Green Vehicle Laws and Regulations in Michigan

At this time, Michigan has very few laws specific to green vehicles and eco-friendly driving. Still, as environmental issues continue to rise to the forefront, so might the state's focus on reducing our carbon footprint. Read on for the latest.

In addition to referring back to this page for updates, consult your local Department of Motor Vehicles (SOS) branch and the Alternative Fuels Data Center. Of course, regardless of whether you drive an electric car, hybrid, alternative fuel vehicle, or some other fuel-efficient vehicle, you must abide by Michigan's traffic laws. However, special perks for eco-friendly drivers come in the form of money-saving green driver incentives.

Michigan Auto Insurance Requirements

Fuel-efficient or not, your vehicle must be insured up to Michigan's car insurance requirements. Understand that some car insurance providers offer discounts for driving fuel-efficient vehicles, so be sure to ask when you compare auto insurance rates .

For more money-saving tips, check our green driver incentives section.

MI Vehicle Inspections

Unless you drive a qualifying new or alternative fuel vehicle (AFV), you likely must have your vehicle inspected to maintain valid Michigan car registration. Some alternative fuels that render an inspection exemption include:

  • Compressed natural gas (CNG).
  • Diesel fuel.
  • Propane.
  • Electricity.

Get info on this and more perks for green-minded drivers on our eco-friendly incentives page. For a full list of inspection exemptions, consult the Michigan Compiled Laws (324.6311).

Michigan Vehicle Emissions Testing

Michigan does not currently test vehicle emissions for the purposes of MI vehicle registration.

However, parts of the state have been working on improving air quality such as hosting Action! Days, which are days when Michigan residents opt to walk or bike to work, avoid drive-thru restaurant options, drive at more moderate speeds, avoid filling their gas tanks to the brim, and bringing in their vehicles for maintenance checks.

Visit the Department of Environmental Quality's MIAir to keep up with Action! Days and other factors like the state's air quality index, notifications, and ozone maps.

Cut Back On Vehicle Emissions

Generally, greener vehicles mean fewer vehicle emissions, and Michigan does offer several perks for driving eco-friendly vehicles.

However, you might not be in the market for a new green car right now, and that's alright. Even if the state doesn't require smog and emissions checks, you can still keep watch on vehicle pollutionand maybe even cut back on the pollution your vehicle's putting out there.

In addition to some of the examples Michigan offers, you can:

  • Keep up with vehicle maintenance. Ever get behind one of those cars with smog just rolling out of the tailpipe? Yuck. Typically, vehicles in good working order put out fewer smog and emissions.
  • Walk or bike to your destination. Not only will you benefit the planet, but you'll benefit your health, too.
  • Carpool. You can carpool with friends, coworkers, and even ride share programs in your area. (HINT: Carpooling also helps with vehicle maintenance!)
  • Stop idling. Depending on your engine size and whether you're using your air conditioner, idling can use up to a half gallon of fuel per hour!
  • Roll down your windows. The extra gas used to run your air conditioner contributes to some vehicle emissions.

For more tips as well as information on smog and emissions tests in Michigan, check out our Michigan smog and emissions checks page.

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