Snowmobiling in British Columbia

Any snowmobile operated at a speed greater than 20 km/h must be able to stop within 10 metres

DriveSmartBC

It is almost impossible to use a snowmobile without encountering a highway in British Columbia. Can a snowmobile be legally operated on or across a highway? If all required conditions of the Motor Vehicle Act and All Terrain (Motor Vehicle) Act are met, the answer is yes.

The first step is to register the snowmobile with ICBC and apply the registration decals to both sides of the cowl or other conspicuous place on the machine. Incidentally, unless you are a visitor to BC, this registration is required before you can operate the snowmobile anywhere in the province. Visitors may use their own provinces licensing or obtain a permit if their province does not require registration.

An operation permit must be obtained from the chief of police having jurisdiction over the place where the snowmobile will be operated on the highway. The permit may set restrictions or conditions on the operation of the snowmobile as determined by the chief of police.

Once the operation permit has been obtained the snowmobile owner must licence and insure the machine with ICBC as you would with any other motor vehicle. ICBC will issue licence plates which must be displayed.

Finally, the driver of the snowmobile must hold a valid drivers licence. You may now legally operate a snowmobile on a highway as set out in the permit.

Incidentally, the snowmobile must be properly equipped. They require an adequate muffler and if operated between 1/2 hour before sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise must have a headlight and taillight. Any snowmobile operated at a speed greater than 20 km/h must be able to stop within 10 metres from a speed of 20 km/h.