If you want to enjoy Maine's outdoors during any one of the state's twelve months of winter, you'll probably need a snowmobile to get around. While they're not a car, snowmobiles still need to be registered in Maine. The only times where you don't have to register y
our snowmobile is if you're only going to use it on your own property, or if you own a ski slope and will only be used to pack snow or for rescue operations, and it won't cross a public road, or if you own a licensed snowmobile repair shop, and are only conducting field tests on the vehicle. If you don't register your snowmobile and take it out on the trails without the proper licensing and stickers, you risk being pulled over by a police officer and face a fine of between $200 and $500.
The snowmobile registration procedure is a relatively easy process, largely because of the high number – approximately 100,000 – of snowmobile registrations Maine processes every year. While new registrations can only be done through a registration agent, or at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife office, in Augusta, renewals can be done online, or using a paper application. To avoid unnecessary inconvenience and travel, non-Maine residents can apply for new snowmobile registrations online, as well. For Maine residents, there is a $41 fee. For non-Maine residents, the fee is $89 for a year-long registration, or $44 for a 3-day registration. Members of the military permanently stationed in Maine, as well as their family, can register their snowmobile at the in-state fee by simply showing a certification, from the commander of the military base, that the registrant is permanently stationed at the base. If you register online, you can pay using a credit card. If you use the paper application, you have to mail the application, along with your registration fee, to the following address:
41 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
Registrations are valid for a year, from July 1st through the following June 30th. Prior to registering, you will need to have paid all sales and use taxes that you owe. To register online, you'll need to have the information for the vehicle and its registered owner handy, as well as a credit or debit card for paying. After registering online, you can print out a temporary registration if you want to hit the trails immediately; your official registration and stickers will arrive at the shipping address you provide on your application within ten business days. You must put these stickers – only the most recent for the vehicle – on both sides of the snowmobile's cowling, and present the registration to law enforcement, if they request it.
A Maine registration is good for all trails in the state of Maine, and also for Maine-New Hampshire Cooperative Trails, such as New Hampshire Trail 18, in the Success Pond and Grafton Notch area, and Maine Trail ITS-80, in the Evans Notch area of the White Mountain National Forest.
If you or someone you know have any questions or concerns about registering your snowmobile, or encounter any problems on the trail, call the law officers of William T. Bly at (207) 571-8146.