Snowmobile Laws and Rules
Effective December 1, 2010
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The Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife receives federal funds from U.S. Department of the Interior. Accordingly, all programs must be operated free from discrimination in regard to race, color, national origin, age, or disability. Any person who believes that he or she has been discriminated against should write to the Office of Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240.
Comments & Complaints
If you wish to make a comment about any member of the Department, please come to or call the closest IF&W office and talk to the appropriate staff member. Written comments should be mailed to: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State Street, 41 State House Station, Augusta, ME
04333-0041. Receipt of your correspondence will be formally acknowledged in writing.
Maine Residents: Renew your snowmobile or ATV registration online!
Nonresidents: Register your snowmobile or ATV registration online!
List of Nonresident Snowmobile Registration Agents
For information on New Hampshire snowmobile registration, visit www.wildlife.state.nh.us for a list of registration agents or call (603) 271-3422 and request forms to register by mail.
ATV's on Snowmobile Trails
Canadian Border Crossings
Chemical Tests, Duty to Submit
Events & Festivals
Ice Conditions, Judging
Liability for Damage (Minors)
Maine-New Hampshire Cooperative Trails
Operating on Railroad Tracks, in a Cemetery, too Close to Building, etc.
Operating Left of Center
Operation on Land of Another
Operating to Endanger
Operating Under the Influence
Registration: Display of Stickers, Fee, Operating on Own Land, Trail Grooming Equipment
Rental Agent Certificate
Repair Shop License
Tips for Safe Snowmobiling
Remember - Always Ask First!
Please remember, you have no right - stated or implied - to operate your snowmobile on land of another.
You should always ask permission before engaging in any outdoor activity on land you do not own or do not have permission to use.
Snowmobile Registration & Information
Mail applications for snowmobile registrations to: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 41 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0041; Telephone: (207) 287-8000.
Snowmobiles may be registered in a number of different ways. They may be registered through the mail, online, or in person at over 200 locations throughout the State, including the Department’s main office located at 284 State Street in Augusta.. For a list of non-resident snowmobile registration agents, visit: www.maine.gov/ifw or call the Department’s information line at 207-287-8000.
The fees for registering are as follows:
$40.00* for season registration (July 1 - June 30)
*Plus agent fee.
Prior to registering a snowmobile, the agent must collect sales or use taxes which are due. See sales/use tax.
Resident means a citizen of the United States, or an alien who has been so domiciled in this State continuously for one year who:
A. If registered to vote, is registered in this State;
B. If licensed to drive a motor vehicle, has made application for or possesses a motor vehicle operator's license issued by the State;
C. If owning a motor vehicle located within the State, has registered each vehicle in in the State; and
D. Is in compliance with the State income tax laws.
A person who is a full-time student at a college or university in the State, and has satisfied the requirements of paragraphs A to D is rebuttably presumed to be a resident in the State during that period.
$88.00* for a season registration (July 1 - June 30)
$43.00* for a 3-consecutive day registration
*Plus agent fee.
For information concerning snowmobile safety classes, contact the Recreational Safety Office, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Telephone: (207) 287-5220 or see Snowmobile Safety Courses.
Reciprocity - There are no longer reciprocal privileges for snowmobile registrations. Maine law has been amended to require registration in this state by nonresident snowmobile owners. See Section 13104, subsection 7 for exceptions to this law.
§10206. Disposition of specific revenues. Snowmobile and trail grooming equipment revenues. The Legislature shall appropriate to the department in each fiscal year an amount equal to the administrative costs incurred by the department in collecting revenue under this subsection. The department's administrative costs must be verified by the Department of Conservation and the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.
A. The snowmobile and trail grooming equipment registration fee for residents collected under chapter 937 is credited as follows:
- 22% is credited to the General Fund as undedicated revenue;
- 52% is credited to the Snowmobile Trail Fund of the Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands; and
- 26% is annually distributed to the municipality of the owner's residence as shown on the owner's registration certificate, except that in unorganized territory, 26% is annually distributed to the county of the owner's residence as shown on the owner's registration certificate and credited to the unorganized territory fund of that county established in Title 30-A, section 7502.
B. The snowmobile registration fee for nonresidents collected under chapter 937 is credited as follows:
- 18% is credited to the General Fund as undedicated revenue.
- 7% is credited to the Snowmobile Enforcement Fund established under section 10258.
- The remainder is credited to the Snowmobile Trail Fund of the Department of Conservation Bureau of Parks and Lands.
- Anyone who allows a person under 18 years of age to operate a snowmobile is liable (jointly with the minor's parent or guardian) for any damages caused in the operation of that snowmobile). See Section 13108
- Children must be 10 years of age or older to operate a snowmobile, unaccompanied by an adult, on land other than that owned by their parent or guardian and must be 14 years of age before crossing public ways.
- Imprudent operation is not limited to state maintained trails; it is now prohibited on any trail.
Maine Snowmobile Laws
Accompanied by an adult. "Accompanied by an adult" means within visual and voice contact and under the effective control of a child's parent or guardian or another person 21 years of age or older.
Antique Snowmobile. "Antique Snowmobile" means a snowmobile more than 25 years old that is registered as an antique snowmobile under section 13104, subsection 5.
Cowling. "Cowling" means the forward or rear portion of a snowmobile, usually of fiberglass or similar material, surrounding the motor and clutch assembly.
Operate. "To operate," in all its moods and tenses, means: When it refers to a snowmobile, to use a snowmobile in any manner within the jurisdiction of the State, whether or not the vehicle is under way.
Owner. "Owner" means: For the purpose of registration of a snowmobile, a person holding title to a snowmobile or having exclusive right to the use of a snowmobile for a period greater than 30 days.
Private Way. As defined by Title 23 §1903-10-A. “Private Way” means a private road, driveway, or public easement. “Public easement” means an easement held by a municipality for purposes of public access to land or water not otherwise connected to a public way, and includes all rights enjoyed by the public with respect to private ways dedicated to the public.
Protective headgear. "Protective headgear" means a helmet that conforms with minimum standards of construction and performance as prescribed by the American National Standards Institute specification Z90.1 or by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standard No. 218.
Public Way. As defined by Title 23 §1903-11. “Public Way” means any road capable of carrying motor vehicles, including, but not limited to, any state highway, municipal road, county road, unincorporated territory road, or other road dedicated to the public.
