Legislation to Increase Capacity at Branch Offices

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced legislation has been introduced to increase the Department of State’s capacity to serve customers at its branch offices. The bills would address a severe reduction of staff in previous decades and a backlog of transactions that need to be done following extensions of credential expirations throughout the pandemic.

In recent decades, disinvestment and other rollbacks at the Department of State cut offices by 46 percent and staff by 40 percent. Meanwhile, the state’s population grew 10 percent and the number of vehicles in Michigan increased 25 percent, leading to office wait times tripling from 2011 to 2018 to an average of nearly two hours at the ten busiest offices.

In 2020, these challenges were exacerbated by the pandemic, with exposures to the virus forcing staff to stay home and offices to close.

Kurt Berryman Takes the Top Honor (Again!)

After the votes were tallied in the latest MIRS/EPIC-MRA Insider Survey, our own Kurt Berryman has made the top spot (yet again) as the most effective individual lobbyist. He has taken most effective lobbyist in the biannual survey in 2019, 2017, 2015, 2013 and tied for the honor back in 2011. This year, he secured 9% of the vote.
Reached for comment by MIRS, the never shy Berryman offered up “I would like to thank Zoom, sweat pants, Door Dash and, of course, my wife — because that is smart lobbying.”
In the category of which membership association is considered “most effective” at lobbying, Auto Dealers of Michigan took the #4 spot with 5% of the vote. (Topped only by the Michigan Chamber, Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers and the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.)
Kurt has done an excellent job leading our legislative efforts and promoting the franchised car and truck industry in Michigan. If you have a moment, please reach out and offer your congratulations.

Sheryl Crow to Headline Motor City Car Crawl Charitable Evening in Downtown Detroit

Singer-songwriter and nine-time Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow will headline the Motor City Car Crawl Charity Gala taking place in downtown Detroit at Campus Martius on August 7, 2021.

Sheryl 1.jpg


The charitable event is part of the first-time Motor City Car Crawl, produced by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) and the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), a free, outdoor, walkable event that will kick off at noon, Thursday, Aug. 5 and last through Sunday, Aug. 8.

“Following a year that had a negative impact on many organizations, especially non-profits, we are thrilled to create and host a new event that will raise money for children’s charities,” said Doug North, DADA Special Events Chairman. “We are especially thankful to feature a big name, like Sheryl Crow, as our headliner to help draw people downtown.”

In addition to a performance by Sheryl Crow, the ticketed Charity Gala will feature an array of food and beverage offerings. The Gala will raise money for nine Detroit children’s charities including, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Boys Hope Girls Hope Detroit, Children’s Center, The Children’s Foundation, Detroit PAL, Judson Center, March of Dimes Metro Detroit, University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

“Our partnership with Rod Alberts and the DADA continues to grow with this exciting announcement of Sheryl Crow as the headliner,” said Eric Larson, CEO, Downtown Detroit Partnership. “Public spaces continue to provide unique opportunities for our community to come together in Downtown Detroit and this ticketed Gala will provide critical financial support to nine local children’s charities.”

Tickets for the Aug. 7 Motor City Car Crawl Charity Gala will be available for $250 per ticket and can be purchased at naias.com/mc3-tickets beginning June 10. Recommended attire for the Gala is summer chic.

Statutory vs factory submissions

Armatus Dealer Uplift recently produced a new video covering statutory vs factory submissions for a dealer’s annual warranty labor rate increase. Most new car dealers are surprised to learn that a factory submission isn’t their only choice.. The purpose of a statutory submission is for a dealer to achieve warranty labor compensation at its retail rate, which is a market driven rate based on its warranty-like customer-pay repair transactions. The video provides good information you can use when evaluating factory protocol vs. statutory protocol and which is most advantageous for your business. Check out the 2-minute video here: https://youtu.be/oh6SFRZGBaE

Extension of REAL ID Deadline

The new deadline is May 3, 2023.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months, from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023, due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has significantly impacted states’ ability to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, with many driver’s licensing agencies still operating at limited capacity. DHS will publish an interim final rule in the coming days to effectuate this enforcement date change.

“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the REAL ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card.”

Beginning May 3, 2023, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification at airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel.

All 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four of five U.S. territories covered by the REAL ID Act and related regulations are now compliant with REAL ID security standards and are issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards. However, many state licensing agencies have extended the deadline for renewing expiring licenses due to a widespread shift to appointment-only scheduling protocols during the pandemic that has significantly limited states’ capacity to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards. As a result, only 43 percent of all state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards are currently REAL ID-compliant.  DHS and various states also need time to implement requirements mandated by the REAL ID Modernization Act, including changes that will streamline processing by allowing the electronic submission of certain documents.

