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Know the Law – Michigan Snowmobile Law

Posted at 1:31 PM, Jan 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-05 13:31:40-05

This week, Grand Rapids car accident lawyer, Tom Sinas, discusses the ins and outs of Michigan snowmobile laws. Snowmobiling is a common winter recreational activity and is a fun way to spend snowy days, but knowing Michigan snowmobile laws can help keep participants safe.

Michigan Snowmobile Laws – Registration and Permits
Just like any other motor vehicle, snowmobiles need registration with the Secretary of State. The registration must also be displayed in a certain manner – on the forward half of cowl above the footwell of the snowmobile on each side. Along with having the snowmobile registered for riding on roads, permits are required if the snowmobile is ridden on public trails. Displaying permits is also governed by Michigan snowmobile laws, which mandate their placement above or below the headlights.

Operating a Snowmobile in Michigan
Michigan snowmobile laws require drivers of snowmobiles to hold a valid Michigan license. However, kids are also allowed to operate snowmobiles legally. Kids 12-17 need a certification to operate if an adult 21 years or old is not present. Kids under 12 need supervision from an adult 21 years or older if they wish to operate snowmobiles.

Snowmobile Safety Tips
Unfortunately the recreational winter activity comes with some risks. Staying safe while riding is important for having a fun time. Michigan snowmobile laws require operators and passengers to wear a helmet. Michigan Department of Transportation has criteria for helmets that are safe for snowmobile riders.

Wearing an MDOT crash approved helmet allows for safety while riding in case riders do happen to get into an accident.

Although these snowmobile laws do not apply to riders if they are on private property, it is important to follow these laws. In the winter, it is oftentimes hard to tell were property lines begin or end. Other safety precautions include not operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and crossing roadways with caution – cars have the right away.

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