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Unread 04-16-2014, 07:21 AM   #1
Jason
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New ORV permit prices, structure, etc. -- Info specifically for full-sized vehicles

For anyone living under a rock for the last six-months or so, prior to 2014 a single ORV sticker was required for access to most trails and scramble areas, and cost $16.25. Beginning in 2014, that cost increased to $26.25 for the ORV tag only, as well as a separate "trail permit" that cost an additional $10.

Earlier this year I spent some time searching for the exact rules with the new two-tag system that starts this year for ORVs. I didn't have any luck finding correct specific info, particularly to full-size ORVs that carry SOS plates (i.e.; Jeeps), as to which permit is required where. Mostly just people posting on forums what they think is needed.

Instead of adding to that armchair quarterbacking, I did some digging today and found some good info on glfwda and michigan.gov/dnr. I pasted the FAQ below with links to the original, and the parts pertaining to full-size SOS plated ORVs highlighted.

I mostly explore the state land and ORV routes up north, and private parks, none of which have ever required the ORV tag because my Jeeps have SOS plates. I always got one in prior years because the $16.25 was pretty cheap, I got it at the same time I got my fishing licenses, and that way I had it if I needed it (like when we went to Silver Lake late last year). I probably won't get one this year unless I know I'm going somewhere where I need it.

There's a chart here (LINK) that shows which vehicles need which permit. I'm not sure what the distinction between ORV Routes that are passable by 2-wheel drive vehicle and routes that are NOT passable by 2-wheel drive vehicles. As far as I knew, all ORV ROUTES held the designation of "passable by a 2-wheel drive passenger vehicle." I've never seen anything on the trails showing a difference.

New ORV License Structure FAQs (LINK)

Q: How will the license restructuring help ORV trail users?
A: It is estimated an additional $2.7 million in revenue will be generated, allowing the DNR to invest in achieving the following outcomes to show the value of the ORV license changes to its customers:

- Expand the trail system from 3,627 miles to at least 4,000 miles through trail easements and acquisitions
- Create destination places by adding trail connections to communities and other trails through trail easements and acquisitions.
- Provide sufficient grant funding to our stakeholders to develop, groom and brush trails and add signage to trails.
- Provide safer recreation experiences to our customers through increased education and enforcement from conservation officers.
- Thoroughly inspect the condition and maintenance of trails.
- Replace failing or aging bridges and culverts to address safety and environmental issues.
- Provide oversight and leadership of the program.

Q: When is an ORV license required?
A: An ORV license ($26.25) is required on eligible county roads, state forest roads in the Upper Peninsula and eligible national forest roads as well as on the frozen surface of public waters. This license is required to operate anywhere off of private lands.

Q: When is an ORV trail permit required?
A: In addition to the ORV license, 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 scramble areas. See ORV/ATV Trail Maps for a listing of trails and maps.

Q: How long had it been since there had been an increase in ORV funding, and how has inflation affected revenues since that time?
A: Prior to the license restructuring, ORV license prices had not changed since 1996. From 1996 to 2014, inflation is expected to increase 48.4 percent.

Q: Do I need an ORV license or ORV trail permit to use an ORV on private land?
A: No. Neither a license nor a trail permit is required to use an ORV on private land by landowners or their invited guests.

Q: My truck has a street license plate. Do I need an ORV license and trail permit to ride on designated ORV routes?
A: No. Neither an ORV license nor a trail permit is required to drive a street-licensed truck on designated ORV routes. If, however, the route is not passable by a conventional 2-wheel-drive passenger automobile designed for highway use, then the vehicle is being used as an ORV and requires both an ORV license and a trail permit.

Q: My truck has a street license plate. Do I need an ORV license or trail permit to drive on the frozen surface of public waters?
A: No. Neither an ORV license nor a trail permit is required to drive a street-licensed truck on the frozen surface of public waters.


Q: I have an off-road motorcycle with a street license plate. Do I need an ORV license or trail permit to ride on the frozen surface of public waters?
A: No. Neither an ORV license nor a trail permit is required to drive a street-licensed, off-road motorcycle on the frozen surface of public waters.

Q: I have an off-road motorcycle with a street license plate. Do I need an ORV license and trail permit to ride the designated ORV routes?
A: No. Neither an ORV license nor a trail permit is required to ride a street-licensed, off-road motorcycle on designated ORV routes. If, however, the route is not passable by a conventional 2-wheel drive passenger automobile designed for highway use, then the motorcycle is being used as an ORV and requires both the ORV license and trail permit.

Q: I have an off-road motorcycle with a street license plate. Do I need an ORV license and trail permit to ride the designated ORV trails?
A: Yes. Both a $26.25 ORV license and a $10 trail permit are needed when riding a street-licensed, off-road motorcycle on designated trails.

Q: Do I need an ORV license to ride my ORV on the frozen surface of public waters?
A: Yes. A $26.25 ORV license is needed to ride an ORV on the frozen surface of public waters. If, however, the vehicle is street-licensed, then neither an ORV license nor a trail permit are required.

Q: What is the difference between a designated ORV route and a designated ORV trail?
A: A designated ORV route means any road that has been properly signed on the ground by the DNR for ORV use. A designated ORV trail means a path or way capable of travel by a 2- to 4-wheel vehicle not more than 50 inches in width and properly signed on the ground by the DNR for ORV use.

