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Utah Snowdog Registration Update

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I have had multiple conversations with several state employees concerning what I believe is the wrongful classification of a Snowdog as a snowmobile.  What I have come to believe is that the decision to do so came from a fairly new Utah agency called the ‘Utah Division of Outdoor Registration.’  It was legislated in 2022 as part of the Utah Department of Natural Resources to combine the nation’s first Office of Outdoor Recreation with other state recreation management programs, including Utah’s Boating Program, Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Program, and recreation law enforcement officers.

I talked with Chase Pili (Off Highway Vehicle Manager) who is the person responsible for such decisions.  He is firmly convinced that the Utah Code definition of a snowmobile [Utah Code 41-22-2 (22)] is appropriate for Snowdogs.  He told me he based that decision on conversations with lawyers from his division and another division.  All are convinced that the Snowdog is steered and supported by the track.

So, unless some one, or some organization, is willing to challenge that in a court of law or seek an injunction to halt the DMV from registering them until a state court rules on the matter, then we are going to have to register all Snowdogs (factory built or DIY) as snowmobiles.  I will not be that someone.  I have done what I could reasonably do by informing others and writing letters and having phone conversations with those in power.  I was not successful in my quest.  I may contact my State Representative again after the current legislative session has ended to see if changing the wording of the law would be appropriate.  I have already registered my Snowdog as a snowmobile.

Take care, stay safe, & tight lines y’all.  Hope to see you on the ice sometime.

Another change to the Utah Code this year is that now, off-highway vehicles (OHVs ), excluding motorcycles and snowmobiles will require a license plate.  So, even if they were to be registered as an all-terrain type III vehicle, there would be an additional cost of getting a license plate for it on top of the registration/title costs.

thanks bob

“I fought the law, and the law won.”

Some of you may remember this discussion started back in February with regard to the new requirement to register ‘Snowdog’ type machines as of January 2023.  I disagreed with registering them as ‘Snowmobiles’ instead of an ‘All-terrain type III vehicle.’  I researched the situation and made phone calls and sent emails to several State agencies asking them to classify ‘Snowdogs’ as ‘All-terrain Type III Vehicles.  They wouldn’t budge.  So, in March 2023, I submitted a 2-page ‘Private Letter Ruling’ request to the Utah Tax Commission who determines the classification from the way the Utah Code is written.  I stated the facts as best I could along with my interpretation of what the Utah Code says about the facts.

I got their response today – August 18, 2023.  They still insist that a ‘Snowdog’ machine meets the definition of a ‘Snowmobile’ as defined in Utah Code Ann. § 41-22-2.  And that is far as I am willing to pursue the issue.  I could appeal the decision, but don’t expect I could present anything further that would persuade them to change their minds.  I registered mine as a snowmobile last February and got the decals sometime in May.

Last winter, the Utah Law Enforcement community was cutting most Snowdog owners some slack and only issuing a verbal warning to register the vehicle.  I don’t think you will encounter the same attitude from them this coming ice season.

That’s it for now boys & girls.  Hope to see some of you on the ice this coming season.

Dubob, thank you for the update on this topic and all your efforts in attempting to get things changed with the registration. Possibly some sportsmen's group in your state may take up this fight. I know things vary from state to state with some currently no requiring Snowdogs to be registered as they do not have VIN numbers .



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