Snowmobile. "Snowmobile" means a vehicle propelled by mechanical power that is primarily designed to travel over ice or snow and is supported in part by skis, belts, or cleats.
Trail Grooming Equipment.
§13002. Collection by commissioner.
The commissioner or agents of the commissioner shall act on behalf of the State Tax Assessor to collect the use tax due under Title 36, chapters 211 to 225 in respect to any snowmobile for which an original registration is required under this Title at the time and place of registration of that snowmobile.
§13003. Payment of sales or use tax prerequisite to registration.
Registration of snowmobile. Prior to registering a snowmobile, an agent of the commissioner shall collect sales or use tax due. Sales or use tax is due unless:
A. The person registering the snowmobile is not a resident of this State. Nonresidents are exempt from sales or use tax on snowmobiles under Title 36, section 1760, as are sales of grooming equipment to incorporated non-profit snowmobile clubs.
B. The registration is a renewal registration by the same owner;
C. The applicant possesses a dealer's certificate showing that the sales tax was collected by the dealer. The State Tax Assessor shall prescribe the form of a dealer's certificate; or
D. The snowmobile is otherwise exempt from sales or use tax under Title 36, section 1760.
§13006. Impoundment of snowmobiles.
When a law enforcement officer issues a summons for a violation under chapter 937 or 939, the officer may impound the snowmobile operated by the person who receives the summons if, in the judgment of the officer, based on actual previous offenses by the operator or other considerations, the operator will continue to operate the snowmobile in violation of chapter 937 or 939 and that operation may be a hazard to the safety of persons or property.
The operator or owner of a snowmobile impounded under this section may reclaim the snowmobile at any time subsequent to 24 hours after the issuance of the summons upon payment of the costs of impoundment to the enforcement agency impounding the snowmobile.
§13201. Limits on local regulation. A municipality or political subdivision of the State may not enact any ordinance, law, or rule regulating the operation, registration, or numbering of snowmobiles.
The Bureau of Parks and Lands, Department of Conservation, provides trail facilities and educational materials for snowmobile operators. For additional information, contact: Supervisor, Snowmobile Program, Bureau of Parks and Lands, Department of Conservation, 22 SHS, Augusta, ME 04333-0022. Telephone: (207) 287-4957.
§13101. Application. This chapter applies to the operation of snowmobiles in all areas that come within the jurisdiction of the State.
§13102. License not required. An operator's license is not required for the operation of a snowmobile.
§13103. Rule violations; snowmobiles and snowmobile races. The following penalties apply to violations of rules regulating snowmobiles or the protection and safety of spectators at snowmobile races.
- Civil. Notwithstanding section 10650, a person who violates a rule regulating snowmobiles or the protection and safety of spectators at snowmobile races commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.
- Criminal. A person who violates a rule regulating snowmobiles or the protection and safety of spectators at snowmobile races after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.
1. Operating unregistered snowmobile. Except as provided in this section, subsection 7 and section 13112, a person may not operate a snowmobile that is not registered in accordance with this section.
A. A registration is not required for a snowmobile operated over the snow on land on which the owner lives or on lands on which the owner is domiciled, provided the snowmobile is not operated elsewhere within the jurisdiction of this State.
B. A registration is not required for a snowmobile operated by a commercial ski area for the purpose of packing snow or for rescue operation thereon, unless the snowmobile is required to cross a public way during that operation.
C. Snowmobiles owned and operated in this State by the Federal Government, the State or political subdivision of the State are exempt from registration fees, but must be registered.
D. Registration is not required to field test repairs to a snowmobile if valid snowmobile repair shop number plates issued under section 13110 are affixed to the snowmobile during the field test and the snowmobile is not owned by the snowmobile repair shop or any repair shop employee.
E. Registration is not required to field test repairs to a snowmobile when tested on the premises of the repair shop when the shop is open and the snowmobile is not owned by the snowmobile repair shop or any repair shop employee.
2. Application and issuance. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee may register all snowmobiles upon application and payment of a registration fee by the owner. The commissioner shall charge a fee of $1 for each registration issued by department employees.
3. Form of registration. The snowmobile registration must be in such form as the commissioner may determine.
4. Fee. Except as provided in subsection 5, the annual snowmobile registration fee is as follows:
A. For residents, $40*. The registration for a snowmobile owned by a resident is valid for one year, commencing on July 1st of each year.
B. For nonresidents:
1. $43* for a 3-consecutive day registration. A person may purchase more than one 3-day registration in any season;
2. $88* for a seasonal registration.
The registration for a snowmobile owned by a nonresident must specify the dates for which the registration is valid.
*Plus agent fee.
Five dollars from each registration fee collected pursuant to this subsection must be transferred to a special fund administered by the Off-Road Vehicle Division of the Bureau of Parks and Lands within the Department of Conservation. The funds must be used to assist any entity that has a snowmobile trail-grooming contract with the bureau in the purchase of trail-grooming equipment. Disposition of revenues.
5. Antique snowmobile registration fee. A resident who owns a snowmobile that is more than 25 years old and that is substantially maintained in original or restored condition may register that snowmobile under this subsection as an antique snowmobile. An antique snowmobile registration authorizes that snowmobile to be operated only for the purpose of traveling to, returning from and participating in an exhibition, parade or other event of interest to the public or for occasional personal use.
Antique snowmobiles are not required to display registration number or stickers. The one time fee for an antique snowmobile registration is $34. An antique snowmobile registration is valid until the ownership of that antique snowmobile is transferred to another person. Upon the transfer of ownership, the new owner may reregister that snowmobile as an antique snowmobile by paying the $34 antique snowmobile registration fee. The registration fee for an antique snowmobile is allocated according to section 10206, subsection 2, paragraph A.
6. Members of armed forces permanently stationed in Maine. The following persons are eligible to register any snowmobile owned by them at the resident fee:
A. Any person serving in the Armed Forces of the United States who is permanently stationed at a military or naval post, station or base in the State; and
B. The spouse and children of the person described in paragraph A, provided that the spouse and children permanently reside with that person.
A member of the armed forces described in paragraph A who desires to register a snowmobile shall present certification from the commander of the post, station or base, or from the commander's designated agent, that the member is permanently stationed at that post, station or base. Registration fees for registrations pursuant to this subsection must be allocated as if the person registering the snowmobile was a resident of the municipality in which the post, station or base is situated.
