Michigan is credited with being the home of the auto industry.

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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Detroit is known around the world as "The Motor City".

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One of the most well-known names in the world, Henry Ford is credited with creating the assembly line, which pulled the vehicle along instead of employees walking around, which took more time.

Early Ford
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Ford was able to go from taking 12 hours to assemble a Model T, to getting it done in just 90 minutes.

While Michigan is credited with being home to the auto industry, it wasn't the first state in America to have license plates.

The History Of License Plates In America

Insurance company AAA put out a historical timeline of the license plate in America.

  • Back in 1901, New York was the first state to require a vehicle to be registered. The funny thing is New York didn't make the license plate. Instead, they expected the automobile owner to do it themselves.
  • The first state to issue license plates was Maryland in 1903.
  • In 1928 Idaho made things interesting by being the first state to introduce plate slogans. Idaho went with what they were known for, "Idaho Potatoes."
  • In 1931 Pennsylvania became the first state to issue customized license plates, which allowed drivers to add their initials to the plate. I wonder if a name like Adam Samuel Smith (A.S.S) got rejected?

What Did Michigan’s License Plates Look Like The Year You Were Born?

Looking into the history of the license plate had me wondering what Michigan license plates looked like back in the day.

I did some digging and was able to find Michigan license plates going all the way back to 1905.
Some of my favorite license plate years are 1913, 1959, and 1965.

What Did Michigan’s License Plates Look Like The Year You Were Born?

Michigan is home to so much motor vehicle history. Let's take a look back in time to see some of the cool and interesting Michigan license plates of the past.

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