Off-Road Vehicles and Snowmobiles
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is responsible for titling and registering off-road vehicles (ORVs) and snowmobiles operated in Indiana. Please use the links in the left column to learn more about titles, vehicle identification numbers, registrations, and registration fees for your ORV or snowmobile.
If your current ORV or snowmobile is registered with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and your registration is lost, destroyed, or needs a change in personal information, visit a BMV license branch to apply for a new registration.
"Off-road vehicle" is defined as a motor driven vehicle capable of cross-country travel without benefit of a road, on or immediately over land, water, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain. This includes the following vehicle types:
- A multi-wheel drive or low pressure tire vehicle.
- An amphibious machine.
- A ground effect air cushion vehicle.
- An all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
- A recreational off-highway vehicle.
- Other means of transportation deriving motive power from a source other than muscle or wind.
The following vehicle types are not considered off-road vehicles:
- A farm vehicle being used for farming, including, but not limited to, a farm wagon.
- A vehicle used for military or law enforcement purposes.
- A construction, mining, or other industrial related vehicle used in performance of the vehicle's common function, including, but not limited to, a farm wagon.
- A snowmobile.
- A registered aircraft.
- A golf cart vehicle.
- Any other vehicle properly registered by the bureau of motor vehicles.
- Any watercraft that is registered under Indiana statutes.
A “snowmobile” is defined as a motor driven vehicle designed for travel primarily on snow or ice; and of a type that uses sled type runners or skis, an endless belt tread, or any combination of these or other similar means of contact with the surface upon which the vehicle is operated.
- Title Requirements for ORVs and Snowmobiles
Off-Road Vehicles (ORV)
ORVs purchased after 12/31/2009 must be titled with the BMV. You must apply for a certificate of title within 45 days after the date of purchase, or an administrative penalty will be charged.
- A certificate of title is required to be presented as proof of ownership. If a certificate of title cannot be provided, you must submit and Affidavit of Ownership (if you qualify) or obtain a Court Order prior to applying for a certificate of title.
Download the Affidavit of Ownership Vehicle Title Application Packet
Download the Court Order Title Application Packet
An ORV purchased before 1/1/2010 is not required to be titled but may be voluntarily titled upon request of the owner.
- If the ORV is not required to be titled, and you do not have a certificate of title as proof of ownership, you may complete and affirm ownership on an Off-Road Vehicle / Snowmobile Ownership Affidavit – State Form 52827.
If you are a new Indiana resident and your ORV was purchased before 1/1/2010, you must title the ORV within 60 days of becoming an Indiana resident to avoid an administrative penalty.
A snowmobile is not required to be titled but may be voluntarily titled upon request of the owner.
If a certificate of title cannot be provided as proof of ownership, you may complete and affirm ownership on an Off-Road Vehicle / Snowmobile Ownership Affidavit – State Form 52827.
If you purchased an ORV or snowmobile that was voluntarily titled in Indiana by the seller, and the issue date on the certificate of title is after 6/30/2016, the seller must provide you with the title, and you (the purchaser) must either:
- Apply for a new certificate of title prior to applying for a registration; or
- Surrender the former certificate of title to the BMV prior to applying for a registration.
- Non-Residents of Indiana
A person who is a non-resident of Indiana may voluntarily apply for an Indiana certificate of title by surrendering their out-of-state certificate of title or by providing proof of ownership for an off-road vehicle (ORV) or snowmobile
A person who is not a resident of Indiana must obtain an Indiana registration if either of the following conditions apply:
- The ORV or snowmobile is not registered in the non-resident’s state of residence and will be operated in Indiana (However, registration is not required for an ORV or snowmobile if the owner qualifies for and has obtained a valid “Motorized Non-Resident DNR ORV Permit” issued by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) – see description below).
- The ORV or snowmobile is registered in the non-resident’s state of residence but will be operated in Indiana for more than twenty (20) days a year.
