Legal Requirements for Snowmobiling
November 14, 2012
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.
- 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 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.