DHS continues to work closely with all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories to implement REAL ID Act requirements. For more information on REAL ID, visit www.dhs.gov/real-id.

Michigan Dealerships Drive the Economy

NADA’s recently released state-by-state retail data shows the auto industry’s impact on the overall U.S. economy, including employment and payroll figures, tax data and more.
Based on 2020 data, Michigan dealerships created 70,725 total jobs (which includes induced jobs) and supported a $2.1 billion payroll. This includes $575 million paid toward state and federal income taxes (based on direct, indirect and induced jobs). Michigan accounted for 3.9 percent of total U.S. new-vehicle registrations, and $2.3 billion in state sales tax paid!
Read more:


Zoom Meeting: Fair Credit & Voluntary Protection

MADA dealers and dealership staff are invited to join us for a virtual meeting with Paul Metrey from NADA. Mr. Metrey is the vice president of Regulatory Affairs and chief regulatory counsel, financial services, privacy and tax for NADA. He represents dealer interests before, and educates dealers on regulations promulgated by, federal executive branch agencies that oversee dealer operations.
This special speaker program will be held in conjunction with the MADA board meeting.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 via Zoom (register)
MADA Board Meeting at 9:30am
We ask our board members to join us at 9:30am for an update on the association, plus a review of current legal and state regulatory issues. You do not need to be a board member to attend, but participation in the board meeting is limited to MADA dealers or a manager designated by the dealer.
NADA Presentation from 10:30-11:30am, with time for Q&A
The meeting will then open to all (including dealership staff) at 10:30am. The presentation from Paul Metrey with NADA will cover two issues that are becoming increasingly important for dealers and staff to understand — fair credit compliance and voluntary protection product rules. NADA has worked with other dealer advocacy groups to develop policy guides that dealers can adopt to maintain compliance. Mr. Metrey will review these guides and help dealers understand their federal responsibilities.
Fair credit compliance
Consumer advocacy groups have long argued that the portion of the APR that dealers earn for originating a credit contract – known as dealer participation or dealer reserve – is charged by dealers in an arbitrary and inconsistent manner that can lead to unlawful credit discrimination against consumers. The Department of Justice has stated that exercising pricing discretion presents this risk, but that there are also ways to manage it.
The optional Fair Credit Compliance Policy & Program adopts and builds on the DOJ approach to both ensure consumers are offered fair access to credit and protect dealers against pricing discrimination claims. As this issue is expected to gain considerably more attention in the months ahead, it is essential that dealers understand this threat and an effective way to address it.
Voluntary protection products
Many consumer advocacy groups have also advanced a series of concerns about voluntary protection products and called on the government to enact new measures to address them. It’s important to understand the threat to voluntary protection products.
The optional Model Dealership Voluntary Protections Products Policy addresses each major area of concern by offering dealerships a series of principles and actions it can adopt to strengthen its selection, offering, presentation, and sale of VPPs. Coupled with any additional requirements at the state or local level, this can foster a better customer experience while helping to protect the dealership.

Reminder That the Driver’s License Extension Has Expired

The Michigan Department of State reminds Michiganders that March 31 was the last day of the state legislature’s expiration extensions for driver’s licenses, state ID cards, temporary instruction permits, and registrations for vehicles, recreational vehicles and trailers that expired on or after March 1, 2020.
Online or self-service renewals. Drivers who haven’t renewed are encouraged to visit Michigan.gov/SOS to renew online or find one of the more than 145 self-service stations across the state
In-person renewals. Customers who are required by law to update the photo on their license or ID are encouraged to book an appointment at Michigan.gov/SOS. Each weekday at 8 am and noon thousands of next-day appointments become available for in-person appointments at branch offices across the state.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Just Drive.

Though traffic has dropped significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our roads have only gotten more dangerous. On a typical day, more than 700 people are still injured in distracted driving crashes. Talking on a cell phone – even hands-free – or texting or programming an in-vehicle infotainment system diverts your attention away from driving. Keep yourself and others around you safe and #justdrive.

Join NSC during Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April to help make our roadways and our people safer. Whether you’re driving a forklift, semi-truck or just headed home after work, attentive driving is more important than ever. Create a distracted driving program and engage your workforce with ready-made communications and resources. Sign up now and you’ll receive access to materials as soon as they’re ready.

Take Action Today.

Commit to driving distraction-free by taking the NSC Just Drive Pledge. And, consider donating to NSC to help us keep our roads and each other safe. We train drivers and advocate for safe driving programs that make a difference. Your support helps us make the roads safer for everyone.

