snowmobile in backbone state park
Snowmobile Education

Snowmobile Education Program logo

The snowmobile education course is designed to teach students the principles of safe snowmobiling and how snowmobiling affects other people and the environment.

The following age restrictions apply to persons operating a snowmobile on public land, public ice, designated riding trails or designated riding areas in Iowa:

  • Persons under the age of 16 may operate their own snowmobile under the direct supervision of a responsible person of at least 18 years of age experienced in snowmobile operation who possesses a valid driver's license or an education certificate issued or recognized by the DNR.
  • Persons 12 through 17 must have a valid education certificate in their possession when operating.
  • Persons 16 to 17 may operate unsupervised, but must have a valid education certificate. Restrictions on operating a motor vehicle also apply to persons in this age group.
  • Persons 18 and older may operate without an education certificate if their privilege to operate a motor vehicle has not been barred or revoked.

The focus of the DNR Snowmobile Education Program is to provide an education course that reduces the rate of accidents, injuries, property damage, and fatalities, while at the same time promoting the development of environmental stewards by educating our students about environmental concerns, energy conservation and proper maintenance of snowmobiles, and promoting the practice of only riding in legal areas and with landowner permission.

Students can attend an instructor-led class or take a certification course online. Students must complete a written exam with a minimum score of 80% to receive an education certificate. Cost of the instructor-led course is $10, payable at the time of class. The cost of the online course includes the $5 certification fee.

For information about classes or the Snowmobile Education Program, please contact DNR Customer Service at Phone: 515-725-8200 or webmaster@dnr.iowa.gov.


Online Certification


The Iowa
Snowmobile Safety Course


Between 12 and 17?
Then you need to successfully complete an Iowa-Approved Snowmobile Safety Course before riding on public lands. One option available is to certify online.

  1. Study the Online Course
  2. Pass the Online Exam
  3. Print your certificate, and go snowmobiling right away!

Ready? Get Certified!



Instructor-Led Courses (typically in January)
Date(s): December 2, 2017
Time(s): 8:00am - 4:00pm
Location: Northwest Iowa Community College, 603 West Park Street, Sheldon
Preregistration: 800-352-4907
Course fee is $10
Bring a sack lunch

Date(s): December 9, 2017
Time(s): 8:00am - 4:00pm
Location: Hancock County Courthouse, Law Enforcement Center, 855 State Street, Garner
Preregistration: Call Ross at 641-923-2871
Course fee is $10
Bring a sack lunch

Date(s): December 9, 2017
Time(s): 8:00am - 4:00pm
Location: ICCC East Campus, 2031 Quail Ave, Fort Dodge
Preregistration: 515-574-1293 or noncredit@iowacentral.edu
$15 covers course fee and lunch
Course is sponsored by Webster County Icebreakers

Date(s): December 22, 2017
Time(s): 8:00am - 3:00pm
Location: J&K Snowmobile, 2703 7th Ave S, Estherville
Preregistration: Nick Hanson at 712-209-4809 or nkiehanson@gmail.com
$15 covers course fee and lunch
Course is sponsored by Emmet County Drift Busters