Registering your off-road vehicle

On this page
Sur cette page
 

Off-road vehicle registrations in Manitoba are governed by the Off-Road Vehicles Act.

An off-road vehicle, or ORV, is any wheeled or tracked motorized vehicle designed or adapted to travel cross-country on land, water, ice, snow, marsh, swamp land or other natural terrain.

Snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), dune buggies and dirt bikes are examples of ORVs. Examples of vehicles not considered to be ORVs include a golf cart, a garden or lawn tractor, infrastructure equipment and agricultural equipment.

You don’t automatically get insurance for injuries or for theft or damage to your ORV with basic registration. When you register your snowmobile, ATV or other ORV, you may want to consider additional insurance coverage.

Age requirements

No one under the age of 16 can register an ORV. Persons between 16 and 18 may register if they provide written consent from a parent or legal guardian. When registering, you may be asked to provide an official birth certificate or other acceptable proof of age.

Note that children under the age of 14 are not permitted to operate ORVs unless supervised, accompanied by, and at all times, within clear view of a parent or a person who is at least 18 years old and authorized by the parent.

Plates and certificates

For new registrations, you'll receive a licence plate in addition to the registration/insurance certificate. The operator must carry the registration/insurance certificate at all times while operating the vehicle.

On snowmobiles, the licence plate should be fastened on the left side in the space between the lower edge of the seat and the running board, as close to the rear of the vehicle as possible. If you wish to ride on designated groomed snowmobile trails in Manitoba, you must purchase a Snowpass, available on a seasonal or seven-day basis. You may obtain one from any Autopac agent or MPI Service Centre.

On ORVs with three or more wheels and on tracked vehicles other than snowmobiles, the licence plate should be fastened in a highly visible location on the rear of the vehicle. For two-wheeled ORVs, the plate should be mounted in a highly visible location on the front of the vehicle.

Exemptions

Registration is not required for:

  • An ORV owned by a resident of another jurisdiction who operates their vehicle in Manitoba must meet the registration and insurance requirements of their home jurisdiction.
  • A motor vehicle registered under The Highway Traffic Act. Under The Highway Traffic Act, Manitoba residents who own or lease vehicles must register any vehicle that operates on a Manitoba roadway. Under The Off-Road Vehicles Act, off-road vehicles, such as a snowmobile, may be required to be registered depending on where the vehicle is operated or the purpose for which it is used.
  • An ORV operated exclusively on property occupied by the vehicle owner.
  • An ORV owned and operated by a commercially-licenced fisherman using the vehicle for commercial purposes or a trapper using the vehicle in a registered trapline district or special trapping area.
  • An ORV owned and operated on behalf of the Department of National Defence and bears a number plate or other identification issued by that department.
  • An ORV owned by, or in possession of, a dealer and bears an ORV dealer's plate.
  • A competition vehicle operating exclusively on a competition circuit.
  • An ORV owned by a resident of a remote community while the vehicle is operated in the remote community.

Transfer of ownership

When ownership is transferred, the registration and insurance automatically expire.

If the original registered owner acquires another ORV within seven days of transferring ownership, they may transfer the original plate to the newly acquired vehicle after paying a transfer fee. An additional insurance premium may also apply.

A Transfer of Ownership Document (TOD) is part of your registration certificate. Individuals who buy vehicles privately should obtain the TOD from the seller.

At the time a vehicle is sold, the seller signs the document over to the buyer and fills in the odometer reading. It's important for the buyer to check that the serial number (also called Vehicle Identification Number or VIN) is the same on the TOD, the bill of sale and the vehicle itself.

ORV dealers do not provide TODs. If you buy a new or used ORV from a dealer, you will receive your TOD when you register the vehicle.

See more information on TODs.

Snopass

If you wish to ride your snowmobile on designated trails in Manitoba maintained by Snoman Inc., by law you must have a valid Snopass and display a Snopass licence plate.

Your Snopass fee helps to enhance recreational snowmobiling across Manitoba, as it supports the local Snoman member clubs that groom and maintain more than 12,000 kilometres of designated trails across Manitoba.

You can choose from three different Snopasses to meet your needs:

  • For Manitoba residents: Regular Snopass licence plate – valid for five-years, paid annually. (Cost: $150/year)
  • For non-Manitoba residents: Annual Snopass sticker – valid for one riding season. (Cost: $150)
  • For casual riders: Seven-day Snopass – valid for seven days, can be purchased at any time during the riding season. (Cost $75.50)

Please note that Manitoba Snopasses also entitle you to ride on designated trails in Saskatchewan.

Snopasses are for the snowmobile, not the owner, so you must purchase one Snopass for each machine. Manitoba Conservation and the RCMP patrol the trails regularly and the fine for riding on designated trails without a valid Snopass is over $400.

Snopasses are not mandatory. However, if you don't buy a Snopass when you register your snowmobile, you will be asked to sign a form indicating you declined the Snopass and declare that you will not travel on designated Snoman Inc. trails.

If you purchase a new snowmobile you can transfer the Snopass from your old snowmobile only if you transfer the licence plate and insurance from your old snowmobile as well.

Purchasing and renewing

Snopasses can be purchased year-round anywhere Autopac is sold.

Regular Snopasses are valid for as long as your snowmobile policy is valid. You pay for it each year at the same time you pay for your insurance and registration on your snowmobile. If your anniversary date falls within the riding season and you purchase a Snopass before then, that Snopass is only valid up to your anniversary date. For example, if you purchase a Snopass on Dec. 1 and your anniversary date is Jan. 9, that Snopass is only valid up to Jan. 9. If you want to continue to use the trails after that, you will have to renew your Snopass along with your policy that takes effect on Jan. 9.

If you do need to purchase two Snopasses within the same riding season, you will receive a credit for the unused portion of the original Snopass.

Cancelling

When a Snopass is cancelled (or the snowmobile policy is cancelled), the plate must be surrendered or the transaction cannot be completed.

A full refund will only be issued if one of the following criteria is met:

  • The snowmobile policy is cancelled before the first day of the riding season (Dec. 1).
  • Snopass is cancelled (removed from an active policy) before the first day of the riding season.
  • A customer with an anniversary date in the riding season renews their policy in advance, pays in full and cancels before their anniversary date.

Out of province

If you are not a Manitoba resident you still must purchase a Snopass to ride the trails in Manitoba. You can purchase either an annual Snopass or a seven-day Snopass. You must show proof of ownership and a valid registration from another jurisdiction that includes a minimum of $500,000 third-party liability coverage. An annual Snopass allows you to ride on designated trails until April 30.