New Michigan Bills: Self-Driving Cars and New License Plate Requirements

New Michigan Bills: Self-Driving Cars and New License Plate Requirements

by / Friday, 15 November 2013 / Published in Legal News, Tips

1950's black and white illustration of futuristic family of motorists in self driving-car

The Michigan Senate approved two new bills last Thursday: 1) would allow car companies to test self-driving cars on public roads, and 2) puts an expiration date on your license plate. Remember, these are not new laws, yet. They are still proposals that must be approved by the governor and Michigan’s House of Representatives.

As a leader in the automotive industry, this technology enables Michigan’s industry to grow. According to the bill:

(3) SUBJECT TO SECTION 665, A MANUFACTURER OF AUTOMATED TECHNOLOGY MAY OPERATE OR OTHERWISE MOVE A MOTOR VEHICLE OR AN AUTOMATED MOTOR VEHICLE UPON A STREET OR HIGHWAY SOLELY TO TRANSPORT OR TEST AUTOMATED TECHNOLOGY IF THE MOTOR VEHICLE OR AUTOMATED MOTOR VEHICLE DISPLAYS, IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 225, A SPECIAL PLATE APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE.

Does that thought scare you? The only times I’ve seen self-driving cars was in Men in Black or Batman. I think it’s an exciting look into the future…

As for the license plate bill, your plate would have an expiration date of 10 years:

11) BEGINNING ON JANUARY 1, 2015, A REGISTRATION PLATE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE RENEWED 10 YEARS AFTER THE DATE THAT REGISTRATION PLATE WAS ISSUED. THE OWNER OF A VEHICLE WHOSE REGISTRATION PLATE IS NO LONGER ELIGIBLE FOR RENEWAL

While this bill is relatively straight forward, an interesting aspect in the the bill is that it specifically pushes for Michigan to work on some form of a digitally printed plate system:

(12) THE SECRETARY OF STATE, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, THE MICHIGAN STATE POLICE, THE MICHIGAN SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION, 1 INDIVIDUAL APPOINTED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND 1 INDIVIDUAL APPOINTED BY THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, SHALL PREPARE A REPORT ANALYZING THE VIABILITY OF MOVING FROM THE CURRENT REGISTRATION PLATE PRODUCTION PROCESS TO A DIGITAL PRINTING OF REGISTRATION PLATES.

This bill is really pushing for a new license plate system that would probably cost far less the current system. Regardless of whether these bills pass into law, it’s exciting to see that our legislature values technology and is trying to be a leader nationally.

Goodwin & Scieszka is a personal injury firm out of Southfield, Michigan that has been servicing the Detroit and Metro Detroit communities for over 30 years.

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