Question Of The Month: To register or not to register?



December 23, 2011

In some states, registering a historic vehicle means making some trade-offs. Different vehicle designations come with varying usage restrictions, inspection exemptions, and costs. So what’s your approach?          

When it comes to registering a car or truck, historic vehicle owners are often faced with multiple options. Different types of plates—e.g. antique, collector, classic, etc.—vary from state to state. Costs can vary from one registration category to another. The lifespan of each type of registration can differ and, of course, there are also varying restrictions that can impact how much or how little you are able to use and enjoy your vehicle.

So what to do? The Historic Vehicle Association would like to hear from you. What is most important to you when registering your vehicle? Are you more concerned with having the freedom to enjoy your vehicle where and when you want? Or is it more important to register your vehicle as historic or antique for the recognition it affords?

The HVA wants to know what you think, so please take our “Registration Poll” on our Facebook page and feel free to expound on your answer by commenting below or on Facebook.   

If you’re unsure of the registration particulars for your state, head over to the HVA’s registration, fees & use map. Here, in addition to state-specific personal property tax information, you’ll be able to learn more about your state’s registration requirements and how they may or may not affect the usage of your collector vehicle.

As always, should you have any questions or concerns regarding your state’s registration requirements, please contact the HVA at legislative@historicvehicle.com.

 

Comments

  1. Hal Horton NE Florida

    Here in Florida, you can register a pre-1976 car using a license plate that is the same year as the vehicle to be registered. The tag has to be in good un-restored condition. You just mail it off to Tallahassee along w/ the usual paperwork and registration fee, and they inspect it, then mail it back to you w/ the new registration and sticker.. It is often less expensive than just getting a regular tag. I currently have a 1969 tag on my 1969 Ford. It looks MUCH better than just a blue Florida Antique tag

  2. al zim north texas

    The most important thing is to have a title to the vehicle in your or you companies name. Do whatever it takes to obtain that. If you do not have this you will have many more problems when you try to sell the car. Then I would purchase the cheapest license plates. The cops are not going to stop you for driving on antique plates for an errand, if the do, tell them you are taking it to get gas or that you exerciser the car twice a month to keep it up. Insure it for 20% more than you paid for it. This will give you a cushion if you forget to raise the value every year. al

  3. Bruce Beagley MA

    Freedom to drive when and where I want is most important...antique plates in Massachusetts generally restrict driving to weekends and holidays. Anyone looking at my car can tell it's old. I don't need an antique plate to point out the obvious.

  4. Don Oregon

    I've registered my 75 Corvette Roadster as a Special Plate (or Antique), its a life time registration for $78 (as opposed to $150 every other year), No DEQ (as opposed to every time you renew) You are limited to car shows, parades, special events and functions, and going to and from the mechanics. I don't need to drive my toy to the grocery store to get a loaf of bread, the trade offs PAY for themselves.

  5. Paul Ianuario South Carolina

    I do not register any of my collector/antique cars as "Historical Vehicles" in my State. This registration limits the use of the vehicle. I like to drive my cars when I want too and where I want too. The freedom to do this is much more important than any recognition that the State might give me by issuing a special license plate. Besides, we have the "year of manufacture" law here which entitles me to have an original license plate that is the year my car was manufactured. This is much more impressive than any "Historical License Plate" issued by the State and it does not carry any restriction on vehicle use.

  6. Pa South Carolina

    I do not register any of my collector/antique cars as "Historical Vehicles" in my State. This registration limits the use of the vehicle. I like to drive my cars when I want too and where I want too. The freedom to do this is much more important than any recognition that the State might give me by issuing a special license plate. Besides, we have the "year of manufacture" law here which entitles me to have an original license plate that is the year my car was manufactured. This is much more impressive than any "Historical License Plate" issued by the State and it does not carry any restriction on vehicle use.

  7. Robert Las Vegas, NV

    I register my car as a classic since I will drive it less than 2000 miles a year. Both registration and insurance is less when registering as a classic. Smog inspections are not required, another saving. The special plate also gives the car additional recognition.

  8. HermanPpfauter Santa Barbara, CA

    I own more than 25 collector vehicles and keeping them all insured and registered is getting more expensive, especially now where our dysfunctional state government is looking everywhere for more revenues to satisfy their constituencies. In Europe some countries like Germany and Switzerland have a system called Multiple license plate (In German: WECHSELKENNZEICHEN) which allows the owner to register a number of vehicles under the same license. The number of vehicles allowed varies by country - but it is a great idea. Of course it is limited to vintage vehicles only which must be at least 30 years old and can't be used as a daily driver. The license fees are determined by the fees for the most powerful vehicle with the highest cu. in. displacement or horsepower, likewise the insurance premiums. Often there are special discounts for vintage vehicles. The system has worked well in Switzerland for many years. Germany just introduced it a couple of years ago. Wouldn't that be something to emulate? Herman Pfauter Santa Barbara, CA

  9. Paul W Allen Massachusetts

    I don't register my 53 Cadillac as an antique car here in Ma. Too many restrictions, such as only on week ends, holidays or travel to car shows etc. I would really like to put year of manufacture plates on the car, but although Ma. allows this, it's only if the car is registered as an antique auto. So I'm out of luck.

  10. Ed Meurer Detroit, MI

    Our cars attend many cruises, shows, events, etc., and are all registered as "Historic Vehicles" in Michigan. We like that fact that the State of Michigan allows for year correct vintage plates to be permanently used for the car and it is cheaper to register the car as historic than as a daily driver. The cars are driven as much as possible, but we always keep a copy handy of the law as well as the Secretary of State's most recent written comments on her interpretation of the law in case an uninformed police officer tries to issue a citation related to historic plates. In our state, the key phrase of the law is "testing of vehicle repairs," as it covers the car even when not being used in a car event.

