View Full Version : Just curious; Michigan ATV Trail Permits

11-05-2009, 06:21 PM
How much do they cost in relation to snowmobile trail permits ?

11-05-2009, 07:06 PM
16.25 for atv 35.00 for the snowmobile

11-05-2009, 11:25 PM
Lets see; Snowmobilers pay 35 bucks for 3 mos use (if their lucky).
ATVers pay 16.25 and can use most of the same trails all year. Is that fair ?

11-06-2009, 07:50 AM
Less maintenance and costs for the ATV trails, I have never seen a groomer on the loops that we ride the ATV's on.

11-06-2009, 08:27 AM
Yes, but there is still some trail maintenance for them, the signage the brushing the widening. Plus the fact that they can ride them all year. When is the last time the ATV fee went up ?

11-06-2009, 10:40 AM
Maintenance during the snow season is extremely expensive. Think about the fuel costs, not to mention the equipment & maintenance. When groomers go down, it's usually not a cheap fix. We also have to pay someone to operate & maintain this equipment & even with what little the operators get, does not equate to the time they invest in the trail maintenance through out the season. When it comes to signing & brushing, a good part of that is done by volunteer's to help out the local clubs & groomer operators. As far as I'm concerned, the cost of the permits do reflect the demand & the need.-Mezz

11-08-2009, 04:49 PM
snowmobile trails are completetly user funded, no state money is added. The atv trails get money from the state through fuel tax and other programs. all winter trail work is done by clubs and volunteer organizations, most summer trail work is also done by mccc clubs, and some state funded labor. The atv permit price is going up, but since the maint. costs are considerably less, the permit is cheaper.

11-19-2009, 03:38 PM
jimfsr, where did you get that information that OHV (ATV) Trails gets Fuel Tax Money. At one of our DNR meetings the person in charge of funding showed specifically where OHV's is the ONLY motorized sport that does NOT get State Fuel Tax Money.

The only money that the OHV program gets from Fuel Taxes is through the National Recreation Trails Fund, whereby the 30% of that money goes to Motorized Trails (not specifically OHV), 30% goes to Non-Motorized and the other 35% goes to Multi-Use Trails. This used to be called the Symms Trail Fund. If anyone wants to look it up, go ahead and see for yourself how little of this fund goes to the "Wheeled Sports."

Randy, as far as 'fairness,' Mi-TRALE maintains close to 300 miles of Designated trails over a 9 month period, and we get the equivalent of what a snowmobile club gets in 2 weeks. We only get funded for two 'maintenance runs a year.' I can show you dollar for dollar. Plus NO ATV Club gets ANY funding for Equipment.

The new Michigan Snowmobile Trail Groomer replacement program will pay 100% for trail groomers, whereby it used to be a 60-40 split, with the state paying 60%.

Finally, ATV Riders cannot do many of the things that snowmobilers can do when it comes to trail development. That list is too long for this post.

The new Michigan OHV Legislation that will go to the Michigan Legislature in February proposes a substantial increase in the Trail User Fees for ATV's. I have the proposed legislation from Sheltrowns office if you want to see it.

Snowmobilers and ATV Riders need to work together and not get into this 'tit-for-tat' on a public domanin like this? Does it not make sense for ALL users to work together?

Mi-TRALE is proud to have a close working relationship with the Superior Snowmobile Club, Snow Valley Riders, and White Thunder Riders Snowmobile Club. We do trail work and events together with those snowmobile clubs.

11-23-2009, 07:44 PM
You are correct, the money is not directly from the fuel tax, but is through the trails fund program. My point was just to stress the added labor involved in winter sports trail maint. I am all for atv and snow folks to join forces, especially with the Gov's new order of joining the DNR and the DEQ, that would really put the hurts to us all!. Hopefully the house and senate will overturn that one. Enjoy our great trail system while you still can, and if you dont like something, JOIN A CLUB, GET INVOLVED!

