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What is MISS DIG 811?

Do I have to call before I dig?
Michigan's statute, Act 174 of Public Act 2013, requires anyone who engages in, or is responsible for, the planning of performance of any type of excavation e.g.; grading, demolition, cultivating, auguring, blasting, or boring to provide advance notice of at least three full business days to MISS DIG 811 by dialing 811, 248-370-6400, or 800-482-7171, or online via a Remote Ticket Entry program or e-locate program: Positive Response (
The notification center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to take ticket requests. MISS DIG 811 must be contacted prior to excavation in order to comply with the state statute. In the event of contact with an underground facility, you must contact the facility owner/operator directly. 

How soon can I dig once the locate request has been placed?
It is very important to wait until the legal start date and time assigned. Beginning work earlier can result in forfeiture of your rights and protection granted under MIchigan statute, Act 174 of Public Act 2013, MISS DIG 811 will issue the earliest legal start date possible, usually three business days after you contact MISS DIG 811. 

How long is a locate request valid?
A ticket remains valid for 21 calendar days after the legal dig start date requested on the MISS DIG 811 ticket. It is, however, the excavator's responsibility to get the marks refreshed when needed. A ticket becomes invalid only if the work continues past 21 calendar days, or the locate marks are missing or need refreshing. In certain situations, MISS DIG 811 may issue a project ticket that will remain valid for 180 calendar days. In addition, if excavation has not commenced on a project within 14 days, a new MISS DIG 811 ticket will be required. 

Can I request re-marking of a site?
You may request a re-mark after an original locate request has been placed and one of the following conditions exists: 

  • A facility is unmarked
  • Positive Response is not posted
  • Missing or destroyed markings
The original ticket number is required to obtain a re-marl. If the original ticket is invalid, it will take three more business days for the relocate
request to be filled. For valid tickets, the facility owners have 24 hours to re-mark the site. 

What about the depth of underground facilities? 
Facility owner/operators have no control over depth variation caused by human interference, weather, or other circumstances. As a result, facilities will only mark the approximate location, not the depth of buried facilities. 

Why do I have to hand dig around a marked facility?
Locating is not an exact science, therefore, the actual location of the facility could vary from the position of the marks. PA 174 states that "for excavations in a caution zone parallel to a facility, an excavator shall use soft excavation at intervals as often as reasonably necessary to establish the precise location of the facility. An excavator may use power tools and power equipment in a caution zone only after the facilities are exposed or the precise location of the facilities is established". 

What is approximate location? 
The approximate location is a strip of land at least 36 inched wide, but not wider than the width of the marked facility plus 18 inches on either side of the facility marks. 

What is the caution zone?
The caution zone is the area within 48 inched of either side of the facility marks provided by a facility owner or facility operator. 

What is Positive Response?
Positive Response is a system housed at MISS DIG 811 center that allows any participating member, or their authorized locating contractor, to provide status of dig tickets sent to them by MISS DIG 811. Once the member or the locating contractor determines the status of the ticket, such as clear or marked, they must then post that response to the system. The posted status is then attached to the ticket and stored on the Positive Response server. The posted status can then be retrieved by the requester of the ticket at, or by using the interactive voice response system at 800-763-3888.

If a homeowner hires a contractor to do excavation work, who is responsible for calling MISS DIG 811?
According to the state law, the excavator must notify the notification center, not the homeowner for whom the work is being done. If you are a contractor, it is your legal obligation to contact MISS DIG 811 - It is not the responsibility of your customer. 

Are there limits on what I can request to have located? 
MISS DIG 811 tickets do have Scope of Work limitations to allow member utilities the ability to complete the utility line locating within the 3 business day time frame. There are limits on things such as the number of addresses, utility poles and apartment buildings. There are also limitations on the length of a particular request when work is being performed in or near a road right-of-way. For detailed information on MISS DIG 811's Scope of Work.