In addition to registering a snowmobile at the Secretary of State, a person (resident and non residents) that operates a snowmobile in Michigan is required to purchase a snowmobile trail permit. The trail permit enables snowmobilers to ride state-designated trails and public roads and public lands (where authorized). It 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.
Michigan’s snowmobile program is 100-percent 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.
Snowmobile trail permits are available at the following:
Snowmobiles are exempt from the trail permit if they are 1) operated exclusively on lands owned or under the control of the owner, 2) exclusively operated in a special event of limited duration which is conducted according to a prearranged schedule under a permit from the governmental unit having proper jurisdiction or a snowmobile used solely for transportation on the frozen surface of public waters for the purpose of ice fishing.
Display of trail permit sticker
The trail permit sticker needs to be permanently affixed to the forward half of the snowmobile directly above or below the headlight.