7. Snowmobiles of nonresidents; Maine-New Hampshire Cooperative Trails. Except as specifically provided in this subsection and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a snowmobile belonging to a nonresident may be possessed or operated by any person in this State as long as the snowmobile is properly registered in this State in the name of a nonresident owner of the snowmobile. Nothing in this subsection authorizes the operation of a snowmobile in a manner contrary to this chapter.
A. A nonresident is ineligible to obtain a resident registration for a snowmobile owned by that nonresident. Snowmobiles and grooming equipment registered to federal or state entities, snowmobile clubs, municipalities or counties from bordering states or provinces and engaged in trail grooming may be operated without being registered under this subsection. Snowmobiles registered in either New Hampshire or Canada may be operated on any lake or pond that is partly in both the State and New Hampshire or Canada without being registered in the State.
B. A snowmobile registered in this State or in New Hampshire may be operated without further registration requirements on those portions of the Maine-New Hampshire Cooperative trails located in Maine. For purposes of this paragraph, “Maine-New Hampshire Cooperative trails” means:
1. New Hampshire Trail 18 as identified in the Success Pond - Grafton Notch area; and
2. Maine Trail ITS-80 as identified in the Evans Notch area of the White Mountain National Forest.
C. Snowmobiles registered in another state or in a Canadian province may be operated without a Maine registration at a special event or festival organized to occur in this State if such operation is approved by the commissioner. An event or festival organizer must submit a request in writing to the commissioner at least 60 days prior to the event or festival and shall include a map of trails where operation will be allowed.
Reimbursement for grooming and maintenance services on these trails may be through direct cash payments by users of the Maine-New Hampshire Cooperative Trails or through in-kind services. The costs of grooming and maintenance must be based on the average per mile costs to Maine and New Hampshire of providing these services.
Signs on Maine-New Hampshire Cooperative Trails. The Director of the Off-Road Vehicle Division of the Bureau of Parks and Lands within the Department of Conservation shall work with the director of New Hampshire’s snowmobile program to develop and place signs clearly identifying the Maine-New Hampshire Cooperative trails as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, section 13104, subsection 7.
8. Duplicate registration certificate. The holder of any resident or nonresident seasonal registration certificate issued under this section may obtain a duplicate from the commissioner upon application and payment of a fee of $1.
9. Transfer of ownership, discontinuance of use. The following provisions govern transfer of ownership and discontinued use.
A. A person who transfers the ownership or permanently discontinues the use of a snowmobile having a resident registration or a nonresident seasonal registration and applies for registration of another snowmobile in the same registration year is entitled to a registration upon payment of a transfer fee of $4 and is not required to pay the regular registration fee.
B. Whenever ownership is transferred or the use of a snowmobile for which a registration has already been issued is discontinued, the old registration must be properly signed and executed by the owner showing that the ownership of the snowmobile has been transferred or its use discontinued and returned to the commissioner within 10 days of the transfer or discontinuance of use.
C. If there is a change of ownership of a snowmobile for which a registration has previously been issued, the new owner shall apply for a new registration, and shall pay the regular fee for the particular snowmobile involved.
10. Registration certificate and inspection. A person shall provide a registration certificate or online registration receipt for inspection by any law enforcement officer on demand. A person may operate a snowmobile registered online without displaying the registration stickers until they receive the registration or for 30 days after registering online, whichever occurs first.
11. Fraudulent acquisition of snowmobile registration. A person may not obtain a snowmobile registration through fraud, misstatement or misrepresentation. A person who violates this subsection commits a Class E crime.
12. Report of destroyed, abandoned or permanently removed snowmobile. A registrant shall notify the commissioner if a snowmobile is destroyed, abandoned or permanently removed from the State.
§13105. Snowmobile registration agents
1. Appointment of snowmobile registration agents; report; fees. Appointment of snowmobile registration agents and applicable fees are governed by the following.
A. The commissioner may appoint municipal clerks or other persons who a municipality may designate as municipal agents to issue snowmobile registrations. The commissioner may designate other agents as necessary to issue snowmobile registrations. The commissioner shall determine by rule the period when the agents shall act.
B. Agents may charge a service fee of not more than $1 for each snowmobile renewal registration issued and $2 for each registration covered by sections 13002 to 13005. This service fee is retained by the agent.
C. An agent is delinquent if that agent fails to forward to the commissioner funds collected by that agent by the date established in rules adopted under this subsection. Failure to remit the funds as provided in this subsection results in the following sanctions, in addition to any other provided by law.
- The commissioner shall charge interest on the amount owed at the rate of 18% a year for each day the agent is delinquent.
- If the agent has not paid the amount owed by the 60th day after the agent becomes delinquent, the commissioner shall assess a surcharge of 5% of the principal amount owed.
- If an agent is delinquent for more than 150 days or is delinquent 3 or more times in one year, the commissioner shall:
Terminate the agency for the balance of the year; and
Order that the agency not be renewed for the next year.
Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
2. Unlawful issuance of snowmobile registration. An agent may not issue a resident snowmobile registration to a nonresident or a nonresident snowmobile registration to a resident.
§13106 A. Operation of snowmobile
1. No permission given. This chapter does not give license or permission to cross or go on the property of another.
2. Stop and identify requirement. Persons operating a snowmobile upon the land of another shall stop and identify themselves upon the request of the landowner or the landowner's duly authorized representative.
A person who violates this subsection commits a Class E crime.
3. Operating snowmobile upon controlled access highway. Except as provided in paragraph A, a person may not operate a snowmobile upon a controlled access highway or within the right-of-way limits of a controlled access highway.
A. A person may operate a snowmobile upon a controlled access highway or within the right-of-way limits of a controlled access highway in accordance with this paragraph.
1. A person on a properly registered snowmobile may cross controlled access highways by use of bridges over or roads under those highways, or by use of roads crossing controlled access highways at grade.
2. The Commissioner of Transportation may issue special permits for designated crossings of controlled access highways.
4. Unlawfully operating snowmobile on plowed road. A person may not operate a snowmobile upon any plowed private road, or public road plowed privately without public compensation, after having been forbidden to do so by the owner thereof, the owner's agent or a municipal official, either personally or by appropriate notices posted conspicuously on that road.
5. Operating snowmobile on public way. Except as provided in subsection 4 and this subsection, a person may not operate a snowmobile upon the main traveled portion, the sidewalks or the plowed snow banks of a public way.
A. A properly registered snowmobile may be operated on a public way only the distance necessary, but in no case to exceed 300 yards, on the extreme right of the traveled way for the purpose of crossing, as directly as possible, a public way, sidewalk or culvert.