11-24-2009, 12:21 PM

The problem with the National Recreation Trails Fund, is that all Off Road Motorsports gets very little of this money in Michigan, and specifically the ORV program get's even less. Yet the highest contributor to this fund from the ORV community in terms of Federal Gas Taxes comes from the 'Wheeled Community.'

This is NOT a blast on the Feds or the State, it is only because few of us in the Motorized Community know how to apply for the NRTF funds. While the Non-Motorized sports not only know how to apply, they use NRTF funds on an annual basis.

The problem we have in Michigan is that the ORV Community gets little to no State Gas Tax, as a constitutional amendment made years ago puts over 70% of this money into the Marine Program, over 15% into snowmobiling, around 10% into non-motorized, and the remains is in what the DNR calls "others."

While it would be great to change this formula, no one in our state wants to go up against the marine industry.

Take care,


11-25-2009, 07:06 PM
Thanks Skip, hopefully in the future, we can work together to build our trail system, and promote the Off road community. On the down side, the marine industry is starting to feel our pain in that the PWC riders (I am a rider) are really causing the rest of the marine folks to dislike them. Same old problem, a few ruin it for the rest. Changes will be coming soon from the Govt. if the riders dont take responsability and follow the rules.

I dont have a good answer for any of the problems, but I plan to get involved and do what I can. Have a great winter, look foreward to seeing you on the trail in the spring.

Keep the rubber side down!

11-27-2009, 04:30 PM

While I still have 2 PWC's, I haven't ridden them in a couple years. The marine industry will always get a major portion of the Michigan State Gas Taxes due to the number of registerd boats in the state.

While I do think it would be fair to drop their percentage down to 50%, keep the snowmobile percentage at 17-18%, keep the non-motorized percentage at 10-15%...I still believe that the 'wheeled ORV Community' should be allocated SOMETHING from the State Gas Tax formula.

However that won't happen. Our only source of funding for trail development and maintenance is going to have to come from Trail User Fee's. That's why I personnly support the increase, on the basis that many of the unfair laws that ORV's have to follow compared to snowmobilers, be changed.

Take care Jim. You're the type of ORV rider our sport needs!


11-28-2009, 10:10 AM
The difference between a snowmobile and ORV sticker may be minimal if the State gets their way. I don't know what the current status of this is at present:

Version: July 21, 2009 (Pre-Draft #1)
2010 OHV Comprehensive Legislation

This legislation impacts numerous sections of Michigan ORV law. It is referred to as the "2010 Comprehensive" to distinguish it from other ORV legislation. The legislation is based on public comment and the contribution of various user groups. It is a work in progress. Changes are anticipated throughout the legislative process. The summary below reflects the status of the legislation as of the date listed above.

The 2010 Comprehensive would increase funding for trail maintenance and law enforcement on public land and county roads. It seeks to better address problems regarding public and private trespass and unsupervised youth operation. It would improve OHV safety education. It would clean-up issues identified with PA 240'08, apply PA 240'08 state-wide and make that law permanent.

Summary of changes:

References to "Off-road vehicle" and "ORV" in Michigan law would be changed to "Off-highway vehicle and "OHV" to reflect federal law.

The cost of an annual trail permit would increase to $30.50. Of that, $14.50 would go to trail maintenance, $14.50 to department operations, enforcement and special initiatives, $1 to OHV safety education, and 50 cents to the license vendor.

An annual registration of OHVs not already plated by the state would be established. The cost of the annual registration would be $6. Of that, $1 would go to the Secretary of State for administration and 50 cents would go to OHV safety education. The remaining money would be dispersed to county sheriffs where county roads are opened to OHVs pursuant to PA 240'08 in a ratio proportional to the number of OHV lane miles open in each county to the state total. The registration would expire on April 1 of each year. Otherwise, the registration process would be closely based on the current snowmobile registration process.

Along with a certificate of registration, the Secretary of State would establish and issue an identifying decal under rules promulgated by that department that would be displayed on the OHV. The registration decal would not be required for OHVs that are already plated through the Secretary of State or have a current plate or current registration decal from another state or a province of Canada.

