Bellino: Time to modernize boater safety certification system

Categories: Bellino News

Plan unanimously approved by Michigan House

State Rep. Joe Bellino’s plan giving Michigan boaters the option to present electronic proof of their boating safety certifications was unanimously approved today by the Michigan House.

“The paper certificates boaters and jet-skiers are supposed to carry right now aren’t exactly waterproof, but many people have waterproof phone cases,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “It’s about time we bring the boating safety system into the 21st Century and give people the option to pull up proof of their certification on their phone.”

Under the plan laid out in House Bills 5836, 5988 and 5989, boaters would be allowed to present electronic proof of their boater safety certificates when stopped by law enforcement. Officers would be able to take the boater’s electronic device to their vehicle or request the documentation be forwarded by email or text.

Bellino, who introduced the plan alongside two of his colleagues, said search and seizure protections are included to prevent officers from looking through phones if they are handed over for e-proof verification.

The procedures are similar to those laid out in laws enacted in 2016 and 2017 allowing drivers to present electronic proofs of their vehicle insurance and registration.

The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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