McCabe’s bill streamlining registration for snow bikes passes state House

The Washington State House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill today that would ease registration requirements for snow bike owners.

A snow bike is a motorcycle with a track and ski conversion kit installed, giving it similar functionality to a snowmobile. Currently, snow bike owners are required to pay two registration fees  — one to ride the motorcycle on the road, and the other to use the motorcycle as a snowmobile — to the Department of Licensing.

House Bill 2975 would allow individuals to pay one $50 fee to register their motorcycles for both on-road use and as snow bikes. Some registration fee funds would provide for trail grooming, as well as safety, enforcement, and education programs.

Rep. Gina McCabe, the bill's sponsor, says failing to fix the redundant registration requirements could jeopardize local tourism dollars.

“Members of the Washington State Snowmobile Association have told me snowmobilers and snow bikers have started to recreate in other states due to our lack of properly maintained trails,” said McCabe, R-Goldendale. “As a business owner in a small town, I can tell you even some of the slightest drops in visitors can have a negative impact on local economies. This bill will help us keep tourism dollars in Washington while streamlining a currently repetitive and onerous process.”

During public testimony on the bill earlier this month, Glenn Markovits, president of the Sno-Jammers Snowmobile Club in Puyallup, said he wants club members to be able to legally ride their snow bikes.

“Right now, we're utilizing these snow bikes…but we're not really doing it in a legal capacity,” he said. “We want to be legal. We want to be able to license them appropriately.”

The bill now advances to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov