Montana Permits & Laws
It is your responsibility to know and follow established rules and regulations. The following is a summary of those rules, but you should also review additional information available from your county treasurer's office, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, U.S. Forest Service offices and ranger stations, and other state and county government sources.
Laws for Road Riding
MCA 23-2-631 states that snowmobiles may operate on maintained streets, roads, or highways only if:
the roadway is drifted or covered by snow to such an extent that travel is impossible by other motor vehicles;
the local government allows snowmobiles to travel on plowed roads with wheeled vehicles;
the snowmobile operator possesses a motor vehicle driver's license or a snowmobile safety certificate and travels under the visual supervision of an adult.
General Snowmobiling Laws
MCA 23-2-6 defines the rules for operating a snowmobile in Montana.
Operating on roads — Individuals wanting to ride on SPECIFICALLY designated roads or streets are required to have a driver's license. Minors must have a Snowmobile Safety Education Course certificate and be accompanied by an adult within eyesight.
Crossing roads — Be careful when crossing roads of any kind. Come to a complete stop and make absolutely sure no traffic is approaching from any direction. Then cross at a right angle to traffic.
Operation at night — When operating during the hours between dusk and dawn a snowmobile must use a lighted headlight and taillight.
Accidents — The owner or operator of a snowmobile that is involved in any accident, collision, or upset in which personal injury or fatality occurs to any person shall report the accident to the nearest law enforcement agency immediately.
Firearms — A person may not discharge a firearm from or upon a snowmobile.
Snowmobile Registration and Permits
Snowmobiles operating on public land must be registered and display decals placed in a conspicuous space on the left side of the cowling. Registration is different for Montana residents and nonresidents. See details below.
Residents – Montana residents must register their snowmobiles at the County Treasurer's office in the county where the owner resides. This is a one-time registration and valid until the current owner sells the snowmobile.
Nonresidents – Nonresidents who plan to ride their snowmobiles in Montana must purchase a Snowmobile Nonresident Temporary Use Permit for $25 per machine.
Apply Online - You may apply for your Nonresident Snowmobile Permit online through Online Licensing System.
Paper Application ( 24 KB) - You may print the Snowmobile Nonresident Temporary Use Permit Application, fill it out, and mail it back to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (address is on the application).
Vendor List ( 37 KB) - You can apply for a Snowmobile Nonresident Temporary Use Permit at one of the many vendors in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Wyoming.