Riding your OHV through Elkford

We are privileged that we can ride our snowmobiles, ATV's, and off-highway motorcycles from our homes to the nearest trail in Elkford. With this privilege comes a few responsibilities, the most important of which are to ride slowly & quietly, obey the regulations and obtain the necessary insurance, permits and registration.

To ride on a public road including forest service roads, you must have 3rd party off-highway liability insurance that covers operation on public property (BCWF insurance only covers operation on private property). The fines for non-compliance are about $500, and enforcement has been on the increase.

To ride your OHV from town you must have $1M of off-highway third-party liability insurance (same as above) and also a permit from the District which includes a map showing the designated trails. The permit is just $2 / yr, and there's a plate fee of $8 in the first year. Liability insurance is $75 / yr for snowmobiles, $100 / yr for ATVs. The price is significantly higher if you are not a member of the provincial snowmobile or ATV clubs.  Off-road motorcycles can be insured for $25 / month through ICBC without a membership.

To cross a highway your OHV must also have on-highway insurance from ICBC, and a license plate. The insurance is about $48 / yr, but requires an RCMP-issued permit. This permit is not currently available to ATV or motorcycle riders so technically you must dismount to cross a highway. The permit is also not available to out of province snowmobile riders because they're issued by ICBC who requires resident status.

Checklist for riding a snowmobile from home or hotel in Elkford, please allow 2-3 hrs to complete these steps. You can save yourself about 45 minutes by printing and completing the downloadable forms at the bottom of this page before starting.

  1. Obtain $1M off-highway liability insurance from the Credit Union or Falkins.
    Insurance is discounted by about 65% if you are a member of the snowmobile club (or ATV club for your ATV)
  2. Obtain insurance that allows on highway operation
    1. To obtain this insurance and license plate you must visit Falkins Insurance in Elkford
      Falkins will mostly complete the paperwork, and then fax info to the Elkford RCMP detachment for permit
      permits are only issued between 9am and 11am, Mon to Fri
      not available for ATVs or motorcycle, therefore machines must technically be pushed or walked across the roadway
    2. BC riders can purchase coverage to April 1 from ICBC for $50 / y
      there's also a $36 plate and registration fee the first year
    3. AB riders are not eligible, but may already be covered by their private insurance. The RCMP will require proof.
  3. Visit the Elkford RCMP office to obtain your permit (white copy for you, yellow copy must be taken back to Falkins)
    1. must be BC resident
    2. Review RCMP rules for road crossings
  4. Obtain permit and license plate from District of Elkford (at the District office, or at the swimming pool)
    The office is open 9am to 4:30pm, Mon - Fri
    The pool is open until 9pm on Fridays, and is open 2:30pm to 9pm on Saturdays.
    Review District of Elkford bylaw and rules for road crossings and from-town trails

Things to keep in mind:

  1. Snowmobiles need the RCMP permit to ride to gas stations, otherwise machines have to be trailered when filled.
  2. It is unsafe and illegal to ride a snowmobile on a ploughed forest service road.
  3. You must take the shortest route from your residence to the nearest out-of-town trail. It is illegal to ride your OHV to the grocery store, restaurant or pub.
  4. Riding an OHV through town is a privilege that does not exist in most towns in BC or AB

Designated In-town Trails

Designated in-town trails

open_skies_insurance_application.pdf389.26 KB
District_Elkford_OHV_Permit_Application.pdf70.8 KB