DNR to enforce snowmobile noise levels this winter

Posted at 1:21 PM, Dec 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-07 13:23:47-05

LANSING, Mich. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says they’ll be stepping up efforts this winter to make sure snowmobiles aren’t too loud.

In a press statement, the DNR says their “enhanced efforts” will be on DNR-managed trail systems, high-use areas and areas where they have received complaints.  Conservation officers will be conducting decibel-level testing of snowmobiles they encounter while on routine patrol.

Fines for violating the sound level on your snowmobile are up to $250.

Michigan’s snowmobile trail system is the result of partnerships with private landowners who, through annual permits between the landowners and snowmobile clubs, open portions of their land for snowmobile trails. If noise levels are a nuisance to landowners, they could not renew their permits for next year.

“Without this partnership, the expansive, interconnected trail system enjoyed by thousands of snowmobilers each year wouldn’t exist,”  said Cpl. John Morey, who oversees the snowmobile safety and education program within the DNR Law Enforcement Division in the statement. “When snowmobilers behave unethically or illegally, private land owners can and have opted out of signing another annual agreement, and the trail is closed. A reason for this includes excessive noise.”

The DNR says that when a snowmobile leaves the factory, it is in compliance with legal decibel levels. If a snowmobile’s exhaust or muffler requires service, the DNR recommends that the repair be done with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts for that specific snowmobile. Deviation from this repair recommendation, or modifying the exhaust or muffler, could result in the operator being in violation of state law.

For more information on snowmobiling in Michigan, including current laws and regulations, go to