Many people likely think very little about the license plate design that appears on the back of their car. Either they chose the standard issue plate they are given by default or perhaps one of the very limited amount of specialty plates offered by the Michigan Secretary of State.

Around the turn of the millennium, the state was tinkering with different license plate design concepts. At that time, the state has the well remembered Lake Superior Blue basic plate. This was the era of the introduction of the World's Motor Capital plate and before plates were offered for the state's universities (except for an exceeding rare plate issued for Kalamazoo College).

A cache of prototype license plates were recently discovered in the estate of a former employee of the SOS. They ended up in the hands of collector Bennett Sizer who serves at Michigan Archivist for the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association. He shared the treasure with a group on Facebook dedicated to Michigan license plates.

READ MORE: These Autumn Wonderland Michigan License Plates Aren't Real - They Should Be

The collection of plates show what could have been for Michigan plates. Some are simple with just a state outline or seal displayed. One offers a glimpse to the future in Michigan plates with an early prototype of a Mackinac Bridge design. Others show interesting features that have never made a Michigan plate like using the state's symbols or a state outline dissolving into the Great Lakes waters.

While the state has made progress in plate designs including the very popular reimagining of the blue Water-Winter Wonderland and green Water Wonderland plates with more reissues to come, these plates give a fascinating and never before seen look at plate development in Michigan.

Michigan License Plate Prototypes That Were Never Created

These Michigan license plate prototypes never made it to the back of any vehicles as an official design. However they were recently discovered as part of a Secretary of State worker's estate and drawn immediate interest from collectors.

Gallery Credit: Michigan Secretary of State via Michigan License Plates/Facebook

Dig in on more Michigan license plate designs:

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