Michigan Motorist Info

The following information is updated periodically. However, laws and regulations can change between updates. State statutes and local ordinances are the ultimate authorities for these issues.

Michigan Motorist Legislation
100th Michigan Legislature — 2019-2020

Points of Interest

  • It’s a felony to transport more than $50 worth of cigarettes into Michigan.
  • Most Michigan city-street speed limits were invalidated by a 2006 law, but signs remain unchanged and tickets continue to be issued in most cities.
  • Michigan’s “keep right except to pass” law applies only on freeways with two lanes in each direction, and not on freeways with three or more lanes.
  • Conviction for failure to show proof of insurance can carry a surtax of $400 or $1,000. (This does not apply to out-of-state drivers, but $1,000 surtaxes for operating with a suspended license and $2,000 surtaxes for DWI convictions do.)

Speed Limits

Rural Interstates: Cars 70 (75 on select segments), Trucks 65
Urban Interstates: Cars 70, Trucks 60*
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars 70, Trucks 60*

* 55 if speed limit for cars is less than 70 MPH

Unposted roads are a default 55 mph, except that unposted streets within subdivisions are 25 mph.

Absolute (Exceeding the speed limit is illegal per seregardless of whether it was safe under the specific conditions): State highways (I, US, and M routes) and almost all county roads (all non-state roads outside cities and some major roads within cities)
Presumed (Driving faster than the speed limit is only evidence of unreasonable speed–you can still argue that your speed was safe under the specific conditions): Speed limits on city streets

Speed Limits Enforcement Techniques
Enforced through use of:
Pacing: Yes
Radar: Yes
Vascar: Yes
Automated Speed Enforcement: No
Aircraft: No
Laser: Yes

Ticket Payment Options
Consult your ticket or clerk of courts

Trial By Declaration Allowed

Probably not allowed

Jury Trial Allowed
Speeding: No
Parking: No
Equipment: No
DWI: Yes

Member of Nonresident Compact

Member of Driver License Compact

When and Where to File Accident Reports
The driver of a motor vehicle involved in an accident that injures or kills any person, or that damages property to an apparent extent totaling $1,000.00 or more, shall immediately report that accident at the nearest or most convenient police station, or to the nearest or most convenient police officer.

(Michigan Statute 257.622, http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28ahaxhbbu0dsi2y45k42uz1mu%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-257-622)

Resident Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required (although some states allow posting a cash bond or such as an alternative)
Minimum Coverage Required:
Injury to one person: $20,000
All injuries: $40,000
Property Damage: $10,000
Michigan is a “no-fault” state

Phone/Texting Restrictions
Hand-Held Ban: Local option
All Cell Phone Ban: Level 1 or 2 license holders
Texting Ban: All drivers
Enforcement: Primary: for texting by all drivers and level 1 or 2 license holders

Other Regulations

  • Open intoxicants are prohibited in the vehicle.
  • The BAC level is .08 percent.
  • Michigan has an administrative license suspension law and an implied consent law. The breathalyzer refusal penalty is a 6-month driver’s license suspension.
  • The second conviction for any alcohol-related offense within 7 years is treated as a felony (including non-driving-related convictions).
  • Long guns must be transported unloaded and encased or contained in the trunk; hand guns may not be carried in a vehicle without a license to carry.
  • Studded tires are technically permitted, if they meet the standards adopted by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). At this time, there are no tires that meet those standards.
  • Tire chains are not required.
  • Michigan has a seat-belt law with primary enforcement for all front-seat occupants and all rear-seat occupants under 16 years of age, although passengers in excess of the number of seat belts need not wear belts. Children under age 4 must be in approved safety seats.
  • Michigan helmet law–partial:¬†<21 or no additional insurance (riders and passengers)
  • Registration and insurance card must be carried in the vehicle.

General Information
http://courts.mi.gov/Self-help/center/casetype/Pages/Infraction.aspx (Michigan Courts)
Emergency Cellular Phone Number: 911