A “Motorized Non-Resident DNR ORV Permit” may be purchased through the DNR if the ORV or snowmobile is from another state, is not registered in that state, is owned by a non-resident of Indiana, and will only be operated on designated trails and properties owned or managed by the DNR. If the operator obtains a “Motorized Non-Resident DNR ORV Permit” through the DNR, a certificate of registration issued by the BMV is not required unless the ORV/snowmobile will be operated outside of the designated DNR locations.
- A certificate of registration issued by the BMV provides additional operating privileges that a “Motorized Non-Resident DNR ORV Permit” does not permit, and is approximately a 50% cost savings to register through the BMV.
Many states do not register ORVs or snowmobiles. Location permits which are placed on the vehicles, may be provided, but they are typically not specific to that vehicle and do not contain an assigned registration number. DNR does not accept these permits as a valid registration in Indiana.
Out of the four surrounding states (Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio), only Ohio issues registrations for ORVs and snowmobiles. Therefore, residents of Illinois, Kentucky, and Michigan must obtain an Indiana registration or “Motorized Non-Resident DNR ORV Permit” in order to operate the vehicle in Indiana. On day one of use in Indiana, the non-resident must have a valid certificate of registration issued by the BMV or a “Motorized Non-Resident DNR ORV Permit” issued by the DNR.
For more information on “Motorized Non-Resident DNR ORV Permits” issued by the DNR, refer to the DNR website.
- IN Application
Application for Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
All ORVs and snowmobiles operated on public roadways in Indiana must have a vehicle identification number (VIN) stamped on or attached to the vehicle. If the ORV or snowmobile does not have a VIN, is assembled, or the VIN is changed, then an Application for Special Identification Number – Vehicle or Watercraft – State Form 12907 must be completed.
Applications for a special identification number are processed by the BMV Central Office. The Special Identification Number – MVIN Vehicle Application Packet provides a detailed list of the documents required to be submitted with the application for title. Prior to submitting each application, verify that all required information is included.
- Registration Requirements
All off-road vehicles (ORV) and snowmobiles operated in Indiana must be registered with the BMV and display valid ORV or snowmobile decals unless otherwise exempt.
ORVs or snowmobiles are exempt from obtaining an Indiana registration if the following apply:
- Is exclusively operated for a special event with limited duration and conducted according to a prearranged schedule under a permit from the governmental unit having jurisdiction.
- Is registered in another state or country and being operated by a nonresident of Indiana for a period not to exceed 20 days in one year.
- Is being operated for purposes of testing or demonstration, and dealer certificate numbers have been placed.
- Is owned or leased, and used for official business by the state, a municipal corporation, a volunteer fire department, the United States government, or an agency of the United States government.
- Is operated by a person who has in their possession a bill of sale from a dealer or private individual that is no more than 45 days old and that includes the following information:
- Purchaser’s name and address
- Date of purchase
- Make, Model and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the ORV or snowmobile.
To apply for a certificate of registration, you must provide proof of ownership. If you do not have a certificate of title, you may complete and affirm ownership on an Off-Road Vehicle / Snowmobile Ownership Affidavit – State Form 52827 if you meet any of the following criteria:
- The registration is for an ORV that is not required to be titled.
- The registration is for a snowmobile.
The BMV issues a certificate of registration and two decals for each ORV and snowmobile registration. The certificate of registration must accompany the ORV or snowmobile and be made available for inspection upon demand by a police officer. The decals contain the ORV’s or snowmobile’s registration number and expiration date and must be attached on the forward half of the ORV or snowmobile.
- The BMV will not issue a license plate regardless of modifications, such as turn signals or windshield wipers added to the vehicle.
ORV and snowmobile registrations must be renewed every three years on or before your scheduled expiration date.
An application for a new, renew or duplicate registration for an ORV or snowmobile may be purchased at any BMV branch.
You will receive your Certificate of Registration and decal within 14 days.
Operation of ORVs and Snowmobiles
Operation of properly registered ORVs and snowmobiles is permitted on Indiana public property where authorized by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), roadways where authorized by the county highway department, and on private property with the consent of the landowner.
Operation of an ORV or snowmobile on a highway is not permitted.