Snowmobile or ATV?

Feedback September 16, 2004 0
Ben George of Ontario states, “I recently wrote the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) regarding the use of ATV’s with track kits on...

Ben George of Ontario states, “I recently wrote the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) regarding the use of ATV’s with track kits on them. Here is what I wrote: If I have an ATV with a track kit on the rear wheels and skis up front or with tracks on all four corners will I be able to purchase a trail permit and use the OFSC trails?”

Their response was: “The Motorized Snow Vehicles Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER M.44 clearly states the following; 2.2)  Every dealer in motorized snow vehicles who sells a new motorized snow vehicle shall register the motorized snow vehicle on behalf of the purchaser thereof with the Ministry within six days following the sale.  2.1) The owner of a motorized snow vehicle shall not ,(a) drive the motorized snow vehicle; or (b) cause or permit the motorized snow vehicle to be driven, except under the authority of a permit for the motorized snow vehicle issued or validated under subsection (3) or except on lands occupied by the owner of the motorized snow vehicle.

Since your ATV was never registered as a motorized snow vehicle an O.F.S.C. permit cannot be sold for it or applied to it as per section 2.3 of the act. Without an O.F.S.C. trail permit affixed in the proper manner you will be charged with trespassing if found on our trail system the same as a snowmobiler without one.  If you were able to somehow register your ATV as a motorized snow vehicle you would then be restricting it’s use to that of a motorized snow vehicle.  Once the trails close for the season be it on private property, crown land, etc. I cannot ride my snowmobile there.  These same restrictions would apply to your ATV. I hope this answers your questions.”

“So if I do purchase a new ATV outfitted with the tracks and skis and had it is registered by the dealer on my behalf within six days following the sale as a registered snow vehicle, I still would be able to get a permit and use it on the trails?”

Yikes! This is a valid question, where current laws and regulations can not deal with every new technology and possibility. I’d be more concerned about the insurance and safety regulations that are in place for snowmobiles. Even with tracks installed, there are a host of other requirements that need to be met to be technically called a “snowmobile”, and this presents a safety as well as liability issue. Does your ATV have enough surface area of a tail light to qualify as a sled? This is just the tip of the iceberg.

This is why snowmobiles that are legal for registration are supposed to meet the snowmobile safety certification committee requirements. Like the AD Boivin SnowHawk. It is SSCC certified, thus legal to be used as a snowmobile and granted the same rights and privileges as a snowmobile. I don’t know that you could legally register an ATV with tracks as a snowmobile for use on any groomed trails, unless use of an ATV is legal on that trail, with or without tracks. Just because you have a machine with tracks doesn’t automatically qualify it to the same legal privledges as a “snowmobile”.

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