OHV registrations would be included in the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN).

Any county, township, city or village in the state would be able to open its local roads under PA 240. PA 240 would no longer be restricted to northern Michigan.

The Michigan Transportation Commission would be able to permanently, seasonally or temporarily authorize the travel of OHVs on short stretches of state highways that have a speed limit at or below 45 miles per hour.

The location of operation on county roads would be clarified to include maintained shoulders.

The language allowing county road commissions to close up to 30% of county roads for environmental or safety reasons would be clarified to reflect the original intent of PA 240.

Language would be added to authorize local units of government to permit the travel of OHVs on roads maintained with state or local funds that pass through or along federal forest lands.

Penalties would be doubled for trespass on private and public lands, unsupervised youth operation and operating an OHV without a helmet except where helmet use is not currently required.

The definition of an ATV would be amended to reflect the language of HB 5087.

The MDNR would establish an OHV Safety Training Academy to train and license OHV Safety instructors. These instructors would be compensated through rules promulgated by the department through the OHV Safety Training Fund at a rate of not more than $20 per student. Licensed OHV safety instructors would not be allowed to charge an additional fee for classroom instruction but would be allowed to charge a fee for optional hands-on instruction desired by the parent or student.

A free riding day would be established the third Saturday in May where an OHV trail sticker or OHV registration is not required.

Liability limits would be established for trail maintenance organizations equal to that provided to organizations that groom snowmobile trails.

The threshold for an organized group event on state land would be increased to 75 vehicles unless the group is collecting a fee for the event.

Language would be added to define "primitive road" and clarify that primitive roads are closed to OHV traffic.

The PA 240 sunset would be removed.
"The economic times have changed and we have to adjust. It's all about access and opportunity." -NRC Commissioner Frank Wheatlake

11-28-2009, 03:03 PM
Contacted one of the guys from the ATV side working on the OHV Legislation. He sent me a PM and stated in short it looks like the fee will go to about $25.00 per year plus, a registration for the ATV of $6.00 per year. We shall see. Here what he has posted on the ATV Offroad Forum of Michigan today:

I received a PM today that I think it best to answer publicly. Where are we at on the 2010 Comprehensive Proposed legislation?

We had a meeting on November 10th, included were the members of MMRC. In that meeting were several important players, DNR LED, DNR FM & FM, DNR Legisialtive Laison. Two Republican policy makers, Representative Sheltrown, his aide, Brady Schickinger.

A representaive of each, AMA D-14, ATVOC, CCC, GLFWD and myself being the coordinator of the meeting.

All items were laid on the table and many offered various solutions both short term and long term. It was a healthy meeting with all involved seeking solutions in pretty much the same manner. There were no out and out disagreements.

From there, all were instructed to take things back to their groups and if they had any further concerns, they were to be addressed to Representative Sheltrowns office, via the DNR Legislative Laison and myself, representing the ORV group.

In the meantime, we are still waiting for the first draft to come back from the bill writers and it had 29 amendents to statue. Before its over, 32-35 would not be surprising. Possibly 3-5 bills, a HUGE undertaking.

Once we get the first draft and the final comments from all parties, we can then draft the final proposal. Only time table I know of is to have it presented in late January for action in the House.

Will there be any new or additional fee's for 2010, not likely. Will there be time for public comment, yes. Sometime before the final draft is presented, at the public hearing in the House and again in the Senate.
It would not be one bit surprising to see several changes before this hits the Governors desk for signing. But its a long way from here to there and we3 will need every bit of good help we can get.

Some of these things came to light in 2003 and have only grown from there and we have been compiling them for resolution. Please let me caution you, if you read the bill and don't like something or are not understanding it, feel very free to ask questions. The last thing we want is for someone to go off on a tangent with the real story not being told.
The first lie is not good for any of us.

Our group has something to be very proud of and thats our integrity as a whole. We are very well respected in Lansing as being a reasonable and responsible user group. Not all are that way, we need to continue upon our chosen path.