Legal Requirements for Snowmobiling

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Laws governing the operation of a snowmobile differ for private and public property in Alberta.

In a Public Place

  • The rider must have a properly registered and insured machine.
  • The driver must be 14 years of age to operate a machine independently.
  • A person younger than 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult, or supervised closely while receiving instruction.
  • An operator of a snowmobile must produce insurance and registration when requested to do so by an enforcement or peace officer.

On Private Land – Ensure you ask permission before entering

  • You do not need a driver’s licence, registration or insurance if you are riding on land you own or have acquired the right to access.
  • There is no age requirement when riding on private land that you own or have established the right to access.
  • Entering without permission makes you a trespasser: Petty Trespass Act (June 1, 2004 Amendment) –
    • Previously, a poperty owner had to appear before a justice of the peace in order to lay charges. Now, a peace officer can issue a ticket in the amount of $250, and the alleged trespasser may then either voluntarily pay the fine or set a date to appear in court to dispute the charge or amount of the fine.
    • In more serious incidents of trespass, in either case, the maximum fine available is $2,000 (from $100) for a first offence.
    • When a person is charged with a second or subsequent offence with respect to the same property the person is required to appear before a justice without the alternative of making a voluntary payment. The maximum penalty is $5,000.

Insurance Requirements

  • To be properly insured, you must have a minimum coverage of $200,000 public liability and property damage.
  • A $1,000,000 public liability and property damage insurance is commonly carried.

Registration Rules

  • Registration papers may be obtained from any licensing and registry agent.
  • The minimum age required to register a snowmobile is 18 years.
  • A licence plate must be securely attached in a visible location on the front or rear of the snowmobile.