OHV Non-resident permits.


Montana’s Nonresident OHV permit requirements have changed. For more information, visit the Montana State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle Program page here.

Latest News

News From Our Bureau of Land Management

by Timothy Finger, Outdoor Recreation Planner
Billings Field Office, Bureau of Land Management

Shepherd Ah-Nei Recreation Area

Shepherd Ah Nei Recreation Area is comprised of 4,680 acres, is located about 30 miles northeast of Billings, and is an important outdoor recreation resource in the planning area.  The entire area is closed to shooting except during hunting seasons established by Fish Wildlife & Parks.  Visitor opportunities include horseback riding, birding, hunting, and OHV riding.  For management purposes, the recreation area has been separated into three smaller management areas.  Each area provides unique recreation opportunities.

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New Guidelines Add Clarity To OHV Trail Signage And Placement

by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer

If there is one thing that’s universal about off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail signs, it’s that when it comes to size, color, quality, placement, or clarity of the message they send to riders, they are not universal. 

Trails signs vary widely, depending on whether the trail system is on land managed by a county, state or federal agency. And on public lands as well as private ATV parks, they may be confusing ... or absent altogether.

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Western Governors Applaud Passage of National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act

Published on November 29, 2016.

The National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.

Western Governors applaud this legislation, which directs the Secretary of Agriculture to develop a strategy to increase the role of volunteers and partners in National Forest System trail maintenance.

Western Governors have expressed support for the bipartisan legislation on several occasions, most recently in a letter on Sept. 21, 2016, to Representatives Cynthia Lummis and Timothy J. Walz. The letter emphasized the “urgent imperative to improve forest health in order to reduce wildfire threat and improve watersheds and habitat.” Following is a copy of that correspondence.

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News from the Capital Trail Vehicle Association Winter 2016

By Doug Abelin, President

The Capital Trail Vehicle Association (CTVA) organized monthly rides and completed several valuable projects during 2016. Rides included a Missouri  River Historical ride southeast of Toston, Whitetail Pipestine starting at Four Corners, Elkhorn Mountains including the Tizer Lake area, and the Leadville area.

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ATV Clubs Adjusting To Influx Of Side-by-Sides

Third in a series. ATV clubs are looking more and more like Side-by-Side (SxS) clubs. Photos of ATV club rides aren’t just sprinkled with SxSs anymore. Often, they are the dominant vehicle. In some parts of the country, new “SxS Clubs” are being formed. If you belong to one of them, or have thoughts on how SxSs (called recreational off-highway vehicles or ROVs by manufacturers) have changed your ATV club and its activities, we’d like to hear from you for this article series. Send your club name, contact info and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

North Idaho ATV Association Accommodates All ATV and SxS Riders

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Latest Announcements, Etc.

AMA Names Russ Ehnes 2017 Outstanding Off-Road Rider

by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer

The American Motorcyclist Association recently announced the recipients of its 2017 AMA Awards. The individuals and organizations selected by the AMA Board of Directors have made outstanding contributions to the motorcycling community; and their efforts support the AMA mission to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As reported in the official AMA press release:

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New ‘Friends’ Group Formed

Russ Ehnes

The Friends of the Little Belts met in Great Falls and adopted their bylaws, mission statement and elected officers.  Articles of Incorporation were filed in January marking the official start-up date of the group.  Officers elected at the March meeting were President, Russ Ehnes, 1st Vice President, Frank LaLiberty, 2nd Vice President Scott Davis, Directors at Large: Scott Herzog, Peter Jennings & Ron Shortridge.  Secretary appointed, and not filled, Treasurer, Mona Ehnes.

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Russ Ehnes Transitioning Out Of Position As NOHVCC Executive Director

by Karen Umphress | Jan 12, 2017

Great Falls, MT, January 12, 2017 -- The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) announced today that Russ Ehnes has expressed his intent to leave his position as Executive Director, effective June 1st, 2017. Ehnes, who has held that position for nearly 20 years, will be shifting gears to other opportunities in off-highway vehicle recreation, including managing the Bull Run Guest Ranch, near Great Falls, Montana.   

