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Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA)


In the mid-1980's, Michigan had the highest auto theft rate in the nation.  Members of the Michigan Anti-Car Theft Campaign Committee (ACT) developed a concept that would combine the efforts of law enforcement, communities, and business against auto theft.

In 1986, Michigan's Governor and Legislature decided to try the ACT Committee's idea.  So began one of Michigan's most effective weapons against crime: the Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA).

Since then, the ATPA has led the way in reducing motor vehicle thefts in the state.


The ATPA was established with a sunset provision that automatically abolished the program unless it was renewed by the Legislature.  The purpose of the sunset was to ensure that the program, created as an experiment in law enforcement, was doing its job as intended.

In 1992, the Legislature and Governor agreed that the ATPA should become a permanent state agency.  The legislation was passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate.


The ATPA is funded by an annual $1 assessment on each insured non-commercial private passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle, plus interest earned by investing those funds.

It is governed by a seven-member board of directors appointed by the Governor which includes representatives of law enforcement, automobile insurers, and consumers of automobile insurance.

Each year the board awards grants to law enforcement agencies, prosecutors' offices, and non-profit organizations.  These grant programs prevent motor vehicle theft, catch motor vehicle thieves, and put the thieves in jail.

The ATPA has four staff members at the Michigan State Police headquarters in Lansing.  They conduct financial and performance audits on each program throughout the year and prepare reports for the board.

ATPA board members are liaisons sharing crucial information with key state and national offices.

Finally, ATPA board members and staff are involved in long-range planning.  Regular meetings, including an annual strategic planning session, provide updated goals and objectives for fighting motor vehicle theft.


Since its inception in 1986, funding for the ATPA has remained relatively constant.  However, the cost of the ATPA funded programs has increased.  For the past 15 years, the activities of the ATPA have drawn from these fixed resources in the most efficient and effective manner.

In order to stretch ATPA funds, the board requires grantees to provide matching funds for their anti-theft efforts.  In 1993, grant recipients were required to provide 12.5 percent of total program costs.  That match was increased to 25 percent beginning in 1994 and has become a hard match for 2002.  The matching fund was increased to 40 percent for the 2009 project year, and has been 50 percent since the 2010 project year.


From 1986 to 2010, motor vehicles thefts in Michigan dropped by 62 percent.  Nationally, thefts have decreased by almost 40 percent for the same time period.  National and state officials have agreed that the ATPA is a major reason for Michigan's decline in motor vehicle theft.

As a direct result, major Michigan motor vehicle insurers' average rate of comprehensive premium, relative to other states, has been reduced.  Since thefts have been successfully reduced by the $1 annual assessment paid by owners of non-commercial private passenger vehicles, Michigan motorists are saving $51 per insured vehicle.

For more information, contact:

Tim Bailor, Project Coordinator 

Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority
Michigan State Police
7150 Harris Drive
Dimondale, Michigan 48821

Mailing: P.O. Box 30634
Lansing, Michigan 48909

Phone:  517-256-5207    Fax: 517-284-3217