Out-of-state riders who plan on riding in the scenic state of Iowa will need to purchase a $15 trail permit to ride the Iowa trails. The permits will be sold at any depot where hunting and fishing licenses are sold, utilizing the existing electronic registration system already in place.
David Downing, snowmobile program manager for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, advocated the permit in light of the fees charged to out-of-state riders in so many other states across the snowbelt. â€œThe idea that an out-of-state snowmobiler isnâ€™t going to come here and buy a pass because we donâ€™t have anything is hooey,â€™ Downing stated. â€œWe go there, we buy a pass. All these states are doing away with reciprocity. We need to as well. When they come here, they should pay.â€ Downing stated he really doesnâ€™t feel it will hurt tourism to the state, and added, â€œWe will be sending notices to other states that reciprocity is out the window so there shouldnâ€™t be any surprises.â€
The money generated by the permit system will be earmarked for groomed purchases and other snowmobile trail improvements.
Iowa residents will also now be able to register their machines using this same electronic system across the state, making snowmobile registration quicker and easier. For this season, electronic registrations of this type will be provided a computer-generated sticker to be affixed to the windshield. Sleds registered through the county recorders offices will still be provided â€œtraditionalâ€ registration stickers for each side of the hood. By next season, the IDNR hopes to go straight to the electronic system, which would save an estimated $17,000 for renewal registrations. Anything other than a renewal will still have to go through the county recorders office.