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License plates and tabs
Requirements and options
All vehicles and trailers used on Michigan’s roadways must be registered and display a valid license plate with a current registration tab. Your vehicle registration will show your license plate number and vehicle information number (VIN).
Pick from several plate options depending on your eligibility:
Standard license plates cost $5 (plus registration fees). Receive a standard Pure Michigan license plate, motorcycle plate, or trailer plate, or order a specialty Mackinac Bridge graphic or Water-Winter Wonderland plate.
Special cause fundraising plates
A portion of the funds collected for a specialty cause license plate are donated to the specific cause displayed on the plate.
University fundraising plates
A portion of the funds collected for a university license plate are donated to the state university displayed on the plate.
Military and veteran plates
Military service members; veterans; and, in some cases, their family members are eligible for specific service and conflict plates.
Special organization plates
Special license plates are available for members of select nonprofit fraternal and public service organizations.
Michigan offers many of its license plates for purchase as collector, souvenir, and sample license plates. The plates look like regular license plates but are for display purposes only and aren’t for vehicle registration.
Historical and authentic plates
Vehicles that are at least 26 years old; owned solely as a collector’s item; and used only for events such as historical club activities, parades, and car shows may qualify for an historical or authentic license plate.
Vehicles with historic or authentic plates cannot be used for routine, day-to-day transportation; however, they can be driven at any time, including as daily transportation, during the month of August.
Residents who qualify may apply for a disability license plate, which includes an insignia indicating that the vehicle owner is legally allowed to park in spaces reserved for residents with a disability.
Digital license plates
The Michigan Department of State does not sell, administer, or profit from digital license plates. They are legal in Michigan but only sold by private companies and auto dealers. Digital plates serve as representations of the standard metal license plates that vehicle owners purchase and renew with the Secretary of State.
Vehicle registration (Choose tab)
Michigan No-Fault Insurance
At the time of purchasing a license plate for your vehicle, you will also be charged for the registration fees for the vehicle.
Vehicle registration fees are set by state law and calculated using a formula based on:
- Vehicle base price (MSRP) from the year it was manufactured
- License plate fees
- Processing fees
- Addition of a Recreation Passport or personalized license plate (both are optional)
The fee is then reduced by a percentage of that original registration fee for the following three years. Under the present law, no further reduction is provided. If the vehicle is older than 1984, the fee is based on the weight of the vehicle.
If you’re transferring a vehicle title into your name, 6% sales tax is also collected when you complete the transfer and register your vehicle.
Use the Registration Fee Calculator under Online Services to calculate registration fees for your vehicle.
Per state law, it is required that you provide proof of a valid Michigan No-Fault automobile insurance policy to register or renew your vehicle in Michigan.
If you are temporarily out-of-state but would like to maintain your Michigan license plate and registration, you are still required to have a valid Michigan No-Fault insurance policy for your vehicle.
More information on insurance policies is available through the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS).
Go to Michigan.gov/AutoInsurance
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Recreation Passport gets you into all state parks, recreation areas, and boat launches. At the time of purchasing or renewing your vehicle and plate, you can pay to add an annual Recreation Passport to your registration:
- Vehicles - $13
- Motorcycles - $7
More information on Recreation Passports is available through the DNR.
Renewing a vehicle tab and plate
Vehicle registration tabs and plates will expire annually on the vehicle owner’s birthday.
You can renew your registration tab and plate online or by mail or renew and print your tabs instantly at a self-service station. To calculate your renewal fees, check your renewal mailer or use the renewal fee calculator under Online Services.
It’s required to provide proof of a valid Michigan No-Fault insurance policy when renewing your vehicle. Some insurance providers report insurance policy information automatically through the Electronic Insurance Verification (EIV) system.
If your insurance provider doesn’t participate in EIV, renew your tab and plate by mail or at a Secretary of State office to provide a copy of your valid insurance policy.
Replacing a plate, tab, or vehicle registration (Choose tab)
If you lose or damage your license plate, tab, or vehicle registration, you can order a replacement.
Before ordering a replacement or duplicate, check to make sure that the address on your vehicle registration is correct and up to date.
License plates that are at least 10 years old will be replaced automatically when renewed or transferred. If you lose or damage your license plate or would like to purchase a new plate, you can do so anytime or when you renew your vehicle registration tab and plate.
You can purchase a new plate anytime through your online Secretary of State account by selecting “Replace My Plate” or by visiting a Secretary of State office. You can also order a new military or veteran plate, special cause or university fundraising plate, or disability license plate by mail.
License plates are $5. Additional fees apply depending on the plate type, personalization, and optional Recreation Passport.
Veteran plates, Gold Star plates, fundraising plates (university and special cause), and special organization plates are exempt for the $5 replacement plate fee.
