Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Another waste of money

From the AP

Michigan's blue license plates to be phased out

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — It's been 24 years since the state introduced the "Old Blue" license plate, and some residents say they'll have a tough time saying goodbye.

It will cost about $11 million to reissue the plates, according to an analysis from the House Fiscal Agency. But the state could break even or even get some extra revenue if motorists choose to buy other plates that carry a special fee or if motorists driving vehicles with blue plates and expired or fake tabs are forced to get new, legal plates.

We don't need to replace the blue plate. It's works perfectly fine for what we need. That money can go towards a SBT cut instead.


Anonymous said...

This is not just about making our highways a little prettier.

You've missed the problems with the blue plates, Dan. There are a LOT of the old blue plates on vehicles out there that have deteriorated so badly that they are difficult to read. There are also a lot of illegal/unregistered plates floating around.

We don't see this in Livingston County but the problem is obvious in urban areas. Keep in mind that police agencies in Michigan are big supporters of this change as new plates will make it easier for them to do their job.

In this day and age where we are worried about terrorism and security we should do what we reasonably can to make life easier for law enforcement. This could end up preventing some crime and might even save money in the long run.

Anonymous said...

This will disenfranchise those who are to poor to afford new plates.

Ryan Thompson said...

How long can you keep licence plates in this state? Most states make you get new ones at least every five years per vehicle.

ring. said...

I've already sent a suggestion to Terri Lynn Land regarding this issue.

Anonymous said...

To my knowledge Michigan has no limit as to how long a plate can be used. In fact, it is normal practice here to transfer plates from your old car to a newer car. There are probably people driving around out there with plates originally issued 24 years ago, that have been on 5 or 10 different cars over the years. If you look around in Detroit, you do see a lot of plates that look that old.

The only thing that has really kept this from being an issue sooner is the fact that many Michigan residents buy the extra cost optional designs or vanity plates.

I agree with Dan on many things but he definitely missed on this one. It is worth noting that this measure had widespread support from both parties and is not considered to be controversial except on this blog.

Anonymous said...


Bachbone said...

A typically liberal response to problems, whether from Democrat or Republican, is to spread the pain to everyone. If everyone suffers, I suppose it's supposed to make us feel better.

They can issue a new plate every month, or every week, as far as I care, but if they are going to charge me a fee for them, don't think I'm stupid enough to believe it's solely for enforcement purposes. My blue plate is perfectly legible. Stop cars with the ones that aren't and make them pay for a new one.

Anonymous said...

Often politicians have hidden motives for what they do. This is a rare case where the problem is plainly obvious.

Keep in mind that this will only affect people using the blue plates, which might possibly be less than half of all total vehicles in Michigan.

I don't know what the replacement fee will be but I expect it to be nominal, maybe $5 or $10 above and beyond the normal annual registration fee, certainly only a small fraction of the cost of filling a gas tank once.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought the blue plates are ugly and will be happy to see them go. We should be using plates that create a positive impression to encourage more people to visit Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Here is some interesting news that I've not seen reported in the mainstream media . . . the oil minister of Saudi Arabia has warned fellow OPEC members that the price of oil is too high and that they should expect a big drop in oil prices over the next 12 months. He observed that the recent sudden increase in price is resulting in lower demand and a growing surplus and that a price decline should soon follow.

He also warned OPEC that high prices are encouraging development of alternate energy sources and that members can't assume that they will always be able to earn a large income from oil exports.

The bottom line: OPEC is worried about the effect that energy conservation and alternative sources will have on their income in the future. These programs do make a difference!

Lower oil prices by fall will also benefit incumbants running for reelection, primarily Republicans.

Anonymous said...

"I've always thought the blue plates are ugly and will be happy to see them go. We should be using plates that create a positive impression to encourage more people to visit Michigan. "

I've always found this argument rather curious. To my way of thinking (warped as it may be) license places are for identification not to promote tourism. It seems rather ludicrous that someone will say "gee that's a pretty plate, lets go visit x-state" or conversly that they would choose not go somewhere because they have plain plates.

Anonymous said...

Yep, of course license plates do nothing to promote a positive image for a state . . . and businesses are stupid for spending tens of billions of dollars on advertising every year to promote their products and services.

Personally, if I have to choose between the businesses that "waste" their money and your incredible wisdom, I'll go along with businesses because they do tremendous research to validate their advertising spending.

The great thing about issuing plates that promote a positive image v.s. boring plates is that there is very little cost given that some type of plate is going to be issued regardless. So why not issue nice looking plates? Are you afraid it might make your "beater" look too ritzy?

Anonymous said...

Ever since this news broke I've paid a bit more attention to the plates on cars and noticed that a lot of the blue plates are a mess -rusted, peeled, etc. I don't think this is much of a barn-burning issue but defer to the needs of those for whom ready identification of car plates is necessary.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed many blue plates that are virtually unreadable in places like Detroit and Flint.

It said a lot when just about everyone from both political parties supported the bill. Sometimes a need is so obvious that it even trumps partisan bickering.

Also, I'm not sure whether there will be an additional fee for people replacing blue plates (with the standard replacement plate) or if the state is picking up the entire tab.

Anonymous said...

There's advertising and there's effective advertising. I fail to see the connection behind a pretty licence plate and increased tourism. I doubt people don't go to Arizona because of their plain white on red plates nor do they rush to Wyoming because of the bucking bronco on thier plate. So I'd take my "incredible wisdom" and advise businesses to spend their advertising dollars wisely.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah . . . I suppose all those little ads on webpages are worthless, and probably little ads in newspapers are worthless too, so on and so forth. What you are really doing is showing everyone that you have no credibility on this subject.

Incidently, nobody said that we should replace the blue plates in order to create prettier ones. They are already going to replace the blue plates. All we are saying is that as long as they are going to replace the plates anyway, they ought to at least make them attractive.

Anonymous said...

I remember when we used to get new plates every year. Back then we paid, probably $23 or $25 every year, stood in line at the S o S office, and paid the $25 bucks for the new metal plate each and ever year.

And they told us that is why it costs us $25 for a registration- partly becuase they had to provide us a new plate each year. Plates are made by prisoners in jackson.

So somebody said- "Hey, we can save money by NOT giving you a new platre every year- just a new sticky "tab" sticker. "

So they did it.

Do you think the cost at the Sec of State would go DOWN?

Hint- this year I will pay $132 for the tab on one of my three cars. I haven't got the reg bill for the other two yet.