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Michigan Historical Museum - Plates by the Year

Other Special Plates

In addition to military-related, disability, historic vehicle, ARO (Amateur Radio Operator), personalized and municipal "X" plates, the Secretary of State's office issues other special plates under the authority of the Michigan legislature.

  • Dealer Plate (Issued by Bureau of Automotive Regulation)
    • Plates have a "D" between the number groups and the legend DEALER at the bottom.
  • Disability Plate
    • Disability plates and placards permit parking at specially marked spaces.
  • Fund-Raising License Plates
    • University Plates: Plates with the name and logo of each of the state's 15 state-supported universities were introduced in September 2000. Purchase of the plates raises funds for the named university.
    • Six specialty plates became available in early 2001 with these themes: Agricultural Heritage, Children, Lighthouse, Veterans Memorial, Water Quality and Wildlife Habitat. The "Proud to be An American" plate, which features the U.S. flag over a silhouette of Michigan with the words "Proud To Be American," was made available in October 2001.
    • Go to the Fund-raising License Plates page at the Secretary of State web site.
  • In-transit Repair and Auctioneer Plate
    • The in-transit plate is issued to persons and businesses who legally pick up or deliver a vehicle in the course of their business. It bears the legend IN-TRANSIT REPAIR at the bottom of the plate.
  • Legislator Plate
    • Members of the Michigan legislature may obtain a special legislature plate consisting of 3 numbers corresponding to the legislator's district followed by the letters SEN or REP.
  • Manufacturer Plate
    • A manufacturer license plate is issued to persons, firms, corporations, or associations that manufacture new motor vehicles, trailers, trailer coaches, or semi-trailers as a regular business.
  • Nonprofit Organization Plate
    • Vehicles owned or leased by certain nonprofit organizations are eligible for a special "Y" plate. The plate shows a "Y" between the number groups. Vehicles with "Y" plates must show the organization's name on each side of the vehicle.
  • Nonprofit Service Organization Plate
    • Special plates are available for nonprofit fraternal and public service organizations that have at least 500 members committed to purchasing a plate. The plate displays the organization's emblem or logo in the form of a decal. Organizations currently approved for these special plates include the Michigan State Fire Fighters Union (also known as International Association of Fire Fighters), Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, Michigan State Firemen's Association, Fraternal Order of Police, and Police Offices Association of Michigan. Plates can be renewed for other formerly approved organizations for whom original plates are no longer available.
  • Repossession Plate
    • This plate may be used by the secured party only to move a repossessed vehicle from the place of repossession to a place of impoundment or sale. The plate has the legend REPOSSESSION PLATE at its bottom.
  • Sheriff Plate
    • In addition to the municipal "X" plate, vehicles owned by county sheriff departments may use a special white-on-black sheriff plate. The first 2 numbers on the sheriff plate are the county code number, followed by a star, and ending with a 3-digit number.
  • Special Farm Plate
    • To qualify for the special farm plate, the farm vehicle must be a truck (including pickup or van) or road tractor. It must be used exclusively for the purpose of gratuitously transporting farm crops between the field and the place of storage. (A grain elevator is considered a place of storage.) The truck can also be used to support fertilizer, seed, or spray material from the farm location to the field. The truck cannot be used for any other purpose. The truck cannot be used to transport crops for compensation (commonly called custom work). The plate carries the legend SPECIAL FARM at its bottom.
  • Special Mobile Equipment Plate
    • This optional plate with the legend SPECIAL EQUIPMENT is issued for identification purposes only. Special mobile equipment vehicles are not designed for transportation of persons or property over the highway or used for such purposes and are only incidentally operated or moved over the highway. Examples of special mobile equipment include road construction or maintenance machinery, log splitters, mobile office and tool shed trailers, ditch digging apparatus, and well-boring and well-serving apparatus.
  • Transporter Plate
    • A transporter plate is issued to persons or businesses who deliver vehicles requiring registration from a manufacturing, assembling or distributing plant to a dealer or sales agent of the manufacturer. It can also be used by a person certified by the Michigan Public Service Commission in the business of moving trailer coaches or mobile homes.
  • U.S. Congress Plate
    • Michigan members of Congress may obtain a special U.S. Congress plate. Congressional plates for Michigan's two U. S. senators show SEN followed by "1" or "2." Plates for Michigan's U. S. Representatives show REP followed by two numbers corresponding to the representative's Michigan district (01 through 18).

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Contact the Michigan Historical Museum with your question or comment about this page.
Please refer questions about current or past Michigan license plates to the Secretary of State.

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