Michigan County ORV Laws

Current Michigan County ORV/OHV/ATV Laws (P.A. 240)

Current as of April 7, 2012



Michigan ORV Handbook Link – Rules and Regulations

All Michigan ORV Laws Link –State Statues 324.81101-50

Michigan County ORV Laws Pamphlet


It is illegal to operate an ORV on public lands in the Lower Peninsula that are not posted open. ORVs are prohibited on state game areas or state parks and recreation areas unless posted open.   ALL USFS trails/roads remain closed unless posted open.  Cities and municipalities within open counties/townships are closed unless they adopt a separate ordinance.

On state forest lands, ORV use on designated trails is limited to vehicles less than 50 inches in width. Off-trail or off-route ORV operation outside of a designated area is prohibited, except for licensed hunters operating an ORV at speeds of 5 miles per hour or less for the purpose of removing deer, bear or elk. Big-game ORV retrieval provisions do not apply to the Pigeon River Country State Forest or to state game areas and national forests.

In all national forests, motor vehicles can be used only on roads, trails or areas that are designated as open on Motor Vehicle Use maps. For more information, contact the local national forest headquarters.

  • It is illegal to operate an ORV from 7 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. on any area open to public hunting during the Nov. 15-30 firearm deer season. For exceptions to these time restrictions, see the current Hunting and Trapping Digest or the Handbook of Michigan Off-Road Vehicle Laws (linked above).
  • Roads, streets and highways maintained for year-round automobile travel are closed to ORV operation, including the shoulder and the right-of-way, unless designated open to ORV use by local ordinance.
  • It is unlawful to operate any ORV in or on the waters of any stream, river, marsh, bog, wetland or quagmire.
  • It is unlawful to operate an ORV ANYWHERE with a passenger, if it was not designed at the factory to do so.

Some counties are wide open and others have very limited road access.  Townships can create their own ordinances as of July 17, 2009—whether or not the county has an ordinance.  Townships located in “opt in” counties can “opt out”, and townships in counties that have “opted out” can “opt in”.  This may create some helter-skelter laws.

Ordinances can limit which countyroads (state and federal highways are not open for use) are open or closed, hours and dates available for operation, speed limits (less than 25mph), possession of a drivers license, and numerous other criteria including age and safety requirements.  These may vary within the different townships of a single county and from county to county.  These laws are currently being adopted/modified/changed at a rapid pace, and will be difficult to keep up on.  A county or township can rescind and/or modify their ordinance and any scheduled board meeting after adoption.

Be sure to check all local laws in that city, county and township before riding on the roadsides.  Some townships have opted in/out of Ordinances. It’s your responsibility to know the laws.

 State or National Forest/Park roads are “closed” unless posted as “open”.

The 2010 Comprehensive OHV (ORV) Legislation (link) (currently HB-6159) will allow 6 additional counties central Lower Michigan to open county roads to OHVs (Off Highway Vehicles):  Oceana, Mecosta, Midland, Isabella, Newago, and Muskegon.  No action has been taken on this bill since May 2010.

 As of July 19, 2011, 5 more counties (Newaygo, Oceana, Isabella, Mecosta, Midland) were authorized by law to allow road use by ORV’s.

Additional Michigan County ORV information is located HERE.  ATV Road & Trail Maps for Garmin GPSr units can be purchased from this site as well.


For additional (and up-to-date) county ORV information, contact Dick Ranney (Michigan Motorized Recreation Council), Coordinator: phone at 989-469-2405 or e-mail.

Michigan ORV regulations by county

Contact County/Township/City Clerks for up-to-date laws and maps.

It’s your responsibility to know the law.


No guarantee is made as to the accuracy of the information listed below.  This information was compiled from many sources, and may not be the most recent information about a particular county.  I’ll try to keep it updated on a regular basis.

To report dead links, and/or provide information and web links that update the information listed, please e-mail them to me:  send e-mail.

