Ann Arbor Local Laws

Ann Arbor neighborhood street

Trash Accumulation

Keep the exterior of your house or apartment clean. If trash accumulates on your property, it is considered a civil infraction and is punishable by a fine $100 or more for the first offense. Each day that litter remains in your yard is considered a separate offense.

Snow and Ice Removal

Clear the sidewalks near your home in the winter. When more than one inch of snow accumulates, you have 24 hours to remove snow on the sidewalk and crosswalk ramps adjacent to your property. Immediately after ice accumulates, you must treat the sidewalk with sand or salt to prevent it from being slippery. If you fail to remove snow/ ice and the city must clear the area, you will be charged for the clearance cost plus an administrative fee of $50.

Noise Violations

Music or noise that is heard beyond property lines from 10PM to 7AM is a misdemeanor crime in Ann Arbor.  City Ordinances also make it illegal to make unreasonably loud or unnecessary noise that disturbs the comfort, health, peace or safety of others.  This can happen during any time of the day. Violations could lead to criminal convictions; however, many times these cases are resolved with fines, community service, or other requirements.

Upholstered Furniture Ban

Use appropriate and safe seating outdoors. You cannot keep upholstered furniture that is not intended for outdoor use on exterior balconies, porches, decks, or other areas exposed to weather. If you violate this ordinance, the city will order you to remove the item within a specified time period. If you do not act, the City may remove the item and charge you with the cost plus a civil infraction fine.

Alcohol Consumption in Public

Consuming alcohol, beer, or wine on public property is illegal in Ann Arbor.  Public property includes sidewalks, streets, alleys, parks, parking structures/lots.  An open container is any alcoholic beverage where the seal has been broken. If the seal has been broken and you are on public property, then you can be charged with a misdemeanor crime.

Possession or Consumption by Minors

Remember that the legal drinking age is 21. Those under the legal drinking age should not consume possess, purchase, or attempt to purchase alcohol.  If you consumed alcohol, then your body is considered the container. A first-offense in Ann Arbor is a civil infraction that carries a fine of $250. A second-offense is a crime and could lead to a criminal conviction, among other repercussions.

Drunk Driving

In Michigan, a person under the legal drinking age could be convicted of drunk driving with a blood alcohol level as low as .02.  Do not drink and then drive. These crimes can lead to unintended consequences including a jail sentence, interlock device, community service, fines and costs, and a permanent conviction.  Convictions under the motor vehicle code are not expungeable. There are also no first-offender programs for drunk driving. This is a crime that can follow you your entire life. 

Furnishing or Using False Identification

Using or possessing a Fake ID is illegal in Ann Arbor.  A person can be charged with several crimes if caught using or possessing a Fake ID.  Using someone else’s ID as your own is illegal too. Even though this crime can sometimes be resolved with a civil infraction, alcohol education and fines; that is not always the case. Under city laws, use of a fake ID also includes:

- Using an altered, counterfeited, forged or duplicated ID

- Loaning an ID to another person

- Using an ID issued to another person as your own


Under the recently passed Marijuana Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA), simple use and possession of marijuana is legal for persons 21 years and older (up to 2.5 oz).  Persons between the ages of 18-21 years using or possessing marijuana for amounts up to 2.5 oz. are subject to civil infractions. Possession of larger amounts, distribution, and driving under the influence are still subject to criminal charges in general.  Medical use or possession of marijuana under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act has not changed. NOTE: While some type of marijuana use and possession have been decriminalized in Michigan under MRTMA, marijuana is still an illegal controlled substance under Federal law and may be subject to criminal charges.

Disorderly Conduct

Be respectful and stay in control. City code prohibits disturbing the peace by loud or aggressive conduct; knowingly harassing another person; urinating on a public street or sidewalk; and destroying, damaging, or defacing public property. If you are caught urinating in public, you may be charged with indecent exposure.

The Community Standards Unit – a division of the Ann Arbor Police Department – works to maintain the quality of life in Ann Arbor by enforcing the city code. If you feel that a neighbor in your area is violating a city ordinance, you can file a confidential complaint with Community Standards by calling (734) 794-6942 or emailing [email protected].

For more information about city ordinances, refer to the Ann Arbor city code data.