Snowmobiling in Iowa
Renewal Period for Registrations [Sept 1 - Dec 31]

All newly owned machines or machines which have not been renewed in the recreational vehicle and vessel registration system (RVVRS) must be registered through the County Recorder’s Office in the owner’s county of residence.

Renewals can be done at any County Recorder’s Office (you only need to provide the IA number assigned to your snowmobile through RVVRS). Snowmobiles which have been entered into RVVRS can also be renewed by U.S. Postal Service fulfillment through the Iowa DNR Online License and Registration Sales Site. You will need to provide your DNR customer number which is printed on your vehicle registration. You will also be able to purchase Iowa Resident User Permits via our online system.

The renewal period for snowmobile registrations without penalty is September 1st through December 31st.

Iowa DNR User Permits
Both resident and nonresident user permits are available at County Recorder’s Offices and any license agent that sells hunting and fishing licenses.

Safe Riders! Campaign Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The Safe Riders! You Make Snowmobiling Safe© safety campaign was initiated in 1995 through a partnership with the snowmobile manufacturer members of ISMA – Arctic Cat, BRP, Polaris, and Yamaha and the state and provincial snowmobile associations and clubs located throughout the snow-belt of North America. The goal of the campaign is to keep safety a ‘top of mind awareness’ subject while snowmobiling. The content of the campaign was created with input from all corners of the snowmobile world and continues to live and grow in ideas and outreach.

The key guidelines presented in the campaign are:
  1. Smart riders are safe riders – take snowmobile safety training.
  2. Snowmobiling and alcohol do not mix – do not drink and ride.
  3. Ride safe, stay on the trail – and always respect private property.
  4. When night riding, slow down – expect the unexpected.
  5. Ride smart, ride right – stay in control.
  6. Know before you go – always check local weather conditions.
  7. One is the loneliest number – never ride alone.
  8. Cross roads with care – don’t become roadkill.

For information on how to become a volunteer snowmobile education instructor, contact Rhonda Fowler at 515-725-8490 or

Operator Incident Report

Whenever an ATV, ORM, or ORV is involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person or property damage amounting to $1,500 or more, the operator of the vehicle or a person acting for the operator shall immediately notify the county sheriff or another law enforcement agency in the state.

If the accident occurred on public land, a designated riding area, a designated riding trail, or ice under the jurisdiction of the Natural Resource Commission, the operator shall file a report of the accident with the Department of Natural Resources within 72 hours. The report shall be on DNR Form 542-8093.

All reports shall be submitted to the Iowa DNR State Parks Bureau, 502 E 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa, 50319-0034, and shall include a full description of the collision, occurrence, or other casualty. If you have any questions, please call the DNR Des Moines Office at 515-725-8200.

Operator Incident Report Form: 542-8093
Operator Incident Report Form: 542-8093


Special Events Permits

The Iowa DNR is authorized to approve a club or individual to hold an organized special event (an organized race, exhibition, or demonstration of limited duration which is conducted according to a prearranged schedule and in which general public interest is manifested) within the state if the event is scheduled to be held on public land or public ice. The DNR shall designate the equipment and facilities necessary for the safe operation of vehicles and for the safety of operators, participants, and observers.

Residents participating in a special event must display a current registration on their vehicles. Nonresidents must display a valid, Iowa nonresident user permit on their vehicles.

At least 30 days before the scheduled date of a special event, an application must be filed with the DNR using the Special Events web-based application found at

For more information, contact DNR Customer Service:
515-725-8200 or

Rules and Regulations
Groomer Workshops

Groomers must attend a workshop once every three years to maintain their status as certified. 

Snowmobile Education

Snowmobile riders in the state of Iowa who are ages 12 through 17 are required to have taken, and passed, a snowmobile education course and have an education certificate in their possession when riding on public land, public ice, and designated snowmobile trails, if these areas are signed open to snowmobile use.

This regulation applies to both resident and nonresident riders.

Snowmobile Safety

Other Safety Videos:
YouTube: Ice Safety (0:31)