OHRV and Snowmobile Frequently Asked Questions

OHRV and Snowmobile Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to join a club to register my OHRV or snowmobile?

No. However local OHRV and snowmobile clubs are the backbone of the industry and work hard to promote a positive public image of their respective sports with landowners, state agencies, and the general public. Club membership allows for a reduced registration fee and supports the chosen club helping to create and maintain trails, conduct bridge repairs, and assist landowners who allow trails on their property. 80% of trails in New Hampshire are on private property. For those who choose not to join a club, the additional monies from the non-member registration fees go to the NH Bureau of Trails Grant-in-Aid Program, which distributes monies to clubs for trail maintenance and new projects.

The NH Fish and Game Department does not manage the club membership programs. For questions regarding clubs or memberships, please contact the respective association.
New Hampshire Snowmobile Association (NHSA): (603) 273-0220
New Hampshire Off-Highway Vehicle Association (NHOHVA): (413) 200-8061

How can I find out about OHRV / snowmobile clubs, membership, events and activities?

The New Hampshire Snowmobile Association (NHSA) is the umbrella organization for affiliated independent snowmobile clubs in the state. Call (603) 273-0220 or visit nhsa.com for more information.

The New Hampshire Off Highway Vehicle Association (NHOHVA), is the umbrella organization for affiliated independent wheeled vehicle clubs in the state. Call (413) 200-8061 or visit nhohva.org

Contacts with individual clubs may be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Trails.

How much of my OHRV / snowmobile registration fee stays with Fish and Game?

Only part of the OHRV and snowmobile registration revenue goes to the Fish and Game Department. Approximately 17% of the snowmobile registration monies and 34% of the wheeled vehicle registration monies stay at Fish and Game as dedicated funds used for the Registry Program, Snowmobile, and OHRV Safety Education Program, and providing Law Enforcement for Snowmobile and Off-Highway Recreational Vehicles. The NH Bureau of Trails at the NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources receives a majority of the funds for operations and maintenance of the trails, as well as the Grant-in-Aid program.

Where can I find NH OHRV contacts and links?

Visit the OHRV / Snowmobile Contacts webpage.

Where can I register?

Registrations can be purchased in person at more than 180 registration agencies located throughout the state. View a complete listing of registration agents. Businesses that sell OHRV / Snowmobile registrations include sales and repair shops, sporting goods stores, country and general stores. Registrations are also available at NH Fish and Game Headquarters in person, or by mail by downloading a print-and-mail application.

10-Day Temporary OHRV Registrations are available to non-residents only, May thru October for wheeled vehicles only; and available only at select agents.

Miscellaneous registrations such as Antiques, Dealers, Rentals, and Trails Maintenance are only available at Fish and Game Headquarters.

What do I need to register an OHRV / Snowmobile?

See the Registering Requirements webpage for registration requirements.

What are the license and age operation requirements?

You cannot operate any OHRV or snowmobile if your driver's license is under suspension or revocation in any state or Canadian province. An OHRV/Snowmobile Safety Education Certificate does not override a motor vehicle license suspension.

All operators 12 years of age or older must possess either an OHRV/Snowmobile Safety Education Certificate or a valid driver's license to operate on personal, private, or public property.

Any operator under the age of 12 cannot cross roads.

Any operator under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a licensed adult at least 18 years of age.

Any operator 12 years of age or older who has successfully completed an approved OHRV/Snowmobile safety course, who is not licensed to drive must be accompanied by a licensed adult at least 25 years of age when operating an OHRV along designated roads.

Any operator under the age of 18 cannot carry a passenger on a 3- or 4-wheel ATV.

Are helmets, eye protection, etc. required?

Any operator or passenger on a snowmobile under the age of 18 must wear a helmet and eye protection.

Any operator or passenger on an OHRV under the age of 18 must wear a helmet and eye protection.

Any operator of an OHRV over the age of 18 must wear eye protection unless the OHRV is equipped with a windshield or screen that protects the driver’s eyes and face.

Any operator or passenger on a UTV under the age of 18 must wear a seat/safety belt, if the UTV is so equipped.  A helmet is also required.

Any passenger on a UTV under the age of 7 and less than 57 inches in height must be properly fastened and secured by a child restraint system approved by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  A helmet is also required.

How can I find out about OHRV / Snowmobile Safety Education courses?

Visit the course schedule web page. You can also call the NH Fish and Game Department in Concord, NH, at (603) 271-3129.

Where can I ride?

More than 6,900 miles of snowmobile trails are open in the winter to snowmobiles. Snowmobile trails are only open during the winter months unless written landowner permission is obtained. Roughly 1,200 miles of trails are open for summertime OHRV riding. You can only ride on trails designated and signed for your type of vehicle. Written landowner permission is required to operate on another person's property. Snowmobile and OHRV maps are included in the digest. Local trail maps are printed and distributed by local clubs.

Can I ride on utility company rights of way?

A majority of land on which the utility companies operate is private property. The companies obtain easements for their purposes only. Written landowner permission from each individual landowner must be obtained if the trail is not specifically designated for OHRV or snowmobile use before you can operate your machine.

How far can I ride down a public road?

Operation is prohibited on public roads unless specifically permitted and posted for OHRV or snowmobile use. Examples of permitted uses are road crossings and trail connectors.OHRVs and snowmobiles must stay to the extreme right side of the public way and yield to all conventional traffic; they cannot operate from trailhead to trailhead. Speed limits are 20 mph on roads and 35 mph on trail connectors.

Is it illegal to operate while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs?

Open containers of alcohol located within the passenger area of an OHRV is prohibited. Operating an OHRV or snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal and extremely dangerous. Nationwide, approximately 65% of OHRV / snowmobile fatal crashes involve an intoxicated operator. The same laws and penalties for open containers and operating motor vehicles while under the influence apply to OHRVs and snowmobiles to include implied consent, hefty fines, jail time and loss of driving privileges. The legal blood alcohol concentration limit for operating or attempting to operate an OHRV or snowmobile is the same as a motor vehicle, .08%