On December 31, 2010, a new Michigan law (MCL 257.320d) went into effect. This law permits individuals to attend traffic school to avoid certain minor traffic tickets from getting reported to insurance companies. Like any law, however, there are certain requirements that must be met. First, you must have a valid, unrestricted, unsuspended, and non-revoked license with less than three points on your record. Second, the ticketed driver must not have been driving a commercial vehicle nor be licensed as a commercial driver. Third, the ticket cannot be for any misdemeanor offense. Fourth, the violation carries less than four points. Fifth, the ticketed individual must not have received more than one moving violation arising out of the same incident. Sixth, the ticket cannot be for failing to stop for a school bus or for violating a governor imposed emergency speed limit. Finally, the ticketed individual must not have received another eligible ticket within 60 days and must not have ever previously obtained the benefit of this law. The Secretary of State has taken the position that the ticket also must have been received on or after December 31, 2010 to be eligible. However, the law does not on its face seem to support the Secretary of State’s position and it is likely that this issue will be litigated at some point in the future.
If an individual is eligible for this state program, that person will receive a letter from the Secretary of State at the address listed on the individual’s driver’s license. The letter will state that if the individual completes a driver improvement course which has been approved by the State, and provides proof that he/she has successfully completed the course within 60 days of the letter, the points and ticket will not be reported to the individual’s insurance carrier. The Secretary of State will keep a record of individuals who have completed the basic driver improvement course so that no person can use this law a second time. Therefore, subsequent moving violations will be reported to insurance companies.