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Unread 04-18-2014, 08:53 AM   #2
rjbruzan
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Thanks for the info!
As an out of stater You Guys have 3627 more miles of trails than we do. To me 100 bucks to use them would be acceptable. But I understand your dismay and curiousity at the States wording.
So it looks like we can still explore "Seasonal roads" without a sticker in our trucks?
Silver Lake is 26.25 for a street legal vechicle.
The National forests around Lundington are free?
Thanks for taking the time to interperate these changes for us.

Ron
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Unread 04-18-2014, 09:29 AM   #3
Jason
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjbruzan View Post
Thanks for the info!
As an out of stater You Guys have 3627 more miles of trails than we do. To me 100 bucks to use them would be acceptable. But I understand your dismay and curiousity at the States wording.
So it looks like we can still explore "Seasonal roads" without a sticker in our trucks?
Silver Lake is 26.25 for a street legal vechicle.
The National forests around Lundington are free?
Thanks for taking the time to interperate these changes for us.

Ron
Illinois has 0 trails?

Seasonal roads have never required an ORV sticker for a SOS plated vehicle. Shouldn't be an issue there.

From what I understand, Silver Lake is considered a "scramble area" will now require both the ORV sticker AND the $10 trail permit, plus the cost of the recreation pass to enter the park (cost varies).

Q: When is an ORV trail permit required?
A: In addition to the ORV license, 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 scramble areas. See ORV/ATV Trail Maps for a listing of trails and maps.


The national forest around Ludington is part of the the Manistee-Huron forest. As far as I know, most of the trails are not open to full-size, but there are many forest roads that are navigable by full-size street-legal vehicles and do not require an ORV tag or other fee to explore.

I am by no means an authority on the subject, but this is how I interpret the changes.
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Unread 04-22-2014, 10:37 AM   #4
bobjp
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Good post. I interpret things the same way. Like you, I always just bought the sticker thinking I needed it not knowing the difference between an ORV "route", "trail", or "area". As stated, the only places you need ORV stickers on an already licensed vehicle are ORV "trails" and "areas". There are very few "trails" that allow full sized vehicles, and honestly, the ones I've been on aren't very good. So I will only purchase an ORV license if I go to Silver Lake or any other ORV "area".

I use the map below to determine which trails are open to full size vehicles:

https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/1,1607,...8330--,00.html

It would be nice if the map were color coded, but to determine what is allowed on each trail, you have to click each star and read the legend below the map that pops up.
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Unread 04-22-2014, 10:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
From what I understand, Silver Lake is considered a "scramble area" will now require both the ORV sticker AND the $10 trail permit, plus the cost of the recreation pass to enter the park (cost varies).
You are correct. Silver Lake requires both the ORV permit and ORV trail permit.
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Unread 04-22-2014, 11:49 AM   #6
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Thanks for the link!

Ron
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Unread 04-27-2014, 03:11 PM   #7
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Do seasonal roads within Manistee Nat. Forest require the Trail sticker then? I'll end up getting both just so I'm covered but would like to know...
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Unread 04-27-2014, 03:28 PM   #8
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According to Jason you dont. I was up there 2 summers ago and spent a full day exploring the 2 tracks there. I got a map from the campground hosts information board. I found the trails would be passable in a taller car or easy in a 2wd pickup. I never saw another vehicle on the trails other than at a remote campsite.
Now the Seasonal roads are short but some require 4wd where they are washed out. The Delorme Map book is a good starting place to finding them. Or just start following one when you see the signs at there beginning. PLEASE BE KIND and stay on the trail only. Many of these travel between farms and the land owners property has been vandalized. Dont ruin it for the next guy.

Ron
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Unread 04-27-2014, 06:37 PM   #9
Jason
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Originally Posted by PlatinumOre View Post
Do seasonal roads within Manistee Nat. Forest require the Trail sticker then? I'll end up getting both just so I'm covered but would like to know...
I don't believe so, but that is 100% my opinion and interpretation of the rules, and may or may not be correct. The "seasonal roads" within the forest are probably forest roads and anything accessible by a full-size vehicle doesn't require an ORV or trail tag. There are ORV trails (IIRC, the forest service calls them OHV trails) within the forest that you cannot use full size vehicles on.
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Unread 04-27-2014, 06:47 PM   #10
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You definitely don't need stickers for seasonal roads. A seasonal road is a just road that it is not maintained in the winter.
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Unread 04-30-2014, 11:11 AM   #11
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I am only aware of one ORV Route that requires an ORV permit - Drummond Island has one or more sections of ORV route that are not passable in a 2WD vehicle, and as a result requires an ORV sticker(s)
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Unread 05-01-2014, 10:06 AM   #12
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There are other routes, like Tin Cup, Little Manistee and Lincoln Hill to name a few.
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Unread 05-01-2014, 10:09 AM   #13
Jason
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There are other routes, like Tin Cup, Little Manistee and Lincoln Hill to name a few.
That's true, but an ORV or trail tag are not required on those routes if the vehicle has an SOS plate.
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Unread 05-01-2014, 12:48 PM   #14
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Yep, I stand corrected. Just looked at the Little Manistee map and it states that. Guess you need to pay attention to what is stated on the map.
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Unread 05-11-2014, 05:17 PM   #15
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Oh well... I got both just to be on the safe side as I couldn't get a straight answer.
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