There are a lot of specific rules when it comes to Michigan driving laws, specifically when it comes to license plates.

License plates or registration plates are important for multiple reasons, especially for law enforcement.

In order to not get a ticket or worse, you may want to keep scrolling and reading.

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  • Your registration plate has to be on tight and secure in a horizontal position at all times
  • The plate cannot be attached any lower than 12 inches from the ground.
  • The registration plate has been clear and visible at all times.

"The attachment to the rear of a vehicle of a tow ball, bicycle rack, removable hitch, or any other device designed to carry an object on the rear of a vehicle, including the object being carried, does not violate this subsection."

  • You cannot add anything extra to the registration plate, such as a name plate, insignia, or any sort of advertising
Making Michigan License Plates
Photo: YouTube/Michigan Department of Corrections
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According to Section 257.225 of the state vehicle code,

"A person shall not operate a motor vehicle that has a name plate, insignia, or advertising device attached to a registration plate in a manner that obscures or partially obscures the registration information."

What are the exceptions to the rule?

If you drive a truck tractor or a road tractor, you have to put the license plate on the front of the tractor.

"A registration plate issued for a truck tractor or road tractor shall be attached to the front of the vehicle."

Also, Get Jerry also states that,

"Historic military vehicles aren't required to display a license plate at all if the vehicle wasn't originally built with mounting equipment, but the driver must be ready to provide the license plate to law enforcement at all times."

What happens if you drive without a license plate in Michigan?

Not having a license plate or not having your license plate clearly visible is a civil infraction. In the state of Michigan, that offense is punishable with a fine.

If you are driving with an invalid license plate, that is considered a misdemeanor which can get you a fine and jail time of up to 90 days.

  • Civil Infraction - $135
  • Misdemeanor - $275

Does Michigan require front license plates?

Vehicle with no License Plate
Townsquare Media/Scott Winters
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Surprisingly, I have never been in a state where this is a thing.

Michigan does not require front plates for vehicles to be registered in the state.

Michigan Vehicle Code says,

"A registration plate issued for a vehicle shall be attached to the rear of the vehicle."

Why does Michigan not require a front registration plate?

In 1981, the state of Michigan stopped requiring people to have two license plates.

While the exact reasoning behind it is not specified, according to Get Jerry.com,

"the choice likely saved the state hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in license plate production costs! States that do require front and rear license plates typically do so to help law enforcement track down law breakers and identify stolen vehicles."

What other states do not require a front license plate?

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

These 10 Rejected Michigan License Plates Are Hilarious

The state of Michigan released a list of banned vanity plate requests.
There are over 21,000 personalized plates that have been banned by the Michigan Department of State for being dirty, graphic, or hateful. These are some of them.

What Did Michigan’s License Plates Look Like The Year You Were Born?

Michigan is home to so much motor vehicle history. Let's take a look back in time to see some of the cool and interesting Michigan license plates of the past.

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