There are few places better to spend a day out on the lake than Michigan, In fact, with over 11,000 inland lakes – not to mention providing the coastline for 4 of the Great Lakes – you are never far from a great day of lake fishing or recreation. It is estimated that every Michigan resident lives within 6 miles of a lake and within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes. Therefore making sure that your boat is properly licensed and trailered is of utmost importance – after all, all that water is hard to resist.

Michigan Boat TraileringTo make sure your day trip is hassle-free, here are the rules you need to know:

Driver’s License Requirements: It should go without saying that everyone towing a trailer in Michigan must hold a valid state driver’s license. Also, those utilizing a pickup truck to pull a fifth wheel RV AND a second recreational vehicle ( like a boat) must have a Class R “recreational double endorsement”. These drivers must be at least 18 and pass a written test.

Title & Registration Requirements: All trailers over 2,500 must have a title, as well as ll trailer coaches. Title applications or transfers must occur within 15 days of acquisition, with the application sent to the Secretary of State. All trailers, regardless of wight, are required to be registered and display a current and valid plate, which is permanent and non-transferable.

Trailer Requirements: By law, all trailers must be equipped with at least one working tail light, as well as a light illuminating the license plate. Trailers with a minimum 2,500 pounds must have working turn signals and two red or amber stop lights visible from 100 feet (day or night) Trailers under 3,000 pounds must have a single stop light if the load obstructs the stop light on the towing vehicle; and also must display two red rear reflectors. Tire tread on the trailer must be a minimum of 2.32 inch.
Trailers over 3,000 pounds must display one rear stop light and an amber reflector near the front of each side of the trailer. There must also be a red reflector to in proximity to the back of the trailer, on both sides. Amber clearance lights visible from 500 feet must be evident on the front of the vehicle, as well as on each side. Also, there must be two red clearance lights on the back.

Brake Requirements: All trailers over 3,000 pounds must be outfitted with brakes. Trailers over 5,500 pounds must be equipped with brakes strong enough to control the trailers movement, including stopping and holding the trailer.

Please check with the Michigan authorities for full rules and regulations before towing a boat or recreational vehicle on Michigan roads.