Snowmobiling in the
The Northeast Kingdom, with its hundreds of miles of trails, offers some of the best snowmobiling in the Northeast. The VAST system is extensive in the Kingdom, wending through Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties. Our many mountains and vistas, well-groomed trails and abundant snowfall attract snow travelers from all over the nation and Canada. We welcome snowmobilers to the region, wholeheartedly, and encourage you to travel the trails of the Northeast Kingdom.
In order to ride in Vermont you need the following:
- 1. Registered and Insured Snowmobile
- 2. Join a Club - You need to join a county and local club where you ride most THE COST IS INCLUDED IN YOUR TMA PURCHASE. You will choose a club at the same time you buy your pass.
- 3. Purchase a VAST TMA (trail pass) online (you will have the option to choose a club to join when you purchase your TMA online - club dues are included in the cost).
- 4. If you were born after July 1, 1983, you will need to take a safety course in order to ride in Vermont.
Vermont DMV State Registration
All snowmobiles, not legally registered in another state or province must be registered in Vermont. If you are already registered in your home state or province, you do not need to re-register in Vermont, but you must join a county and a local club and purchase a VAST TMA (see TMA Pass page for pricing information). Registration costs $28 for a Vermont Resident and $36 for a Non-Vermont Resident. Prices are subject to change without notice. Snowmobile registrations can be purchased with a Vermont State Registration Agent and DMV offices.
All individuals operating a snowmobile in Vermont on the statewide snowmobile trails system must have a liability insurance policy, or bond in the amounts of at least $25,000 for one person and $50,000 for two or more persons killed or injured, and $10,000 for damages to property in any one accident. Persons caught operating a snowmobile without the required liability coverage are subject to large fines.
Six-hour safety course must be completed and passed by anyone born after July 1, 1983. Certified safety course: Individuals 12 years of age or older must have taken a certified safety course and carry that certification with them to be presented upon demand of a law enforcement officer. Official Vermont Snowmobile Safety Course Online
Age Requirements for Operating a Snowmobile in Vermont
Understanding Age Requirements
Ages 12 or older born after July, 1, 1983
• The operator must take and pass an approved snowmobile safety course.
• The safety certificate must be carried when operating and presented on demand of an enforcement officer.
Ages 13 to 15
• The operator may operate on the Statewide Snowmobile Trail System (SSTS) and may cross a public road or highway.
• While traveling across or on a plowed public highway individual must be directly supervised by an adult, at least 18 years of age.
• The operator may operate on the SSTS and may cross a public road or highway.
• The operator must be under direct supervision of a person 18 years of age or older at all times.
Ages 8 to 11, Eight years of age, but not yet 12
- The operator age 8 - 11 is exempt from taking a safety course.
- May operate a snowmobile on the VAST trail system without taking the safety course as long as they are under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian who accepts full liability for the child’s actions.
- The child is not allowed to operate a snowmobile on or across a plowed public right of way.
- Children ages 8 – 11 may attend a classroom snowmobile safety course. If the child takes and passes the course and test, (No parent or instructor assistance) they will be certified and receive their snowmobile safety certificate.
Ages 0 to 8 (Children under the age of eight)
- May not operate a snowmobile on the VAST trail system at any time
Operating the Snowmobile
Speed: You must operate your snowmobile at a speed that is reasonable and prudent, taking into consideration current conditions, trail traffic and other hazards present on the trail. Vermont Law, Title 23, Chapter 29.
The maximum speed limit on state lands is 35 m.p.h. The use of radar on snowmobile trails is becoming a standard practice. With the use of hand held radar guns, the enforcement of speed limits that are imposed on all state lands, has increased dramatically.
Snowmobiles are subject to posted speed limits on public roads open to snowmobile traffic.
Snowmobiling While Intoxicated (SWI)
Vermont has a tough SWI law. This law covers both drugs and alcohol. While you will be charged with SWI on the VAST trail system, intoxicated snowmobilers operating on a public highway will be charged with DWI. As a result of this violation, you will be assessed points and your driver’s license will be suspended.
If you are involved in an accident, resulting in personal injury, death or property damage in excess of $500, it is your duty to stop and report it to local authorities. You must give your name, address, registration number and the name of the owner of the snowmobile to the party whose person or property is injured. You must also file an accident report with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles within 72 hours.
Your snowmobile equipment requirements:
- Red rear light
- Windshield free from jagged or sharp edges
- Fully functional brake in good condition
- Colored lens covers on headlights are illegal.
- Windshields are mandatory or the operator must wear eye glasses, goggles or a protective face shield.
- Helmets are mandatory for all riders on the VAST trail system.
Exhaust system; noise emissions: An individual shall not operate the following on the State Snowmobile Trail System:
- 1. A snowmobile manufactured after February 1, 2007 that does not display a visible and unaltered marking of "SSCC Certified" issued by the Snowmobile Safety and Certification Committee (SSCC) on all critical components of the exhaust system; or
- 2. A snowmobile, regardless of the date of manufacture, with an exhaust system that has been modified in a manner that amplifies or otherwise increases total noise emission above that of the snowmobile as originally constructed.
Replacement Exhaust System
It is against Vermont law to sell a replacement exhaust system that will not meet or exceed the exhaust noise reduction capabilities of the snowmobile manufacturer's original equipment specifications for the snowmobile. No by-pass of a muffler system is allowed. Sound pollution annoys many individuals and threatens the future of our sport.