New legislation allows drivers to use electronic registration

Posted July 26, 2017

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State Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, testifies before the Michigan Senate Insurance Committee June 7 in support of his legislation to allow electronic proof of automobile registration.

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On June 28, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law Public Act 59 of 2017, which enables Michigan motorists to provide electronic proof of automobile registration to law enforcement.

The bill follows similar legislation enacted in 2016 that allows for electronic proof of vehicle insurance. State Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, who proposed both bills, said they take drivers into the 21st century.

Lucido said drivers can take a photo of their registration and proof of insurance and present it to a law enforcement officer on their electronic devices in lieu of producing paper documents.

During a traffic stop, law enforcement officials will now be allowed to confirm registration, as well as proof of insurance, by taking the electronic device to their vehicles or by requesting that the motorist forward the documentation via email or text.

Lucido said the law uses no tax dollars and instills a sense of safety.

“When I park my car (at the airport), anybody in the parking lot can see I’m going out of town, smash my window, go into the glovebox or console, find out exactly where I live and break into my home,” Lucido said. “It’s a real privacy issue.”

He added that law enforcement agents are only entitled to look at the photos of drivers’ registration and proof of insurance.

“Anything else is inadmissible in a court of law,” he said. “They don’t have to worry about that due to constitutional due process. The law spells it out.”

If a child is using a parent’s vehicle or a person is using another party’s vehicle, Lucido said the owner of the vehicle could email the documentation to the motorist and reduce the amount of fines and costs incurred.

He said motorists can also continue using paper copies of their documents if they wish.

The law takes effect immediately.

Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide said everything is going digital nowadays.

“I do stay with the times. I’m not archaic. Our law enforcement has no problem with that, of being shown electronic proof,” Shelide said. “I support that.”

About the author

Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik covers Shelby Township and Utica for the Shelby-Utica News. Sarah has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2013 and attended Oakland University. She has won four Excellence in Journalism awards from the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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