B. A properly registered snowmobile may be operated on a public way only the distance necessary, but in no case to exceed 500 yards, on the extreme right of the traveled way for the sole purpose of crossing, as directly as possible, a bridge, overpass or underpass, provided that that operation can be made in safety and that it does not interfere with vehicular traffic approaching from either direction on the public way.
C. A snowmobile may be operated on any portion of a public way when the public way has been closed in accordance with Title 23, section 2953.
D. If the main traveled portion of a public way is publicly plowed and utilized by conventional motor vehicles, a snowmobile may be operated only on that portion of the way not maintained or utilized for the operation of conventional motor vehicles, except that operation on the left side of the way is prohibited during the hours from sunset to sunrise on the portion of the way not maintained or utilized for the operation of conventional motor vehicles. This paragraph does not apply to a snowmobile operated by a public utility regulated by the Public Utilities Commission while being operated in the course of the utility's corporate function, so that public utilities may effectively and speedily carry out their obligations to the public.
E. A snowmobile may be operated on streets and public ways during a period of emergency when the emergency has been so declared by a police agency having jurisdiction and when travel by conventional motor vehicles is not practicable. This paragraph does not apply to a snowmobile operated by a public utility regulated by the Public Utilities Commission while being operated in the course of the utility's corporate function, so that public utilities may effectively and speedily carry out their obligations to the public.
F. A snowmobile may be operated on streets and public ways in special snowmobile events of limited duration conducted according to a prearranged schedule and under a permit from the governmental unit having jurisdiction.
G. Notwithstanding paragraphs A to F, a snowmobile may be operated on the extreme right of a public way within the built-up portion of a municipality or unorganized or unincorporated township if the appropriate governmental unit has designated the public way as a snowmobile-access route for the purpose of allowing snowmobiles access to places of business. A public way designated by an appropriate governmental unit as a snowmobile-access route must be posted conspicuously at regular intervals by that governmental unit with highly visible signs designating the snowmobile-access route. Before designating a public way as a snowmobile-access route, the appropriate governmental unit shall make appropriate determinations that snowmobile travel on the extreme right of the public way may be conducted safely and will not interfere with vehicular traffic on the public way. For purposes of this paragraph, "appropriate governmental unit" means the Department of Transportation, county commissioners or municipal officers within their respective jurisdictions. The jurisdiction of each appropriate governmental unit over public ways pursuant to this paragraph is the same as its jurisdiction over the passage of vehicles on public ways pursuant to Title 29-A, section 2395. Municipal or county law enforcement officials having jurisdiction have primary enforcement authority over any route established under this paragraph.
6. Failing to stop snowmobile before entering public way. A person shall bring a snowmobile to a complete stop before entering a public way or a private way maintained for travel.
7. Failing to yield right-of-way while operating snowmobile. A person shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicular traffic while operating a snowmobile on a public way or a private way maintained for travel.
8. Crossing a closed bridge, culvert, overpass or underpass with snowmobile. This subsection applies to the crossing with a snowmobile of a bridge, culvert, overpass or underpass closed to snowmobiles by the Commissioner of Transportation.
A. A person may not cross with a snowmobile a bridge, culvert, overpass or underpass closed to snowmobiles by the Commissioner of Transportation.
1. The Commissioner of Transportation may, following a public hearing, prohibit the crossing of an individual bridge, culvert, overpass or underpass if the commissioner determines that that crossing or use of the public way is hazardous.
2. Any bridge, culvert, overpass or underpass closed by the Commissioner of Transportation must be posted by appropriate notices.
9. Reckless operation of snowmobile. A person may not operate a snowmobile in such a way as to recklessly create a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to another person. Violation of this subsection is a Class D crime.
10. Operating snowmobile to endanger. A person may not operate a snowmobile so as to endanger any person or property by:
A. Operating the snowmobile except at a reasonable and prudent speed for the existing conditions, including when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and taking a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding trail and when a special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians, skiers or other traffic by reason of weather or trail conditions; or
B. Operating the snowmobile in a manner that fails to control its speed at all times as necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, snowmobile or other object on or adjacent to the snowmobile trail.
A person who violates this subsection commits a Class E crime.
11. Operating snowmobile at greater than reasonable and prudent speed. A person may not operate a snowmobile except at a reasonable and prudent speed for the existing conditions.
A person who violates this subsection commits a Class E crime.
12. Operating a snowmobile while underage. A person under 14 years of age may not operate a snowmobile across any public way maintained for travel.
13. Permitting unaccompanied child to operate snowmobile. A person may not permit a child under 10 years of age to operate a snowmobile unless the child is accompanied by an adult.
This subsection does not apply on land that is owned by the parent or guardian or on land where permission for use has been granted to the parent or guardian.
14. Snowmobile noise level limits. This subsection governs noise levels for snowmobiles.
A. Except as provided in section 13112, a person may not:
1. Operate a snowmobile that exceeds the noise limits for that snowmobile established in paragraph B; or
2. Modify a snowmobile in a manner that amplifies or otherwise increases total noise emission above that of the snowmobile as originally constructed, regardless of the date of manufacture.
B. The following noise levels are established:
1. Every snowmobile manufactured after February 1, 1975, and offered for sale or sold in this State must be constructed to limit total vehicle noise to not more than 78 decibels of sound pressure level at 50 feet on the "A" scale, as measured by the SAE standards J-192;
2. Snowmobiles manufactured after October 1, 1973, but on or before February 1, 1975, and offered for sale or sold in this State must be constructed to limit the total vehicle noise to not more than 82 decibels of sound pressure level at 50 feet on the "A" scale, as measured by the SAE standards J-192; and
3. Snowmobiles manufactured on or before October 1, 1973 are not subject to a specific noise level, except that they may not be modified in violation of this subsection.
15. Snowmobile headlight and taillight equipment requirements. Except as provided in section 13112, a person may not operate a snowmobile that is not equipped as provided in this subsection.
A. A person may not operate a snowmobile unless the snowmobile has mounted:
1. On the front at least one headlight capable of casting a white beam for a distance of at least 100 feet directly ahead of the snowmobile; and
2. On the rear at least one lamp capable of displaying a red light visible at a distance of at least 100 feet behind the snowmobile.
16. Failure to use snowmobile lights. Except as provided in section 13112, a person shall use lights as specified in this subsection.