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*NEW* Off-Highway Vehicle Nonresident Temporary Use Permit FAQ’s

1. What is the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Nonresident Temporary Use Permit?

The permit allows nonresidents the opportunity to legally ride their OHV’s in Montana. The Montana State Legislature passed House Bill 167 in early 2015, which restructures the requirements for the OHV nonresident temporary use permit to more closely reflect the regulations in the surrounding states.

2. When do the regulation changes become effective?

These new requirements will go into effect October 1, 2015.

3. Who must purchase the permit?

Nonresidents who wish to ride their OHV’s in Montana must purchase the permit.

4. Who is exempt?

An OHV registered in an adjacent state that does not require payment of a fee to use OHV’s registered in Montana in that state, and will only be used temporarily in Montana for not more than 30 days. At this time, those states are Idaho and North Dakota.

5. How long is the permit valid?

The permit is valid for one calendar year. The calendar year is stated on the permit, and runs from January 1st to December 31st.

6. What is the cost?

Permits cost $27 each.

7. Where do I put the permit?

The permit should be placed on the OHV in “a conspicuous manner.” This means the permit should be clearly identifiable from a distance.

8. Where do I get one?

Permits can be purchased from many local vendors or online.  A list of all the vendors and a link to purchase them online through the Automated Licensing System (ALS) can be found at   http://stateparks.mt.gov/recreation/ohvProgram.html under “OHV Permits and Laws.”

9. What are the revenues from the permit used for?

Revenue from each permit will be divided as follows:

  • $1 to Search and Rescue
  • $1 to the permit seller
  • $1.50 into grants to mitigate and eradicate noxious weeds along OHV trails
  • $2.50 towards enforcement of OHV laws
  • $6 into operations for OHV education
  • $15 into grants to maintain OHV trails

DNRC Hires Public Access Specialist

Ryan Weiss was hired as the Public Access Specialist for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, a new position created by Governor Steve Bullock to lead public-access acquisition and enhancement initiatives for state and federal lands. Weiss previously worked on land use and water resource issues in northern New Mexico for the U.S. Forest Service, the State of New Mexico, Tribal Government and environmental consulting firms. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and two masters’ degrees from the University of New Mexico in community and regional planning and water resources.

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Save The Date – St. Jude’s Polar Bear Run

Your MTVRA and the Friends of Pipestone will co-sponsor the St. Jude’s Polar Bear Run on April 22nd at Pipestone east of Butte. The Mining City Trail Riders from Butte are helping with arrangements. More details to come later from MTVRA!

Montana XC – Second Half Started At Burnt Timber XC

Several riders. The summer break seemed to drag on, and then all of a sudden it was Labor Day weekend. Burnt Timber, hosted by the Butcher family since 2003, was rescheduled from a wet spring. The “Brawl in the Breaks” is a favorite among the Montana XC members. And this year was another epic weekend of riding. The highlights would have to include some of the hilarity of the bra relay race. Yes, a bra. Riders must wear the lady’s undergarment during their lap and pass the garment to the next rider. The weather was beautiful and the evening sky gave hint of rain. And, it rained, but thankfully it wasn’t ‘too much’. The racing on Sunday was beautiful. The temperatures stayed cool and the sky cloudy, the ground was tacky and it was a great day to be on the line. 

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Latest Legislative News

Montana State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle Program Update

By Erin Proctor, OHV Program Manager, Montana State Parks

The 2015 session of the Montana Legislature passed HB 167 that restructured the requirements of Montana’s OHV nonresident temporary use permit.  This new law makes Montana’s program similar to the regulations in our surrounding states. It rescinded reciprocity to 39 states, while honoring agreements with Idaho and North Dakota. The non-resident permit fee rose from $5 to $27 and permits are valid for one calendar year. 

Revenues generated go to education, OHV trail maintenance and noxious weed control efforts in the following amounts:

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Governor Bullock Announces Public Lands & Public Access Agenda

Billings, Mont., June 9 – Near the banks of the Yellowstone River, Governor Steve Bullock today announced details of his public lands and access agenda, saying it’s his “responsibility as governor” to uphold the Montana value of protecting the state’s outdoor heritage.

The Governor was joined by sportsmen, conservationists, recreationists, and members of Montana’s outdoor recreation and tourism industries as he unveiled his plans to expand and protect public access to public lands and waters throughout Montana.

“Public access to public lands is a fundamental part of what it means to be a Montanan,” said Governor Bullock. “And it’s my responsibility as governor to uphold this Montana value – now and in the years to come.”

