Do you play license plate games while driving on a long trip? Is the plate from your
first car hanging on your garage wall? Are you curious about what the plate looked like
during the year you were born? Do you collect license plates? If so, "Plates By the
Year" is for you!
There is something about license plates that fascinates people.
Perhaps it is the color, or the message. In Michigan, license plates were first issued by
individual cities beginning in 1903. Two years later, the Michigan Legislature passed
Public Act 196, which required statewide vehicle registration by the Secretary of State.
All license plates are issued under authority of the Michigan legislature.
Today the Secretary of States office registers more than 8 million vehicles.
License plate fees are dedicated to the Michigan Transportation Fund for road construction
"Plates by the Year" is an online-only exhibit that will lead you through the fascinating history of
automobile licensing in Michigan. See the plates and learn little-known facts about
licensing and registration that will add to your knowledge about our love affair with the
car. Each page includes a thumbnail image that you can click on to see a larger picture of each license plate.