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Snow Plow Requirements: Permits and Licensure

Snow plow

Wisconsin winters mean snow, snow, and more snow, with temperatures dropping as low as 30 degrees F in some regions. If you’re like many Wisconsinites, you may be wondering about snow plow requirements. Do you need a license, and which vehicles are best suited for a snow plow? Badger Truck & Auto Group is here to answer your questions, as well as assist with installing snow removal equipment on suitable vehicles. Read on to learn more about WI’s laws surrounding snow plowing and more.


What License Do You Need to Drive a Snow Plow?

Most states, including Wisconsin, require snow plow operators on the state system to hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Operating machinery like a snow plow demands a higher skill level and additional training. However, a substitute or backup snow plow driver can operate a snow plow in a licensed operator’s stead without a CDL, as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Are employed by a local unit of government with a population of 3,000 or fewer
  • Hold a valid Class D license
  • Are operating within the local unit of government’s boundaries
  • Meets one of the following requirements:
    • Is standing in for a regular employee who typically operates the snow plow
    • Is stepping in as an additional employee because a snow emergency has been issued by the local unit of government

Do You Need a Permit to Plow Snow?

A CDL allows drivers to get the proper plates and permits to legally operate a snow plow in their town or county. Again, you can plow snow without a CDL and permit if you’re employed by a local unit of government, have a Class D license, and are filling in for a licensed employee that normally operates the plow. Otherwise, if you don’t have the proper plates and permits, you can be cited, fined, and have your vehicle impounded.


What Kind of Insurance is Needed to Plow Snow?

If you get into an accident while driving a snow plow, your personal auto insurance will not cover it. Operating a snow plow as part of a commercial enterprise means you’re required to insure the vehicle due to the risks involved. If you plan to maintain your plates throughout the year, you’ll need year-round commercial insurance as well. If you intend to get a snow removal license and plates, and will be using the plow seasonally, your insurance company can help you find seasonal commercial insurance that works for you.


Which Vehicles are Ideal for Snow Plow Upfitting?

  • Ford F-150 & Super Duty Trucks: The Ford F-150 and Super Duty pickup trucks are available with snow plow prep packages, which are carryovers from the 2018 model year. LED and HID headlights are also available on these Ford trucks for maximum visibility on dark and snowy Chicago roads.
  • Ram Pickups & Chassis Cabs: Ram pickups and chassis cabs (2500 to 5500) can be fitted with a snow plow, as well as a dedicated wiring harness that controls exterior lighting.
  • Chevy Pickups & Chassis Cabs: Certain Chevy trucks are compatible with a snow plow prep package with features like a mounted location for controls, a powerful alternator, and an emergency alarm and light power.
2020 Ford Super Duty from the front

Badger Truck & Auto Group is Your Source for Snow Plow Upfitting!

If you’re interested in upfitting your Ford Super Duty or Ram Chassis Cab with a snow plow, Badger Truck & Auto Group can help! Our service center and parts department will work in tandem to outfit your truck with a snow plow package that’s right for its OEM, as well as your needs. Contact us to learn more, or visit us near Madison and Green Bay to speak to us in person.


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