Do Snowmobiles Have Titles?


The car in your driveway is titled, and the motorcycle you use on occasion is also titled. You’re purchasing a snowmobile, but before you proceed, you’re curious about something. Do you need a title for one of these vehicles the same way you would a car or a truck?

Whether a snowmobile requires a title depends on the state you call home as well as the prior owner. For example, if you bought a snowmobile after 2001, in some states, there’s no need to title your sled. Titling typically is not free, and the fee could be $23 and up.

If you live somewhere in the country that requires a title, we’ll detail the rules and fees for acquiring one so you can ride your snowmobile safely and legally. You’re not going to want to miss it. 

Is Registration and Title for a Snowmobile the Same Thing?

Before we get started, we want to make one thing clear: to register your snowmobile and to title it to are two different matters. A title proves your ownership of the snowmobile, and the registration is what gives you permission to use your snowmobile. 

Some states require you to only register your sled and others ask you to both title and register it. However, these services are not the same. 

These States Require You to Have a Snowmobile Title

Now that you’re clearer on that, let’s discuss the US states in which having a snowmobile title is mandated. This information is courtesy of the DMV and is assumed to be current at this time.

Oregon

You can kill two birds with one stone in Oregon, getting your snowmobile both titled and registered in one handy document. It’s called Form 735-226, and you can view, download, and print it here

As we mentioned in the intro, it’s not free to title your snowmobile. In Oregon, the title costs are between $98 and $187 while registration is another $10. Your registration is good for two years while the norm is one year, so at least there’s that!

Idaho

In Idaho, snowmobiles are considered all-terrain vehicles. It’s a state requirement to title your sled in case it’s ever stolen. Visit your local DMV office to get the process started. In some instances, your dealer might take care of both titling and registering your sled. You wouldn’t have to do anything further until it’s time to reup your registration. 

Wyoming

Wyoming residents will need to contact their county clerk to get their new snowmobile titled and registered. When you do, you’re issued a decal that’s valid beginning in December until April 1st of the next year. Then you’d need to get registered again.

The fee for registration is $35 per year, and the amount goes to a permit selling agent or county treasurer. You need to put your decal on your sled, specifically the cowl’s left side so it’s fully visible. 

Utah

Do you live in Utah? As a resident, your sled must be titled and registered. Snowmobiles in this state count as off-highway vehicles or OHVs and cost $30 for a permit. If you buy your permit online, you pay $5 extra. Registration is $22.

According to the Utah DMV, there’s a uniform fee assigned to your sled, the value of which varies based on the snowmobile’s age. 

Alaska

In Alaska, you can’t register your sled without a title. Here is the form you need to fill out to apply for registration. Although the state’s DMV page doesn’t make it clear how much titling the sled costs, the registration fees vary depending on how many years you decide to register your snowmobile at once.

A two-year registration costs $10, a four-year registration is $20, and a six-year registration costs $30.

North Dakota

It’s a similar situation in North Dakota, where your sled must be titled to even be able to register it. You’ll have to fill out Form SFN 2872 and then send it to your local DMV office. The registration fee is $50.

Then you’ll get a registration number and certificate, the former of which must go on either side of your sled. For each odd-numbered year (such as 2021 or 2023), you must update your registration.

South Dakota

Here’s yet a third state where you’re required to have titled your sled to register it. The form you need is MV-608 for titling and registering. That’s true if you bought your sled from an individual or a dealership. 

South Dakota has an excise tax up to four percent that you must pay as well as potentially other fees. The registration fee is $10 and is good for a year. 

Iowa

If you just bought a snowmobile in Iowa from a private party, then you need to get it titled within 30 days. This costs $11.50 to do. To register your sled, you’d pay an additional $17.75. You might not have to pay the same fees if the sled gets transferred to you from a deceased spouse. 

West Virginia

At your DMV regional office, you can title your snowmobile in West Virginia. The title fee is $15 but might be an additional $10 if your sled has a lien on it. You’ll also need a notarized bill of sale or a statement of origin from the manufacturer as well as six percent of your purchase price.

