Snowmobile Regulations

By: Corporal Jon Krueger


One only needs to drive up and down Lake Drive after a recent snow to know that snowmobiling is a very popular activity in this area.  Every year the police department responds to numerous inquiries concerning snowmobiles such as who can operate them, where and when they can be operated, and several other issues, many of which relate to safety.  The following is designed to provide answers to these questions and others.   


Snowmobiles are motorized vehicles, and are therefore regulated by state law and city ordinance.  Like other motor vehicles, they are regulated for the protection of both the snowmobile operators and the non-snowmobiling public.  The concern for safety is high in the snowmobiling community.   Last snow season there were 8 fatal snowmobile accidents and 160 injuries in the state.


To help reduce accidents, minimize injuries, and lessen the number of complaints received concerning snowmobiles, the following “snowmobile basics” are offered for your consideration:


  • No person under the age of 14 may operate a snowmobile on city streets.
  • No person under the age of 18 may operate a snowmobile without a helmet.
  • If you were born after December 31, 1976 you must have a snowmobile safety certificate to operate a snowmobile in Minnesota.
  • Snowmobiles may only be operated between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 pm weekdays (including Sunday) and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
  • No snowmobile may exceed a speed of 10 mph on city streets, nor may they exceed a speed of 30 mph on posted portions of the Rice Creek Trail.
  • No snowmobile can exceed the speed of 50 mph at any time, including lakes and waterways.
  • City traffic ordinances apply to the operation of snowmobiles on city streets.
  • Snowmobiles must follow the marked snowmobile path. The only trail in Circle Pines is along Lake Drive.
  • Operating snowmobiles on boulevards and public property is prohibited.
  • Snowmobiles must remain at least 100 feet from any residence, except when operating on city streets.
  • Snowmobiles must come to a complete stop at all uncontrolled intersections.
  • Snowmobiles must have an operable muffler, headlamp and tail lamp.


Click here to learn more about snowmobiling rules and regulations from the DNR website.  The Rice Creek Trail Association is also a very good source of information on everything snowmobile related.  They can be reached online, click here.  If you have any questions you may contact me at 763-784-2501.

Centennial Lakes Police Department - 54 North Road - Circle Pines, MN 55014
Office: 763.784.2501 - Fax: 763.784.0082 - Dispatch/911: 763.427.1212