A. A person shall use snowmobile lights:
1. During the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise; and
2. At any time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions caused by fog or otherwise, other persons, vehicles and other objects are not clearly discernible for a distance of 500 feet ahead.
17. Unlawfully operating snowmobile on railroad tracks. The following provisions govern the operation of a snowmobile on railroad tracks or railroad rights-of-way.
A. A person may not operate a snowmobile along or adjacent and parallel to the tracks of a railroad within the limits of a railroad right-of-way without written permission from the railroad owning the right-of-way.
B. A person may not operate a snowmobile across the tracks of a railroad after having been forbidden to do so by the railroad owning the railroad right-of-way, or by an agent of that railroad, either personally or by appropriate notices posted conspicuously along the railroad right-of-way.
C. Notwithstanding this subsection, a person may operate a snowmobile on railroad tracks if the person is operating within the right-of-way of a portion of railroad line that has been officially abandoned under the authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
18. Operating snowmobile in cemetery. A person may not operate a snowmobile in any cemetery, burial place or burying ground.
19. Operating too close to certain buildings. A person may not operate a snowmobile within 200 feet of a dwelling, hospital, nursing home, convalescent home or church.
A. This subsection does not apply when a person is operating a snowmobile:
1. On public ways in accordance with subsections 5, 6, 7 and 8 or on controlled access highways in accordance with subsection 3, paragraph A;
2. On the frozen surface of any body of water; and
3. On land the operator owns or is permitted to use.
20. Abuse of another person's property. A person may not while operating a snowmobile:
A. Tear down or destroy a fence or wall on another person's land;
B. Leave open a gate or bar on another person's land; or
C. Trample or destroy crops on another person's land.
A person who violates this subsection commits a Class E crime.
21. Snowmobile owner; operation by another. A person is in violation of this subsection if that person is the owner of a snowmobile that is operated in violation of this chapter.
22. Parent or guardian; operation by minor. A person is in violation of this subsection if that person is the parent or guardian responsible for the care of a minor under 18 years of age who is operating a snowmobile in violation of this chapter.
23. Operating snowmobile on open water. A person may not operate or attempt to operate a snowmobile on open water. For purposes of this subsection, "open water" means any area of an inland water body that is free of ice and snow. This subsection does not apply to private ponds.
Notwithstanding Title 17, section 2267-A, subsection 3, the owner or operator of a snowmobile that has been submerged or partially submerged as a result of a violation of this subsection shall remove the snowmobile within 24 hours of its submersion. The owner or operator of a snowmobile submerged or partially submerged as a result of a violation of this subsection shall pay any damages resulting from the submersion or removal. If the owner or operator of a snowmobile submerged or partially submerged as the result of a violation of this subsection fails to remove the snowmobile within 24 hours of its submersion, the commissioner may remove the snowmobile at the expense of the owner or operator or request in writing that the court direct the owner or operator to remove the snowmobile immediately.
24. Headgear required. This subsection applies to snowmobile trails funded by the Snowmobile Trail Fund of the Department of Conservation, Bureau of Public Lands.
A. A person operating a snowmobile on a snowmobile trail identified by the Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands as having been funded by the Snowmobile Trail Fund pursuant to section 1893, subsection 3:
1. If the person is under 18 years of age, shall wear protective headgear that conforms to the standards established under Title 29-A, section 2083, subsection 3; and
2. May not carry a passenger under 18 years of age on the snowmobile unless the passenger is wearing protective headgear that conforms to the standards established under Title 29-A, section 2083, subsection 3.
B. The Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands shall develop an administratively simple means of identifying trails that have been funded by the Snowmobile Trail Fund so that snowmobile riders can readily determine to which trails this subsection applies.
25. Operating snowmobile left of center of snowmobile trail. A person may not operate a snowmobile to the left of the center on a snowmobile trail that is funded in whole or part by the Snowmobile Trail Fund when approaching or navigating a curve, corner, grade, or hill.
For the purpose of this subsection, "snowmobile trail" means a trail that is at least wide enough to allow two snowmobiles to pass safely in opposite directions, and where the snow over the entire width of the trail has been mechanically packed and groomed for the purpose of snowmobile traffic.
§13106-B Snowmobile accidents involving personal injury or death
The following provisions govern snowmobile accidents that result in personal injury or death of a person.
1. Law enforcement officer notification.The operator of a snowmobile in an accident that results in personal injury or death of a person shall immediately report the accident, by the quickest means of communication, to the available law enforcement officer nearest to the place where the accident occurred.
A. The owner of a snowmobile who knows that the snowmobile was involved in an accident as described in this subsection shall report the accident as provided in this subsection if the operator of the snowmobile is unknown.
2. Provide information to injured party. The operator or a person acting on behalf of the operator of a snowmobile involved in an accident shall provide to an injured person or the operator or an occupant of any other snowmobile involved in the accident
A. The operator's name and address; and
B. The registration number of the operator's snowmobile.
3. Render assistance. The operator of a snowmobile involved in an accident shall render reasonable assistance to an injured person.
4. Penalties. A person who violates this section commits a Class E crime.
5. Aggravated punishment category.
Notwithstanding subsection 4, a person who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly fails to comply with this section when the accident resulted in serious bodily injury, as defined in Title 17-A, section 2, subsection 23, or death, commits a Class C crime.
§13106-C. Snowmobile accident reports.
1. Report requirements. A person shall give notice of a snowmobile accident within 72 hours to the commissioner on forms provided by the commissioner if the person is:
A. The operator of a snowmobile involved in an accident that does not result in injuries requiring the services of a physician or in the death of a person but involves property damage estimated to cost $1,000 or more;
B. A person acting for the operator of a snowmobile described in paragraph A; or
C. The owner of a snowmobile described in paragraph A having knowledge of the accident, if the operator of the snowmobile is unknown.
2. Penalties. The following penalties apply to violations of this section.
A. A person who violates this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.
B. A person who violates this section after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.
§13107. Unlawfully operating vehicle on snowmobile trail. A person may not operate any 4-wheel-drive vehicle, dune buggy, all-terrain vehicle, motorcycle or any other motor vehicle, other than a snowmobile and appurtenant equipment, on snowmobile trails that are financed in whole or in part with funds from the Snowmobile Trail Fund, unless that use has been authorized by the landowner or the landowner's agent, or unless the use is necessitated by an emergency involving safety of persons or property.
