Michigan State Police

The Michigan Department of State Police began as a temporary, wartime emergency force for the purpose of domestic security during World War I. On April 19, 1917, the Michigan State Troops Permanent Force, (also known as the Michigan State Constabulary) was created.

This new force consisted of five Troops of mounted, dismounted and motorized units, totaling 300 men. On March 26, 1919, Public Act 26 reorganized the Constabulary as the permanent, peace-time Michigan State Police. In 1924, an expanded fleet of Indian and Harley Davidson motorcycles were introduced to highway patrol including in the Winter (with use of sidecars of course).

In 1930, the black uniform was replaced with the familiar blue and gray uniform. After the end of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur requested the help of the Michigan State Police in reorganizing the Japanese national police as a democratic, civil police force. A high honor indeed for the MSP! By 1956, the ranks of the MSP swelled to 1000 for the first time.

In 1965, the MSP was reorganized and was one of 19 departments provided by the new state constitution. Today, the Michigan State Police consists of a modern-day force of over 3000 civilian and law enforcement professionals, using the latest up-to-date training and technology to protect the citizens of Michigan.

There are 65 MSP Posts throughout the Great Lake State and many elements of logistical support including canine, aviation and crime labs to name a few. Marked patrol vehicles of the MSP still bear the single red rotator rooftop light, some call the "tomato can".

It is one of the few agencies in North America that still uses this older style overhead light. What was once a cavalry of 300 men now has evolved into one of the leading police agencies of the United States, truly reflective of the MSP's motto: "A Proud Tradition of Service Through Excellence, Integrity and Courtesy"

Michigan State Flag

On the blue shield the sun rises over a lake and peninsula,
a man with raised hand and holding a gun represents peace
and the ability to defend his rights. The elk and moose are
symbols of Michigan, while the eagle represents the United States.


1924 issue
Picture courtesy of the Michigan State Police
 

1926 issue
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

1930 issue
Picture source: e-Bay

Picture courtesy of the Michigan State Police

1934 issue
Picture courtesy of Joseph Horvath
 

1947 issue

Picture courtesy of the Michigan State Police
 

1958-1964 issue- Dark blue and yellow (called Maize) colors commemorated 150th Anniversary of University of Michigan. WATER WONDERLAND- Unsure if Troop number designations on MSP license plates had commenced in 1958, but if they had, this plate would be out of
Pontiac Post (27) car 3.

Coldwater Post, Car 7
Photo Courtesy of Scott Rothermel

1965-1967 issue- Dark blue and yellow (called Maize) colors commemorated 150th Anniversary of University of Michigan. WATER WINTER WONDERLAND- Unsure if Troop number designations on MSP license plates had commenced in 1965, but if they had, this plate would be out of Newberry Post (82) car 1. Some of these plates of this era had painted (blue) backsides on the older ones, and the newer issues just had
bare aluminum backsides.

We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?


1965-1967 issue- Dark blue and yellow (called Maize) colors commemorated 150th Anniversary of University of Michigan. WATER WINTER WONDERLAND-
Unsure if Troop number designations on MSP license plates had commenced in 1965, but if they had, this plate would be the Post Commander's plate for Mount Pleasant at the time
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

1968-1969 issue. Niles Post- car 3
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

1970-1972 issue.
Non-reflective flat yellow paint-
GREAT LAKE over STATE- Newaygo Post- Car 3
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

1973-1975 issue- 22= Romeo Post Car 1 -
GREAT LAKE over STATE
Reflective characters and border introduced

We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?


1976-1989 issue- 12= Brighton Post Car 2-
Painted embossed border

Picture courtesy of Jay Weinstein

1976-1989 issue- K9= Dog Handler Post 82 (Newberry)- Painted embossed border.


Picture courtesy of Jay Weinstein


1976-1989 issue- Laboratory (Crime Lab) for Post 71
(Traverse City) painted embossed border
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

1976-1989 issue. Traffic Services Division, Car 5
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

Late 1980's-1989 issue- 63= Mt. Pleasant Post- Step border

Picture courtesy of Jay Weinstein

Late 1980's-1989 issue- K9= Dog Handler. Post 77= Manistee
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

1989-2007- K9= Dog Handler Post 4- Step border
Picture only
Norm's needs this for his collection
Drop him a line if you can help.

