Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Temporary extension of the validity of driver licenses, state identification cards, and certain vehicle registrations
Rescission of Executive Order 2020-47
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death. It is caused by a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans and easily spread from person to person. There is currently no approved vaccine or antiviral treatment for this disease.
On March 10, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services identified the first two presumptive-positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. On that same day, I issued Executive Order 2020-4. This order declared a state of emergency across the state of Michigan under section 1 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, the Emergency Management Act, 1976 PA 390, as amended, MCL 30.401 et seq., and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, 1945 PA 302, as amended, MCL 10.31 et seq.
Since then, the virus spread across Michigan, bringing deaths in the thousands, confirmed cases in the tens of thousands, and deep disruption to this state’s economy, homes, and educational, civic, social, and religious institutions. On April 1, 2020, in response to the widespread and severe health, economic, and social harms posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, I issued Executive Order 2020-33. This order expanded on Executive Order 2020-4 and declared both a state of emergency and a state of disaster across the State of Michigan under section 1 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, the Emergency Management Act, and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945. And on April 30, 2020, finding that COVID-19 had created emergency and disaster conditions across the State of Michigan, I issued Executive Order 2020-67 to continue the emergency declaration under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act, as well as Executive Order 2020-68 to issue new emergency and disaster declarations under the Emergency Management Act.
The Emergency Management Act vests the governor with broad powers and duties to “cop[e] with dangers to this state or the people of this state presented by a disaster or emergency,” which the governor may implement through “executive orders, proclamations,
and directives having the force and effect of law.” MCL 30.403(1)–(2). Similarly, the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 provides that, after declaring a state of emergency, “the governor may promulgate reasonable orders, rules, and regulations as he or she considers necessary to protect life and property or to bring the emergency situation within the affected area under control.” MCL 10.31(1).
On March 13, 2020, Michigan’s secretary of state announced that Department of State branch offices would be open on weekdays only for “critical services,” which do not include license and registration renewals. This action was necessary and well designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, protect the public health, and provide essential protections to vulnerable Michiganders, but it has resulted in some individuals being unable to timely renew their license or registration. In order to facilitate the mobility necessary for survival during this crisis, and to ensure commercial drivers carrying essential supplies could continue to do so despite these temporary limitations on state operations, it was reasonable and necessary to temporarily extend the validity of certain operator’s and chauffeur’s licenses, state identifications, and vehicle registrations in this state.
Executive Order 2020-47 provided such relief. This order extends its duration and expands its scope to cover a broader range of commercial vehicles and to ensure continuity of auto insurance coverage, as it remains reasonable and necessary to facilitate the mobility required for survival during this crisis, while maintaining appropriate social distancing.
With this order, Executive Order 2020-47 is rescinded.
Acting under the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, I order the following:
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan.