Seward Bill Exempting Vintage Snowmobiles from State Registration Costs Receives Senate Approval

Marks fourth time senate has passed the bill, status uncertain in state assembly

ALBANY, 06/12/19 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref- Oneonta) today announced senate approval of legislation he sponsors to exempt vintage snowmobiles from state registration fees.  Senator Seward’s bill (S.3929) was developed in consultation with the New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) and would encourage collecting without forcing undue costs on hobbyists.

“Snowmobiling helps stimulate our upstate economy during the winter months and is a great family sport,” said Senator Seward.  “Collectors who enjoy restoring vintage snowmobiles make up a growing sector of the sport.  These sleds are used mainly for parades or shows, not trail riding, and exempting them from state registration costs would help make the hobby more affordable.”

Senate bill 3929 would exempt snowmobiles manufactured prior to 1980 from registration.  In New York, the entire registration fee, except five dollars, is dedicated to the Trail Development and Maintenance Fund.  Vintage snowmobiles are rarely used on the trail system, and most vintage sled collectors also own modern snowmobiles which would still be registered. 

“I have consistently advocated for snowmobiler-friendly laws dating back to 2005 when I helped enact the ‘Snowmobile Rights and Responsibilities Act’ to promote safety and trail maintenance guidelines.  I have also fought for state funding to help local clubs with trail improvements and equipment purchases.  Snowmobiling contributes $868 million to the New York State economy each year, and I will continue to support this great winter pastime,” Seward added.

Senator Seward’s bill has been adopted by the state senate on three previous occasions, but has failed to receive consideration in the state assembly.  

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon has introduced the legislation (A.7164) in the state assembly.

“There is still time to get this cost saving legislation signed into law before the legislative session ends.  I encourage snowmobile enthusiasts to contact their representatives in the state assembly and express support for the bill,” Seward concluded.