License Plates & Placards in Michigan
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You can't cruise Michigan's roadways without first getting a license plate. And to get a plate, you need to register your vehicle.
Once that's taken care of, you can select either the classic Great Lakes blue-and-white plate, or for an additional annual fee of $5, a Great Lakes Splendor plate.
That is, unless you want to wander over to the Secretary of State's online License Plate Store, where you can choose from one of the 45 other designs the state offers.
Plain vanilla may be fine for your ice cream, but you've got more choices than ever at the License Plate Store.
In addition to the registration cost for your vehicle, the fundraising plates―for universities and special causes―cost $35 the first year, with $25 going to your selected cause or university. In subsequent years, the plates are $10 in addition to the registration renewal fee. The $10 goes to the university or cause each year.
University Logo Plates
Want to let everyone know that you're a grad, supporter, or fan of the University of Michigan? That's easy. In fact, 15 of the state's four-year universities have their own logo plates. Available university plates include:
- 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
- Agricultural Heritage
- Children's Trust Fund
- Lighthouse Preservation
- Veteran's Memorial
- Water Quality
- Wildlife Habitat
- Patriotic Plate
- Olympic Education ($25)
Veteran/Military Service Plates
These plates are only available to veterans who were honorably discharged. There is an initial $5 service fee. You'll need to fill out an application for these plates and turn it in at a Secretary of State branch office.
- Air Force Veteran
- Army Veteran
- Coast Guard Veteran
- Combat Wounded Veteran (Purple Heart)
- Cuban Missile Crisis
- Disabled Veteran
- Dominican Republic Veteran
- Ex-Prisoner of War (Ex-POW)
- Grenada Conflict Veteran
- Korean War Veteran
- Laos Conflict Veteran
- Lebanon Conflict Veteran
- Marine Corps Veteran
- Medal of Honor
- Military Reserve Member
- National Guard Member
- Navy Veteran
- Panama Conflict Veteran
- Pearl Harbor Survivor
- Persian Gulf (Desert Storm) Veteran
- Somalia Conflict Veteran
- Vietnam War Veteran
- World War I Veteran
- World War II Veteran
Perhaps you'd like to make your wheels stand out a little from all the other road warriors you commute with every day. Maybe send a message to that turkey who seems to tailgate you all the way into Detroit from Ann Arbor? Or maybe you just want the world to know who you are?
Michigan's Secretary of State makes it easy to personalize your license plates with an interactive service called Plate It Your Way that allows you to try out number and letter combinations on one of the many license plate styles available to you.
The service automatically blocks most rude or offensive words, and Secretary of State employees review vanity plate requests for good taste before a plate is issued.
In addition to your registration fee, you can personalize the standard blue-and-white plate for $30 (with $15 renewals) or the Great Lakes Splendor plate for $35 (also $15 to renew). You can also personalize any graphic or fundraising plate for $30 plus the cost of the graphic plate.
All personalized license plates must be applied for at a Secretary of State branch office.
If you have a disability that restricts your mobility, you may request a disability placard or license plate that allows you to park in specially reserved parking spaces close to building entrances.
Disability License Plates
Your disability must be deemed permanent by a medical professional. You may qualify for a plate if you:
- Are legally blind.
- Cannot walk more than 200 feet without having to stop and rest.
- Use a wheelchair, walker, crutch, or brace.
- Suffer from a lung disease.
- Are diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition.
- Have severe arthritis.
- Need a portable oxygen supply.
There's no charge for a disabled plate.
There are two types of disabled placards. Blue placards are issued to individuals when there is little hope a qualifying condition will improve. They're valid for four years, expiring on the individual's birthday. Red placards are valid from one to six months and may not be renewed. There is no fee for either placard.
You can apply for historical plates if your prized vehicle is 25 years old or older, owned as a collector's item and used only in parades, exhibitions or car club activities. You cannot use a designated historical vehicle for everyday functions such as driving to and from work or running errands.
Visit any Secretary of State branch office to submit an application. Be sure to bring the vehicle's title, proof of Michigan no-fault insurance, and a check for $30. If you're missing the title, bring the vehicle's last registration certificate.
The plates are good for 10 years.
Michigan also allows you to register your antique vehicle with a same-year general use Michigan license plate. The plate must be authentic and feature the correct colors for the plate year.
To register, you must submit:
- A completed application
- Proof of ownership, such as a copy of your title.
- A color photocopy, scan or photograph of the plate you intend to use. Do not send the actual plate.
- Proof of Michigan no-fault insurance.
- A check for $35.
Authentic plates cannot be registered in person. Mail is your only option. Send to:
- Bureau of Driver & Vehicle Records
- Michigan Department of State
- 7064 Crowner Drive
- Lansing, Michigan 48918-1530
The state does not require Michigan residents to return their license plates after relocating to another state. Learn more on our MI License Plate Surrender page.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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