Sunday, January 20, 2008 5:06:35 PM America/Detroit

New Michigan License Plate in 2007

After many years, Michigan has changed the design of its main license plate. Gone is the blue background with the white text. This has been the only license plate from Michigan that I can remember. In the 1970s, the blue was a very dark blue (maybe it was black—the past used to be black and white, you know), while the most recent blue is Lake Superior blue.

The new license plate is white with blue letters. On top is a blue band with Michigan written across it, and on the bottom is the Michigan website.

There is also a special plate showing both the skyline of Detroit and the upper peninsula, and a picture of the Mackinaw Bridge. Other special plates look like the basic Michigan plate design and have either a school emblem or a special cause symbol on them.

The old blue plate was unique. You could tell from a distance that it was a Michigan plate. Iowa, Connecticut, Kentucky, and New Jersey also had a blue background with white letters for its plate at some point in recent history, but Michigan had it the longest.

All current 5.6 million blue-plate owners will have to change to the new design.

“People are very open-minded about new things—as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.”
--Charles Kettering

The problem here, of course, is that change is BAD. And not only that, but some of us have to be dragged kicking and screaming into anything NEW. That’s never pleasant. I’m sure some of us would rather have a fondue fork shoved into our eyes, as long as we don’t have to get up from our favorite chair.

I don’t remember anyone asking me my opinion on this issue. I’m very annoyed by all of this, cranky even. Now I find Michigan's license plate is as generic as anything out there. And don’t even get me started on the font they’re using.

I think what we need is a contest to design the next Michigan license plate. I’m not graphics designer, but this is the time of the internet where anyone with Photoshop can do anything. Come up with your new license plate design and send it to the Michigan Secretary of State. Tell them some Cranky Driver sent you.

Michigan Secretary of State