Upper Peninsula

(all counties are eligible)



Last Action



Web Notes

Info &Clerk Phone

Alger Adopted 3-22-95 – Amended 2008 OrdinanceAmendments (906-387-2076)Many Cities Open Also
Baraga Adopted 5-14-09 Ordinance (906-524-6183) Many Cities Open Also
Chippewa Adopted 10-13(14)-08 Ordinance (906-635-6300) Some Cities Open Also
Delta Adopted 9-24-08 OrdinanceOrdinance-alternate 906-789-5105Some Cities May Also Be Open
Dickinson Adopted 10-27-08City of Norway ATV GuideNews Article (906-774-0988)  Some Cities OpenOrdinance unavailable on-line
Gogebic Adopted 10-22-08 Ordinance (906-663-4518) Some Cities Also Open
Houghton Adopted 10-21-08 (Refined 11-10-09) Ordinance & Info (906-482-1150) Some Cities Also Open
Iron Adopted 12-23-08 Unavailable On-line (906-875-3221) Some Cities Also Open
Keweenaw Adopted 12-17-08 OrdinanceOrdinance-alternate (906-337-2229)Some Cities Also Open
Luce Adopted 11-13-2008 News ArticleOrdinance Summary (906-293-5521) Some Cities Open(Ordinance Unavailable Online)
Mackinac Adopted 10-9-08 Ordinance (906-643-7300) Some Cities Also Open
Marquette Adopted 11-18-08 OrdinanceOrdinance-alternateMap (Opt In/Out) (906-225-8330)Roads Closed 12/1 – 3/31Shows Open/Closed Roads & Cities
Menominee Adopted 12-23-2008 OrdinanceMapOrdinance-alternate (906-863-9968)Some Cities Also Open
Ontonagon Adopted 10-21-08 Ordinance (906-884-4255) Some Cities Open
Schoolcraft Adopted 10-21-08 OrdinanceSheriff’s Department (906-341-3618) Some Cities OpenQuestions: (906) 341-2122

Lower Peninsula

(all eligible counties are listed)




Last Action



Web Notes

Info &Clerk Phone

Adopted 6-3-09—Effective 6-11-09 Ordinance (989-724-9410)
Adopted 10-28-08 Ordinance (989-354-9520)


Adopted  11-12-09 Ordinance (231-533-6353)
Adopted 10-14-08 Ordinance (989-846-4626)


Townships Will Adopt Individually (6-09) County Clerk (989) 895-4280


Adopted 5-13-2009  Effective 7-1-09Roads Closed 12/1 – 3/31 OrdinanceMap (231-882-9671) or  (800-315-3593)


Adopted 4-9-09—Effective 5-1-09 Map & Ordinance (231-547-7200)


Adopted 6-9-09 – Effective 7-9-09 OrdinanceMaps (231-627-8808 or 8866)Some Cities Also Open


Adopted 10-15-08 Ordinance Ordinance  (989-539-7131)
Adopted 5-20-09—Finalized 5-27-09Roads Closed 11/15 – 3/31 OrdinanceMap and Maps Note Appendix A – (989-344-3200)Some Cities Also Open


Adopted August 14, 2009Effective (60 days) 10/13/09 MapOrdinance Road Map (Open to ORV Traffic)MMRC Information  (231-348-1744)
Adopted 3-10-09City of Gladwin

City of Beaverton

Gladwin OrdinanceCounty MapOrdinance     Map


(989-426-7351)(989) 426-9231, Extension 101

City Hall (989) 435-3511 or 9343

Grand Traverse

Adopted  8-28-09 – Effective 9-1-09 Ordinance (231-922-4760)


Adopted 10-4-11—Effective 11-1-11Wheeler Twp. Open – Effective 6-20-11 OrdinanceUnavailable On-line (989-875-5215)May 2011 Board Minutes
Adopted 6-22-2010 – Effective 7-1-2010 Ordinance (989-269-9942)
Adopted 1-7-09 Ordinance (989-362-3497)
Adopted 2-21-2012 – Effective 2-29-12. Ordinance (989-772-0911 x 265)Each township is allowed to modify it.
Adopted 2-10-09—Effective 4-1-09 Ordinance SummaryOrdinance (Alternate) (231-258-3300)


