Legislation to provide the option for specialty license plates emphasizes Michigan’s car culture  adding a touch of nostalgia to Michigan roads. 


LANSING, Mich. (Aug. 23, 2023) — Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) has reintroduced legislation to allow the Secretary of State to readminister the blue license plates Michigan used from 1983 until 2007, as well as the black plates issued between 1979 and 1983. 


“For countless residents, these retro license plates evoke nostalgic memories about their childhoods and the cars they grew up with,” said Sen. McMorrow. “Bringing back these vintage looks for modern plates will allow drivers to pay homage to our automotive history while creating a fun way to contribute to improving our roads.” 


Under the current law, drivers can only get a discontinued Michigan plate if their car is 26 years old or more and used in classic car shows. Under Sen. McMorrow’s legislation, the blue and black license plates would be available to all drivers in Michigan for an added fee of $100. The revenue generated from the retro plates would go toward the state’s transportation fund, and ultimately be used to fix the state’s roads  providing drivers with a great opportunity to celebrate our unparalleled car culture while helping fix a few more potholes. 


In 2021, the Michigan Secretary of State began offering vintage-inspired “Water Winter Wonderland” license plates, harkening back to the Water Winter Wonderland plates that were offered between 1965 and 1968. The plates have quickly become one of the most popular plate options for drivers, showing the demand for vintage-style plates McMorrow knew would be there when she first introduced this legislation back in 2019. 


Similar legislation was approved in California in 2014, offering drivers a nostalgic, 1960s-style black plate with gold lettering, which was a staple of the muscle car era. Released again in 2015, it quickly became the most popular specialty plate offered and generated millions of dollars in added revenue for the state.