Michigan License Plate Information Summary
To apply for Michigan license plates, you'll have to go to the Secretary of State's Office. You can renew your plates whenever you re-register your vehicle. You can transfer your Michigan license plates from an older vehicle to a new one you buy.
Michigan License Plates Offered
You can get standard Michigan license plates, vanity plates, disabled plates, or specialty plates. Contact the Michigan Secretary of State's Office to find out your options.
You'll also get stickers to put on the plate identifying when it will expire.
When you purchase your car from a dealership, you'll get temporary plates that are good for 15 days.
If you are not going to use your car very often, you get apply for temporary registration permits. These are in increments of 30 or 60 days, and cost $20 for 30 days or 1/10th of your usual registration fee – whichever is greater.
To get a temporary registration, you have to go to your SOS office with the vehicle title and registration, plus a form of payment.
When You Need To Get Michigan License Plates
You need to register your vehicle and get new plates the day you move to Michigan. If you buy a vehicle in Michigan, you have 15 days to get new plates.
Keeping Your License Plates Up To Date
You have to renew your license plates once a year. You will be sent a reminder. You can renew your Michigan license plates by mail, online, or in person. When you do so, you'll get a new sticker to put on your license plate.
If Your Michigan License Plates Are Stolen
Should your Michigan license plate be stolen or damaged, you can get new ones. You do not have to file a police report.
Go to the SOS office and bring with you your registration, ID, and a form of payment. A new plate is $5. A new decal is also $5. Should your decal only be damaged and you can bring part of it with you, it will be free.
Transferring Or Surrendering Your License Plates
You will have to surrender your Michigan license plate if you move to another state or cancel your auto insurance.
You can transfer your license plate to a new vehicle you purchase. You can also transfer the plate to an immediate family member (spouse or children).
To transfer your Michigan license plate, go to the SOS office and bring the vehicle's title and current registration. You will be charged $8 for the transfer process.
Michigan License Plate Costs
Costs for Michigan license plates vary widely. You should call your SOS office to find out what you'll pay.
For the first three years, you will receive a 10% discount on the standard license plate charge. After three years, this discount goes away.