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The Secretary of State (SOS) no longer registers and plates golf carts or ORV’s that have been modified for street use as a motor vehicle as of the beginning of September, even if they have been modified for street use. This is an internal policy change by the SOS and not a legislative change.  The department recognizes there will be some heat to take over this change but believe it is in the best interests of the motoring public that Golf Carts and ORV's should not be on the roads, even if modified under current requirements.

It appears from our discussion that one of the key criteria they will rely on will be the Manufacturers Certificate of Origin (MCO).  Thus, if the MCO states the vehicle is for "Off Road Use" then the SOS will not register the ORV as a motor vehicle.  As one stated, "It will be as what it was built as." Related, assembled vehicles and/or low speed vehicles will continue to be registered.  Again, the MCO will be one of the determining factors.

Apparently, ORV manufacturers are not only supportive, but strongly encouraged the SOS to policy change.  The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) states that these vehicles “….are not designed, manufactured, or in any way intended for use on public streets or highways and urges that on-highway use of ROVs be prohibited and law enforcement efforts be strengthened to eliminate this practice.”  In addition, some of the EPA exemptions they enjoy with their ORV products are in jeopardy with the trends and current administration (think or your outdoor bbq being subjected to EPA standards and know that ORV's surely rank somewhere higher in the sights of the EPA!)

The SOS staff asked the carrier representative that carriers no longer insure ORV's as motor vehicles going forward and also at renewals over the next year to purge existing registered ORV's from being able to continue to drive on Michigan's roadways.

Posted 8:42 PM  View Comments

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