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Course Outline

  • The DNR issues licenses for all ORVs on an annual basis. The annual fee for an ORV license is $26.25.
    • In addition, an ORV trail permit is required to operate on state-designated ORV trails, routes, or areas. The cost of the ORV trail permit is an additional $10.00.
  • Licenses and permits are valid from April 1 through March 31 of the following year, regardless of the date of purchase.
  • Vehicles that are licensed under the Motor Vehicle Code as “street vehicles” require an ORV license only when they are being used as an ORV. A street-licensed ORV does not need an ORV license to use forest roads, but it will need an ORV license and an ORV trail permit if it is used on designated trails or in areas designated for cross-country use.
  • An ORV license is not required for Secretary of State street-licensed vehicles when used where a conventional two-wheel-drive vehicle can operate, including on designated ORV routes. If you must use four-wheel drive to operate on a designated ORV route, the vehicle is being used as an ORV and must have an ORV license and an ORV trail permit.
  • An ORV license is required for ORVs operating on the frozen surface of public waters.
  • Private landowners, owners’ family members, and their invited guests are not required to display a DNR license on an ORV that is operated exclusively on the owners’ private property.
  • An ORV operating exclusively during agricultural operations is not required to display a DNR license.
  • Licensing is required for ORVs used in areas open to public operations, regardless of whether the ORV is owned by a resident or nonresident of Michigan.

If your license to operate an automobile has been suspended or revoked (regardless of the state where the suspension originated), you may not operate an ORV in Michigan until the suspension or revocation has been terminated by the court.

Michigan ORV license and trail permit decals
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