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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Motor Vehicles

Question:
We have a problem with an auto repair business storing vehicles waiting to be repaired in the parking spaces in front of their shop. Can you send sample ordinances that regulate storage of vehicles to be repaired?

Answer:
We found a variety of regulations that might help. Farmington’s traffic and motor vehicles ordinance contains a section that prohibits parking a vehicle for storage on any street for more than 48 hours. Alpena and Novi, in their zoning ordinances regulate vehicle repair business as a use subject to conditions. One of Novi's conditions is, “No vehicle parking in front of actual building setback line.” Alpena has a condition stipulating that vehicles shall not be stored outside the building for more than 48 hours unless a work order signed by the owner of the vehicle is posted in the vehicle.

Question:

With the increased price of gas, we are frequently asked to allow golf carts, mopeds, etc. on our streets.  Does the state have any rules or regulations regarding these vehicles?

Answer:

The following information has been provided by the Secretary of State’s Office, Bureau of Regulatory Services.

Motorcycle/Moped???

Any vehicle that exceeds any of the moped requirements (listed below) is registered and titled as a motorcycle in Michigan:

  • Cannot exceed 50 cc engine displacement

  • Cannot exceed 30 mph on a level surface

  • Cannot exceed 2.0 brake horsepower

  • Cannot have a gearshift

 

LOW SPEED VEHICLES (MCL 257.25b and MCL 257.660)

Beginning July 1, 2000, Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs) may be titled and registered for on-road use.  In September 2006 the low speed law was amended to remove the requirement that low speed vehicles be electrically powered.  A low speed vehicle is a 4-wheel motor vehicle whose maximum speed is at least 20 mph but not more than 25 mph.

The low speed vehicle law restricts how Low Speed Vehicles may be operated:

  • LSVs can only be operated on public roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or less.  They cannot go on roads with a speed limit higher than 35 mph.

  • They are allowed to cross a road with a speed limit greater than 35 mph.

Currently low speed vehicle manufacturers include Global Electric MotorCars (GEM), Columbia ParCar, American Custom Golf Car (ACG), American Electric Vehicle Co., Tomberlin, and Bombardier.  There may be other manufacturers not listed here.  Low Speed Vehicles are titled and registered the same as other street-legal vehicles:

  • Regular titles and registrations are issued.  The “Low Speed” (“LS”) body style is used.  “Low Speed” prints as the body style on title applications, registrations, and titles.

  • Low speed vehicles are available in 2 passenger, 4 passenger, and pickup models.  They can be registered with either a passenger plate (fee code 001) or a pickup plate (fee code 003).  The body style is always “Low Speed”.  Regular ad valorem fees apply.  Plates expire on the owner’s birthday (individually owned) or the first of any month (company owned).  Special plates (personalized, veteran, etc.) may be used.

  • An operator or chauffeur license is required to drive a Low Speed Vehicle.

  • A moped license does not qualify.

  • The law exempts Low Speed Vehicles from odometer requirements.  When “LS” is entered on the inquiry screen as the body style, no odometer information is required.  (If mileage information is entered, it will not update to system or print on the title application.)

  • Dealers title and register LSVs by submitting an RD-108 with “Low Speed” in the body style field and the unit’s MCO.  Odometer information on the MCO or RD-108 does not need to be completed.

Low speed vehicles must have all equipment required by federal regulation CFR 571.500 for low speed vehicles:  headlights (low-beam only), taillights, brake lights, turn signals, reflectors, windshield, safety belts, parking brake, inside rearview mirror, and outside rearview mirror.

TITLING AND REGISTERING GOLF CARTS

Some golf cart owners ask how they may title and register their golf cart for on-road use.  While the Michigan Vehicle Code does not address titling and registration of golf carts, it does mandate the equipment required for vehicles to be street legal.  For a golf cart to be street legal, it must be upgraded to have all of the equipment listed on the TR-54 Vehicle Inspection form for 4-wheel vehicles including low beam headlights, high beam headlights, tail lights, brake lights, turn signals, windshield, windshield wipers, bumpers, seat belts, horn, mirrors, etc.

While owners can upgrade golf carts for on-road use, it is not recommended due to safety issues.  Manufacturers of golf carts advise their units are not designed and constructed for operation on streets and highways. 

Golf carts upgraded for on-road use must be titled as Assembled using the assembled vehicle titling process.  For liability reasons, golf cart manufacturers do not want these titled under the manufacturer’s name.  The Make will always be “Assembled.”

A golf cart can be titled as a Low Speed Vehicle with “Low Speed” as the body style if the top speed is 25 mph or less.  Otherwise, the unit is titled as a regular vehicle with “Roadster” as the body style.

Question:
Does our municipality need to amend our drunk driving ordinance in order to be consistent with the new state statutes?

Answer:
Yes. Effective October 1, 1999, new legislation will impact drivers convicted of repeat drunk driving offenses. Convicted drunk drivers will face stiffer penalties, including a license plate branding them repeat offenders, a device to render their cars inoperable and possible loss of their vehicles. Municipalities intending to prosecute for drunk driving should amend their ordinances to comply with the new state legislation. The legislature has specifically amended the home rule city and village acts and the general law village act to authorize those municipalities to provide, by ordinance, for incarceration of up to 93 days in order to be consistent with state law. City and village attorneys should be requested to draft the necessary amendments.

Question:
We note a new Uniform Traffic Code has been promulgated. Do we need to adopt a new traffic ordinance?

Answer:
Probably. As a matter of fact, unless you have adopted the recently updated Michigan Vehicle Code, you will need to adopt that first. Please check the One-Pager Plus on "Adoption of Michigan Vehicle Code and Uniform Traffic Code" for more information. A sample ordinance adopting the MVC as well as the UTC by reference is available.

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