When winter arrives, there are incredible activities that you can enjoy in this cold weather, such as skiing, sledding, building a snowman or driving a snowmobile. To operate this type of machine there are certain requirements you need to meet, plus knowing all the safety measures. That’s why in this article, we will focus on all the extra equipment you need for this vehicle, the type of license you should have, where you can drive and how old do you have to be to drive a snowmobile in Ontario.
Driving snowmobiles is a popular activity in Ontario during the winter season. But, even if you have the money to purchase this vehicle, that doesn’t mean you are allowed to operate it right away. Before we get into the conditions you should meet, we are going to explain first what exactly is a snowmobile.
What is a snowmobile?
If you used to live in a warm place such as California before you moved to Canada, chances are you might have seen snowmobile only in documentaries, or you have no idea what we are talking about. Don’t worry, in this section, you will find out exactly what this machine is.
The best way to describe a snowmobile is by comparing it to a motorcycle. Think about the motorcycles that you usually see in the summer driving along the highway. You could also use this machine during the winter, but it would be very dangerous since the wheels would barely touch the snow. The reason why that is risky is that you won’t have enough grip, and you could slip.
Now, if we take a snowmobile and compare it to a motorcycle, we will notice that they both have a centrepiece where the driver sits down. Then, the only difference between these two is the support they provide below. A snowmobile replaces the front wheels with skis, while in the back, there is a rutted track for grip.
Requirements to drive a snowmobile
Apart from the snowmobile itself, there are other things you need to have before you legally drive your vehicle on your property or in the streets. Below we will give a list, to help you remember all the paperwork you need to gather.
- You should have a driver’s license. Remember that you need to be 16 years old to have one.
- If you are not old enough to apply for this license, you have the option of obtaining a motorized snow vehicle operator’s license (MSVOL). To get it, it would be a similar process to the one for a driver’s license. Only in this case you can take the course online, present the exam and then print your certification.
- You have to register your snowmobile in the Ministry of Transportation. The reason why you have to do this is that once to complete the registration, they will give you a registration number decal to display in the snowmobile. You have six days to register the snowmobile from the day you close the sale.
- Get insurance. Because a snowmobile is considered a vehicle and also you might want to protect it in case an accident occurs, you need to have insurance. If you want to learn more about the insurance policies for snowmobiles visit Surex.
While you are driving your snowmobile, you should have all these documents with you. If you fail to do so, you can be fined up to $1,000.
How old do you have to be to drive a snowmobile?
There is a big chance that during the wintertime you see some kids driving snowmobiles, and then you might start wondering, “how old do you have to be to drive a snowmobile?” Since you can drive a snowmobile with an MSVOL, this means that underage kids can operate this vehicle.
According to the law, in Ontario, if you are 12 years or older, you can drive a snowmobile as long as you have all the required paperwork. However, since you are underage and you have no driver’s license given to you by the government, you can only drive on specific trails.
Driving a snowmobile on roads
Now that we know that people over 12 with an MSVOL can drive a snowmobile on trails. Then, some of you might ask how old should I be to drive a snowmobile in Ontario, specifically on roads. Well, since you will be driving a vehicle on public roadways, you will need a driver’s license, which means you should at least be 16 years old.
With a driver’s license, you can drive on snowmobile trails, across the road and on roadways. To prevent getting a fine, check on which roadways you are allowed to drive a snowmobile.
What happens if you are under 12 years old?
Most kids will get sad when they ask their parents, “how old do you have to be to drive a snowmobile?” and they answer, “you should be at least 12 years old”. We are here to tell you that there are cases in which you can drive a snowmobile without an MSVOL and being under the required age.
This only happens in situations where you live in a detached house, or you have a big enough backyard that your kids can drive the snowmobile in your home. That’s right, as long as they operate the vehicle on private property, they can drive a snowmobile during winter.
Do I need any extra equipment to drive a snowmobile?
Apart from purchasing the appropriate winter clothes, you only need one mandatory thing, and that is the helmet. Everyone who is riding on a snowmobile should have an appropriate helmet. This element will protect passengers in an unfortunate case.
If anyone asks you how old do you have to be to drive a snowmobile in Ontario? You can tell them that if they want to operate the vehicle outside a private property, they should be 12 years old. But, to drive on roadways, the minimum age is 16 years. Also, remember to respect the speed limit. For snowmobile trails and on roads where the speed limit is over 50km/h, your limit on the machine is 50km/h. If there is a road with a speed limit of less than fifty, you should drive at 20 km/h. That’s it, as long as you keep in mind these rules you can have fun all winter long.