More money was needed to groom and maintain the snowmobile trails in Minnesota, so a new law in the state of Minnesota requires all...

More money was needed to groom and maintain the snowmobile trails in Minnesota, so a new law in the state of Minnesota requires all persons operating a snowmobile on a state or grant-in-aid trail to possess a Snowmobile Trail Sticker. This does include all residents and non-residents; everyone.

There are three types of “stickers’ available; an annual $16 trail sticker, a three-year $31 trail sticker that can only be purchased at the time of vehicle registration, and an annual $31 trail sticker that the DNR officer will sell you if you get caught without one.

Previously, trail stickers were only required by out-of state riders visiting Minnesota. This new trail sticker is required on all snowmobiles using state trails or state funded trails.

Why not just add this amount to every snowmobile registration? This system allowed separate accounting for the funds to be directed towards trail maintenance (and decrease the chance of pilfering by state legislators if there is money left over). It was also viewed as a fairer “user-pay” method of helping fund the groomed trail network, which is not used by all snowmobiles registered in the state of Minnesota. While the number of sleds that do not use the groomed trail network is small, it was significant enough to not simply charge all sled owners whether they use the trails or not. This way, any and every sled that uses the trail network will help pay for the maintenance and enforcement.

There are several ways to purchase one of these trail stickers; the easiest is to use the Minnesota Electronic License System (ELS), which consists of electronic terminals that sell hunting and fishing licenses and are found at many gas stations, lodges, and many small stores and larger retail outlets across the state. To find locations by county visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/agents.html

You can also obtain the stickers online (www.dnr.state.mn.us) are by calling 888-665-4236, but there will be a $3.50 “convenience fee” added for these transactions. You can also download a form from this website that can be mailed to the Minnesota DNR. The display instructions indicate the permit should be placed directly above or below the headlight. The permits we’ve seen (from ELS terminals) have no adhesive backing, so they require the “adhesive patch” like what we’ve seen with the Wisconsin ELS permits. For more information contact the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367 or e-mail to info@dnr.state.mn.us

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