Ice Ordinance Information

Dane County Ordinance Chapter 71 requires certain motorized vehicles operated on lakes within Dane County to be equipped with flotation. This page highlights some of the requirements and provides information on inspection dates. Visit Dane County Website to view the literal ordinances.

Download the 2018-2019 Flotation Inspection Information in pdf format.

To save time, please fill out the Permit Form ahead of time and bring it with to the inspection.

All vehicles requiring flotation and/or a permit must be inspected. Inspection dates, times, and location are listed below.

2018-2019 Inspection Dates

A FINAL 2018-2019 INSPECTION HAS BEEN ADDED:  Wednesday, January 23rd from 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.



Times will be held firm.


Inspections are held at the Dane County Parks old office located at 4318 Robertson Rd., Madison, WI. (see map below).  Inspections at this location are done only at the dates and times listed, do not go to this address at any other time expecting an inspection.


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Flotation Requirements

Lakes Mendota – Monona – Wingra

All vehicles under the 850 lb. maximum weight limit require flotation and a permit.

All other Dane County Lakes

Vehicles weighing between 750 – 850 lbs. require flotation and a permit. Vehicles weighing under 750 lbs. have no restrictions and therefore do NOT require flotation.

Specific Vehicle Type Flotation Information

Snowmobiles – Require 16 cubic feet of flotation.

All Terrain Vehicles(ATV) – Require 5 cubic feet of flotation. Note: ATV's are designed to float themselves, but not the passenger(s) and gear.

Inspection Fee

There is now a $10.00 inspection fee for all new and renewal inspections. The fee is payable by cash or check (must have photo ID), and must be paid at the time of inspection.


Flotation must be mounted as equally as possible, front and back, or side to side.  The floats must be hard mounted to the machine (bolts, metal brackets, chain, cable, etc.).  Nylon straps, bungee cords, ropes, etc. are not permitted.

The flotation material used is most commonly styrofoam, either in sheets, blocks, or sprayed.  Popcorn or peanut type packing material is not acceptable.  The flotation should be enclosed/protected by wood, metal, aluminum, or plastic to prevent it from breaking.  Air filled containers are not acceptable.  The Nebulus Emergency Flotation Device and the pre-made foam filled nylon cases are examples of approved flotation systems. Pictures of some sample flotation are shown below.

atv nebulus frontatv nebulus backatv caseatv case 2ATV picATV 2ATV with FlotationSnowmobile with flotation

Each cubic foot of flotation will float 60 lbs.  Diameter measurements can be deceiving.  Each diameter measurement listed below equals one cubic foot of flotation.  If using cylinders, you will need to multiply the length times 5 for an ATV, and times 16 for a snowmobile to get the correct length of cylinder needed.