Michigan History: Our State Flag

Michigan’s present state flag was adopted by the Legislature in 1911 with a simple phrase: The State Flag shall be blue charged with the arms of the State. This is Michigan’s third flag. The state coat of arms appears on both sides. The first flag, bearing the State Seal, a soldier, a lady on one side and a portrait of the first governor, Stevens T. Mason, on the other, was first flown in 1837 the year Michigan became a state. In 1865, the second flag carried the state coat of arms on a field of blue on one side and, on the reverse side, the coat of arms of the United States. The state flag flies over the Capitol on the main flagstaff, just below the flag of the United States.

At the top of the seal, you will notice the words, E Pluribus Unum. These words come from our national motto meaning, From many, one. which means that our nation or country was made from many states.

The word Tuebor means I will defend and has reference to the frontier position of Michigan. The State Motto is Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam, Circumspice, which means If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.


Just as our American flag has a pledge, so too does our state flag. The Legislature enacted Public Act 165 of 1972 to declare the following pledge, written by Harold G. Coburn, as the official pledge of allegiance to the state flag:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of Michigan, and to the state for which it stands, 2 beautiful peninsulas united by a bridge of steel, where equal opportunity and justice to all is our ideal.”

Read more >> Getting to Know Michigan

AFIP 2-day Boot Camp for Dealership Employees

Great Lakes Companies is sponsoring an AFIP Certification Boot Camp in April, conducted by the Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals (AFIP). This course provides the tools and education necessary to keep your dealership compliant with the rapidly-changing state and federal regulations that apply to the F&I process. The boot camp offers preparation for the AFIP Certification Examination, followed by the proctored exam. (Two weeks of informal self-study is suggested before attending.) Full AFIP Certification is granted upon successful completion with passing scores.

Who should attend: F&I managers and directors, salespeople who execute loan and lease agreements, sales managers, and general sales managers.

AFIP Certification Boot Camp
April 5&6, 2018 in Portage, MI

Additional information and costs are available here or by contacting Jessica Urias with AFIP at (817) 428-2434 #950 or jessica.urias@afip.com.

Dealer plates are in the mail

Dealers are reminded that your current dealer plates remain active through February 28, 2018. New plates were mailed via UPS on February 15th.  Dealers with a multi-year dealer license with the State of Michigan will receive the same number of plates previously ordered. These plates were also be shipped in February.

  • Reminder: For law enforcement purposes, any time a vehicle leaves a dealer’s lot on a dealer plate, the following should be in the vehicle: ownership document (MSO / copy of signed title), proof of insurance and written authorization to drive the vehicle. See further details here.

If you have questions please call Jean Quinn at (800) 292-1923 or email jquinn@michiganada.org.


Webinar series: credit reports and compliance

700Credit is offering a complimentary webinar series for businesses that would like to learn more about credit reports, multi-bureau pulls, soft-pulls and compliance.  Keep reading or visit www.700credit.com/webinars to learn more or register


How to Read a Credit Report.  So you’ve pulled your customer’s credit report(s) – now what? There are so many numbers, abbreviations and terms you’ve never seen before. Trade lines, charge-offs, account review inquiries — how do you read this and understand what it all means? In this session, we will go back to the basics and learn how to pull out the relevant information from a customer’s credit report to help you make the best lending decision. (March 6th & March 8th)


The Benefits of Multi-Bureau Pulls. Recent studies have proven that dealers who pull more than one credit score on consumers have higher closing ratios and gross profits than dealers who pull only one score. In a recent study 55% of applicants with 2 credit bureaus pulled have risk scores that vary by more than 20 points, and the variance increases to over 30 points when all three scores are pulled. This implies the possibility of qualifying for better rates for your consumers on the majority of your deals! In this session, we will discuss the statistics and talk about how you can make the most of multi-bureau pulls at your store and sign up for a credit bureau free trial! (June 5th & June 7th)


Soft-Pull Solutions – How to use them at your store AND stay in compliance!  Soft-Pull, Prescreen, Pre-Qualification – these terms are gaining popularity in discussions at dealerships across the country. What do they all mean? How are they the same or different? What are your compliance obligations around using a soft-pull? Many vendors offer these solutions today but not all are created equal. In this session we will review the terms, the technology, and most importantly, your compliance obligations in using these solutions at your store. (September 4th & September 6th)


Are You Ready for a Compliance Audit? What must your dealership have in place for Red Flag, Adverse Action and RBPN? Laws and regulations change rapidly, making it difficult to stay on top of your dealership’s compliance obligations. And yet, the cost of shirking this responsibility is high; you really have no choice. In this session we will review your obligations so you are ready for your next audit!   (December 4th & December 6th)


700Credit is the automotive industry’s leading provider of credit reports, compliance products and prescreen services. The company’s product and service offerings include: credit reports from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, dealer-facing prescreen and consumer-facing pre-qualification platforms, OFAC compliance, Red Flag solutions, score disclosure notices, adverse action notices and much more.

Michigan History: Inventions

Thomas Edison, who grew up in Port Huron, invented the incandescent light bulb in 1879.

Henry Ford hand built his first car in 1896, while Ransom E. Olds founded the first auto company in Michigan in 1897.

Ford’s first production car was the 1908 Model T, which sold for $950. By 1912, Michigan led the nation in auto production and Detroit became the Motor City. Today, Michigan remains the center of the auto industry, with the headquarters of all three major American auto companies located in the state.


