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Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

MN Nonresidents must have ATV trail passes starting Jan. 1

(Released December 28, 2009)

All-terrain vehicle (ATV) operators who are not Minnesota residents must possess a trail pass when driving on state or grant-in-aid trails beginning Jan. 1, when a new state law takes effect. The trail pass does not need to be displayed on the machine, but must be available for inspection when requested by an officer. The pass is required whether the machine is registered in Minnesota or another state.





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Nonresidents do not need a pass if operating on a portion of an ATV trail that is owned by the person or the person’s spouse, child, or parent.

ATV operators can purchase one-year nonresident ATV trail passes ($21 new, $2.50 duplicate) through Minnesota’s Electronic License System (ELS). Nonresident passes can be purchased any of three ways:

  • Online go to file:///D:/DNR%20NEWS%202009/www.mndnr.gov and click on “buy a license.”
  • By phone, call 888-665-4236 (1-MN-LICENSE) any time of day or night, seven days a week. All trail pass purchases can only be made by credit card. There is $3.50 convenience fee per transaction.
  • In person at nearly 1,800 ELS locations around the state. To find locations, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/agents.html or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 1-888-646-6367.

More than 15 trails and riding areas are open for winter use in Minnesota. Find maps and other information at www.findthetrails.com.

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