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Return of green and white license plate, new driver's licenses and IDs with higher security are on the way in 2024

Water Wonderland license plate and new driver's license

Plates can be ordered beginning Jan. 27 at

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of State today announced the state is bringing back a green and white “Water Wonderland” license plate and will begin issuing Michigan driver’s licenses and state IDs with a cutting-edge security design in 2024.

"I am proud to bring back a green and white plate that pays tribute to the civil rights advancements of 1963 along with a new, more secure Michigan driver's license and ID," said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. "The new plate will serve as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to achieve full equality and justice for all. The new ID design will protect Michiganders from identity theft, fraud, and other criminal activity." 

Residents will be able to order the new Water Wonderland license plate beginning on Saturday, Jan. 27 online at or when purchasing a vehicle through a dealership. Issuance of the new-look driver’s licenses and IDs will begin by the end of January and will continue until all cards with the current design are phased out over the next four years.

Green and white license plate

After six decades, and prompted by requests from Michiganders, the Michigan Department of State has approved the reissue of a "Water Wonderland" license plate that is green with white lettering. The plate is similar to one issued in 1963 for some types of vehicles.

This year marked the 60th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and UAW President Walter Reuther leading the Walk to Freedom in Detroit to speak out against injustice and inequality. Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at Cobo Hall during that visit – two months before he addressed the March on Washington on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The green and white "Water Wonderland" plate pays tribute to that historic year. 

The "Water Wonderland" plate will be available for passenger vehicles and can be purchased as a disability plate. When purchasing, a one-time $5 graphic plate fee will be assessed in addition to the normal registration fees. Personalization of the plate is available, though limited to 6 digits due to the font style and size accompanying the reissue. 

Benson brought back 1965’s blue and yellow “Water-Winter Wonderland” license plate in December 2021 and it has proven to be extremely popular. More than 1.2 million of the plates have been issued through Nov. 2023.

New driver’s licenses and state IDs

In line with national best practices and cutting-edge technology, Michigan is changing the look of its driver’s licenses and state IDs to include engraved data and numerous other new security features that will reduce the risk of counterfeiting and fraud.

The font and color theme have been updated to clearly distinguish from the current design and cards will prominently display the Michigan Coat of Arms. The names of the five Great Lakes can be seen in multicolored text when the card is held at certain angles. Shading and curved lines in the new design are difficult to replicate, strengthening the integrity of the cards.

The new cards will include a two-line name format that will accommodate more characters than the current design. In another visual change, the state will use a gold Michigan shape with a star in it to indicate licenses and IDs that are REAL ID-compliant. Currently, cards in Michigan that are compliant feature a star within a gold circle.

As of May 7, 2025, by federal law, a standard Michigan driver’s license or state ID without the REAL ID-compliant indicator will no longer be adequate to board an aircraft for a domestic flight or to enter military bases or certain other federal facilities. Learn more about how to upgrade at

As part of the card redesign, the magnetic stripe on the back of driver’s licenses and state IDs has been removed. Bar codes that contain the information from the front of the card will remain on the back in scannable format.

The move to a new design affects all standard and enhanced driver’s licenses and state IDs, including commercial, chauffeur’s, graduated, moped, and salvage vehicle agent licenses. Current licenses and state IDs are valid until their expiration date. All Michigan residents will be issued the new design when they renew, replace, or correct their license or ID. There will be no change in current driver’s license or state ID fees as a result of the new design.

Sample green and white license plate

Sample driver's license

Sample state ID


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