Proposed Legislation to Require Two License Plates in Michigan

Proposed Legislation to Require Two License Plates in Michigan

by / Monday, 04 November 2013 / Published in Motor Vehicle Accidents, Tips

yellow and blue mackinaw bridge at sunset michigan license plate with the word sample on it

Last week, Sen. Tupac Hunter introduced a bill that would require all of Michigan’s registered vehicles to have 2 license plates: one in the front and one in the rear. Why? It cuts down on crime because it makes every car more identifiable.

Currently there are 32 other states that require dual license plates. Ohio and Wisconsin are our close neighbors that do.

Currently, Michigan’s license plate statute requires your license plate to be attached only to the rear of the vehicle, unless you have a truck or tractor, and in which case your plate can be fastened to the vehicle’s front:

Sec. 225. (1) A registration plate issued for a vehicle shall be attached to the rear of the vehicle. Except that a registration plate issued for a truck tractor or road tractor shall be attached to the front of that vehicle.

License plates are required to be fastened horizontally so they don’t move, must be above 12 inches from the ground (measuring from the bottom of the plate), and must be clearly visible and free from any debris, snow or ice:

(2) A registration plate shall at all times be securely fastened in a horizontal position to the vehicle for which the plate is issued so as to prevent the plate from swinging. The plate shall be attached at a height of not less than 12 inches from the ground, measured from the bottom of the plate, in a place and position which is clearly visible. The plate shall be maintained free from foreign materials that obscure or partially obscure the registration information, and in a clearly legible condition.

The statute requires that your registration be in a different color than your plate and it gives the secretary of state the ability to issue special “commemorative” plates:

(3) A registration plate or the expiration tab on the registration plate shall be of a different color designated by the secretary of state with a marked contrast between the color of the registration plate and the numerals or letters on the plate. The secretary of state may provide a distinctive registration plate as a replacement for a standard plate. To honor a special or historical event, the secretary of state may provide a commemorative plate as a replacement for a standard plate.

You cannot advertise on your plate in ANY manner that obscures your plate’s visibility. This probably was a constitutional challenge that likely made its way into the law. It doesn’t infringe on your freedom of speech, you can legally advertise all over your car:

(4) A person shall not attach a name plate, insignia, or advertising device to a motor vehicle registration plate in a manner which obscures or partially obscures the registration information.

(5) A person shall not operate a motor vehicle which has a name plate, insignia, or advertising device attached to a motor vehicle registration plate in a manner which obscures or partially obscures the registration information.

Like the statute says, anyone in violation of this section is guilty of a civil infraction:

(6) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.

Goodwin & Scieszka wants to remind all drivers to keep their plates clear of debris and ensure that they are securely fastened. Did you know that you could get a ticket for having too much snow on your license plate? Don’t just brush your windows; make sure your plate is visible!

Our Southfield, Michigan personal injury firm has been handling any and all types of car, motorcycle, and truck accidents for over 30 years. We are here for you if you’ve been injured as a result of someone’s negligent driving.

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