Order a replacement vehicle tab through your online Secretary of State account for $5. You can also replace and print a copy of your vehicle registration directly from your browser at the same time at no additional charge. Your replacement tab will arrive by mail.
You can also purchase a replacement tab at a Secretary of State office.
You can replace and instantly print your vehicle registration paperwork through your online Secretary of State account for no fee.
After creating or logging into your online account, locate your vehicle and select the option to “Request Duplicate Registration”. Follow the prompts to review and confirm your vehicle and registration information and select “View Transaction Documents” to instantly print your replacement registration from your browser.
You can also get a copy of your registration at a Secretary of State office.
Correcting a vehicle registration (Choose tab)
Add or remove a name
Correct a name
Change an address
If you’ve added or removed a name from your vehicle title, you will need to update your vehicle registration by visiting a Secretary of State office.
All individuals on the title and registration should be present or appoint an agent to complete the transaction on their behalf at a Secretary of State office. All vehicle owners or appointed agents must provide a valid license or ID.
Before you correct the name on your registration, you must first correct it on your vehicle title. You can correct your title for $15 at a Secretary of State office by providing the following:
- Valid driver’s license or ID
- Proof of the legal name change (if it isn’t already reflected on your license or ID)
All vehicle owners listed on the title must be present for this transaction.
Transferring a license plate
You can transfer a plate from a vehicle that’s already titled and registered in your name to another vehicle titled in your name, or when selling your vehicle to an immediate family member.
To transfer a license plate, visit a Secretary of State office and provide the following:
- Current vehicle registration or license plate number
- Title for the vehicle you are transferring the vehicle to (or a Michigan title application)
- Payment for plate transfer fees
Proof of insurance isn’t required when transferring a license plate unless you changed insurance companies since your last license plate renewal.
NOTE: License plates can’t be transferred to non-family members. If you’re selling a vehicle in a private sale, you will need to remove your license plate before completing a private sale.
Plate transfer fees
Additional registration fee may be due when transferring a plate registered in your name to a vehicle titled in your name.
- Transferring a plate to a vehicle you already own without a change in registration fees: $10
- Transferring a plate to a vehicle you already own with a higher registration fee: $10 plus probated registration or weight fee
- Transferring a plate to a vehicle you already own with a lower registration fee: $15
- Transferring a plate to an immediate family member: $10
Temporary vehicle registration permits
If you may use your vehicles only occasionally or may be out of the country for extended periods of time, you may buy a 30-day temporary permit or 60-day temporary permit for short-term use of your vehicle.
- The 30-day permit fee is 1/10 the annual registration fee or $20 (whichever is greater) plus a $10 service fee.
- The 60-day permit fee is 1/5 the annual registration fee or $40 (whichever is greater) plus a $10 service fee.
To purchase a temporary registration, visit a Secretary of State office to provide the following:
- Proof of vehicle ownership (i.e. the title or expired plate registration)
- Proof of valid Michigan No-Fault insurance for the vehicle
- Payment for temporary registration fees
You don’t need to provide proof of insurance for a trailer. Vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) plates can use a temporary registration so long as they don’t carry a load.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What do I do if my license plate was stolen?
Stolen plates should be reported to your local police or sheriff's office. The agency will enter a message into the Law Enforcement Information Network alerting officers that the plate was reported as stolen.
What are the insurance requirements for registering and renewing my vehicle?
Passenger vehicles, vans, and light trucks must have proof of Michigan No-Fault insurance to be registered and renewed in Michigan. Out-of-state insurance policies cannot be used to meet Michigan insurance requirements for registering a vehicle. Motorcycles must also be insured, but it doesn’t need to be No-Fault insurance.
Keep your Michigan No-Fault insurance certificate in your vehicle or carry it with you when you drive. Failure to present proof of valid Michigan No-Fault insurance while driving a vehicle could result in the suspension of your license. Your license plate could also be canceled if proof of insurance isn’t provided.
If you use your vehicle seasonally and it will be kept in storage when your plate and registration expire, you can either renew it up to 6 months early or provide proof of your storage/comprehensive insurance policy and valid Michigan No-Fault insurance policy to renew after the expiration.
If I sell my car, can I let the buyer use my plate?
If you sell your vehicle in a private sale to someone you’re not related to, remove your license plate. It is yours and you may transfer it to another vehicle you own or purchase. Do not let the new buyer use your plate as any infractions associated with that plate will be attributed to you.
I've moved out of Michigan, what do I do with my Michigan plate and renewal notice?
If you have titled and registered your vehicle in another state, Michigan doesn’t require that you return your Michigan license plate. The plate should be destroyed before disposal to prevent misuse. If you receive a Michigan registration renewal notice after you have registered your vehicle in another state, it can be ignored.