§13108. Liability for damage caused by minors. The owner of a snowmobile, the person who gives or furnishes that snowmobile to a person under 18 years of age and the parent or guardian responsible for the care of that minor are jointly and severally liable with the minor for any damages caused in the operation of the snowmobile by that minor.
§13109. Dealer's registration and license.
1. Application and issuance. A person may not engage in the business of selling new or used snowmobiles in the State unless the person has registered as a dealer and secured a valid dealer's license from the commissioner. A dealer so registered and licensed need not register individual snowmobiles. For the purposes of this subsection, "new snowmobile" means a snowmobile that has not been registered in this State or any other state or for which sales tax has not been paid in this State or any other state if that other state taxes the purchase of a new snowmobile.
Each day a person violates this subsection, that person commits a Class E crime for which a minimum fine of $50 and an amount equal to twice the applicable license fee must be imposed.
2. Fees. The dealer's registration and license fee is $15 annually from each July 1st.
3. Dealer's number plates. Dealer's number plates must be provided and obtained as follows.
A. A registered dealer may receive dealer's number plates. The annual fee for a dealer's number plate is:
- For a resident dealer's plate, $16; and
- For a nonresident dealer's plate, $60.
B. Replacement for lost or stolen dealer's number plates may be obtained for a fee of $5 for each plate.
C. If a dealer's number plate is lost or stolen, the owner shall notify the commissioner immediately.
4. Temporary registrations and numbers. The commissioner may issue temporary numbers and registrations for snowmobiles to bona fide dealers who may, upon the sale or exchange of a snowmobile, issue them to new owners in order to allow them to operate snowmobiles for a period of 20 consecutive days after the day of sale in lieu of a permanent number as required by this chapter.
5. Display of dealer's number. Dealers shall display their dealer's number on each snowmobile being used until the sale of the snowmobile, whereupon it becomes the owner's responsibility to register the snowmobile.
A. A dealer who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.
B. A dealer who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.
C. Each day a dealer violates this subsection is a separate offense.
§13110. Snowmobile repair shop registration and license.
1. Application and issuance. A person whose business includes repairing snowmobiles but who is not required to be licensed as a snowmobile dealer under section 13109 may register that business entity as a snowmobile repair shop and secure a snowmobile repair shop license and number plate from the commissioner.
2. Fee. The commissioner shall set the fee for a snowmobile repair shop license. The fee may not exceed $18 for any 12-month period.
3. Field testing repairs on unregistered snowmobiles. The owner of a snowmobile repair shop licensed under this section may operate or allow the operation of an unregistered snowmobile for the purpose of field testing repairs to that snowmobile if:
A. Valid snowmobile repair shop number plates issued under this section are affixed to the snowmobile during the field test; and
B. The snowmobile is not owned by the snowmobile repair shop or any person employed by the snowmobile repair shop.
Operating an unregistered snowmobile in compliance with this subsection is not a violation of section 13104, subsection 1.
§13111. Snowmobile rental agent certificate.
1. Registration and issuance. Except as provided in this section, a person or business may not rent or lease a snowmobile unless that person or business:
A. Registers with the department as a snowmobile rental agent and is issued a snowmobile rental agent certificate from the commissioner;
B. Obtains a Maine certificate of number for each snowmobile being offered for rent or lease in the name of the person or business holding that certificate; and
C. Instructs each person who rents or leases a snowmobile how to operate the snowmobile, including how to use the brake, throttle and kill switch, and provides to that person a pamphlet describing proper hand signals.
2. Exception; guides. This section does not apply to a person lawfully engaged in guiding activities under section 12853 who accompanies others on guided trips that include the use of snowmobiles, except that such a person must provide the operators of snowmobiles with instructions equivalent to those described in subsection 1, paragraph C.
3. Fee. The fee for a snowmobile rental agent certificate is $28. The certificate is valid from July 1st to June 30th.
4. Prohibition; penalty. A person may not rent or lease a snowmobile in violation of this section.
§13112. Racing meets.
Notwithstanding section 10650 and section 13106-A, subsections 14, 15 and 16, snowmobiles operated at a prearranged racing meet whose sponsor has obtained a permit to hold such a meet from the commissioner are exempt from the provisions of this chapter concerning registration, noise, horsepower and lights during the time of operation at such meets and at all pre-race practices at the location of the meet.
§13113. Registration of trail grooming equipment.
1. Definitions. For purposes of this section, “trail grooming equipment” means a self-propelled vehicle that:
A. Has a minimum weight of 1,200 pounds;
B. Exceeds 60 inches in width;
C. Is driven by a track or tracks in contact with the snow; and
D. Is performing winter trail maintenance by plowing, leveling, or compacting snow by use of a front plow or rear attachments that include but are not limited to rollers, compactor bars, or trail drags.
2. Operating unregistered trail grooming equipment. Except as provided in this section, a person may not operate trail grooming equipment on a snowmobile trail that is financed in whole or in part by the Snowmobile Trail Fund unless that trail grooming equipment is registered in accordance with this section.
A. A registration is not required for trail grooming equipment operated on land on which the owner lives or on land on which the owner is domiciled, if the trail grooming equipment is not operated elsewhere within the jurisdiction of this State.
B. A registration is not required for trail grooming equipment operated by a commercial ski area for the purpose of packing snow or for rescue operation, unless the trail grooming equipment is required to cross a public way during that operation.
C. Trail grooming equipment owned and operated by the Federal Government, the State, or a political subdivision of the State is exempt from registration fees, but must be registered and is required to display the registration.
3. Application and issuance. The commissioner may register trail grooming equipment upon application by the owner if the owner is an organization that has an approved contract for snowmobile trail grooming with the Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands, Off-Road Vehicle Division or a person that can provide proof to the department at the time of application that the person is a member of an organization eligible to register trail grooming equipment under this section. The commissioner may establish procedures necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
4. Form of registration. The trail grooming equipment registration must be in such form as the commissioner may determine.
5. Fee. The registration fee for trail grooming equipment is a one-time fee of $33. The registration fee is valid from the date of issuance until the date that the equipment is sold or transferred. Revenue from the registration fee is allocated according to section 10106, subsection 2, paragraph A.
6. Fraudulent acquisition of trail grooming registration. A person may not obtain a trail grooming equipment registration through fraud, misstatement , or misrepresentation.
