When driving a State of Michigan registered vehicle, insurance is required.
- Michigan minimum car insurance requirements are:
- Auto Insurance policy with limits of at least 20/40/10 – meaning:
- Liability coverage
- $20,000 of bodily injury to another person
- $40,000 of bodily injuries to all other persons
- $10,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident
- (Personal Injury Protection or any other requirements)
- Collision Insurance pays for any repairs to your car when it is damaged in a crash.
- Comprehensive Insurance pays for your car if it is stolen or for any repairs if it is damaged by a falling object, flood, a fire, collision with an animal, or vandalism.
Required Proof of Insurance in Michigan
Every driver is responsible for having insurance, and whenever you are driving a motor vehicle you must possess some proof of insurance. Many motorists always have their Michigan No-Fault insurance certificate with them. However, if the vehicle registration has a 9-digit personal identification number printed in the lower left corner, proof of insurance is not necessary. Any form of proof you have should include such information as:
- Insurance Policy Number
- Effective and expiration dates
- Make and model of the covered vehicle
- The VIN number
- Name of Insurance Company
- License plate numbers
Chief Regulatory Officer – Steven H. Hilfinger
P.O. Box 30004
Lansing, MI 48909
Obtaining a Driver’s License
If you have recently moved to Michigan and hold a valid driver’s license from another state, it can be used in the short-term until you acquire sufficient documents to display residency. At that point, visit a Secretary of State office to apply for a Michigan driver’s license. From here you will be required to present proof of a valid Social Security number, U.S. citizenship, and Michigan residency. All applicants will need to pass a vision test and pay a fee. No other test is required if you are surrendering a valid out-of-state license – Michigan law permits drivers to hold only one valid driver’s license at a time.
For drivers that are age 18 or older, driver education is not required. If you are applying for your first Michigan driver’s license, you will need to present proof of a valid Social Security number, identity, and Michigan residency. You will not be issued a license if you have never been licensed before or if you have two or more convictions for moving violations on your record within the previous three years prior to the date you apply.
Teenagers under age 18 are required to successfully meet the requirements of Michigan’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program before they can be licensed unless they hold a license from another state for more than a year. All applicants must pass a vision test and meet the health standards set by the Secretary of State’s office, as well as:
- Pass a knowledge test
- Pay the appropriate license fee
- Complete a minimum 30 days of practice driving on a Temporary Instruction Permit
- Pass a driving skills test
Completing Driver Education
To eligible for a driver’s education course, a student must be 14 years and 8 months old by the first day of Segment 1 (of 2), and have the permission of a parent or legal guardian.
In terms of classroom requirements, students must meet the following:
- Achieve a minimum of 24 hours of instruction with a maximum of 2 hours of instruction per day.
- Be in a class with a maximum of 36 students.
- Pass the state-approved written test for consideration of a certificate of completion.
Depending upon the program you enroll in, additional classroom requirements may exist. However, once all of your work is completed you can begin driving under the following criteria:
- A minimum of 4 hours of classroom instruction must be completed prior to beginning driving instruction.
- A minimum of 3 hours of driving instruction must be completed before the last classroom session. The remaining driving instruction must be completed no later than 3 weeks after the last classroom session.
- A minimum of 6 hours of on-the-road driving instruction with a maximum of 2 hours of driving instruction on a multiple vehicle driving facility can be counted toward the 6-hour requirement. Still, every student must receive at least 4 hours of on-the-road driving instruction.
- A maximum of 1 hour of driving instruction per day is allowed.
- The maximum number of students in a driver education vehicle is 4, with no more than 2 people can occupy the front seat.
- A student must receive 4 hours or more of observation time in the training vehicle.
Many programs integrate classroom and driving instruction within the same time period. Once a student is issued a Segment 1 certificate of completion, the student and parent must go to a Secretary of State branch office to apply for a Level 1 driver license.
To be eligible for Segment 2 of driver’s education students must have:
- Held a valid Level 1 license for a minimum of 3 consecutive months.
- Completed a minimum of 30 hours of driving time with a parent, legal guardian, or any licensed driver who is 21 years of age or older. Two of the 30 hours must be night driving.
Similar classroom requirements apply.
Knowing the Rules of the Road
Michigan’s driver manual holds the state’s rules of the road online as well as all other information present and prospective drivers should know. The latest version being:
Note: the actual statue code for every rule of the road is not presented in this guide.
