Program: Commemorative license plates

 

Appropriation:

All from Interdepartmental Grants:

$2,147,300

 

Total:

$2,147,300[2]

 

Program: Specialty license plates

 

Appropriation:

All from Interdepartmental Grants:

$3,915,000

 

Total:

$3,915,000[3]

 

Program: Olympic center plate

 

Appropriation:

All from Interdepartmental Grants:

$75,700

 

Total:

$75,700[4]

 

Program Description:


This appropriation funds commemorative, specialty, and Olympic Center license plates.  Like many states, Michigan offers “vanity plates,” a licensee-requested combination of numbers and letters for an extra fee.  Specialty plate sales are designed to benefit certain causes or institutions such as universities, or to preserve Michigan lighthouses.


Recommended Action:

The state should eliminate this program. The state should merely authorize a particular vanity license number and/or specialty plate, and allow the vehicle owner to purchase the plate from the lowest-cost private provider, ending the state’s involvement in the actual provision of plates. Savings: $6,138,000.

Program: Notary Fees

The Secretary of State should adjust user fees to reflect real costs and inflation. User fees are assessed for a host of services throughout state government and many of them are woefully below the real cost of service delivery. The fee charged by the Secretary of State’s office for notary public applications is still a mere $3.00, where it was set 61 years ago in 1942. If the state adjusted its price to account for inflation since 1942 it could charge $33.11 for each notarization. Making this change could likely raise an additional few hundred thousand dollars in new revenue.