Note: Qualified snowmobile trail grooming equipment is exempt from sales tax. Sales to incorporated non-profit snowmobile clubs of snowmobiles and snowmobile grooming equipment used directly and exclusively for the grooming of snowmobile trails.
§10353. Game Warden's Duties and Powers
In addition to other powers granted in this part, game wardens may: Stop and examine any snowmobile to ascertain whether it is being operated in compliance with chapter 937, or any other provision of this Part regulating snowmobiles; demand and inspect the operator's certificate of registration; and examine the identification numbers of the snowmobile and any marks on it.
§13201. Limits on local regulation.
A municipality or political subdivision of the State may not enact any ordinance, law, or rule regulating the operation, registration, or numbering of snowmobiles.
§10651. Failure to stop for a law enforcement officer. Prohibition. A person may not fail or refuse to stop any snowmobile on request or signal of any law enforcement officer in uniform whose duty it is to enforce chapter 937.
§10701. Operating a snowmobile under the influence. Prohibition. A person may not operate or attempt to operate a snowmobile: while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs or a combination of liquor and drugs; For a person 21 years of age or older, while having 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in that person's blood; or For a person less than 21 years of age, while having any amount of alcohol in the blood.
§10702. Chemical Tests. Duty to submit. The following persons have a duty to submit to chemical testing. A person who operates or attempts to operate a snowmobile within this State has a duty to submit to a test to determine that person's blood-alcohol level or drug concentration by analysis of blood, breath, or urine if there is probable cause to believe that the person is operating or attempting to operate a snowmobile while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. The duty to submit to a blood-alcohol or drug concentration test includes the duty to complete either a blood, breath, or urine test, or any combination of those tests. Tests and procedures for determining whether a person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs are governed by section 10703.
The Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has adopted the following regulations pertaining to snowmobiles in the State of Maine.
Chapter 9.02. Displaying Registration Stickers
The registration stickers issued by the Department shall be placed on both sides of the cowling of the snowmobile. Duplicates for destroyed or lost stickers may be obtained for a fee of $1.00 per set. Agents can charge a $1 fee for duplicate stickers.
For antique snowmobiles, see Antique Snowmobiles. Also see information about online registrations.
Only the most current set of registration stickers will be displayed on the snowmobile.
Non-Resident Snowmobile. The nonresident snowmobile registration stickers issued by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife must be attached to both sides of the cowling of the snowmobile. Only the most current set of registration stickers will be displayed on the snowmobile.
9.06. Dealer Temporary Registration
Dealers may issue temporary registrations to new owners by completing the form provided by the Commissioner. The dealer must pay a fee of $1 for each temporary registration received from the Commissioner. The new owner may be charged no more than $1 for issuing the temporary registration.
Chapter 11 - Protection and Safety of Spectators At Snowmobile Races
Relating to safety of spectators during snowmobile racing, a permit must be obtained from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Warden Service, before a snowmobile race is conducted. Specifications of safety standards may be obtained from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Statutory Authority: 12 MRSA §10104
ALWAYS SEEK PERMISSION before engaging in any form of outdoor recreation on property which belongs to someone else. If you know you are welcome to use someone's land, don't abuse the privilege. If you don t know if you are welcome, find out. If the land is posted, or you know you are not welcome, find another location.
PLEASE NO LITTER! Carry out the waste you accumulate from activities associated with snowmobiling. Good manners in the out-of-doors reflect on all involved and improve relations with landowners. Leave a clean trail by picking up litter you find as well as taking care of your own. Violators of the litter law face fines and other penalties.
Public Use of Private Property
(14 MRSA §159-A)
Limited Duty. An owner, lessee, manager, holder of an easement or occupant of premises shall owe no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for recreational or harvesting activities or to give warning of any hazardous condition, use, structure or activity on these premises to persons entering for those purposes. This subsection applies regardless of whether permission has been given to another to pursue recreational or harvesting activities on the premises.
Exceptions to Limited Duty
- For a willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure or activity; and
- when financial consideration is paid for the exclusive right to make use of the property for recreational activities.
Costs and fees. The court shall award any direct legal costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, to an owner, lessee, manager, holder of an easement or occupant who is found not to be liable for injury to a person or property pursuant to this section.
Permissive Use. An owner, lessee, manager, holder of an easement or occupant who gives permission to another to pursue recreational or harvesting activities on the premises does not thereby:
- Extend any assurance that the premises are safe for those purposes;
- Make the person to whom permission is granted an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed; or
- Assume responsibility or incur liability for any injury to person or property caused by any act of persons to whom the permission is granted even if that injury occurs on property of another person.
Damage to Another's Property
(14 MRSA, §7551-B):
Any person who intentionally enters the land of another without permission and causes damage to property is liable to the owner in a civil action if the person: damages or throws down any fence, bar or gate; leaves a gate open; breaks glass; damages any road, drainage ditch, culvert, bridge, sign or paint marking; or does other damage to any structure on property not that person's own or throws, drops, deposits, discards, dumps or otherwise disposes of litter, as defined in Title 17, section 2263, subsection 2, in any manner or amount, on property not that persons own.
If the damage is intentional the person doing the damage is liable to the owner for 2 times the actual damage plus additional costs which includes the attorney fees of the landowner, costs and the value of the owner's time spent on involvement in an enforcement proceeding; if the damage is not caused intentionally, the person is liable to the owner for the actual damages plus the costs described above.
Unlawful Cutting of Trees
(14 MRSA §7552 and 17 MRSA §2510):
It is unlawful for any person to intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently cut down or fell any tree without the consent of the owner of the property on which the tree stands.
Posting of Land
(17-A MRSA, §402):
Posting may be done in one of the following four ways:
- By posting in a prominent place one or more qualifying signs that by words or symbols set forth the nature of the prohibition. These signs need not be placed at 100 yard intervals.
- Use of signs placed no further than 100 feet apart that deny access for a particular activity or for all activities.
- Paint system utilizing one purple vertical stripe at least one inch in width and at least 8 inches in length placed on trees, posts or stones between three and five feet off the ground.
- Landowners may post their land "in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of the intruder."
- Landowners may verbally or in writing convey to others to stay off their property.
Other provisions of posting.
- Signs or paint markings must be at all vehicular access entrances from a public way.
- It is unlawful to post the land of another and to remove, destroy, mutilate or deface any signs or paint marks.
- Trespass by a motor vehicle is a violation of the trespass law.
