Should Michigan Get ‘Blackout’ License Plates?
Further west in the Midwest, Minnesota is getting 'blackout' license plates in 2024, following a trend that Iowa, Colorado and Mississippi started. Should Michigan follow suit and have a blackout plate of its own?
The plates are as simple as it gets. Black plates with white lettering and numbering. The state name is at the top and the county name is at the bottom. It's sleek and minimalist design is quite popular in the states it's already available in.
Michigan did once have such a plate design as a standard option from 1979 to 1983. Instead of the county name at the bottom of the plate, it instead said "Great Lake State" in all caps on two lines of text.
Iowa debuted its new black plates in 2019 and promptly sold half a million plates within a few months. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said the plates were "one thing Iowa got right," and brought them to his state.
The plates are available to passenger vehicles, light trucks, RVs, and motorcyclists in the four states that now offer them.
Michigan has a number of plate options. The three standard options are fairly popular with Michigan drivers and include: the white with light blue accent "Pure Michigan" option, the colorful sunset display of the Mackinac Bridge option and the Maize and Blue option that is not actually related to the University of Michigan at all, Water-Winter Wonderland option.
However, the question of whether Michigan should have its own blackout tags has already been answered. Back in November, Michigan legislature decided on three classic plate designs to return including the blackout plate from the early 80s.
While Iowa and Minnesota may have a more modern take on the design, Michigan might have more of a retro look.
According to MLive, it will take about a year for these plates to be printed and made available. The plate options include the black plate with white text, an all-blue option with white text and a bicentennial plate bearing markings of the United States flag.
These plates will cost an extra $55 per vehicle. According to MLive, $50 of that fee will go toward fixing Michigan roads and $5 goes back to the Secretary of State office.
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