Recently, while driving around, I've noticed a lot more Michigan license plates that look pretty different than the standard ones we're all used to. At first, I thought maybe I had just missed something and they were new.

However, it turns out I'm not the only one who has noticed them more frequently and also, they're not technically new at all!

Related: If Only There Were A Green And White Retro Michigan License Plate (SPOILER: There Is!)

A Little History on Michigan License Plates

To understand how we got here with Michigan license plates, we first need to understand how they even got started.

According to a timeline by, Michigan didn't even start a statewide vehicle registration until 1905 which was symbolized by the first semblance of a "plate" which was actually an engraved aluminum disc kept on the dash.

Michigan then issued the first plates in 1910 and in 1943, instead of giving people new plates every year, metal tabs (much like the stickers we have today) were used to show updated registration and attached to the plate to conserve metal during WWII.

In 1965, the United States standardized license plate size requirements across the country and from there Michigan had some creative freedom.

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Michigan plates have featured all kinds of color combinations and slogans over the years. In 1954, there were maize and blue plates, honoring University of Michigan that featured the phrase "Water Wonderland."

In 1965, the material for the plates was standardized to be galvanized steel and the slogan was changed to "Water - Winter Wonderland" and that is what we are talking about today.

Michigan Water - Winter Wonderland Plates

In recent years, we are more familiar with plates like the standard blue and white, the Mackinac Bridge plate, the "Spectacular Peninsulas" plate or even the "Great Lakes Splendor" to name a few.

dc42d76 via eBay
dc42d76 via eBay
maildude1 via eBay
maildude1 via eBay

However, there's been a new (to us) option added, the good old 1965-style, "water-winter wonderland" plate.

Image Courtesy of Michigan SOS
Image Courtesy of Michigan SOS

Apparently, I missed the memo here because MLive reported back in December that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was bringing back the plate after years of requests from Michigan motorists.

How to Get the Michigan Water-Winter Throwback Plate for Your Car

If you're like me and just now found out these are now being recirculated, you'll be happy to know they are still available!

Trust me, you are not alone as just this weekend I had a friend say the same thing about seeing them everywhere.

As it turns out, you can actually get them from the Secretary of State and is even featured among their choices of plates online.

"Motorists may order the Water-Winter Wonderland plate for a one-time fee of $5 (in addition to any other registration or fees that may apply)," the Secretary of State website says. "The Water-Winter Wonderland plate is available for non-commercial vehicles and is also offered in disability and personalized versions."

When you get it, your tab will also go on the bottom right corner instead of the top like the usual, standard plates you get.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

LOOK: See the iconic cars that debuted the year you were born



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