Canadian Border Crossing Notes
- You must stop at customs to cross a Canadian/U.S. border. The penalty for not stopping is $5,000 and loss of your snowmobile.
- You must have a "Trail Pass" to ride Quebec and New Brunswick trails. In Quebec pick up your pass from the first club or the Federation of Clubs for Snowmobiles; telephone: (514) 252-3076. In New Brunswick pick up your pass from the first New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (NBFSC) checkpoint (on the trail) or arrange to purchase from the NBFSC, telephone: (506) 325-2625; Fax: (506) 325-2627.
- Trail 89/75 (Jackman) and Trail 85/19 (Fort Kent) crossing is open 24 hours/ 7 days a week.
- Major ME/NB crossings are all open 24 hours/ 7 days a week. For local information contact: Ross Antworth New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (506) 325-2625. A trail pass is required and you must have personal liability insurance, by New Brunswick law, on your snowmobile. The insurance can be from your state of origin and must be available for viewing if asked for by a peace officer. Collision, theft and fire insurance are recommended but not mandatory.
- You must have your snowmobile registered, by New Brunswick law, in your state of origin.
- Trail 92/95 crossing is only open:
6:00 am - 2:00 pm
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
6:00 am - 2:00 pm
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
6:00 am - 2:00 pm
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
6:00 am - 2:00 pm
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
6:00 am - 2:00 pm
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
|Saturday & Sunday
Tips To Safe Snowmobiling
- Travel in groups and inform some responsible person of your plans. Fill out a trip itinerary.
- Know your machine and its capabilities.
- Respect the rights and property of others.
- If it is necessary to travel on frozen bodies of waters, do so with extra caution.
- When crossing a highway be sure the way is clear and cross as directly as possible.
- Know and obey Maine snowmobile laws.
- Do not use your machine to harass wildlife, or in areas frequented by game.
- I will always operate at a reasonable and prudent speed for trail conditions;
- I will always drive to the right side of the trail and park to the right in single file or stop off the edge of the groomed surface;
- I will not pass unless recognized and motioned to pass by the snowmobile operator ahead;
- I will respect the trail groomer operator and leave the trail in the same condition I found it;
- I will not drink and drive; and
- I will not ride on plowed roads except at legal crossings.
The Maine Warden Service is responsible for lost and missing snowmobilers. Often, the Warden Service is called to search for snowmobilers who really are not lost or missing, which results in spending many unnecessary hours of effort by wardens. You can help us help you by filling out this trip itinerary and leaving it on our door or under the wiper of your vehicle. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
Name_____________________________________________________ Trip date _____________________________
Home Phone Number _____________________________________________________________________________
Vehicle (Make, Color, and Registration Number)_________________________________________________________
Staying At: _____________________________________________________________________________________
Snowmobile (Make, Color, and Registration Number)_____________________________________________________
Names of other members in your party
Snowmobile Registration Sticker Number/Make
If for some reason your trip plans change and you will not be returning to the place you had planned, if at all possible, please notify someone at that location. Please try to let them know of your change of plans.
Support Your Local Snowmobile Club
Judging Ice Conditions
"Thick and blue, tried and true. Thin and crispy, way to risky."
The ice traveler should look for bluish ice that is at least 4 to 6 inches thick, in order to support people and their gear. Even if the weather has been below freezing for several days, don't guess about ice thickness. Check ice in several places. Use an auger, spud, or axe to make a test hole, beginning at shore and continuing as you go out.
If ice at the shoreline is cracked or squishy, stay off. Don't go on the ice during thaws. Watch out for thin, clear or honeycomb-shaped ice. Dark snow and dark ice are other signs of weak spots.
Choose small bodies of water. Rivers and lakes are prone to wind and wave action, which can break ice up quickly. Avoid areas with currents, around bridges and pressure ridges.
"Wait for a long cold spell, then test the ice thoroughly."
In the wintertime, outdoor enthusiasts frequently need to know how thick the ice is and whether it is safe to walk across it. The American Pulpwood Association has published a hand reference chart that gives a good rule-of-thumb for ponds and lake ice thickness.
This table is for clear, blue ice on lakes. Reduce the strength values by 15% for clear blue river ice. Slush ice is only one-half the strength of blue ice. This table does not apply for parked loads.
Permissible Load - Clear, Blue Lake Ice
(Reduce strength values for other types of ice)
One person on foot
|Group of people walking single file
|Passenger car (2 ton gross)
|Light truck (2 1/2 ton gross)
|Medium truck (3 1/2 ton gross)
|Heavy truck ( 7 - 8 ton gross)
|Heavy truck ( 10 ton gross)
What if I break through the ice?
If you break through the ice, don't panic.
Don't try to climb out - you'll probably break the ice again.
Lay both arms on the unbroken ice and kick hard. This will help lift your body onto the ice. Roll to safety.
To help someone who has fallen in, lie down flat and reach with a branch, plank, or rope; or form a human chain. Don't stand. After securing the victim, wiggle backwards to the solid ice.
The victim may need treatment for hypothermia (cold exposure), artificial respiration or CPR.
"If your feet are cold, put on your hat."
That may seem odd, but it's good advice. Most of our body heat is lost through your head and neck. So wear a hat and cover your face and neck.
Dress in layers. Wool, silk and certain synthetics are best; they'll keep you warm even if they're wet.
Insulated, waterproof boots, gloves and a windbreaker are very important. Take extra clothing.
Recreational Safety Division
8 Federal Street
Augusta, Maine 04330
Telephone: (207) 287-5220
List of Snowmobile Safety Courses
Regional Safety Coordinators
We all have a stake in Maine’s Outdoor Future
We at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife take a leading role in making Maine’s outdoor future a bright one. Part of our job is to provide useful information to Maine’s citizens and visitors, to better enable them to access and enjoy the numerous activities available in our woods and on our waters.
That’s why we developed the Outdoor Partners program, operated by the Maine Warden Service. look for us at outdoor events, fairs, and festivals or along a highway near you. Whether you hunt or fish, watch wildlife, boat, snowmobile, or just enjoy being outdoors in Maine, take a moment to check us out. Your game wardens will have plenty of information, maps, brochures, and guides to help you get about, and perhaps a hot cup of coffee if it’s chilly, or a refreshing drink of water if you’re thirsty.
Enjoy the outdoors safely. Treat the land, water, and wildlife resources like it’s your own backyard. Working together through knowledge and understanding, we’ll be able to preserve what we have for generations to come.