Department of Natural Resources
In addition to registering your snowmobile with the Secretary of State, resident and nonresidents that operate snowmobiles on public land in Michigan are required to purchase a snowmobile trail permit. The trail permit enables snowmobilers to ride state-designated trails, public roads and public lands (where authorized).
Your snowmobile trail permit is valid for one year, which begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30 of the following year. State-designated trails are open Dec. 1-March 31 and grooming occurs when there is enough snow on the ground. Permits can be purchased:
Notice on snowmobile trail permit fees: Fees have increased from $48 to $52 for the next five-year period (Oct. 1, 2021-Sept. 30, 2026). The change is based on a statutory requirement that was adopted in 2008 to adjust snowmobile trail permit fees based upon the Consumer Price Index as determined by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. This statutory requirement was put into law when the snowmobile funding model was created by Public Act 400 of 2008 to ensure the funding source keeps pace with inflation.
Your sticker needs to be permanently affixed to the forward half of the snowmobile directly above or below the headlight.
Residents must also register snowmobiles with the Michigan Secretary of State (unless sleds are used solely on private property). Registration is good for three years, and those registration dollars support the purchase of easements, law enforcement on trails and safety education.
Snowmobiles are exempt from the trail permit AND registration if they are:
Snowmobiles are exempt from the trail permit, but must still be registered if they are:
Michigan's snowmobile program is 100% funded by trail permit and registration dollars - dollars that are directly reinvested into the program for the benefit of snowmobilers. The funds pay for grooming, signage, maintenance, bridge and culvert construction, purchase of new equipment, liability insurance; maintenance of trailhead amenities (signage, bathrooms, plowing of parking lots) and other snowmobile-related expenditures.