Seward Snowmobile Bill Slides Through Senate

NYS-Snowmobile Association hails passage

ALBANY, 05/09/18 – 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.4454A) 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 infrequently for parades or shows and exempting them from state registration would help make the hobby more affordable.”

Senate bill 4454A 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. 

NYSSA Executive Director Dominic Jacangelo said, “Exempting vintage snowmobiles from registration will encourage the restoration of these machines and the preservation of New York’s snowmobile heritage.  Senator Seward’s support of this legislation and other initiatives to help grow our sport is greatly appreciated.”

Staring on January 1, 2018, a new law supported by Senator Seward took effect, increasing penalties for operating an unregistered snowmobile.  The New York State Snowmobile Association strongly endorsed the measure which will increase the amount of money available to local municipalities for snowmobile law enforcement purposes for the first time since 1985.

“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 concluded.

Companion legislation (A.3109A) has been introduced in the state assembly by Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi.