TITLE 31
Motor and Other vehicles

CHAPTER 31-3.2
Snowmobiles and Recreational Vehicles

SECTION 31-3.2-2


§ 31-3.2-2 Registration.

(a) General requirements. Except as provided in this chapter, no person shall operate any snowmobile or recreational vehicle within the state unless the snowmobile or recreational vehicle has been registered in accordance with this chapter. Any operator of any snowmobile or recreational vehicle not registered in accordance with this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a civil violation and be subject to a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense. All recreational vehicles sold by a dealer shall be registered at time of sale of such vehicle. Any recreational vehicle purchased for use exclusively outside of the state of Rhode Island shall not require registration at the time of purchase; provided that the purchaser of such recreational vehicle shall sign a declaration, provided by the director via the dealer, stating that the purchaser understands the conditions under which a recreational vehicle must be registered and the penalty for violation of such registration requirements. Each signed declaration shall be forwarded by the dealer to the director.

(1) Recreational vehicle safety course and safety certificate. The director shall establish a curriculum or curricula for a recreational vehicle safety training course or courses. Any such curriculum may include, but not be limited to, on-vehicle training and safe riding practices. The director may establish different courses and curricula for different types of recreational vehicles. The director may permit any such safety training course to be given by any private person, club, association or municipality that meets standards established by the director. The director may establish a reasonable fee that any such person or entity may charge for such course or courses.

(2) The safety course shall be required for all first time recreational vehicle buyers, as well as all operators under the age of sixteen (16). Proof of completion of safety course shall be carried while operating any recreational vehicle off private property.

(b) Application – Issuance – Reports. Application for registration shall be made to the director in such form as the director shall prescribe, and shall state the name and address of every owner of the snowmobile or recreational vehicle and be signed by at least one owner. Upon receipt of the application and the appropriate fee, the snowmobile or recreational vehicle shall be registered and a reflectorized identification number assigned which shall be affixed to the snowmobile or recreational vehicle in such manner as the director shall prescribe.

(c) Fees for registration.

(1) The fee for registration of each snowmobile or recreational vehicle, other than those registered by a dealer or manufacturer pursuant to subsection (c)(1) or (c)(2) shall be as follows: twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for one year and one dollar ($1.00) for a duplicate or transfer.

(2) The total registration fee for all snowmobiles or recreational vehicles owned by a dealer and operated for demonstration or testing purposes shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per year.

(3) The total registration fee for all snowmobiles or recreational vehicles owned by a manufacturer and operated for research, testing, experimentation, or demonstration purposes shall be one hundred dollars ($100) per year. Dealer and manufacturer registrations are not transferable.

(4) In addition to the registration fees enumerated in subdivisions (1) – (3) of this subsection, an annual registration fee of ten dollars ($10.00) for residents and twenty dollars ($20.00) for nonresidents on all off-road facilities established by the department of environmental management for such purposes. No person shall operate any recreational vehicles on off-road facilities which has not been registered as required by this subdivision.

(d) Renewal. Every owner of a snowmobile or recreational vehicle shall renew his or her registration in such manner as the director shall prescribe, upon payment of the same registration fees provided in subsection (c).

(e) Snowmobiles or recreational vehicles owned by state or political subdivision. A registration number shall be issued without the payment of a fee for snowmobiles or recreational vehicles owned by the state of Rhode Island or a political subdivision of the state upon application for it.

(f) Exemptions. No registration under this section shall be required for the following described snowmobiles or recreational vehicles:

(1) Snowmobiles or recreational vehicles owned and used by the United States, another state, or a political subdivision of the United States or another state.

(g) Special Permits. The director of environmental management may issue special permits to out of state snowmobiles or recreational vehicles from a state or country where registration is not required to operate in Rhode Island for limited periods of time not to exceed thirty (30) days in connection with organized group outings, trail rides, races, rallies, and other promotional events.

(h) Non-resident recreational vehicle registration. The registration provisions of this section shall not apply to non-resident owners who have registered their recreational vehicles in compliance with the registration and licensing laws of the state, province, district or country of residence in which they reside, provided that the recreational vehicle is appropriately identified in accordance with the laws of the state of residence. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a resident of another state, province, district or country that does not have a recreational vehicle registration and identification law.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1971, ch. 117, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 387, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 413, § 2; P.L. 1999, ch. 218, art. 6, § 2; P.L. 2000, ch. 109, § 59; P.L. 2004, ch. 595, art. 33, § 7; P.L. 2008, ch. 127, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 179, § 1.)