Nonresidents need Minnesota ATV passes
ST. PAUL -- All-terrain vehicle riders from other states must buy passes to use Minnesota's 2,000 miles of trails. The new law begins on Friday for out-of-state ATV users as a way to help pay for trail maintenance. An annual pass costs $21 and ma...
ST. PAUL -- All-terrain vehicle riders from other states must buy passes to use Minnesota's 2,000 miles of trails.
The new law begins on Friday for out-of-state ATV users as a way to help pay for trail maintenance. An annual pass costs $21 and may be bought via telephone, online or where hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
The new law only affects out-of-state ATV drivers. Minnesotans already must register their ATVs and pay a fee. Snowmobiles also must be registered, whether they are from Minnesota or other states.
The passes last a year and may be used on any state-run trail. Passes are not needed if an ATV is used on a trail owned by the driver's spouse, child or parent. The pass also is not needed for people driving on lakes, such as when moving fish houses.
Any ATV driver with an out-of-state driver's license needs the pass.
"From the way this pass is set up, it doesn't matter where the machine is registered," said Ron Potter of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources trails division. "It is where the driver's license is from."
Potter said he suspects that DNR officers will not issue many tickets immediately.
"Like most new laws, it will be a year of educating folks," Potter said. "I do not anticipate they will be writing a lot of tickets the first year."
Most state trails are in northern Minnesota, and Potter said that most out-of-state drivers come from North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
State officials estimate that about 10,000 of the 100,000 state trail users come from other states.
To buy an ATV trails permit:
Visit one of nearly 1,800 license locations; to find a location, go to www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/agents.html or call (888) 646-6367. ATVs generally are small four-wheel vehicles. The law does not affect trucks and other off-road vehicles.
Don Davis works for Forum Communications Co., which owns the News Tribune.