Michigan had different color combo plates every year for ages, unlike a lot of you folks that kept the same plate style for a decade or so. However, around 1983, we switched to blue with white lettering. Which I always liked. They stopped giving them out around 2003ish, but you could still continue to get tags for existing ones up until very recently, when they nixed the whole thing. The replacement is white, blue lettering, with a big blue rectangle at the top. And it sucks. There's a handful of custom plate designs, mostly school symbols and lame things like "I love children", but in 1996 there was a 100th anniversary of the automobile plate that was kind of cool, and if someone had gotten one you can still get tags for it and transfer it from car to car (we can do that in MI, I get the impression you can't in Cali. In Michigan you can't transfer a plate between owners even).
^The beloved blue/white plate
^What the current replacement is... eh.
These two are optional at extra cost plates- the orange/blue one of the bridge isn't made anymore, but you can still register them (my 300 has one still)
This is the one-year 100th anniversary of the automobile in the US one (that was a pretty big event when it happened)
And a few of my favorite older plates-
The '76 plates lasted until 1979, and the 1979s lasted until 1983. Amazingly, up until VERY recently (last 2 years or so), government vehicles were still running around with the '76 style plate. And not vehicles that old, they were putting them on new cop cars, school busses, work vans, etc. Kinda weird, never understood how that worked. Gov't plates don't expire, I guess, so they just kept moving them from vehicle to vehicle.
We also used these tabs for a few years in the late '50s/early '60s-
A lot of them seem to have serial #s of some sort stamped in them as well, probably an attempt to keep people from stealing them off cars and using them.
It scares the bejesus out of me that someone, somewhere ordered the Lusitania with front drum brakes.