I thought so, but apparently not always...

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You can probably think of a road you drive frequently with solid white lines, like the S-curve in Grand Rapids or US31 at the Grand Haven draw bridge.

Bill Phillips via MDOT
Bill Phillips via MDOT

But is it legal to cross over the white lines to pass someone? Michigan State Police addressed the question in a recent "Ask a Trooper" post online.

Can You Switch Lanes By Crossing Over White Lines in Michigan?

To answer, MSP cites the Michigan Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

  • A wide solid double white lane line where crossing is prohibited.
  • A wide solid single white lane line where crossing is
  • A wide broken single white lane line where crossing is permitted.
  •  A wide dotted single white lane line where crossing is permitted
    for any vehicle to perform a right-turn maneuver.


A solid white line is there as an advisory in areas where changing lanes is discouraged, however it is not a violation to change lanes across a solid white lane line separating lanes for traffic traveling in the same

So, crossing a double white line is illegal but crossing a single isn't...

Maybe I did learn this in driver's ed and just forgot?? Until this very second I thought it WAS illegal to cross a single white line...

Is it Illegal to Pass On The Shoulder in Michigan?

The exception to this would be crossing over a single white line that's on the OUTSIDE edge of the road to pass someone on the shoulder.

Often called fog lines, these lines help you stay on the road in bad weather.

According to the Michigan Vehicle Code:

The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway.

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