Senators considering new license plate requirements

New plates could be required of drivers every ten years according to legislation currently going through the State Senate.

State lawmakers want to require drivers to replace their license plate every ten years.

The legislation being considered by state senators would take effect in 2015. It would require motorists to pay five dollars for a replacement plate for any license plate issued more than a decade earlier.

Supporters said it will ensure all plates are readable out on the road.

â??People hold onto those old orange and blue license plates,â?? said John Boals of Elk Rapids. â??You can't read them. It makes sense that they'd want to turn them over a little faster.â??

â??It depends on the condition of the current plate that the person has,â?? said Chuck Swanberg of Traverse City. â??I've seen some plates that are really tough to read; they're rusted up and in pretty bad shape.â??

Some people said there isnâ??t enough damage done after ten years to justify the replacement.

â??I feel they're fine after ten years,â?? said Curtis Lennarth of Suttons Bay. â??I don't object to paying the five dollars. It's not a lot of money; most everybody can afford it. But it comes back to where they should learn how to budget their own programs, not keep coming to general public for more money.â??

It is one way to spruce up your car.

â??After ten years the stickers get kind of, they add up too,â?? said Boals. â??So it makes sense. It'd be nice to start with a new one. Plus there'd be new designs to choose from too.â??

Boals said people can use the old plates for crafts, like making a poster or decorating your barn.

Along with the replacement, the bill would also require the state to study moving to a digital plate printing method.

The legislation is being considered in a state senate committee. The House passed the legislation 74-33 earlier this month.