ORV License Structure FAQs

How will the license restructuring help ORV trail users?
It is estimated an additional $2.7 million in revenue will be generated, allowing the DNR to invest in achieving the following outcomes to show the value of the ORV license changes to its customers:

  • Expand the trail system from 3,627 miles to at least 4,000 miles through trail easements and acquisitions
  • Create destination places by adding trail connections to communities and other trails through trail easements and acquisitions.
  • Provide sufficient grant funding to our stakeholders to develop, groom and brush trails and add signage to trails.
  • Provide safer recreation experiences to our customers through increased education and enforcement from conservation officers.
  • Thoroughly inspect the condition and maintenance of trails.
  • Replace failing or aging bridges and culverts to address safety and environmental issues.
  • Provide oversight and leadership of the program.

When is an ORV license required?
An ORV license ($26.25) is required on eligible county roads, state forest roads in the Upper Peninsula and eligible national forest roads as well as on the frozen surface of public waters. This license is required to operate anywhere off of private lands.

When is an ORV trail permit required?
In addition to the ORV license, an ORV trail permit (an additional $10, for a total of $36.25) is required when operating on designated and signed ORV trails, routes and scramble areas. See ORV/ATV Trail Maps for a listing of trails and maps.

How long had it been since there had been an increase in ORV funding, and how has inflation affected revenues since that time?
Prior to the license restructuring, ORV license prices had not changed since 1996. From 1996 to 2014, inflation is expected to increase 48.4 percent.

Do I need an ORV license or ORV trail permit to use an ORV on private land?
No. Neither a license nor a trail permit is required to use an ORV on private land by landowners or their invited guests.

Where can I purchase a trail permit?
ORV trail permits are available at DNR Customer Service Centers, online at www.mdnr-elicense.com, by mail, through participating ORV dealers and other businesses, and through participating hunting and fishing license agents. ORV trail permits are not valid as a stand-alone license; an ORV license must also be purchased.

Where can I purchase an ORV license?
ORV licenses are available at DNR Customer Service Centers, online at www.mdnr-elicense.com, by mail, and through participating hunting and fishing license agents.

My truck has a street license plate. Do I need an ORV license and trail permit to ride on designated ORV routes?
No. Neither an ORV license nor a trail permit is required to drive a street-licensed truck on designated ORV routes. If, however, the route is not passable by a conventional 2-wheel-drive passenger automobile designed for highway use, then the vehicle is being used as an ORV and requires both an ORV license and a trail permit.

My truck has a street license plate. Do I need an ORV license or trail permit to drive on the frozen surface of public waters?
No. Neither an ORV license nor a trail permit is required to drive a street-licensed truck on the frozen surface of public waters.

I have an off-road motorcycle with a street license plate. Do I need an ORV license or trail permit to ride on the frozen surface of public waters?
No. Neither an ORV license nor a trail permit is required to drive a street-licensed, off-road motorcycle on the frozen surface of public waters.

I have an off-road motorcycle with a street license plate. Do I need an ORV license and trail permit to ride the designated ORV routes?
No. Neither an ORV license nor a trail permit is required to ride a street-licensed, off-road motorcycle on designated ORV routes. If, however, the route is not passable by a conventional 2-wheel drive passenger automobile designed for highway use, then the motorcycle is being used as an ORV and requires both the ORV license and trail permit.

I have an off-road motorcycle with a street license plate. Do I need an ORV license and trail permit to ride the designated ORV trails?
Yes. Both a $26.25 ORV license and a $10 trail permit are needed when riding a street-licensed, off-road motorcycle on designated trails.

Do I need an ORV license to ride my ORV on the frozen surface of public waters?
Yes. A $26.25 ORV license is needed to ride an ORV on the frozen surface of public waters. If, however, the vehicle is street-licensed, then neither an ORV license nor a trail permit are required.

What is the difference between a designated ORV route and a designated ORV trail?
A designated ORV route means any road that has been properly signed on the ground by the DNR for ORV use. A designated ORV trail means a path or way capable of travel by a 2- to 4-wheel vehicle not more than 50 inches in width and properly signed on the ground by the DNR for ORV use.