State Park Number Plates Released

A new funding source for Michigan’s state parks — an optional $10 fee paid by drivers getting their number plates tabs — starts this fall and should put the state parks on more stable financial footing.

If half of the state’s car owners sign up, it would bring $35.5 million annually to the parks. If three-quarters do, it would mean $53 million. If nobody signs up, then the parks will be left with only camper fees — not enough to run the system.

State officials say it will take three years to figure out how well the new program is working.

The state parks have not received any state tax support since 2004.

• For this summer, state park users still pay $6 for the day, or $24 for a year’s park pass.

• Starting in October, your car license plate renewal form will give you an option to pay $10 for a yearly park pass. The designation will be part of the tag you stick on your number plate. It will get you entry into any state park for free.