Elk license plates available Dec. 1

LANSING — Starting Dec. 1, a new wildlife license plate will be available in Michigan. The current common loon plate will be replaced with an elk plate to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the reintroduction of elk in Michigan.

“We are excited for the changing of the guard,” said Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason in a news release. “The loon license plate has had a long run, and helped to raise over $2.6 million for wildlife habitat since 2006.”

Once common in Michigan, elk had disappeared from the state in the 1800s due to unregulated take and lack of habitat. However, in 1918, seven elk were brought from the western United States to Wolverine, Michigan. The healthy and abundant elk population in the state today is a result of intentional land management and increased law enforcement.

Mason said all funds from the sale of the elk license plate will continue to help wildlife management, with this funding crucial because it helps all wildlife.

Those interested in purchasing the current common loon plate have until Nov. 30. Those who already have the loon license plate can keep it.

A new license plate can be purchased from the Secretary of State at any time for $35. An additional $10 specialty license plate fee is charged annually when drivers renew their registration. The funds from this renewal fee are given directly to the DNR for wildlife habitat work.

Order specialty license plates by mail or fax or at any Secretary of State branch office. To purchase a plate by mail or fax, complete and print the Wildlife Habitat License Plate Order Form. The plate will be mailed within 14 business days from the date it is ordered.