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Paint the Plow

Ovid-Elsie High School art students introduced their safe winter driving-themed plow blade - Don't Rush in Ice and Slush.
Department of Transportation

Paint the Plow

The Paint the Plow program is an opportunity for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to partner with local school districts and community members to promote winter driving safety and general road safety, as well as creating awareness of transportation career opportunities. High school students are invited to paint creative, original artwork onto an MDOT snowplow blade that promotes a statewide safety theme. Snowplow blades will be visible during winter snow removal months on various state trunklines (typically I, M and US routes) throughout Michigan.

Schools may have the opportunity to showcase their designed plow at a school-represented event. 

Read the Program Guidelines to learn more about the Paint the Plow program.

2024 Paint the Plow Program

Ovid-Elsie High School art students introduced their safe winter driving-themed plow blade - Don't Rush in Ice and Slush.

MDOT's Paint the Plow Program is currently accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year. Open to all Michigan high schools, the program allows students to showcase their art skills by painting a snowplow blade based on the theme:

Go hands-free. Just drive. It's the law.

This year's theme reminds motorists it is illegal to hold and use an electronic device while driving in Michigan.


Program Application

Important Dates

Applications Due
May 17, 2024

Schools Notified
Late May 2024

Snowplows Delivered
September 2, 2024

Snowplows Picked Up
October 18, 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Applications for MDOT's Paint the Plow program opens in early spring. Schools can apply by completing the online form, including a drawing or image of proposed artwork, by the deadline. Submissions must be completed by an authorized school contact (not a student).

  • The Paint the Plow program is open to high schools and high school-level technical schools in most counties throughout Michigan.

    Only students who are currently enrolled in the applicant school may participate in the execution and completion of the art project.

    School officials, such as faculty, general staff and/or administrators, may direct the selection of the design and students; however, they are not permitted to implement the design or participate in the performance of the work.

  • MDOT will select a new safety theme each year and will announce it when the application window opens up. Students are encouraged to create a design that incorporates this theme while also incorporating imagery that embodies their school’s unique characteristics, parts of school life that they enjoy or in which they take pride. They may also include patriotic, state/local or weather-related motifs.

    Students may incorporate their school’s logo, emblem or mascot into the design.

    Artwork must be original and in good taste; anything deemed inappropriate or not original will be precluded from the program at the sole discretion of MDOT.

    Only non-partisan, non-political and non-violent material will be accepted.

  • MDOT will deliver an approximately 12-foot-long, 4-foot-high plow to a secure location at the school as specified by the school’s staff at no cost.

    MDOT does not provide painting supplies/materials (including paint) or financial assistance for this program. Reaching out to local booster clubs or social organizations for support is permissible.

  • Selection of paint materials is up to the students and faculty; however, consideration should be given to durable, enamel paints that will provide for coverage and better wear. A final clear coat is optional and may help the life of the paint and design.