Know Your Rates
After an auto insurance company evaluates your level of risk, they will group you with other applicants that possess similar characteristics. Consequently, your rates can depend upon the risk group you are a part of. Automobile insurance rates are put together by taking into account multiple factors, such as the following:
- Driving Record. Your driving record over the past three years will be analyzed by insurance companies – from accidents to traffic violations. If you have received or been involved in multiple violations or at-fault accidents, you are likely to be considered high-risk and may be charged a higher premium. For this reason, safe drivers tend to enjoy the lowest auto insurance rates in Michigan.
- Age and Gender. Traditionally, men have more accidents than women. Therefore, younger men tend to pay more for insurance than young women do. This type of pattern also exists among other age groups as well.
- Vehicle Use. For those who seldom drive their vehicle, higher premiums can be avoided and they may qualify for the best car insurance rates in Michigan. However for those who are frequent drivers, the increased exposure to claims can be costly. Drivers must be honest when disclosing their annual mileage to an insurer.
- Make and Model of the Vehicle. The type of car you drive will directly impact the cost of your insurance. For example, if you own a vehicle that has a history of a higher repair costs, you may be charged a greater premium for collision.
- Geographical Area. The amount of claims filed by policy holders within your area has the ability to impact the rates charged by insurers. Typically zip codes and/or counties serve as dividers of geographic areas.
- Credit History. Your credit history can sometimes determine your premium as late payments and the number of credit cards you have can lead to a higher premium.
Lower Your Rates
Many insurance companies offer discounts to their customers. However, not everyone may be eligible. Insurers choose to add new discounts to their programs regularly as they can reduce a company’s losses and expenses. Some of the discounts Michigan drivers can receive are associated with:
- Air bags
- Anti-lock brakes
- Multi vehicle
- Multi policy
- Credit score
- Student away at school
- Good student
- Claim or ticket free
For instance, insurers will reward good students for their performance in the classroom with affordable auto insurance in Michigan. One of the primary reasons for this is that research has shown that most students who achieve higher grades are rarely involved in accidents. All of these discounts can give motivation to drivers everywhere, encouraging them to strive to be safer and more responsible.
Picking an Insurance Agent/Broker
An insurance agent’s objective is to sell policies with the intention of receiving a commission. However, where an agent and a broker differ is that a broker does not represent a company – they work with individual clients. No matter whose professional’s services you seek out, it is important to make sure that they are licensed and have built a strong reputation. Shopping around before settling on one agent or broker is a wise move as you can grasp a good idea of what to expect and look for. Put together a list of all the agents in your area from such sources as the yellow pages and ask your friends and neighbors for a recommendation. Unbiased sources such as public libraries, consumer publications, and the state insurance department can help you find further information.
Consider that while many people prefer to deal with someone who is close to home, customer service should never be ignored. When you are aware of how long an agent has been working in your area and how quickly they processes claims you can narrow down your search. By looking around, you can be certain to receive the best service available to you. Visit Michigan Gov to search for a list of companies, agents, or agencies that are licensed to sell insurance in Michigan.
After an Accident
Accidents can happen to anyone, and if you have been involved in an automobile accident you should dial 911, giving the operator all of the information you have about the incident, and mention whether or not anyone needs medical assistance. After removing your vehicle from the road (if possible), write down the name, address, and license number of everyone involved in the accident, even if they have no car insurance in Michigan. Be sure to construct a description of the other vehicles as well as any damage that is evident. Speak to witnesses, if any, and take down their name and contact information. If the police are involved, answer all of their questions honestly, and hold on to all of the information they give you – i.e. an accident number. Your next steps revolve around speaking with your insurance agent to report your claim. Give the insurance company the opportunity to examine and evaluate the damaged vehicle before its repaired or discarded.
Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
For those that have a difficult time acquiring auto insurance, ask your agent to apply to the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility for you. This facility was created to offer insurance to individuals that have a tough time finding insurance through regular companies. Many drivers can be denied by companies when they have a poor driving record. With time, you can mend your driving record and go back to receiving low cost car insurance in Michigan.
Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs wants to know if you have a problem with an agent/agency or insurance company during the process of shopping around for coverage. If you are ever dissatisfied, or have any questions please contact the Consumer Services Division toll free at 877-999-6442.