Can you walk on snowmobile trails in Maine? ›

Maine has an amazing network of trails making it possible for ATV and snowmobile riders to explore thousands of miles across the state. Access to these trails is made possible thanks in part to many generous private landowners.

How old does a snowmobile have to be to be considered antique? ›

Most snowmobile clubs and enthusiasts consider snowmobiles over 50 years to be antique. There are many clubs dedicated to the preservation of antique and one of such clubs is the Antique Snowmobile Club Of America (ASCOA). The association considers snowmobiles manufactured in 1968 and earlier as antique snowmobiles.

Do you have to register a snowmobile in Maine? ›

Fees. Prior to registration, sales or use taxes are due. The season registration for a snowmobile is valid for one year, commencing on July 1st of each year.

How old do you have to be to ride a snowmobile by yourself in Maine? ›

Children must be at least 10 years old to operate a snowmobile unaccompanied by an adult. However, when crossing a public roadway, they'll need an adult to drive it across for them until they are 14 years old.

Can you backcountry snowmobile in Maine? ›

Several state parks spread across Maine's Lakes and Mountains region offer some of the area's best backcountry snowmobiling, with untracked trails, deep snow, and stunning scenery.

Do you have to wear a helmet on a snowmobile? ›

A person under the age of 18 years must wear a properly fitted, safety-rated helmet whenever operating or a passenger on a snowmobile or OHV.

Do you need insurance to ride a snowmobile in Maine? ›

In fact, there are no real Maine snowmobile insurance requirements or licensing requirements – only laws determining who can ride, as well as how and where they can ride.

When can you snowmobile in Maine? ›

When experienced snowmobilers are ready to go sledding, they know Maine is the best place in New England with snow! Our northern most location is ideal for those Maine snow flurries that start as early as October and often provide great snowmobile conditions until late April.

What do you need to register snowmobile in Maine? ›

What you will need
  1. Registered Owner information.
  2. Vehicle Information.
  3. Credit/debit card (MasterCard, Visa)
  4. A printer in order to print a copy of your temporary registration.

How fast will a 600cc snowmobile go? ›

A stock 600cc snowmobile can go as fast as 90-105 mph depending on the model. With some modifications, you can even expect to reach 110+ mph!

Can 3 people ride a snowmobile? ›

Riding with Passengers

Passengers should be carried only on snowmobiles designed for two passengers, which have an extra seat or longer seat behind the driver, as well as rear handgrips for the passenger.

How much weight can a 2 person snowmobile hold? ›

The engine, suspension, and seating are designed to carry a driver plus two passengers with a combined weight up to 600 pounds. It is recommended that one of the passengers be at least 12 years old or older. All passengers must be able to hold on without adult supervision, riding behind the driver.

Does Maine have a magazine capacity limit? ›

For hunters, a semi-automatic firearm's magazine capacity can not exceed 6 cartridges (5 in the magazine +1 in the chamber). For migratory game bird hunting, shotgun capacity is 3 shells. Upland bird hunting follows the semi-automatic laws. This is stated in Maine hunting law, but not Maine firearm law.

Can a non-resident carry a gun in Maine? ›

The law applies to both residents of Maine and non-residents. There will be some circumstances in which an optional handgun permit will authorize the permittee to carry in certain locations or during an activity when an unpermitted person could not: Acadia National Park (Maine Permit required; 12 M.R.S.

Can you conceal carry in Maine without a permit? ›

Any Maine resident over 21 (who is not otherwise prohibited from owning or being in possession of a firearm), is authorized to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. This also applies to individuals (18-20 y/o) who are actively serving or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Military/Armed Forces.

Is there a castle law in Maine? ›

The ability to justifiably use non-deadly force is simple, and broad under Maine's Castle Doctrine. Non-deadly force can be used if you reasonably believe it's necessary to prevent someone from trespassing, or about to trespass, on your land, private roads, or in any buildings on your land.

Can you defend yourself in Maine? ›

A person is justified in using deadly force upon another person when: he reasonably believes that the other person is about to use unlawful, deadly force against him; and. he reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to defend himself.

Can you open carry a shotgun in Maine? ›

Is open carry permitted in Maine? Yes, without a permit. Any person who is at least 21 years old and legally entitled to possess a firearm can open carry.

