You can apply for a license plate in person in Michigan by registering your vehicle at a Secretary of State (SOS) office.
You’ll receive a standard license plate for Michigan, or you can choose from a range of specialty styles.
Michigan requires you to register your vehicle with the Secretary of State (SOS). You can find offices in each county, and applications must be made in person.
The standard license plate for Michigan has a white and blue background with blue lettering and “Pure Michigan” across the top. This is the license plate that will be issued to you after registering your vehicle.
Alternatively, you can select a specialized license plate that has a unique design of a local organization, charity, or cause.
If you have a disability, it is possible to obtain disability license plates and placards, which allow you to park in special parking spaces.
All plates, with a few exceptions, can be personalized with a unique set of characters.
In Michigan, you can obtain a beautifully ornamental specialty license plate. The following are a few examples of what’s available:
Registering military plates may require additional fees and documents that prove eligibility.
Typically, the fees for the charitable plates above start at $35 to order ($25 will be donated to the organization) and $10 to renew.
These plates require proof of membership along with a $25 fee to register.
You can find a complete list of specialty license plates by contacting an SOS office.
After checking the availability of a plate number, you can apply to get your license plate personalized. These are the guidelines that must be following to have your application approved by the Michigan SOS:
There is a $30 service for personalizing your license plates in addition to the standard registration fees. At renewal, you will be charged an additional $15 for personalized plates.
When you buy a new vehicle, you must register and title within 15 days of purchase. If you have obtained a title certificate for your new vehicle, you are permitted to drive on the roads legally for 3 days.
Inside those 3 days, you should register your vehicle with an SOS office in your county.
If you are a new resident in Michigan, you must register your out-of-state vehicle promptly.
Before your license plates expire, you can renew your vehicle's registration by paying any required fees:
You’ll receive a new set of validation stickers, which you can place over the old ones on your rear license plate.
You are permitted to transfer your license plates under these conditions:
When you transfer your vehicle, you’ll require the following:
If you sell your vehicle and don’t have a new vehicle to transfer them to, you’ll have to surrender your license plates.
You must surrender your license plates in Michigan if you:
Contact the Michigan SOS to get more details about surrendering your license plates.
If your license plates have been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can get replacements from your county’s SOS office. You must apply for replacements in person, and you’ll require the following:
If your plates were damaged, you may have to surrender the damaged plates to the SOS office.
In the event that your license plates were stolen, you should contact the police immediately. Although you are not required, doing so prevents your previous plates from being abused by criminals.
The following is a summary of fees associated with license plates in the state of Michigan:
For the most recent and updated version of these fees, contact your nearest SOS office. The fees listed here should be used for reference purposes only.
It is possible to look up license plates in the state of Michigan to obtain information about a vehicle’s history.
You can also use this to search for available plate numbers if you want to personalize your license plates.
Look up a license plate in Michigan here.