Michigan Snowmobile Registration, Permits, Laws

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Ready to go snowmobiling in Michigan? It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the laws regarding snowmobile registration, permits, and other rules. 

Whether you’re a Michigan resident or an out-of-state visitor planning to ride your snowmobile during your stay, we’ve compiled the information you need. 

For more information and other details regarding snowmobiles, trails, and more, please visit: https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/things-to-do/snowmobiling/permits-and-requirements 

Michigan Snowmobile Registration Requirements

Snowmobiles require both registration and trail permits to ride legally in Michigan. 

To register your snowmobile, you’ll need to submit an application to the MI SOS. 

MI Snowmobile registration application: https://www.michigan.gov/-/media/Project/Websites/sos/02lehman/snowmobile_application_R2L.pdf?rev=33f63eaf3d2048b4b6363be0330a9e32 

Your MI SOS snowmobile registration will be valid for 3 years. You’ll receive 2 registration decals to be placed on each side of the front part of the sled’s cowl. 

If you are an out-of-state resident, you’ll either need to comply with your home state’s snowmobile registration laws or register your sled through the Michigan SOS. 

Riders will also need to apply for a Michigan trail permit each year. 

Trail permits are valid from October 1 through September 30. You can purchase one:

Your annual trail permit sticker should be placed directly above or below the headlight. 

Michigan Snowmobile Registration Cost

The fees for your snowmobile registration and trail permit in Michigan are as follows:

  • 3-year registration: $30. 
  • Annual trail permit: $52. 

Snowmobile Laws in Michigan

Here are some important snowmobile laws to be aware of when riding in Michigan. 

State trails are open from December 1 through March 31. 

While you do not need a valid MI driver’s license to ride a snowmobile, you cannot ride one if your license is suspended or revoked. 

Riders between the ages of 12 to 17 without a valid driver’s license should complete an approved snowmobile safety course. These course certificates may not be necessary if the rider is under the supervision of a qualified adult who is at least 21 years old. 

All riders are required to wear an approved helmet. 

Snowmobiles in Michigan must be equipped with brakes, headlights, and taillights. 

Be sure to also check the rules, regulations, and fees for the Michigan snowmobile trails you plan on riding. Local laws and regulations may vary. 

Regardless of whether a particular state or trail requires it, snowmobile operators and passengers should always wear the proper safety equipment and helmets while riding. 

Never ride a snowmobile under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Failing to obey the snowmobile laws of Michigan and the local jurisdiction may result in tickets, fines, and penalties. 

Check out some of these other great snowmobile resources from MotorcycleZombies.com:

How to Ride a Snowmobile

Snowmobile Pre-Ride Inspections

Snowmobile Helmets

Snowmobile Cost

Snowmobile Insurance