Sen. Kowall: with Dream Cruise approaching, historic vehicle owners should know state laws

LANSING — With five months before Woodward Avenue is packed with all sorts of classic cars, Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, wants to ensure historic vehicle owners are aware of their rights.

According to Rob Bakula of White Lake, last year several historic vehicle owners participating in the cruise were ticketed by Royal Oak police for not having proper license plates or registration.

“It’s extremely unfortunate that officers were ticketing classic car owners,” said Bakula, owner of a raven black 1965 Mustang Fastback with a red pony interior. “These individuals are not teenagers tearing up the road; they are mostly seniors reliving some of their youth, going out to eat, getting ice cream and proudly displaying their historic cars.”

Michigan vehicle code states that “historic vehicles” are any vehicles more than 25 years old and owned solely as collector’s items and for participation in club activities, exhibitions, tours, parades and similar uses, but not used for general transportation.

Under state law, for a $35 fee, historic vehicle owners can apply to use an authentically restored plate and have it considered an authentic Michigan registration plate.

“The Dream Cruise is a fantastic event,” Kowall said. “I want to help ensure that classic car owners fully enjoy the event, and the best way to do that is to help make sure they are aware of the state’s registration laws for historic vehicles. A simple trip to your local secretary of state office now may save you a headache or ticket in August.”

The lawmaker said historic vehicle owners who think they are wrongly cited should contest their tickets.

According to its website, the Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest one-day celebration of classic car culture that attracts more than 1 million visitors and more than 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles.

The cruise takes place each year on the third Saturday in August. This year, the 17th Annual Woodward Dream Cruise is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 20 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.