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Michigan Licensing


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you're mixing two different things.

first decide if you are going to register as historical or regular.

this is also the time to decide if you are going with ordinary or antique insurance.

you can check the DOT website and the insurance co's for details, but as the previous post says it's a question of use restrictions vs cost.

then if you go with historic, you can get the historic plates route, you can have the modern historic plate or get permission to use a "year of manufacture" plate. If you want the latter, you apply through Lansing via fax/email. I'm familiar with 1941 (I have MI YOM plates). You have to send a fax of the plate. IN 1941 2 plates were required, but only one is required now, so they need to verify that only one car gets registered to that number.

You are not required to retrofit safety equipment that was not required in 1941. You may choose to, and most clubs make no judging deductions for tastefully done work. This applies to things like seatbelts and directionals, NOT to elective items like 12V, radial tires, etc

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You are not required to retrofit safety equipment that was not required in 1941. You may choose to, and most clubs make no judging deductions for tastefully done work. This applies to things like seatbelts and directionals, NOT to elective items like 12V, radial tires, etc

This "non-requirement", does it only apply to historic plates, or all plates. sorry for the questions, but i am uniformed currently.

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In NC, you can purchase a regular plate, carry it in your car and display year of manufacture plates.

The complete text of G.S. 20-63(d) reads:

"Registration plates issued for a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle, trailer, or semitrailer shall be attached thereto, one in the front and the other in the rear: Provided, that when only one registration plate is issued for a motor vehicle other than a truck-tractor, said registration plate shall be attached to the rear of the motor vehicle. The registration plate issued for a truck-tractor shall be attached to the front thereof. Provided further, that when only one registration plate is issued for a motor vehicle and this motor vehicle is transporting a substance that may adhere to the plate so as to cover or discolor the plate or if the motor vehicle has a mechanical loading device that may damage the plate, the registration plate may be attached to the front of the motor vehicle.

Any motor vehicle of the age of 35 years or more from the date of manufacture may bear the license plates of the year of manufacture instead of the current registration plates, if the current registration plates are maintained within the vehicle and produced upon the request of any person.

The Division shall provide registered owners of motorcycles and motorcycle trailers with suitably reduced size registration plates."

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Not sure about Michigan, but in some parts of New York they are getting very particular about the old "always on the way to a show/repair/cruise".

There is also an earlier thread with some real horror stories about insurance companies denying coverage in the event of an accident when their own guidelines are not adhered to. And yes, they will ask friends, neighbors, etc. about prior usage after an accident.

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Talk to the insurance carriers (Hagerty is based in MI) - they will each explain their restrictions. Not all insurance companies are the same. Pay for the usage you want.

In MI, the YOM vs historical plate is a cosmetic issue - there is no difference in terms of permited use. I have YOM because I like the look , that's all.

It's not very complicated.

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Only because most of the people who violate a contract these days don't feel they should "suffer the consequences" to the tune of a major loss for what they feel is a minor infraction (primary vehicle breaks down and you drive the antique to work for a few days, for example).

Poor choice of words on my part - just trying to state that it is very important to understand the limitations of historic plates from both a state law and insurance policy standpoint, and to realize that if you break the rules it can be very costly. They should not be taken lightly.

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In Michigan the police force are 99.9% car guys and will not hassle you for occasional use. Drive it to work every day and it won't take long before they figure out that you're simply trying to skirt the law and punish you accordingly.

I have never been stopped while driving to work in a vintage car and I've had to drive mine as temp replacements while my DD was in service. I try not to abuse the law as it will eventually affect the hobby if too many people do it wrong.

That being said, there is a caveat in Michigan's law that allows for "automotive testing", like "Officer, I just tuned it up and I was checking the spark advance". That should be sufficient. I'm not advocating abuse, but there are times when I just want to drive them.

YOM plates are the best for ticket avoidance as they (officers) have to physically call Lansing to get verification that the plate is legit, so most won't spend the time on hold while your plate is being looked up. My best advice is to simply drive your car like a gentleman (gentlewoman) and they won't give you a second look.

If you want to drive your car to work on a regular basis you're far better off getting regular plates and insurance as the liability exposure is significantly higher.

On the subject of vintage car insurance, there are some requirements that you need to know about. The vehicle has to be stored in a locked building. You can use it for trips or touring as well as club or hobby events. I believe you have to have one registered car for every licensed member of the household as a deterrent to using it as a DD.

"Classic" car insurance is typically an "agreed value" policy. You set the value and pay around $5.00 per thousand of value, within reason. Ask for too much insurance and you'll need an appraisal. Understand that insurance is simply legal gambling. You're betting that you will get into an accident and they're betting that you don't. They almost always win. The more you bet the more you win, should it come down to a total loss, as we saw so frequently in the Texas fires.

The more cars you have the cheaper the rate. That's because you only pay for Liability insurance once, as you can only drive one car at a time. You then pay for a Collision policy for each car. I use Hagerty insurance. They are all competitive, but I've found their service to their customers and to the hobby in general to be far beyond the call. Their drive to get young people interested in the hobby is well documented. In addition, they are Michigan-based.

Cars are no good unless you drive them. Make your choice based on how you plan on using it, not the cheapest way to insure it. You could get burned doing that.

Edited by Barry Wolk (see edit history)
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Maine is the same as North Carolina then. I can put any YOM plate on my cars as long as I have the regular plates in the car somewhere. Also, I have had antique insurance on both my cars and only had a garage built last year. I stored them in a secure facility during the winter and kept them in a sheltered area in my yard with a car cover on them during the summer. My insurance company knew that they were stored this way (parked outside in summer) and never gave me problem over it. Also, I've never been harrassed by the police for driving around town with antique plates. I was stopped once for not having an inspection sticker but the cop apologized, saying he didn't see the antique plate until he stopped me. I was also followed by a cop last year; I saw him turn around after he went by me, I think because he didn't see a shoulder belt, but again, once he came up behind me, he didn't stop me. Did kind of give me a look over when I got out of the car in the mall parking lot. What bugs me is there are a couple of people here in town running antique plates on cars they use in winter. They are obviously abusing the system.

Edited by John_Maine (see edit history)
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