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Governor Bullock Announces Release of Statewide Management Assessment of Invasive Species

HELENA, Montana—The Montana Invasive Species Advisory Council (MISAC) released a statewide management assessment of invasive species this week. The assessment, a first for Montana and the second of its kind in the nation, provides a comprehensive look at how invasive species were managed in Montana in 2015. A copy of the assessment can be accessed at:


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Recreational Trails Program Achieves Major Victory

By Marianne Wesley Fowler and Derrick A. Crandall, Co-Chairs, Coalition for Recreational Trails

December 7, 2015

Working together as a potent national force as the Coalition for Recreational Trails, we have achieved a major victory in protecting the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) in the recent transportation reauthorization process. Conferees from the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have agreed to new legislation, which covers the next five years (2016-2020), and the bill was signed into law by the President.

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New Legislation Will Bolster Montana’s OHV Program

by Erin Proctor, OHV Program Manager, Montana State Parks Division

Two bills, passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Bullock during the last session, will help strengthen Montana’s OHV program. A stronger program can support more projects on the ground and in the classroom, enhancing your riding options and experiences.

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Cooke City OHV Riding

From: http://fwp.mt.gov/recreation/activities/ohv.html

The network of OHV roads and trails on this map provide opportunities for outdoor recreation not found elsewhere. These roads and trails provide access to lakes, a historic mining district, a ghost town, breath-taking scenery, and numerous hiking trails. Much of the area you will be traveling is part of a large reclamation project designed to repair damage to the land and water caused by historic mining activity. Please be respectful of reclamation and stay on designated trails.

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BlackTail Wildbill OHV Trails

From www.fs.usda.gov, Flathead National Forest

The 10 mile Blacktail Wild Bill ORV trail system has three legs. One begins off of Blacktail Mt. Road on Road #917a and intersects with the other two trails which begin off of Truman Creek Rd #213 and from the trailhead on Road #2990. The trail is open for the following uses: 3 or 4 wheeled vehicles, 2 wheeled vehicles, mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking.

There are three trailheads to access the Blacktail OHV system.

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President's Corner

President's Corner Spring 2017

Buzz words like public lands, multiple-use, collaboration and climate change have taken over our dialogue. Many times these words and others are used out of context and, in some cases, as weapons. What exactly are public lands? When people want to protect public lands for instance, what do they really want and what public lands are they talking about?   

During the last election cycle we had people lining up to demand if others believed in protecting public lands. On-line you find most public lands referenced as those lands owned by the federal government. You also see items like Keep Public Lands Public-US Lands Under Siege, Public Lands Make This Country-Great-Let’s Protect Them, Why is the federal government trading away public land to the 1 percent and Tester asks Zinke about his commitment to public lands. There are literally thousands of other articles, comments and opinions out there. 

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Latest Articles

Sneak Peek at Montana’s New OHV Brochure

By Erin Proctor, OHV Program Manager

It’s time for an update to the “Off-Road Montana” brochure! We’ll start off by renaming it, so there’s no confusion between what’s old & outdated and what’s new & current. Your new brochure will be called the Montana Motorized Recreation Handbook, and combines information from both the “Off-Road Montana” and “Hunting and ATVs” pamphlets currently in circulation. Sections will include: How Permit Dollars are Used; Definitions; Safety & Equipment; Title, Registration and Permit Requirements; Other OHV Regulations; Sharing Trails, Safe & Ethical Use; Hunting & OHVs; Additional Resources; and Tread Lightly! practices. Expect to see clearly defined laws as well as good and ethical best practice suggestions. 

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Four-Wheeled Freedom: Riders with Disabilities Use ATVs To Enjoy the Outdoors

The following was published in the Nov./Dec. 2009 ATV News insert in American Motorcyclist and edited to fit this publication

Story by Karen Umphress

One thing that I have discovered is that people who are in wheelchairs or are otherwise disabled want to be “normal,” and in the everyday world they don’t get many opportunities to be that way. When it comes to accessing the beauty of America’s public lands, an ATV or a four-wheel-drive vehicle can be the only way for the less-abled to enjoy the outdoor opportunities that most of us take for granted. Opportunities that, like the rest of us, they have paid for with their federal tax dollars.

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