Snowmobile operator requirements
Ontario Provincial Police
This week is Snowmobile Safety Week [January 18th to 26th, 2021], and members of the Sioux Lookout Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) want to remind Motorized Snow Vehicle (MSV) owners and operators to know and abide by provincial and municipal regulations. Although these vehicles can be a great form of transportation during the winter months, rules for operation are in place to ensure the safety of operators and community members.
In order to operate a MSV off private property, including traveling on designated trails or across / along a portion of roadway, operators are required to be over 16 years old and possess a valid driver’s license or Motorized Snow Vehicle Operator’s License (MSVOL), and have with them all required operating equipment, any required trail permits, proof of snowmobile ownership, and proof of valid insurance. Failing to produce any of these documents to a police officer or conservation officer when asked could result in a fine of up to $1,000. Operations within municipal areas may also be restricted. Refer to Bylaw 93-08 for local bylaws controlling the use of MSV within the Municipality of Sioux Lookout.
Youth aged 12-15 who are not eligible for a driver’s license may apply for a MSVOL, which allows them to operate their MSV on snowmobile trails so long as all other permit and insurance requirements are met. A MSVOL does not allow operators under 16 years old to travel along or across a roadway, even if it is a portion of a designated trail system. In order to cross a roadway, MSVOL operators must dismount and allow a licensed driver to operate their MSV across these portions of the trail. Youth under the age of 12 are limited to operating MSVs on property owned by the MSV owner.
For more information about driver requirements and snowmobile safety, please visit www.opp.ca, or the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s website at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca. To learn more about safe snowmobiling on Ontario’s trails and to access Interactive Trail Guide, please visit www.ofsc.on.ca.