House Bill 5639 (reported from committee as substitute H-1)

Sponsor:  Rep. Brett Roberts

Committee:  Transportation and Infrastructure

Complete to 6-12-18


House Bill 5639 would add Section 217i to the Michigan Vehicle Code to require the Secretary of State to issue a vehicle identification number (VIN) and certificate of title to an assembled vehicle under certain circumstances.

The bill would define assembled vehicle to mean one or more of the following:

·         A vehicle that is built from new or used materials or parts by a person not recognized as a manufacturer.

·         A vehicle that has been altered or modified to the extent that it no longer reflects its original manufacturer configuration.

·         A vehicle that has had its body replaced with a different style of body unit from another vehicle.

·         A vehicle that has been assembled from a kit.

·         An off-road vehicle, regardless of whether the original manufacturer's certificate of origin specifies that the vehicle is an off-road vehicle.

However, assembled vehicle would not include either a military surplus vehicle designated by the federal government as off-road use only or a gray market off-road minitruck.

The bill would require the Secretary of State, upon application and payment of proper fees and submission of all documentation required by the Secretary of State, to issue a VIN in the manner provided in Section 230 of the Code and a certificate of title to an assembled vehicle that satisfies all applicable requirements of the Code and that contains the following equipment:

·         Headlights, including at least one headlight on each side and high- and low-beam headlights.

·         Front and rear turn signals.

·         At least one taillight. (If the vehicle had two taillights, both would have to be in working order.)

·         Registration plate light.

·         Brake lights.

·         Horn.

·         Bright light indicator.

·         Windshield wipers.

·         Windshield washers.

·         Brake equipment as required under the Code.

·         Safety belts. (This would only apply to 1965 and newer model vehicles.)

·         Safety glass windshield. (The windshield could not be made of plexiglass, would have to be of a sufficient size to protect the driver of the vehicle and passengers, and would have to be made of a transparent material and be free of cracks or obstructions.)

·         An adjustable outside rearview mirror on the driver's side, except that a truck with a half-ton or more capacity would have to have an outside rearview mirror on each side of the vehicle.

·         For a passenger vehicle, bumpers that are between 14 and 22 inches above the ground when the vehicle is not in 4-wheel drive.

·         Tires that have 2/32-inch tread, do not have exposed cord or tread separation, and are approved for use by the United States Department of Transportation.

·         Exhaust that is in good working order and does not produce excessive noise. (If the original design of the exhaust included a tailpipe and resonator, the exhaust would have to include a tailpipe and resonator.)

·         Differential gear.

The bill would take effect 90 days after being enacted.

Proposed MCL 257.217i


The bill would result in limited increased costs to the Department of State. Section 230 of the Michigan Vehicle Code currently requires the Secretary of State to provide a VIN to a vehicle whose manufacturer’s VIN has been altered, removed, or defaced. Section 806(2) currently provides for a $10 fee for special identifying number applications. The department reports that inspection and administrative costs of issuing a VIN far exceed the $10 application fee. (A proposed change not enacted in House Bill 4630 (H-2) of 2013 would have increased the VIN application fee from $10 to $100 to cover the costs of providing the service.) The actual increase in costs to the Department of State from the bill would depend on the number of applicants seeking a VIN for assembled vehicles.


A representative of the Office of the Secretary of State testified in opposition to the bill. (4-24-18)

                                                                                        Legislative Analyst:   E. Best

                                                                                                Fiscal Analyst:   Michael Cnossen

This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency staff for use by House members in their deliberations, and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.