1989-2007- 79= Kalkaska Team Car 1- Step border


1989-2007 issue. Training Division Car 8
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

1989-2007 with step border
First District Headquarters, Car 8. First Dist HQ is in Lansing, MI
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

1989-2007 - Jonesville Post Motor Carrier
Enforcement (all MSP plates with assignment number
in the 90's indicated Motor Carrier Enforcement). This
plate would have been issued prior to the absorption of the
4th District into the adjacent 1, 2 and 5 Districts
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

Current passenger plate with MSP number.
Post 33= Bad Axe.

Norm is searching for one of these types for his collection. Photo Courtesy of Mike Paciorek
 

Michigan State Police personnel were eligible to order
these MSP suffixed passenger license plates for their
personal vehicles if so desired. The practice was
discontinued several years ago

Norm is searching for one of these for his collection.
 

PD (Personnel Division) Prefix plate.

A type that Norm is searching for his collection.
Photo Courtesy of Mike Paciorek
 

L prefix ~ State-Owned Base
Photo Courtesy of Mike Paciorek
 

State Owned plate
TD = Training Division
Picture courtesy of Jay Weinstein

BS = Bomb Squad
Picture courtesy of Eric Laskowski

Picture courtesy of Eric Laskowski

Current base plate-
UB = Uniform Bureau (no specific Post designation)

Photo Courtesy of Mike Paciorek
 

2006-2007 Training Division plate. No state name
or slogan. This type of plate has apparently been issued for
the exclusive use of MSP vehicles used for training at the
MSP Precision Driving Facility. The MSP Precision Driving
Facility is located on a 42-acre site adjacent to the MSP
Training Academy in Lansing. Its purpose is to provide
emergency vehicle operations training to members of the law enforcement community, both in-state and out of state.
The facility features a nine acre precision maneuvering
pad (700' x 500'), a three acre skid pad (500' x 200'),
an off-road recovery lane, an observation tower, seven
full-time staff members and 27 safety equipped vehicles.


Special one-of-a-kind 75th Anniversary "motto" version
stamped onto older maize over blue SP plate -
Courtesy of Sgt Greg Sebring MSP (Ret)
 

Circa 2006- Custom plates.
Test types developed before launching 2007 base plate
Courtesy of Sgt. Greg Sebring Michigan SP (Ret)

Early 2007 issue. Features emblem of MSP followed by
embossed assignment number. TD= Training Division.
No state slogan, only website address along lower banner line.
As of 04/22/2007, it appears as though these new plates
are only used by Training Division vehicles,
as no Post versions have yet to surface.


2007-current issue.
Photo Courtesy of Mike Paciorek

Photo Courtesy of Mike Paciorek

2007-current issue
Features emblem of MSP followed by embossed assignment
number. BS = Bomb Squad. No state slogan, only website
address along lower banner line.

Photo Courtesy of Mike Paciorek

Photo Courtesy of Mike Paciorek

2007-current issue
AR = Accident Reconstruction
Photo Courtesy of Mike Paciorek

Photo Courtesy of Mike Paciorek

1939 issue cycle plate.
Appears to have been run with a "Pedestrian Slicer"
on the front. EXTREMELY rare! None known to be
in captivity. Please let us know if there
are any known survivors.

Picture courtesy of the Michigan State Police
 

Motorcycle plate - 1990's
Embossed Border
TD = Training Division
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

Motorcycle plate
- Current Issue
Stepped Border
TD = Training Division
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

2007-Current style motorcycle plate.
Post 25- Flat Rock

2007-Current style motorcycle plate.
TD = Training Division
Picture courtesy of Rick Morrison

Michigan State Police Troopers Association booster plate.
Blue and yellow-gold over reflective white.
Introduced Spring of 2007
 

Michigan State Police Troopers Association booster plate.
Picture courtesy of Bill Ceravola
 

National Troopers Coalition Conference issue.
Embossed thin aluminum. Not DMV made.
 

Personalized passenger car plate
Courtesy of Sgt Greg Sebring MSP (Ret)
 

Personalized passenger car plate
commemorating the 86th recruit class.
Courtesy of Sgt Greg Sebring MSP (Ret)