Life just a got a little bit easier for drivers in Michigan as Governor Rick Snyder signed a law that makes proving vehicle registration digitally legal in the state. Electronic vehicle registration has proven to be secure and is accepted in many other states.
The legislation, House Bill 4013, was sponsored by State Representative Peter Lucido and was introduced in January of 2017. It was passed by the House by a 108-0 margin in March. After being referred to the Senate Insurance Committee, it was approved by the Senate 38-0 in June, after which it went on to be signed by the Governor. The bill went into effect in late September of 2017.
The law allows for the vehicle registration document that motorists are required to have when driving in the state, to be electronically accessible by the driver. This is usually accomplished through a digital picture of their document that may be displayed on their smartphone or other electronic devices.
The law contains some important privacy provisions stating that “If a person displays an electronic copy of his or her registration certificate using an electronic device, the police officer shall only view the electronic copy of the registration certificate and shall not manipulate the device to view any other information on the electronic device.”
It further specifically states that the act of handing the device to an officer is not a consent to search the device and the officer may requests the driver forward the image to another device where it may be reviewed by the officer. Interestingly, it protects the officer if the device is damaged while either in his or the driver’s possession.
Electronic vehicle registration and the ability to prove registration through an electronic device in Michigan is another step toward a more complete digital driving experience. More and more aspects of purchasing, financing, and insuring a vehicle along with maintaining and renewing important documents are being accomplished digitally.
The Digital Trend in Driving
Paper vehicle registration documents are often carried in crowded glove compartments where they can sometimes become buried under maps, manuals, Kleenex, receipts, and other paperwork. Nervous drivers often struggle reaching over to retrieve their documentation while an impatient and sometimes nervous officer, concerned for his safety, may wait. The digital documentation law will make it faster, easier, and safer to produce vehicle registration for both the officer and driver.
If your registration is expiring, it is easier than ever to digitally renew it online. Online electronic vehicle registration saves time, travel, and the hassles of waiting in line at the DMV. With the new digital documentation law in effect in Michigan, it is also easier than ever to provide your documentation in a traffic stop. Get digital and go green by renewing your vehicle registration online today!