ORV Licenses: prices, requirements and how to buy

In Michigan, individuals riding in any place other than private property (trails, frozen waters and public roads) must purchase an annual ORV license. In addition, riders using state-designated trails must purchase an annual ORV trail permit.

ORV License Requirement
An ORV license ($26.25) is required on eligible county roads, the frozen surface of public waters, state forest roads in the Upper Peninsula and eligible national forest roads. A license is not required to operate on private lands. ORV licenses are available at DNR Customer Service Centers, online at www.mdnr-elicense.com, by mail (write to Michigan Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 30181, Lansing, MI 48909), and through participating DNR license agents.

ORV Trail Permit Requirement
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 ORV-use areas. A trail permit is not required for private lands. ORV trail permits are not valid as a stand-alone license; an ORV license must also be purchased.ORV trail permits are available at DNR Customer Service Centers, online at www.mdnr-elicense.com, by mail (write to Michigan Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 30181, Lansing, MI 48909), and through participating DNR license agents. 

Riders 16 years and younger
Riders 16 years old and younger riding on public or private land in Michigan must take an approved ORV education course, carry an ORV safety certificate and have direct visual supervision of an adultThe ORV Safety Certificate is not the same as an ORV license and is proof that the individual has successfully completed all of the components of an approved ORV safety course and allows the rider to go off-roading. All other license and permits are required (see above).

Read the material and take the test online
Find classroom-based courses across the state

ORV Certificate of Title
It is unlawful for a seller to sell or transfer an ORV without transferring the title or for a buyer to purchase or acquire an ORV without obtaining a title. Application for a title must be made within 15 days of the purchase or transfer. Michigan residents are required to obtain a ORV certificate of title for Off road vehicles (ORVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) through the Secretary of State (registration is not required). A Michigan title is not required on ORV’s owned by non-residents used in Michigan.

Determine whether you need an ORV license, trail permit, neither or both.

  Designated ORV trails (for vehicles 50" in width or less) Designated ORV routes passable by conventional 2-wheel drive passenger vehicle Designated ORV routes not passable by conventional 2-wheel drive passenger vehicle and scramble areas Frozen surface of public waters
Street-licensed ORV Both Neither Both Neither
Regular ORV (not street-licensed) Both Both Both ORV License
Street-licensed motorcycle Both Neither Both Neither
Off-road motorcycle (not street licensed) Both Both Both ORV License
Off-road, street-licensed motorcycle Both Neither Both Neither
Street-licensed truck or passenger vehicle Not permissible Neither Both Neither


Click here for a printable version of this chart

The money generated through the ORV license and permits goes directly back into the ORV system and is used for:
-    maintenance of established ORV trails 
-    development of new trails and facilities
-    ORV safety education and enforcement
-    restoration of natural resources damaged by ORV use