Today it's commonplace to have dozens of different options to choose for a license plate for your vehicle. Want a standard (boring) issue plate? Even standard issues now come in several designs while fundraising plates to support universities and causes seem to be in almost endless designs.

Go back a few decades to a time with many fewer choices and you'll stumble upon what is almost certainly the most rare licence plate issued by the Michigan Secretary of State.

The plate which may have been issued for only on year in 1995 is for Kalamazoo College.

Remember this is an era when you didn't have an option for a plate for the largest universities in the state yet tiny, private Kalamazoo College had a plate issued.

We contacted Kalamazoo College to see if they had any information on the special plate and their public relations office was able to dig up a 1995 newsletter with the following blurb:

Michigan residents can now demonstrate their support for
Kalamazoo College with a special organization license plate
issued by the Secretary of State. The five-digit plate features
a decal with the name "Kalamazoo College" and a large
initial "K" in orange and black.
The cost is $25 plus the regular vehicle registration fee.
The plate will expire on the owner's birthday, and credit will
be given for any time remaining on an existing license plate
on the same vehicle. Those who keep the same plate in
subsequent years will pay only the regular renewal rate.
To apply for a Kalamazoo College license plate, contact
a Secretary of State branch office. The specially designed
plate will be mailed within 10 days of application.

The plate features numbers only rather than letters with the K College logo to the left. The plate uses the standard, at the time, metal 'Lake Superior Blue' base with the Great Lakes logo.

The issuance may have been a trial by the state. In subsequent years license plates for state universities were made available, however, the state has never, we believe, issued plates for private schools before or since like the 1995 K College plate.

Hobbyists and collectors say that the K College plate was the only one ever issued with the classic blue background. The issuing of state school license plates began in 2000.

The plate rarely, if ever, pops up on sites like eBay. This is a long-sold listing from Etsy. So should you have a vintage state-issued Kalamazoo College plate tacked up in a garage, know you are sitting on quite a little treasure.

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