Frequently Asked Questions


 What are the Police Department's hours of operation?

The Norton Shores Police Department is a 24/7 operation; however, the business office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (except holidays). 

You can reach an officer 24 hours a day from the emergency phone located outside the front doors to the department or by calling 9-1-1.

 How do I get a copy of a Police Report or an Accident Report?

The Police Department will provide copies of police reports in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.  If we are able to release the report to the public, you can obtain a copy at the Police Department.  The current charge for copies is $5.00 for the first page and $.25 for each additional page (note: if a color copy is needed, add $.25 more per page).

Accident Reports may also be obtained on-line through the Michigan Traffic Crash Purchasing System.

 What do I have to do to purchase a handgun?

It is illegal to purchase, carry, possess, or transport a handgun in the State of Michigan without first having obtained a license to purchase. 

If purchasing from a Retailer, the Retailer will provide the purchase permit.  If purchasing from an individual a license must be obtained from your local law enforcement agency.  A license is not required for a shotgun, rifle, or black powder rifle.   

Norton Shores residents must come into the Police Department with a valid Driver’s License or ID and submit an application to purchase a pistol or revolver. 

After the completion of a background check, a license to purchase will be issued, unless you are prohibited from purchasing a firearm according to State law.  You will receive three copies of the permit.  There is not charge for this service; however, the permit is required to be notarized.  There is a $5.00 fee for the notarization if you choose to use a City Employed Notary, or you may use a Notary of your choice.

NOTE:  Concealed Weapons License holders and Licensed Firearms Dealers may obtain a Pistol Sales Record at the Police Department or may print their own Pistol Sales Record from the State Website (form below) in lieu of the above procedure. 


NOTICE:  You may be criminally and civilly liable for any harm caused by a person less than 18 years of age who lawfully gains unsupervised access to your firearm if unlawfully stored (Public Act No. 265 of 2000).

A concealed weapons permit application can be obtained at the Police Department; however, this permit is processed by the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department.

 When can I discharge/use fireworks?

It is prohibited to ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks except of the type and under the conditions permitted by state law on the following days after 11:00 a.m.:

December 31 until 1:00 a.m. on January 1.

The Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Memorial Day until 11:45 p.m. on each of those days.

June 29 to July 4 until 11:45 p.m. on each of those days.

July 5, if that date is a Friday or Saturday, until 11:45 p.m.

The Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Labor Day until 11:45 p.m. on each of those days.

A violation of section 22-1(b)(5) shall be deemed a municipal civil infraction and a $1,000.00 civil fine shall be imposed for each violation. Five hundred dollars of the fine collected shall be remitted to the city police department.

 Can I discharge a firearm in the city?

It is illegal to discharge a firearm, pellet rifle, BB gun, or airsoft gun in the City of Norton Shores, except hunting is still allowed in the south end of the city south of the centerline of Mount Garfield Road, east of Henry Street.  Much of this land is privately owned and you must obtain permission to hunt on it.  You must also follow all State Hunting Laws.

 What are the rules for walkers and bicyclists?

Many citizens like to ride bicycles or walk around the city as a pleasant form of exercise. It is important to follow the rules of the road as required by State law and City ordinances for their safety. Pedestrians who are walking in areas that lack sidewalks, walk outside the travel lane, facing traffic, as far to the edge or shoulder as possible. If there is a sidewalk, pedestrians must walk on the sidewalk and not in the roadway. Pedestrians are subject to traffic-control signals at intersections, and must walk in marked crosswalks to cross roadways. Drivers of motor vehicles must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. The Police Department strongly suggests bright colors or traffic safety vests for visibility reasons.

Bicyclists are to travel with traffic (same direction as cars) as far to the right as possible. They are required by State law and City ordinance to obey all traffic control devices as practical (red lights, stop signs, etc.). All bicycles owned by city residents must be registered at the Police Department and display a City license. This is for theft reasons and the ordinance is strictly enforced. Bicycles are not to carry more persons than they are designed to carry. If there is one seat on the bike, only one person can be on it at a time. Bicyclers should not carry items that prevent them from having both hands on the handlebars. When riding at night, bicycles must have a white reflector in the front, red reflector in the back, plus one headlight and one red taillight, all clearly visible. Although not a law or ordinance, the Police Department strongly recommends the use of bike helmets.

