Traffic Regulation FAQ 1

What authority do municipalities have to regulate snowmobiles?

Snowmobiles are regulated by the state under Chapter 350 of the Wisconsin Statutes and municipal peace officers have authority to enforce those regulations. Wis. Stat. § 350.17(1). Local regulation of snowmobiles is limited by Wis. Stat. § 350.18. Municipalities may designate snowmobile routes and regulate snowmobile operations on routes designated or maintained by the municipality and may enact ordinances that are in strict conformity with certain state statutes. A municipality may also enact an ordinance allowing snowmobiles to operate on any portion of a roadway and shoulder of a highway that lies within the municipality’s boundaries for the purpose of residential access or, if the municipality has an ordinance for the purpose of residential access, for the purpose of access from lodging. § 350.18(3). The Wisconsin DOT and the snowmobile recreational council have prepared a joint model ordinance as an example. Following adoption of local ordinances regulating snowmobiles or designating snowmobile routes, the clerk must “immediately” send a copy of the ordinance to the DOT and to the municipality’s law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the highway. Wis. Stat. § 350.047.

(rev. 11/21)