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, you don’t have a choice about titling or registering your sled. Print and fill out Form 1300-FM-DCNR0043 and then bring it to an authorized ATV or snowmobile dealer in the state. It costs $22.50 to title your snowmobile in this state and another $20 for registration. You must renew your registration every two years.

You’ll also need an affidavit of ownership to title and register your sled.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts residents must have titled their snowmobiles before they can register them if they bought their sled used. This will require you to go through the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs, not the state DMV. 

Besides your title, you’ll also need your completed titling and registering application, your vehicle identification number or VIN, a certificate of origin from the manufacturer, your bill of sale, and the sales tax receipt, either form ST-6E or ST-6.

To register your sled for two years as a resident costs $44, and for a year, you’d pay $33. 

Vermont

In Vermont, you must complete Form VD-038, which is a titling and registration form. That’s the case if you’re registering a used snowmobile or a new one. For used sleds, you’d need the bill of sale, Form VD-038, and the original title (if you have it). It costs $36 to register a used snowmobile as a non-resident and $28 as a resident.

For a new sled, you’d require a bill of sale, a certificate of origin from the manufacturer (the original copy), a Vermont Use Tax Return or Form SU-452, and your registration fee, which is the same as above. 

Don’t see your state on the list above? Then the state either doesn’t require you to title your sled or the DMV didn’t have a policy about titling snowmobiles for that state. For many southern states, this makes sense, as snowmobiles are quite uncommon due to all the warm weather! 

Where Should You Keep a Snowmobile Title?

Unlike snowmobile registrations, which you must reapply for regularly (anywhere from annually to every six years), once you title your snowmobile, there’s no need to update it. The only exception to that is if you decide to sell your snowmobile to someone else. We’ll talk more about that in the next section, so make sure you keep reading.

You need to keep your snowmobile title in a safe space, especially since many states across the country require you to bring it with you while you’re registering or re-registering your snowmobile. There’s no need to keep it on your person otherwise, so where should it go?

A safe deposit box is one good option. You’d lock the deposit box and only be able to access it with a key or a code of your choosing. Of course, make sure you don’t forget the code, as then the safe deposit box is inaccessible.

We recommend keeping your snowmobile title with the titles for any other vehicles you own, including cars, trucks, or motorcycles. Your passport and birth certificate should be stored in the same place as well.  

How Do You Transfer Your Snowmobile Title?

If you ever decide that you want to sell your current snowmobile to pay for the costs of a new one, that means you have to transfer the title as well. Remember, a title signifies ownership, and you’d no longer be the owner of the sled. 

How do you transfer your snowmobile title? The rules vary on a state-by-state basis, so we recommend you read your state requirements before you begin. The gist of it is this: you’d have to sign the title, which will relinquish your ownership of the snowmobile. 

Then the owner takes the title, goes to their local DMV office, and gets an updated title as well as registration for the snowmobile.  

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Can You Sell a Snowmobile Without the Title?

Having the title when selling or buying a used snowmobile will always be optimal, but what if you lose your title? Can you still sell your snowmobile, and is it a good idea to buy a used one if the owner does not have the title? 

First, let’s talk about using a snowmobile without a title. I would never recommend this, but I have a friend who did just this. All they needed was a bill of sale that both parties signed. The bill of sale needs to include the make and model of the snowmobile and the VIN. If the snowmobile was bought new from the seller, then a certificate of origin is needed to transfer ownership. Again, you need to verify with your particular state. 

Suppose you are attempting to sell your snowmobile, and you’ve lost or misplaced the title. In that case, I recommend visiting whichever state agency deals with registers/titles of snowmobiles in your state. For a small fee, they will be able to locate and print another for you. This way, you give your buyers peace of mind about the transaction and make it easier for them to register it if needed. 

Final Thoughts on Snowmobile Titles

Snowmobiles require titles in a handful of states, but many more do not. Even if your sled doesn’t need to be titled, it almost always requires registration. 

Plus, it’s not a bad idea to get your snowmobile titled if your state offers this service, even if it’s not mandated. Having proof of ownership could help you get your snowmobile back if it’s ever stolen and the police have to do an investigation.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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