These rules are paramount to ensuring the safety of you and your loved ones. Any questions or concerns may be directed to the traffic office of the Police Department.

Copies of the rules of the road for pedestrians and bicyclists, along with information on bicycle helmets, are available at the Police Department.

 What are the regulations for go-peds and motorized scooters?

The Michigan Vehicle Code does not specifically define go-peds, pocket bikes or similar devices.  They are considered "toy vehicles" and by definition, are motor vehicles.  As such, they must be registered in order to be legally operated on public roadways and operators must possess a driver's license.

They are not considered mopeds because they do not satisfy the requirements or definition of moped.  Also, the Secretary of State will not, nor can they, register them as they do mopeds.  In summary, motorized scooters, go-peds, minicycles, and like items ARE NOT allowed to be operated on any public roadway, right-of-way or areas open to the general public, according to State law.  They are only allowed on private property. 

Any questions concerning this issue can be forwarded to the traffic office of the Police Department.

 Do I need a bicycle license?

Yes, if you are a resident of Norton Shores.  Licenses can be purchased at the Police Department for $1.00 each or $3.00 for a family.  Bring your bicycle(s) or the paperwork to the department.  Be sure you have the bicycle's serial number.

 What can I do about a neighborhood dog that barks, or a loud party?

It is best to call 9-1-1 while the problem is occurring.  An officer will respond and check for the source of the problem.  If located, the officer will take appropriate action.  If a barking dog problem is not alleviated in this manner, you may sign a formal complaint.  Forms can be obtained at the police department during normal business hours.

 What can I do about speeding vehicles in my neighborhood?

Call the Police Department during normal business hours and explain the problem (i.e. where the speeding is taking place, what time of day, identification of the person driving if known, etc.).  This information will be given to the Patrol Division and/or Traffic Unit for investigation.

 Is there a curfew in Norton Shores?

There is a curfew by State law. 

  • Minors under the age of 12 shall not be out between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian, or some adult delegated by the parent or guardian to accompany the child. 
  • Minors under the age of 16 shall not be out between the hours of 12 midnight and 6:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

 How do I get fingerprinted for teaching, naturalization, employment, etc.?

Due to a moratorium on printed fingerprint cards, the Norton Shores Police Department no longer offers fingerprinting services.  Electronic fingerprints can be submitted by contacting the Muskegon County Sheriff's Department at (231) 724-6351.

 What are the fees for Services?

  • Parking Prohibited by Signs: $25
  • Parking in Fire Lane: $25
  • Parking in Handicapped Space: $100
  • Parking by Fire Hydrant: $25
  • Preliminary Breath Test for Court Ordered Breath Results: $5
  • Copy of Police Report - Regular: $5 for initial report; $.25 each additional page. For color, add $.25 per page
  • Copy of Police Report - Archived: Actual cost to research and $.25 a page. For color, add $.25 per page
  • Copy of Photograph: $25 for Disc; Single Copy Photo $1
  • Copy of Video: $25
  • Response to False Alarm: Actual cost
  • OWI Cost Recovery - regular: $100
  • OWI Cost Recovery - blood test: $220
  • Public Assembly Permit: $100, non-refundable

 What defines a kennel and where are they permitted in the city?

A kennel is defined as any property in the City containing three (3) or more dogs that are four (4) months or older.  Kennels are permitted as a principal use only on properties zoned AG Agricultural, or as a special use at the discretion of the Planning Commission and City Council in the R-5 Single Family Residential district.   Kennels are NOT a permitted use in the R-1 through R-4 Single Family Residential zoning districts.

 Where can I obtain a license for my dog?

Dog licenses may be obtained annually at the Muskegon County Treasurer's Office during the month of rabies certification.