UPDATED: $15 annual ATV fee could be coming to Illinois - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

UPDATED: $15 annual ATV fee could be coming to Illinois

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SPRINGFIELD (WREX) -

If you ride an off-highway vehicle, like a dirt bike or four wheeler, you could soon have to pay the state more money.

A new fee, called an OHV usage stamp is working its way through Springfield.

Right now, Illinois does not require OHV owners to register their vehicles. But they do have to pay a $30 titling fee when they buy their bike or ATV

Part of that money goes to the department of natural resources. But the state is in its final stages of approving a new fee of $15 per year.

"When the Illinois general assembly approved the IDNR Sustainable Funding law last year, one of the provisions of that law was implementation of a new off highway usage stamp, funds from which will help support the operation and maintenance of state parks in Illinois."

However motorized vehicles are completely banned from State Park trails.

"It's a total revenue game. It's just not going to benefit anybody that's going to have to pay for it. That's my biggest problem. If they could see that it's going to benefit the industry, absolutely. But you're basically funding an area that you can't go in with your four-wheeler regardless," says Spencer Hammer, owner of Hammertime Sports

The stamp will not apply to everyone. If you drive on your own property, use the vehicle for farming or ranching, or are participating in a competition, you will be exempt.

And you won't need the stamp if you ride at Rocky Glen, or the seven other OHV grant assisted facilities in Illinois.

The DNR gives some of the money to ATV parks like Rocky Glen. But that comes from a different fee.

"When you come to rocky glen, you need to purchase an $11 sticker to ride on the off-road tracks that we have here available for you," explains Rocky Glen OHV's General Manager Michelle Strand.

If approved, the new fee could go into effect as soon as January 1st. The DNR says it's hard to guess exactly how much revenue will be created from the new surcharge, but one estimate is as high as $800,000 a year.

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