By DAVID EGGERT, Associated Press
LANSING (AP) - New Michigan license plates will make drivers ambassadors of the state's tourism charm, as the popular "Pure Michigan" logo is added to both standard and specialty plates.
The main plate is staying white with blue letters and numbers. But now it says Pure Michigan instead of just "Michigan" and links to the state's travel website rather than the state government site.
There also is a blue wave at the bottom signifying Michigan's status as a Great Lakes state. The current standard plate was unveiled in 2007.
"We're going to put Pure Michigan on the road," said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, who unveiled the license plates at a branch office in Lansing. She was joined by Gov. Rick Snyder and an official from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which uses the Pure Michigan campaign for economic development branding, too.
The cost of getting an original plate will not change, though drivers can replace their current plate with the standard Pure Michigan plate for $5. The tourism logo also is being added to personalized, veteran and fundraising plates that cost more than regular vehicle registration fees.
Michigan residents typically get a new license plate when they buy a car or switch to a specialty fundraising plate, so it will take years for the new plates to be phased in.
Snyder said the Pure Michigan brand already has been extended to agriculture and business ventures.
"This is a natural extension because literally this is driving that message home in terms of saying we're all ambassadors for Pure Michigan now," he said.
Other past plates have touted Michigan as a "Water-Winter Wonderland" and the "Great Lake State."
A current, snazzier plate costing $5 extra - and featuring notable buildings, the Mackinac Bridge and forests - will be replaced later in the year with a Mackinac Bridge-themed plate that also will have the Pure Michigan logo on it.
A national Pure Michigan cable television advertising campaign in 2013 is costing $13 million, which includes $3 million from Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Mackinac Island, Traverse City and The Henry Ford - a museum and historical village in Dearborn.
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