Read more >> Getting to Know Michigan

HAZMAT certification classes from MADSIF

The MADSIF/CastleRock Risk Management Staff is offering the DOT Hazardous Materials Certification Training Seminar for dealership personnel. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulation requires all businesses that package, ship, handle or store hazardous materials, have at least one employee that is DOT Hazmat Certified.

Hazardous materials referred to in these regulations include thousands of items, many of which can be found in dealerships, for example flammable liquids, air bags, seat belt pretensioners, paints and adhesives. (Note: re-certification is mandatory every three years.)

This DOT Hazmat class is specifically tailored to auto dealership employees. New topics for 2018 sessions include:

  • New requirements for Small Quantity shipping
  • New requirements for Lithium Ion Batteries
  • Updated UPS & FedEx shipping
  • Updated employee training
  • Updated training materials

For more information and program dates please see the registration form.

Michigan Christmas Tree Facts

Now that winter is officially here and many families are carefully preparing for the holidays, MADA would like to show some support for a fellow state association, the Michigan Christmas Tree Association.  Consider these facts:

  • Michigan ranks third in the nation in the number of Christmas trees harvested, supplying approximately 3 million fresh Christmas trees to the national market each year
  • Michigan produces and sells more than a dozen Christmas tree varieties on a wholesale level, which is more varieties than any other stat
  • Our state has approximately 42,000 acres in commercial Christmas tree production
  • Michigan boasts an annual farm gate value of more than $1.3 million in sales of wreaths, cut boughs, garland and other cut greens
  • For every Christmas tree harvested, Michigan Christmas tree farmers plant three new trees for future harvests


Interested in a few more Christmas Tree facts…

  • There are approximately 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees sold in the U.S. every year.
  • There are close to 350 million Real Christmas Trees currently growing on Christmas Tree farms in the U.S. alone, all planted by farmers.
  • North American Real Christmas Trees are grown in all 50 states and Canada. Eighty percent (80%) of artificial trees worldwide are manufactured in China, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
  • Real Trees are a renewable, recyclable resource. Artificial trees contain non-biodegradable plastics and possible metal toxins such as lead.
  • There are more than 4,000 local Christmas Tree recycling programs throughout the United States.
  • For every Real Christmas Tree harvested, 1 to 3 seedlings are planted the following spring.
  • There are about 350,000 acres in production for growing Christmas Trees in the U.S.; much of it preserving green space.
  • There are close to 15,000 farms growing Christmas Trees in the U.S., and over 100,000 people are employed full or part-time in the industry.
  • It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of typical height (6 – 7 feet) or as little as 4 years, but the average growing time is 7 years.
  • The top Christmas Tree producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.
  • The most common Christmas Tree species are: balsam fir, Douglas-fir, Fraser fir, noble fir, Scotch pine, Virginia pine and white pine.


USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) and your local Christmas Tree professional.

Sales and use tax workshop for new car dealerships

(Jan 12, 2018: Seating is full for this program) MADA has worked with the Michigan Department of Treasury to coordinate a training session for new car dealers and staff who would like to learn the compliance requirements of sales and use tax laws with respect to vehicle sales, body shop activity, parts/service departments and the Michigan Treasury Online (MTO).

The Treasury has offered to tailor this program to those in attendance so we highly encourage you to let us know in advance what questions you have. This will allow the Treasury to come prepared to discuss the needed topics.

Workshop Schedule
Dept. of Treasury Training
Location: MADA office
1500 Kendale Blvd., East Lansing
Feb. 8, 2018 ▪ 10 am – 1 pm

Call MADA at (800) 292-1923 with questions.

Michigan History Facts

  • Three great Indian tribes once controlled Michigan: the Potawatomi in southern Michigan, the Ottawa in the upper half of the Lower Peninsula, and the Ojibwa or Chippewa in the Upper Peninsula and part of the Lower Peninsula.
  • The first explorer to come to Michigan in the early 1600s was Etienne Brule, a Frenchman.
  • Sault Ste. Marie was founded more than 100 years before the American Revolution (1668). It is the oldest city in the Midwest.
  • The City of Four Flags is Niles. It is the only city in Michigan to have been under flags of France, Great Britain, Spain, and the United States.
  • Michigan became the 26th state in 1837.
  • Michigan has 83 counties.


Read more >> Getting to Know Michigan

Sales and use tax seminar for vehicle dealers

MADA has heard from many dealerships lately asking for additional guidance on sales and use tax issues. We are very pleased to announce that the Michigan Department of Treasury has scheduled dealership specific outreach seminars to address many of these dealer questions. Treasury representatives will provide a short presentation, answer your general questions and listen and learn about the issues affecting your business.

Join Treasury staff for an educational seminar focusing on tax issues specific to vehicle dealers. Topics include:

  • Sales and use taxes
  • Taxability concerns (i.e. sales price, vehicle trade-in credit, exemptions and core charges)
  • Rescinded deals vs. buybacks
  • Michigan Treasury Online (MTO) navigation


Friday, November 17, 2017 – REGISTER
Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 – REGISTER
Saginaw Valley State University

Due to the interest in these programs the Treasury is now asking dealers and staff to pre-register.


Learn more >> Vehicle Tax Outreach flyer November 2017