It is undeniable that there has been an increase in road travel since the COVID-19 pandemic began. People across the nation are opting to drive instead of fly across the country. While driving an out-of-state vehicle in Michigan for a short period is permitted, driving an out-of-state vehicle in Michigan for a prolonged period could result in dire consequences.

                        Prior to the enactment of Michigan’s new auto law in June 2019, an out-of-state resident who was in a motor vehicle crash in Michigan could obtain No-Fault benefits if the driver’s insurance company maintained a certification in Michigan for No-Fault benefits.[1] Now, an out-of-state resident is only eligible for Michigan No-Fault benefits if the resident owned a motor vehicle that is registered and insured in Michigan.[2]

                        Further, a driver is required to maintain Michigan insurance on any vehicles that will be operated in Michigan for more than 30 days total (not consecutive) in a calendar year.[3] Similarly, a driver must obtain Michigan registration if he/she is operating a vehicle in Michigan for more than 90 days in a calendar year.[4]  

                        A driver who violates the above statutes could face dire penalties, such as jail time; fines; denial of no-fault benefits; denial of Michigan’s Mini Tort Law; and being held financially responsible for his/her own or another driver’s medical expenses, lost wages, and vehicle damage.   

                        Thus, the changes to Michigan’s No-Fault law have become increasingly important this year. Out-of-state residents who have opted to drive instead of fly to Michigan this year due to COVID-19 need to familiarize themselves with the changes to Michigan’s No-Fault Statute to avoid criminal liability and civil exposure. Similarly, out-of-state resident college-students need to ensure that their vehicles are properly insured and registered in Michigan in compliance with Michigan law.[5]

If you were injured in a car accident and would like more information regarding your rights to recovery, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Dingeman & Dancer, PLC, (231) 929-0500, 100 Park St., Traverse City, MI 49684. 

[1] MCL 500.3163.

[2] MCL 500.3113(c).

[3] MCL 500.3102(1).

[4] MCL 257.243(4).

[5] MCL 500.3102(1); MCL 257.243(4).