Learn more at https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/get-involved/distracted-driving-awareness-month


The Consequences.

During a portion of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, from April 8 through 12, you may see increased law enforcement on the roadways as part of the national paid media campaign U Drive. U Text. U Pay. This campaign reminds drivers of the deadly dangers and the legal consequences – including fines – of texting behind the wheel. Also, on April 8 state highway safety offices and law enforcement agencies across the country will take part in Connect to Disconnect, a 4-hour national distracted driving enforcement and awareness initiative. The goals: to demonstrate a nationwide commitment to enforcing texting laws, and to reduce traffic crashes caused by distracted drivers, ultimately preventing injuries and deaths associated with cell phone use and texting while driving.

Forty-eight states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers; 25 states and territories prohibit drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving; and 39 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands ban cell phone use by teen or novice drivers.

Get more from NHTSA at https://www.nhtsa.gov/distracted-driving/april-distracted-driving-awareness-month 

How to Handle a Roadside Emergency

This article from the Michigan Department of Transportation is a great reminder for all drivers…

For the last 5 years (2014-2018), approximately 10% of all pedestrian-related traffic crash fatalities have involved a roadside emergency. For example, a driver getting out of their car after a crash and then getting hit and killed, or a driver running out of gas and getting hit while walking to the gas station. Generally, the safest thing to do if you are involved in a roadside emergency is to stay in your car, with your seat belt buckled, until help arrives.

MSP Roadside Emergency

If you are involved in a crash:

  • Stay in your car.
  • Keep your seat belt buckled.
  • Drive your car to the shoulder or next exit safely, if possible. Michigan is a “Clear It or Steer It” state.
  • Activate your vehicle’s emergency flashers.
  • Call 911 or the local police department for help.
  • Remember you must report a crash that involves a motor vehicle, causes injury, or causes more than $1,000 in damages.
  • Moving your vehicle to a safe place on the shoulder or nearby exit or parking lot is not leaving the scene of a crash.

 If your vehicle is disabled or out of gas:

  • Put your vehicle in park.
  • Activate your vehicle’s emergency flashers.
  • Call for roadside assistance, or a friend to bring you some gas.
  • Stay in your car with your seat belt buckled while you wait.
  • If you get out of the vehicle (to change a tire for example), make sure you and the part of the car you are working on does not face traffic.

 If you get out of your vehicle:

  • Stand with your vehicle between you and traffic.
  • If walking, wear a reflective vest if possible, and walk against traffic, as far to the side as possible.

 Michigan’s Move Over Law:

  • Motorists are required to slow down and move over for stationary emergency vehicles with their lights activated.
  • Slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit (for example, slow to at least 60 mph in a posted 70 mph area).
  • Fully move over into an open lane. If that is not possible due to traffic, weather, or road conditions, slow down at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and pass with caution.
  • The law applies to the following vehicles:
    • Police
    • Fire
    • Rescue
    • Ambulance
    • Road Service (tow trucks and MDOT courtesy vehicles)
    • Road Maintenance
    • Utility Service
    • Solid Waste Hauler
  • Violating the Move Over Law when an emergency vehicle is involved is a civil infraction subject to two points on your driver’s license and a fine of $400.
  • Violating the Mover Over Law when a solid waste collection, utility service, or road maintenance vehicle is involved is a misdemeanor.
  • If the violation causes the death of a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency responder, the motorist faces up to 15 years in prison and/or a $7,500 fine.
  • If the violation causes an injury to a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency responder, the motorist faces up to 2 years in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.

 If you are driving past the scene of a crash:

  • Use caution when passing a vehicle parked on the shoulder. If possible, slow down and move over to pass, even if the vehicle looks abandoned.
  • Use hands-free calling to call 911 or the local police. Or safely exit the highway or pull into a safe area and park and then call for help.
  • First responders are trained to assist others, but if you must stop to help, take extreme caution:
    • Park your vehicle as far off the shoulder as safely as possible.
    • Activate your flashers.
    • Try and stand on the opposite side of your vehicle than traffic.
  • Weather conditions (snow, ice, rain, wind, fog) can increase the distance needed to stop. When driving in adverse weather conditions, slow down.

 Emergency kit:

  • Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. If you have to get out of your vehicle to retrieve it, do so quickly and return to your vehicle and buckle your seat belt. Your kit should contain:
    • Batteries
    • Flashlight

Learn more about the Office of Highway Safety Planning’s materials and campaigns by visiting their Michigan Traffic Safety Materials Catalog page.