Rep. Steve Marino’s plan to allow boaters to present electronic proof of their safety certificate instead of the traditional paper license heads to the governor’s desk for his consideration. The Michigan Senate unanimously approved the measure Wednesday.
“We have the technology available to offer Michiganders better options to present proof of their boater’s safety certificate than soggy, disintegrated paper,” said Marino, who authored the plan. “This plan allows boaters to use a device they always have on them, like their phone, to produce a digital copy of their safety card that is just as authentic as the original.”
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, similar to recent laws allowing drivers to present electronic proofs of their vehicle insurance and registration.
Marino said search and seizure protections are included to prevent officers from looking through phones if they are handed over for e-proof verification.
“I’ve been out on Lake St. Clair with my Ziploc baggy filled with a wet boating license, thinking ‘there has got to be a better way to do this,’” Marino said. “I am pleased to have the support of both chambers on this proposal and am hopeful it will soon be signed into law.”