Michigan License Plate Lookup


Get a comprehensive history of a used car

  • Specifications and equipment details.
  • Accidented or stolen.
  • Known and hidden repairs.
  • Past and present market values.
  • Sales records, title issues, and liens.

With hundreds of vehicles plying the streets of Michigan, it became mandatory for the Government of Michigan to identify citizens' and organizations' vehicles. This consequently led to the invention of the State of Michigan License plate. But this never solved the odometer fraud issue where sellers manipulated odometer readings. Unsuspecting buyers bought these vehicles for ridiculous prices and sometimes got into trouble for buying stolen vehicles.

However, it is now possible to know every detail about a vehicle, thanks to a free reverse license plate lookup like VinPit. With this, you can identify a stolen car prior to purchase, saving you from the claws of prison.

Do you want to know more about Michigan license plate, how it works and how to perform a free Michigan license plate lookup? Then, read on.

How Does a Michigan Plate Work?

The state of Michigan is one of the states in the United States that is good at keeping vehicle-related records. In the early 20th century, the city council made a law mandating all vehicles to be registered. In response to this, the Michigan Secretary of State started issuing license plates in 1905. At that time, the state only issued a disc-shaped State of Michigan license plate, with an annual renewal fee of $3.

The current series of Michigan license tags are issued by the Michigan Department of State, and it was introduced in April 2013. The tag has a dimension of 30cm by 15cm, with a combination of three alphabets and four numbers.

According to the State of Michigan law and statutory, you only have a grace period of 15 days to title and register your vehicle. You can get this done at the Michigan Secretary of State Office. But if you are on a brief visit to the state, you can apply for a temporary permit. The temporary permit comes in two categories. You can either go for the one with the 30 or 60-day permit.

Like most states in the country, there is only one rear state of Michigan license plate for every vehicle. However, you can file for another license plate should your old license tag get stolen or lost. But you will need to pay $5 to retrieve your tag.

Sometimes, the need to transfer a license plate from one vehicle to another may arise. In situations like this, you can solve the problem by:

  • Visiting the Michigan Secretary of State Office
  • Presenting the title (the one that will be transferred to the other vehicle)
  • Submitting your vehicle's latest registration
  • Making a transfer fee payment of $8
  • Preparing for additional fees

When it comes to titling and registering vehicles in Michigan, only vehicles with a weight of 2500 pounds and above are eligible for the process. Also, you must title your car within 14 days of ownership.

In Michigan, car titling is not done online; you need to be physically present. In cases where two or more people own a vehicle, the co-owners must be physically available during the titling process. To title and register a vehicle in Michigan, you need the following:

  • Proof of vehicle ownership
  • Means of identification
  • No-fault insurance document (Michigan only accepts the one obtained in the state)
  • A 6% tax may be charged for titling

On successful completion of the whole exercise, you will receive your state of Michigan License plate

Types of Michigan License Plates

There are only seven types of license plates that are issued by the Michigan State Office; they include:

Fundraising license plate

Michigan offers this special kind of license to raise funds for the 15 public universities and some other special organizations that they support. Some of the bodies include the Northern University Michigan, Agricultural Heritage, Boys Scout of America, and the like.

The Michigan license plate cost about $35, mind you, the $35 is just the fundraising fee. You are also required to pay an application fee. Meanwhile, for every fund received, $25 is donated to those bodies.

After getting the identity tag, you are to pay an annual fundraising fee of $10. The $10 realized from the tag renewal will be donated to the Universities or those special organizations.

There are different ways to apply for this license plate. You can order the tag either by emailing the secretary of state's office or using credible online websites. Alternatively, you can visit the office. Once you complete the exercise, you should get the license tag two weeks from the date you placed an order.

Personalized plates

This tag cuts across several types of license plates due to the various options that it provides you with. You could decide to order a personalized fundraising tag, personalized veteran plates, or even the Spectacular Peninsulas tag.

Getting a personalized plate is subject to two things. Firstly, your preferred plate must not have been taken by anyone else. Secondly, the plate's application must be accepted by the State office.

To apply for the plate, you can either visit the office or use the online route. If you choose the online path, ensure you log in to the state MiLogin website and do the needful.

Historical plates

It is no news that Michigan is the hub of automobiles worldwide. To commemorate this, the government does issue historical license plates to certain vehicles. This exercise started as far back as 1956. To qualify for this tag, your vehicle must be:

  • At least 26 years old
  • Solely used for events like car parades, historical club shows, and the likes.

The historical plate uses a format that is quite similar to that of the standard plate. You will only find six digits on the vehicle's plate; however, this is different for motorcycles.

The Michigan license plate cost about $30 upon registration, which must be renewed once every ten years.

Some other kinds of tags that the Secretary of State Office also issues include standard plates, Collector license plates, and the like.

What Can a Michigan License Plate Lookup Reveal?

Michigan is a place where people are crazy about automobiles. If you visit the net regularly, you will notice that Michigan citizens purchase cars almost immediately after the car is posted. However, this can be very dangerous as you may be a victim of a car dealership scam. To prevent this, you must perform a license plate lookup in Michigan to get important information about the vehicle and the owner (seller in this case). There are two ways to go about this.

You can either visit the Secretary of State's office or conduct an online Mi License plate lookup. While the former is exhausting and tiring, the latter is quite fast, efficient, and mostly free.

Various public websites offer free reverse license plate lookups. However, most of these websites may not give you the required information. This is due to their lack of access to the Michigan Secretary of State's vehicle records.

A credible website like VinPit will only make this information available to you once you give a genuine/verifiable reason why you need the information. VinPit runs a free reverse license plate lookup that gives the following information:

  • The owner's name and place of residence
  • The vehicle details (The manufacturer, model, and the likes)
  • The vehicle's title and registration details
  • Accident history
  • The vehicle inspection report

All you need is the Michigan license plate or the Vehicle Inspection Number (VIN).


Is there a penalty for failing to transfer the title within the stipulated time?

Yes, there is. You would have to pay a late fee of $15.

How can you correct some details on my license plates?

Go to one of the Secretary of State branches with a valid registration receipt or put a call through to 1-888-767-6424.

How can I renew my license plate despite being out of Michigan?

There are two ways to go about this. You can either renew it online or send a mail to the Secretary of State's Office. To your mail, attach a copy of your current vehicle registration, Michigan no-fault insurance document, and a check payable to the State of Michigan.

Can you get a veteran license plate despite still serving in the military?

To qualify for this license plate, you must have received a service medal for serving in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, or Vietnam.

How soon should you fix your new license tag to your vehicle?

Ensure you attach the tag as soon as you get it.


Running an online license plate lookup in Michigan is important for several reasons. One, it gives you a full story about any car. Two, you can report a driver running at high speed to the appropriate authorities without stopping the driver.

VinPit, a free Michigan license plate lookup service is a quality-oriented website that will furnish you with any automobile information in the twinkle of an eye. The website performs VIN checks, decodes VIN, and also gives a full report about a vehicle.