Licensing snowmobiles and snow bikes
What are snowmobiles and snow bikes?
A snowmobile is a self-propelled vehicle capable of traveling over snow. A snow bike is a motorcycle modified with a conversion kit in order to drive over snow. They both have the following features:
- Tracks - an endless belt with or without cleats used to drive in snow or ice.
- Skis or sled type runners (for steering).
How to register
Washington State doesn't issue titles for snowmobiles but you do need to register them. If you bought a snowmobile that is already registered, you must transfer it into your name within 10 days of taking possession of it.
Visit your local licensing office if you modified a motorcycle that was already registered. If you plan to use it:
What you need to submit:
- A Vehicle Title Application (English, Español, Русский, and more) The application must include:
- Name and address of each registered owner
- Make, model year
- Method of propulsion
- Purchase price and year of purchase
- Declared value and year of declaration
- A copy of any of the following:
- Previously issued registration certificate
- Certificate of ownership from another state or country
- Manufacturer's certificate of origin
- A bill of sale or purchase agreement
- Other department approved ownership documents
- Fees and taxes
When do I need to renew my snowmobile's or snow bike's decals and registration?
You must renew your decals and registration by October 1 for the following year.
If you skipped a renewal year and want to renew for the next year that's coming up make sure you renew on October 1. Otherwise you'll be renewing for the year you skipped. Snowmobile registration period is from October 1 through September 30 of the following year. Registration fees aren't prorated.
Regular snowmobile and snow bike decals
Snowmobiles and snow bikes are issued 2 decals in place of license plates.
Decals and tabs should be affixed to the snowmobile or snow bike as follows:
- Decals: directly below the windshield on both sides of the hood for maximum visibility
- Month tab: in front of the first digit of each decal
- Year tab: on the left side (driver's left when seated) within 2 inches of the last digit of the decal
Snowmobiles manufactured 30 or more years ago are considered vintage. Owners:
- Must visit an office to have a Vintage Snowmobile use type assigned.
- Pay $12 registration fee without any special operating restrictions.
- Don't have to register a vintage snowmobile if they don't operate it in WA. For example, they may transport it by trailer to a car show.
Exempt from annual registration
The following snowmobiles aren't subject to annual registration:
- Government owned (or another state or political subdivision).
- Nonresident owned when using the snowmobile for:
- 15 consecutive days or less, you must have a valid registration from a jurisdiction with a similar exemption for WA residents.
- 15 consecutive days or more, you must purchase a nonresident temporary snowmobile permit or register the snowmobile.
Nonresident temporary snowmobile permit
When a snowmobile comes from a jurisdiction that doesn't register snowmobiles, it qualifies for a nonresident temporary snowmobile permit. Out of state snowmobiles may get a permit for no more than 60 consecutive days. Snowmobiles located in WA for more than 60 consecutive days must be fully registered in WA.
Adding a lien to a snowmobile
Washington doesn't issue titles for snowmobiles. If you want to put a lien on a snowmobile, contact our Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) section for specific instructions and application. Security interests are registered with our UCC section and won't be recorded on the snowmobile registration.
Questions? Need help?