What state has the loosest gun laws? ›

States with the Least Strict Gun Laws

The states with the most lenient gun laws are New Hampshire, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Texas, Montana, West Virginia, Alabama, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alaska, Kansas, South Dakota, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, Idaho, Wyoming, and Mississippi.

What state is most gun friendly? ›

Alaska. Alaska does not require a permit, purchase permit, or registration. There are no background checks on private gun sales, and open carry is allowed without a permit.

Which state has most gun violence? ›

Here's where gun violence is the highest in the U.S.

Mississippi, Louisiana, Wyoming, Missouri and Alabama have the highest firearm mortality rates in the country, according to the CDC . Alaska, New Mexico, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee and Montana also have high firearm mortality rates.

Do you need insurance to ride a snowmobile in Maine? ›

In fact, there are no real Maine snowmobile insurance requirements or licensing requirements – only laws determining who can ride, as well as how and where they can ride.

How old do you have to be to register a snowmobile in Maine? ›

Maine law has been amended to require registration in this state by nonresident snowmobile owners. 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.

How old do you have to be to rent a snowmobile in Maine? ›

A: The minimum age to participate in our snowmobile tours/rentals is 8 years old. For safety purposes, it is required that a passenger be able to hold on to the snowmobile's passenger seat handlebars. To drive your own snowmobile we require that you be 18 years of age with a driver's license.

When can you snowmobile in Maine? ›

When experienced snowmobilers are ready to go sledding, they know Maine is the best place in New England with snow! Our northern most location is ideal for those Maine snow flurries that start as early as October and often provide great snowmobile conditions until late April.

Do you have to wear a helmet on a snowmobile? ›

A person under the age of 18 years must wear a properly fitted, safety-rated helmet whenever operating or a passenger on a snowmobile or OHV.

How old does a snowmobile have to be to be considered antique? ›

Most snowmobile clubs and enthusiasts consider snowmobiles over 50 years to be antique. There are many clubs dedicated to the preservation of antique and one of such clubs is the Antique Snowmobile Club Of America (ASCOA). The association considers snowmobiles manufactured in 1968 and earlier as antique snowmobiles.

Do you have to register a snowmobile in Maine? ›

Fees. Prior to registration, sales or use taxes are due. The season registration for a snowmobile is valid for one year, commencing on July 1st of each year.

Can you hike on snowmobile trails in Maine? ›

Maine has an amazing network of trails making it possible for ATV and snowmobile riders to explore thousands of miles across the state. Access to these trails is made possible thanks in part to many generous private landowners.

Can you backcountry snowmobile in Maine? ›

Several state parks spread across Maine's Lakes and Mountains region offer some of the area's best backcountry snowmobiling, with untracked trails, deep snow, and stunning scenery.

What do you need to register a used snowmobile in Maine? ›

To register a snowmobile / ATV purchased through a Maine dealer for the first time, you will need a receipt or bill of sale from the dealer, indicating sales tax was paid is required.

How much does a snowmobile cost? ›

How Much is a Snowmobile? The cost of a snowmobile depends on if you buy it new or used. The average new sled can cost you $10,000 or more, while a decent used one is typically in the $2,000-8,000 range.

Can a UTV be street legal in Maine? ›

Maine allows UTVs and other off-highway vehicles to drive on public roads marked as ATV Access Routes. Vehicles using these routes must stay to the far right and travel in the same direction as traffic without interfering with traffic.

What do you need to register a snowmobile in Vermont? ›

Registering Your Snowmobile
  1. Original Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin. If the assignment made by other than Dealer, the title of one signing must be indicated or Power of Attorney Appointment submitted.
  2. Bill of Sale (for Sales Tax purposes)
  3. Additional Bill of Sale.

Where is the best place to snowmobile in Maine? ›

Prime snowmobiling areas include Jackman-Moose River, Moosehead Lake, Rangeley Lakes, Millinocket and the Katahdin area and Aroostook County. Fill up your tank, stop for lunch, or enjoy a club event run by volunteers who maintain the trail system.

How many miles of snowmobile trails are there in Maine? ›

The roughly 10,000 miles of snowmobile trails scattered throughout the Pine Tree State means plenty of options. Check out the Maine Snowmobile Association's website for trail conditions, maps, and much more.

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3. Snowmobile Registration
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