Are you ready to buy a snowmobile to enjoy the winter weather in Washington? Washington state has 80 Sno-Parks and more than 3,000 miles of trails that you can enjoy on your snowmobile or snow bike. However, if you’re thinking about buying a snowmobile, remember to register it with the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL).
How to Make Sure Your Snowmobile is Legal
Snowmobiles and snow bikes must be registered with the DOL. It’s important to note that snowmobiles are not titled. However, in order to drive it legally, you will need to register it, and if you purchase a snowmobile that is already registered with the DOL, you have 10 days after the date of the purchase to put the vehicle in your name.
Understanding What You’ll Need to Submit to the Washington DOL
The process of getting your snowmobile or snow bike registered is fairly simple. You’ll need to fill out the appropriate forms, bring in the documents that prove you are the owner and pay any applicable fees and taxes.
Submit a Vehicle Title Application
The first thing you’ll need to do is submit a vehicle title application. You’ll need to know the vehicle identification number (VIN), propulsion method, purchase price and date and the make and model of the snowmobile. If you’re the registered owner, you’ll need to input your name, address and email address. You may also need a copy of the previously issued registration, a certificate of ownership, a bill of sale and any other documents that prove that you own the snowmobile or snow bike. You will also need to pay any fees and taxes associated with registering your snowmobile. As of 2023, the fee for registering a snowmobile in Washington is $50. If you plan on using your snowmobile or snow bike on a highway, you’ll need to submit a Snow Bike/Tracked All-Terrain Vehicle Highway Use Declaration.
When to Renew Your Snow Mobile Registration
If you need to renew your snowmobile or snow bike registration, you can do it from October 1st in the current year to September 30th in the next year. For example, if you renew your snowmobile registration on September 15th and you paid last year’s registration fee, your current registration would be good for the upcoming year.
It’s important to note that if you skipped a year, you’ll want to renew on October 1st. If you renew prior to October 1st, it will count toward the previous year.
Where to Put Your Registration Decal
Snow bikes and snowmobiles don’t get license plates. Instead, you’ll receive two decals. The DOL recommends that those decals be placed right below the windshield on both sides of the hood in order to ensure they are easily visible.
Registering Vintage Snowmobiles
The DOL considers a snowmobile to be vintage if it’s 30+ years old. These snowmobiles do not have to be registered if they are not operated in Washington State. If you do plan to operate your vintage snowmobile, you must visit a DOL location to register the snowmobile. There is a $12 registration fee for vintage snowmobiles.
What To Do if You’re a Non-Resident That Plans To Ride a Snowmobile
If you are a non-resident of WA and plan to bring your snowmobile to the state to enjoy some snowmobiling, you should get a non-resident temporary permit. You should have this permit from the first day you plan to snowmobile but for no longer than 60 days. In addition, non-residents must also get a Sno-Park permit.
Type of Snowmobiles That Are Exempt
Some snowmobiles are exempt from the registration requirement. This includes snowmobiles that are owned by a government entity or political subdivision and snowmobiles that are to be operated in the state of WA for less than 15 days in a row.
Snowmobile and Snow Bike Insurance from Boyd Insurance Brokerage Inc. in Spokane, WA
If you’ve recently purchased a snowmobile in WA, it’s a good idea to get it insured. In fact, if you’re making payments on your snowmobile to a financial institution, they may insist that you maintain snowmobile insurance until you’ve paid off your loan. Snowmobile insurance policies are similar to car insurance policies in that you can get one with liability, under and uninsured coverage, and comprehensive and collision insurance. You can also add medical payments and custom parts and equipment coverage to your snowmobile policy.
If you need other types of insurance, we also offer home, car, boat, and life insurance, as well as insurance policies for businesses. To learn more about snowmobile insurance and to get a quote, give us a call at 509-340-2693.