Antique Auto License Plates


State Index
For Sale/Trade

Michigan    (MI)


Veteran Motor Car

100 "VMC" plates were issued to V.M.C.C.A. members' cars in 1946.  The plates were valid through 1951.

Historic Vehicle, Type 1

First issued in pairs in 1952, with numbers starting at 10-01.  These steel plates measured 13 5/8" x 6".  Also confirmed is #19-49.

Historic Vehicle, Type 2

New dies were used on this short-lived variation from the mid-1950s.

John Willard collection

Historic Vehicle, Type 3

Oversized plates continued, but with a new layout ("Michigan" on top; raised yellow border, no debossing around bolt slots).  Also confirmed is #24-21.

Historic Vehicle, Type 4

The first 6" x 12" plate.  This variation used the same dies as Types 2-3.  Also confirmed is #27-28.

Historic Vehicle, Type 5

A thicker stroke for the number dies was introduced here.  Plate #30-23 in this style was issued in 1958.

Historic Vehicle, Type 6

Wide spacing for "Historic Vehicle" appeared on this variation from the early 1960s.  Also confirmed in this type is #54-97.

Historic Vehicle, Type 7

The spacing for "Historic Vehicle" changed again.  This is the first aluminum type.  The back is painted.

Historic Vehicle, Type 8

Like the preceding plate, but the back is bare aluminum.  Circa 1970.

Historic Vehicle, Type 9

The raised areas are now reflectorized, and bolt holes have replaced bolt slots.

Historic Vehicle, Type 10

The raised, painted border was dropped for the highest numbered plates.

Historical Vehicle

The first "Historical Vehicle" plates, renewed with stickers valid for 10 years, appeared in 1986.  A 6-digit numeric format was introduced.  Numbers reportedly started with 006000.


Need Photo


Historical, Blue Bar base

Michigan began using the "Blue Bar" base in 2007.  The legend was reduced to simply "Historical".

Historical, Pure Michigan base

This base was introduced in 2014.  (The passenger version features a "blue wave" along the bottom.) 

from eBay


In Michigan, a Historical Vehicle must be more than 25 years old, owned solely as a collector's item and used only for events such as club activities, parades and car shows (not routine transportation).  Currently Historical Vehicle plates are valid for ten years from the date of issue.


Michigan Department of State page about Historical plates

Michigan state document about Historical Vehicle plates [PDF format, 4 MB]

Online ALPCA Archives - Michigan [requires member password]


The Bulb Horn, April 1946 issue, "Licensing of Veteran Cars", p 31.


                       Site last updated 1-Dec-2016