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For Operators and Passengers

All ORV operators and passengers must wear a U.S. Department of Transportation–approved crash helmet and protective eyewear, except when:

  • The operator and passengers are wearing properly adjusted and fastened safety belts in an ORV equipped with a roof that meets or exceeds the standards for a crash helmet or…
  • The ORV is operated on a state-licensed game bird hunting preserve at a speed of 10 mph or less or…
  • The ORV operator is the invited guest or family member of the landowner or the landowner of the property where the ORV is being operated. This last exception does not apply to the following operators.
    • Operators less than 16 years of age
    • Operators 16 or 17 years of age, unless a parent has given consent for the operator to ride without a helmet
    • Operators participating in an organized ORV riding or racing event if the property owner receives consideration for use of the property

Michigan law gives some street-legal motorcycle operators the option of not wearing a helmet when operating on roadways. This law does not apply to ORVs, and helmets are still legally required to be worn by operators and passengers on ORVs.

ORV helmet

  • Helps prevent serious head injury.
  • Should fit snugly and fasten securely.
  • May be a full-face helmet or an open-face helmet plus eye protection.
  • Add a stripe of reflective tape to make you more visible at night.
  • Must be a U.S. Department of Transportation–approved crash helmet.

Goggles or other eye protection

  • Be aware that branches, road debris, and insects can hit your eyes and distract or even blind you.
  • Sunglasses do not provide adequate protection. Use goggles or a face shield.
  • Choose high-impact eye protection that bears the marking VESC8 (or V-8) or Z87.1 or is made of hard-coated polycarbonate.
  • Carry gray-tinted eye protection for bright days, yellow­tinted for overcast days, and clear for night rides.
  • Make sure your eye protection is scratch-free, securely fastened, and well-ventilated to avoid fogging.