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Out-of-State Snowmobile Permit & Search Rescue Fee

Concerning programs for off-highway vehicle users, and, in connection therewith, exempting commercial use on private property from snowmobile registration, creating an out-of-state snowmobile permit to drive on publicly owned lands, and adding the search and rescue fee to snowmobile and off-highway vehicle permits.
2024 Regular Session
Natural Resources & Environment
Bill Summary

Current law requires a snowmobile owner to register the snowmobile, but exempts snowmobiles that are used only on private property for private, noncommercial use. The bill expands the exemption to cover all use on private property, regardless of whether the snowmobile is used commercially.

In current law, the snowmobile recreation fund is used to, among other things, establish and maintain snowmobile trails and related facilities. A resident of Colorado who uses a snowmobile on publicly owned land must register the snowmobile and pay a fee, which is deposited in the snowmobile recreation fund. The bill repeals replaces a $5 per registration cap with a 17% cap on the amount of the fee that can be used for administration.

The bill creates an out-of-state snowmobile permit that an owner or operator of an out-of-state snowmobile must obtain and display to drive the snowmobile on publicly owned land. To get the permit, the owner must pay a fee in an amount set by the parks and wildlife commission.

Exceptions are created for snowmobiles:

  • Owned by governments;
  • Operated in an organized event authorized by the government with jurisdiction over the land on which the snowmobile is operated; and
  • Operated on publicly owned land for nonrecreational purposes.

The fine for a violation is $100. Permits are valid for one year from April October 1 to March 31 September 30 and are issued by agents of the director of the division of parks and wildlife.

Current law creates a search and rescue program that pays for backcountry search and rescue operations. Snowmobile and off-highway vehicle registrations require the payment of a search and rescue fee, which entitles the payer of the fee to be covered by the program. The bill adds the search and rescue fee to out-of-state snowmobile permits and off-highway use permits.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


Became Law


Bill Text


Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Sen. N. Hinrichsen, Sen. P. Will
Rep. M. Snyder, Rep. R. Weinberg



Rep. C. Clifford, Rep. M. Lukens, Rep. T. Mauro, Rep. J. McCluskie

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The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details