Michigan License Plates 1971-Present [Photos + Video]
What is your favorite Michigan license plate design? See what they looked like from 1971 to the present and what changes have been made in this video.
It's hard to believe how unimaginative license plate designs were in Michigan. Every couple of years they would change the color, but that's about it. Even the red, white and blue design to celebrate America's bicentennial in 1976 was used for THREE YEARS. The now iconic blue plate lasted from 1983-2007. The thing that did change is the slogan on the bottom of the license plate. "Great Lake State" was used from 1971-1976, then brought back from 1979-'83, when it was shortened to "Great Lakes." In the internet age, Michigan.gov became the banner on the bottom and then Michigan.org in 2013.
Today, besides the default standard plate, you can request the Mackinac Bridge silhouette or Spectacular Peninsulas forest backdrop. You probably know about historic plates for vehicles 25+ years old, but did you know you can get a replica plate that looks like the design popular the year the car was manufactured? Collector plates are becoming more prevalent with five non-profit organizations, fourteen special causes and twenty-eight Veteran collector plates offered at the Michigan Secretary of State website. If you went to one of these state schools, you can show your pride to tailgaters:
- Central Michigan University
- Eastern Michigan University
- Ferris State University
- Grand Valley State University
- Lake Superior State University
- Michigan State University
- Michigan Technological University
- Northern Michigan University
- Oakland University
- Saginaw Valley State University
- University of Michigan
- University of Michigan - Dearborn
- University of Michigan - Flint
- Wayne State University
- Western Michigan University
Tell us your favorite Michigan plate you remember or drop us a photo of your personalized vanity plate that you are proud of in the comments below.
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