Recreational vehicle registrations will be paused in April as the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation implements a new, online system to provide faster transactions and better service.

From April 10 to April 20, customers will have limited ability to register their recreational vehicles or obtain invasive species permits.

Sales at vendor locations – in stores across the state – stopped in March as part of the transition. Sales also stopped at many county motor vehicle offices in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From April 21 through April 28, no registrations through any channel will be available. To ease the transition, law enforcement will suspend enforcement of recreational registration and permits through the end of May, allowing the public to recreate without fear of being ticketed.

By April 29, the new system will be online for purchases on the web, for purchases at Parks and Recreation offices, and for purchases through a new call center. As retail vendors across the state are able to open their doors to the public, they will also sell registrations and permits.

Idaho Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience for customers during the transition but could not make the changeover without a pause to allow time to closeout past transactions, train vendors, and migrate customer data to the new system.

“The cliché about no pain, no gain certainly applies,” said Tammy Kolsky, manager of the Reservation and Registration. “But the upside is the new system will provide expanded opportunities for online purchases, emailed renewal notices and temporary registrations.”

The new system will allow customers to register a boat, an off-road vehicle or a snowmobile and instantly receive a temporary registration, allowing them to go play right away. Under the old system, it could several days for a registration sticker to arrive in the mail.

“People will love the get-it-and-go aspect of the new system,” Kolsky said.

Also, as part of the changeover, customers will be able to buy first-time registrations at vendors and online. Previously, only renewals could be purchased online, which channeled first-time customers to Parks Department offices or to a county motor vehicle office.

Here are the important dates in the transition:

  • April 10 at 5 p.m. – Sales limited to online. Most registrations will be available on the website, where customers can purchase:
    • Renewals for Idaho residents who received a 2020 registration renewal notice for a boat or off-highway vehicle.
    • Registrations for out-of-state customers with off-highway vehicles.
    • Invasive species stickers for non-motorized watercraft and out-of-state, motorized boats.
    • Annual Idaho State Parks Motor Vehicle Entrance Stickers.
  • April 20 at 5 p.m. – Suspension of website sales as the last parts of the old system are phased out.
  • April 29 at 8 a.m. – New system debuts on the Parks and Recreation website. Purchases can also be made through Department of Parks and Recreation offices and the new registration call center, 1-888-922-6743 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Mountain Time.

The COVID-19 outbreak complicated the transition because it closed many county motor vehicle offices, which sell about half of the registrations. The shutdown led to a flood of calls to the department, creating a backlog of messages to be returned. Each call has been logged and customers will be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis, a process that will likely last into early May.

“We’re sorry about the timing but there was nothing we could do about the pandemic,” Kolsky said. “Putting off the system changeover wouldn’t guarantee the situation would be any better in coming months, and it probably would be worse as more people wanted to register their boats and off-road vehicles in the summer. Please be patient, and we will soon get you fixed up.”

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