In a very unscientific manner, I took to social media to determine which state drivers dread passing through the most with a Michigan license plate. I'll be honest, I already knew the answer.

Related: Who's #1? Michigan, Ohio Cities on USA's Top 10 Most Deadly to Drive

While Indiana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas, California, and even Hawaii all were mentioned once or twice in our Facebook poll, there was one clear winner. So, which state do Michiganders dread driving through?

Ohio is Michigan's Least Favorite to Drive Through With Mitten State Plates

When passing into Ohio 2 things are very clear:

  1. They have INCREDIBLE roads (compared to Michigan's)
  2. and Ohio State Troopers are EVERYWHERE

Seeing the abundance of patrol cars upon entering Ohio gives those of us with Wolverine State plates pause for concern. But is that reason to worry? Do the police really target out-of-state plates? They do, but not for the reason you might think.

Why Some Out-of-State Plates Are More Likely to Get Pulled Over

Michigan driver handing over her license to an Ohio State trooper.

According to, some police agencies look at plates from outside their state as a kind of flag. Retired New York Police Department Officer Kent Ng had this to say during an interview:

A lot of people with out-of-state plates are actually (in state) residents. While some register their car in another state for insurance reasons, others are trying to get around a suspended or revoked license.

Often, Ng says people will use a friend or relative's address to re-register their vehicle and plates in another state so they can continue to drive.

A sheriff's patrol car on the side of the highway, watching for speeding, especially from out of state drivers who may have falsified their registrations .

Ng goes on to explain that this practice is highly illegal.

Every driver’s license application in the U.S. requires a person to affirm under penalty of law that they do not already have a valid license in another state. If they do, it has to be turned in and destroyed. And if that license is suspended or revoked, the application for a new license in another state should be denied.

He does explain that law-abiding drivers shouldn't have anything to worry about. The act of driving with out-of-state plates alone won't get you pulled over, as there needs to be a legal reason for them to stop you.

What Out-of-State Drivers Get Pulled Over For

A driver speeding in a state their plates aren't registered in.

Ng explains that people with suspended licenses tend to commit a lot of infractions, hence the reason they lost the privilege to drive in the first place. Let's look at the violations patrols are most likely to pull you over if your plate isn't registered in the state you're driving through:

  1. Speeding
  2. Cell phone use
  3. Unsafe lane changes
  4. Not having a front and back plate

That last one makes it difficult for Michigan residents, as we are 1 of 20 states that don't require vehicles to have front and back plates.

Do Michigan Police Officers Target Out-of-State Drivers?

State trooper pulling over driver with out-of-state plates

What about Michigan? I asked sources within the Michigan State Police if they intentionally targeted out-of-state plates. When writing a ticket to someone out of state, all the paperwork must be done by hand, whereas Michigan drivers are already in the system.

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To sum it up, if you're breaking the law with out-of-state plates, you'll more than likely pay a hefty price for it and take time to get it settled up before you leave the state. Just remember that these officers are just doing their job, show them the respect they deserve, thank them for doing what they're doing, and you might just catch a break.

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Between hunters and car-deer collisions, which one is responsible for thinning the herd more in your Michigan county? Using the Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer license sales from all seasons and crash data from, let's take a county-by-county look as we count down to the one with the most deer-involved crashes and compare that to the amount killed by hunters.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

Road Fatalities: Most Dangerous Time, Day, and Month by State

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Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

Move It! No. What's Needed For a 1 Mile Lane Closure in Michigan?

Why not just open the lanes on holidays? Michigan residents have asked that question and the answer will surprise you. A LOT that goes into a Michigan Mile of Road Construction.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

United States 25 Most Dangerous College and University Campuses

Since 1990, colleges and universities have been required to report all crimes committed both on and near their campus. Based on data compiled over a 3 year period and only using data from the Clery Act that was reported ON CAMPUS, here are the United States 25 Most Dangerous Campuses as reported by Degreechoices.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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