Sure every license plate has a unique number and unless you're choosing a vanity plate, the number, or rather alphanumeric mashup on letters and numbers, will be chosen randomly by the Secretary of State when you apply for the tag.

But what if the selection of license plate numbers wasn't so random after all?

License plate enthusiasts know that if you want a lower-numbered license plate you have to know how the Secretary of State branch system works.

Are Lower Numbered License Plates Valuable and Desirable?

You may have never considered it but in some states, lower number tags are a big deal. In Deleware, for example, lower number plates convey status and the tags are subject to resale at high values or put up for lottery by the state.

In Michigan, generally, our license plates are a mix of letters and numbers with schemes like AAA 111 or AA 111A.

So if you want those low letter low number plates, where can you get them? You can't special request them, but if you know the Secretary of State's branch system, you might have a chance.

On the Michigan License Plates Facebook group a discussion came up recently on how to obtain a lower series plate number on the newer green Water Wonderland plates.

One collector in the know says to head to the Adrian Secretary of State branch is the far southeastern corner of the state in Lenawee County.

Why Adrian? That's the first SOS branch in the state when listed alphabetically, or Branch 100. Generally, collectors say, over the years Branch 100 will get the first release of plate numbers and the series will increase as they supply branches further down the list.

So for a new series of tags, a plate like AAA 001 would have been given to the first customer who requested one in Adrian.

Now, for example, if you're visiting the branch in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming at the opposite end of the alphabetic SOS branch listing, don't expect to see a lower series of license plate numbers.

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.

Gallery Credit: Big Joe Pesh