House approves Rep. VanderWall bills to help drivers, improve safety on Michigan roads

November 8, 2017

The Capitol building in Lansing.

House approves Rep. VanderWall bills to help drivers, improve safety on Michigan roads

Legislation helps clarify law and protect Michigan motorists

LANSING — The Michigan House today approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) to help clarify state law and address safety concerns for Michigan drivers.

The bill provides a 30-day grace period for displaying proof of registration on a license plate and allows for digital or paper documentation as proof of current registration.

Currently, if a person renews their registration online or through the mail and doesn’t receive it prior to the required registration date, they are violating the law. If caught driving with an expired plate they could be ticketed.

“Drivers will have the reassurance that they will not be violating the law within the 30-day grace period,” said VanderWall, of Ludington. “This legislation gives drivers additional time to have their registration arrive in the mail and put the sticker on their license plate.”

The Secretary of State allows people to renew their vehicle registration by mail, online, in one of the branch office locations or at a self-service kiosk located at some branch offices.

Another VanderWall bill that was approved by the House last week clarifies that commercial trucking companies or drivers receiving a federal Out of Service (OOS) order are not allowed to receive a Michigan registration.

“This legislation will allow the Secretary of State to prevent bad actors within the trucking industry from operating in Michigan,” said VanderWall, who represents the 101st House District, which includes Mason, Manistee, Benzie, and Leelanau counties.

Michigan law does not contain any reference to federal OOS orders, so the Secretary of State has no authority to deny a commercial motor carrier registration to operate in the state based solely on an OOS order. This is a problem, VanderWall said, because a truck driver or a trucking company may be issued an OOS in another state, relocate to Michigan and continue operating without the state having any knowledge of previous violations.

Federal law provides that an OOS order may be issued to a driver of a commercial motor vehicle or a commercial motor carrier company if they are in violation of one or more of the following:

  • The person or company operates or authorizes the operation of a vehicle that may be an imminent threat to other motorists, specifically pertaining to the transportation of hazardous materials;
  • The driver is under the influence of alcohol four hours prior to going on duty or operating a commercial vehicle;
  • The driver operates a vehicle without the required operating authority, or beyond the operating authority granted;
  • A driver fails to maintain a duty status record or is on duty over the maximum time limits provided in federal law.

House Bill 4535 and 4839 move to the Senate for consideration.

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