Authentic license plate

Authentic License Plate

A special provision in law allows a historical vehicle owner to use an authentic Michigan license plate from the same year the historical vehicle was manufactured.  The plate can be obtained through a private sale or any other means available.

Reproduction and remanufactured plates as well as authentic dealer and manufacturer plates are not allowed. The plate must display the correct colors for the year of issuance.

Blue plates with white letters were issued from 1984 to through 2006.  These may be used as an authentic historic plate if the plate displays an authentic Michigan year tab corresponding to the model year of the historic vehicle. (Because 1984 blue plates were issued without a year tab, applications for 1984 model year historic vehicles do not require a year tab).

To qualify for an authentic license plate, the vehicle must be:

  • 26 or more years old
  • Owned solely as a collector's item
  • A vehicle registered with a regular historic plate or authentic historic plate cannot be used for general transportation. The vehicle can only used for participating in historical club activities, exhibitions, tours, parades, car shows, swap meets, and similar uses.

 Fee:  $35 -- Make checks and money orders payable to State of Michigan. Authentic license plate applications must be submitted by mail.  Applications cannot be processed at a Secretary of State office.

Applying for an authentic historic plate

Owners need the following items:

  • A color photocopy, a color scan, or color photograph of the license plate (passenger, commercial, trailer, or motorcycle). Do not mail the actual plate. Personalized, government, law enforcement, manufacturer, dealer, in-transit repair, disability, and special purpose plates cannot be used as authentic license plates. If in doubt, check with the department before purchasing a license plate.
  • Proof of ownership, preferably a copy of the vehicle title
  • Proof of Michigan no-fault insurance (not required for trailers)
  • $35 -- make checks or money orders payable to State of Michigan
  • A completed Application for Historical Michigan License Plate

Send the plate image, proof of ownership, insurance, $35, and completed application to the:

Michigan Department of State
Office of Customer Services
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI  48918-1530

Your new registration will arrive in about three weeks.

> Application for the Historical Michigan License Plate
> About historical license plates