Adopted 5-13-09—Effective 5-21-09Roads Closed 12/1 – 3/31 Ordinance & MapChase / Irons Open UPDATED 4-1-12  (231-745-4641)No On-line Information Available


Rejected (2008)Off & On Consideration CountyCounty No Ordinance Listed  (231-256-9824)Not in Minutes (866-256-9711)
County Wide Rejected 9-22-11Arcadia Township – Effective 9-9-10Bear Lake Township – Unknown Date

Dixon Township – Unknown Date

Onekama Township – Effective 12-7-10

Pleasanton Township – Effective 8-2010

Springdale Township – Effective 5-10-10

Village of Onekama – Unknown Date

Village of Kaleva – Unknown Date

No Link AvailableUnavailable On-lineUnavailable On-line

Unavailable On-line


Unavailable On-line


Unavailable On-line

Unavailable On-line

(231-723-3331)Evelyn Wilson 231-889-3115Deanna Pattison 231-864-3620

Township Hall (231) 477-5885

Helen Mathieu (231) 889-3308

Amy Cross 231-864-3239

Donna Humphrey-Kirbach 231-640-0829

Ruth Hudson 231-889-3171

Village Office (231) 362-3496


County Wide Rejected 5-12-09Under Consideration-Hamlin Twsp.Sherman Twsp. – Effective 7-25-10

Sheridan Twsp. – Effective 11-30-10

Logan Twsp. – Effective 2-23-11

Riverton Twsp.-Effective 9-1-11

Under Consideration-Free Soil Twsp.

Victory Twsp. – Effective 10/15/11

Custer Township – Vote 5/7/12

Edan Township – Date Unknown

Mason CountyHamlin Twsp.Ordinance

Unavailable On-line

Unavailable On-line

Unavailable On-line



Unavailable On-line

Unavailable On-line

Left up to townships after 7-17-09Catherine Lewis 231-845-0092Kurt D. Lubben 231-462-3205

Barb Wilson 231-462-3550

Judith VerSluys 231-898-3913

Rita Johnson 231-845-5749

Lynda Papes 231-464-5825

Barbara Egeler 231-843-3607

Susan Hansen 231-757-9443

Joanne L. Barnhardt 231-757-3825

Adopted 9-16-11—Effective 9-17-11 Ordinance (231-592-0783)
Effective 12-20-11 Ordinance (989-832-6739)
Adopted 10-14-08 Ordinance (231-839-4967)
Adopted 6-28-2010 – Effective 8-25-11 Ordinance (989-831-7339)
Adopted 4-28-09 Ordinance (989-785-8022) – 2 Blank Start Pages
See HB-6159 Information Above Currently not allowed by state law.
Adopted 2-23-2012 – Effective 4-19-12 Ordinance (231-689-7235)
Under Consideration 8-31-11 County Clerk (231-873-4328)
Adopted 9-11-08 Ordinance (989-345-0215 / 0218)
Adopted 11-4-08 OrdinanceOrdinance (231-832-3261)(Alternate site)


Adopted 4-14-09 – Effective 5-15-09 OrdinanceMaps (989-826-1110)


Adopted 5-26-09 – Effective 7-24-09 Ordinances/Maps (989-731-7500)
Presque Isle
Adopted 1-9-09 Ordinance (989-734-3288 or 800-334-5698)


Adopted 5-2009 Ordinance & Map (989-275-5923)
No Current Legislation   989-790-5251
Adopted 5-25-10—Effective 6-7-2010Township/City Opt In/OutSandusky – Adopted 5-2010 OrdinanceInformationOrdinance (810-648-3212)810 648-3212
St. Clair
Under Consideration 8-3-2011Ira Township (open) County ClerkOrdinance (810) 985-2200586-725-0263
Adopted and Effective 2-14-2012 OrdinanceMap 989-672-3780
Adopted 4-15-09 Ordinance (231-779-9450)

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Street Legal WC in MI?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.