Is It Illegal To Hang Anything From Your Rearview Mirror In Michigan?
Before I moved to Michigan, I was given a lei by my old coworker. After I left, I kept it hanging on my rearview mirror to remind me of home.
However, once I got to Michigan, I was told that I could get in trouble for having the lei on the mirror.
WHAT? Are you serious?
Boy! Was I in for a rude awakening.
Is It Legal In Michigan
Unfortunately, it seems to be true that it is illegal to have something hanging on your rearview mirror.
According to legislature.mi.gov, MCL 257.709 states,
An object that obstructs the vision of the driver of the vehicle, except as authorized by law.
This ruling is because it can obstruct your view of the road. The issue is the law is too vague because it is completely up to the police's discretion of how it is obstructing your view.
Lewis and Dickstein say that,
"although dangling an object from a rearview mirror is illegal in Michigan, the item might be so small that a judge will rule it was not an obstruction or distraction."
So you may have a fighting chance if you get caught and pulled over.
MLive shared a story about a federal appeals court striking down the law. Lonnie Ray Davis was stopped by a police officer for having an air freshener hanging from the mirror.
According to autoevolution.com, he had a "small 4 inch Tweety Bird air freshener" hanging from his rearview mirror, and a police officer in Westland Mi saw it, pulled him over, and found a lot of stuff Lonnie wishes he hadn’t.
While other items were found in the car, Lonnie tried to appeal based on the air freshener not being the probable cause, but the law was able to stick.
States That It Is Also Illegal In
Medium says that there are six states in the country that make it so that it is illegal to have anything hang from your rearview mirror.
"But whatever he reason for the stop, Minnesota is a state in the U.S. where police can stop a driver for having an object dangling from their rearview mirror. Beyond Minnesota, this law is also present in at least five other state: California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Texas."
Next time you are driving, make sure you do not have anything hanging from your rearview mirror.