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Old 07-29-2019, 07:41 PM   #1
Cody_1948
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Default Michigan classic car laws help ?

Hi Guys. Wondering if any of you guys in Michigan could give me some help. For a friend of mine. He was telling me today at work. Over the weekend he was driving his 30s model A. It has no seat belts. Nor a set of rear break ligths or running ligths. He has everday insurance on it along with his new truck. He gets pulled over by a officer on Sat. Guess he was saying the cop was looking for a reason to give him a ticket. He tried giving him a seat beat ticket and a fix it ticket for his ligths. He sean online tho if a car came new without say rear lights he didn't have to have them? Hes going to put them on soon. But he was sayiny that wasn't the point. Officer also told him even since he had non classic insurance he still only could drive it to car shows and not everyday. The point of him not getting classic insurance is so he could in fact drive when ever he wanted...

Can anyone sum it up ? I've tried to look myself but really can't find anything at all..

Thanks

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Old 07-29-2019, 08:14 PM   #2
DavidG
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

Model As originally had brake lights, so the ticket is justified. Apart from the law, he is exercising poor judgement to be driving the car without working brake lights.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:15 PM   #3
VeryTangled
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

David G is correct, Model A's had at least one running and brake light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cody_1948 View Post
Officer also told him even since he had non classic insurance he still only could drive it to car shows and not everyday.
I'm feeling an uninformed person with the ability to pull him over. Way wrong. Judging from my understanding of the laws in my locality.

Modern tags and insurance can not limit the days or locations the vehicle goes to. That would depend on the specialty tag (officer can know this) and the classic car insurance policy details (officer can probably not know this at the side of the road).

Even the special tags in my locality (Street Rod, Historic, Antique, etc) might limit these uses no law enforcement official ever pulls folks over for it. MANY 25 year old junkers being driven daily in these parts using Historic tags, against the letter of the law.

No signal lights or belts is grandfathered in and totally legal (if not all that smart).
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Last edited by VeryTangled; 07-29-2019 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

Standard Model A's were manufactured with one Tail/Brake light on the left rear of the car. NO seatbelts were offered 1928-1931 for the Model A. In California, Seatbelts are not required for vehicles not manufactured with them. Deluxe Model A's came with two rear Tail/Brake lights. No seatbelts. Contact the Local DMV for clarification for YOUR vehicle.

Last edited by fourfords; 07-29-2019 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

i believe 49 was the first year for two tail lights, so before that one light was the norm, tail and brake. i like to have two tail lights, for safety, and because i dont like dealing with cops. some dont know the laws. same reason i dont use yom plates
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:35 PM   #6
fordor41
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

ford used 2 tail lights at least from '37 and up, maybe earlier.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

Depends on the state the car was sold in; I have seen '40 Standards with one taillight.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fordor41 View Post
ford used 2 tail lights at least from '37 and up, maybe earlier.

Not on trucks. Maybe 1940/46. maybe 32-36 for deluxe always had at least least 1 working taillight down to the model T. Always ONE light. If he had no rear lights at all, well it's his fault.


OP. That one cop is wrong or not informed ((if the driver had 1 good light on the rear of a model A, (maybe not as bright as a modern car)). It should be legal. If he had no lights at all, well it's a ticket if warranted. But my guess the guy was not doing burnouts in the parking lot and doing 60mph in a 30. Maybe contact SEMA. Or talk to the judge.


You can drive your vehicle under classic insurance if you are working out a bug. Working on it or a show. If you have regular insurance and regular vehicle plates you can drive it when you want for whatever reason.


Maybe someone was bored. Seems like a real petty pullover if you had one rear light.



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Last edited by Tinker; 07-29-2019 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

1) With proper tags on the vehicle, you can drive it whenever you want. 2) Yes, you need at least one tail/brake light on your model A. 3) In Illinois, the laws regarding seat belts goes by when the govt. mandated then. I believe belts are exempt for cars and light trucks for 1967 and older. For 1 ton trucks and up it's 1971.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

This is copied from the Michigan Secretary of State website:

Historical vehicles
A historical vehicle must be:

26 or more years old
Owned solely as a collector's item
Used only for events such as historical club activities, parades, and car shows
Note: A vehicle registered with a historical or authentic plate cannot be used for routine, day-to-day transportation; however, the law does allow for vehicles with a valid historical or authentic license plate to be driven at any time, including as daily transportation, during the month of August.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fordor41 View Post
ford used 2 tail lights at least from '37 and up, maybe earlier.
Not across the board.

Even a standard 1941 Ford Fordor would have only had a single tail light from the factory.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

I had a young city police officer stop me once and advised that my amber brake lights on my '31 slant windshield were illegal and the next time he saw me I'd better have red brake lights or I was getting a ticket. I advised him that it came from the factory in 1931 with amber brake lights. He said that did not matter.....get them changed. I contacted my friend who is a Texas Highway Patrolman. He sent me the page in the TEXDOT book stating that amber or red is acceptable along with his business card. I carry those in my door pocket hoping to encounter the young man again but it has not happened.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

A bit off topic but My 32 Ford Roadster is my daily go to work car weather permitting of course. When ever some young officer of the law decides to pull me over for the lack of fenders I simply tell said officer this is the economy model in 1932 fenders were options.
Works fine when needed just saying.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

Some day that will end when the officer knows better or knows enough to ask someone who does. Think about how much you enjoy following a gravel truck without mudflaps.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

Quote:
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Some day that will end when the officer knows better or knows enough to ask someone who does. Think about how much you enjoy following a gravel truck without mudflaps.
Agreed!
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

The original poster indicates his friend has no running lights or brake lights on the Model A. Well it's ticket time and this guy has no recourse, but to pay her ticket and equip the car properly. Seems to me this owner is somewhat of a dim bulb if he runs around with no type of lighting on the rear. As a retired LEO I can say I would have written this guy a "fix it ticket" for the lights.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidG View Post
Some day that will end when the officer knows better or knows enough to ask someone who does. Think about how much you enjoy following a gravel truck without mudflaps.



Been doing it in my roadster for 45 years so far. As to the thoughts about following a gravel truck. With over 1000,000 miles to date driving my roadster all over the country no one has ever received any road rash from the lack of fenders that includes many other like minder Hot Rodders who have followed my roadster cross country to California and back. on more than one occasion. Just saying.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fordor41 View Post
ford used 2 tail lights at least from '37 and up, maybe earlier.
Not entirely true. On Ford wagons, right side tail lights were optional equipment all the way up through 1951.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

In my opinion...
Explain to the officer politely that the seat belts or second taillight etc. were not required when the car was new hence not required presently. If he insists...take the ticket and don't argue.... go to traffic court with the supporting documentation, the judge will dismiss and the officer will learn something.
Both Hagerty and J.C. Taylor allow for "occasional pleasure use" regardless of plate type.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:01 PM   #20
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Default Re: Michigan classic car laws help ?

Classic insurance and YOM registration almost always allow you to drive to a repair shop (an exception to the "parade" and car club type activity. I'm always "on my way to or from AutoZone" or something...
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