  11. James Sargent Gilbert, PA

    I have two cars with Classic Car plates, since I only use the cars to go to car shows, cruises, etc. It doesn't bother me. I also want those plates so that I can leave the cars as they came off the production line so I don't have to upgrade the cars with newer (and not better) conviences. The limitations are not that great that I can't deal with them, also I commute a large distance and wouldn't use them for work travel anyway. In Pennsylvania it's a ontime charge, and the plates stay with the car, I don't have to register it every year. I do have to have them inspected but cars like these are always well maintained anyway.

  12. Danny Fancher Orange City, FL 32763

    I purchased my 1956 Chevy from michigan. The state of FL charged me sales tax on the car, plus they taxed the shipping fee,which I don't agree with, however, at the time I didn't know you could register a 1956 plate ( if you could find one) which I did, right now the plate is in Tallahaassee being authenticated.

  13. Shawn Pennsylvania

    I think any vehicle that qualifies for a Classic or Antique plate should be honored with one. However, my number one personal priority for my classic vehicle is that I can drive it as much and wherever I would like. Unfortunately in PA, the combination cannot be accomplished. For this reason my '68 Chevelle has standard tags like any other vehicle of the state. Who do the legislators of Pennsylvania think they are to tell me that can't drive my car for "recreational" purposes more than one day a week that doesn't include parade duty and car shows.

  14. chris mueller oregon

    I too don't know witch way to go I have 3 cars and at this time they are registered as daily drivers. A friend om mine did the opp set and registered his a collectors . We both drive about the same amount. In Oregon it cost about $65.00 a year for daily and $35.00 for life on a collector car but they say you cant drive it much at all?? I don't know Chris

  15. Edmund J Meurer III Detroit Michigan

    I believe that your website has an error related to State of Michigan Historic Vehicle Registration, which states that a registration is good for 10 years. Actually, since 1997, Michigan residents may register their historic vehicle with an authentic license plate for a one-time fee of $35.00. Here is the law taken from Secretary of State, State of Michigan's website (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/hplate_16252_7.pdf ): Authentic License Plate Michigan also allows residents to register their antique vehicle with a same-year general use Michigan license plate. Reproduction or remanufactured plates are not allowed. The plate must display the correct colors for the plate year. The registration fee is $35. An authentic plate registration processed after Jan. 1, 1997, is valid until the vehicle is sold, transferred, scrapped, or modified. Authentic license plates must be registered by mail and are not handled by any Secretary of State office. To obtain a registration, send the following items to the address listed on the application on page 2: (A) A color photograph, a color scan, or a color photocopy of the license plate (passenger, commercial, trailer, or motorcycle). Do not mail the original plate. Personalized, government, law enforcement, manufacturer, dealer, intransit repair, disability, and special purpose license plates cannot be used as authentic license plates. If in doubt, check with the department before purchasing a license plate. (B) Proof of ownership, preferably a copy of the title. (C) Proof of Michigan no-fault insurance. (D) $35 fee (make checks payable to “State of Michigan”). (E) The completed application located on page 2. You will receive a new registration within two to three weeks

  16. Don Gorham, ME.

    I register a couple vehicles with "Antique" plates, and it is well worth it. No mileage limits, no inspection stickers, only real stipulation is that they 'can not be used as a primary mode of transportation for passengers or goods.' Well, they're both secondary modes, so I guess I'm good :)

  17. Jeff Keith Hyannis, MA

    My 1969 Road Runner is registered here in MA with optional Cape Cod & Islands passenger plates, there are no restrictions per se from the MA DOT/RMV on the use of the car other than yearly safety inspection (no emissions testing). there is also an annual local excise tax here in MA. however my vehicle is insured by Hagerty and as such there are limited use restrictions which is not a problem for me as the car will not be used in winter, is in enclosed secure storage year round, used on weekends, car shows, cruise nights, etc. not alot of miles put on it, so has worked out well for me so far

  18. CSX Pacific Northwest

    I have antique plates on my Cobra but frequently drive it all the time anyway. Only once have I been stopped by a small town cop (I think he just wanted to see the Cobra up close) and if asked if I was going or coming from some sort of car club event. I replied yes, I'd been to a Shelby Owners Club event in Portland. Heck I don't even know if there is a Shelby owners club in Portland, but it was all I needed to say!

  19. Michael Johnson Rimrock AZ

    I just registered my 56 Ford fo 5 years. I register it as I do any of my other vehicles, total cost $320.00. The only reason it is so high is due to special plate and personalized letters, otherwise the cost would be $60.00. With the weather here I use my car year round.

  20. Michael Johnson Rimrock AZ

    I just registered my 56 Ford fo 5 years. I register it as I do any of my other vehicles, total cost $320.00. The only reason it is so high is due to special plate and personalized letters, otherwise the cost would be $60.00. With the weather here I use my car year round.

  21. Jason Maitland Ontario, NY 14519

    My 1970 Olds Cutlass SX is registered with vintage 1970 license plates. It is registered as a historical vehicle. I have to register it annually and it costs $28- no restrictions other than I have to have it insured as a historical vehicle. The plates have to have the small sticker from year visible, you submit a photo to DMV and if the number is not in use, you can use them. A friend of mine found the pair at a garage sale and gave them to me. I really like the way they look.

  22. Keith Riley Tenn.

    Hello My 1948 Dodge is titled as a 1946. The previous owner in Fla. had the 1946 designation on his title and when I had it titled here in Tenn. the DMV. did not correct it to 1948 and also titled it as a 1946. If I tried to obtain a ( year of manufacture plate) of the correct year would the plate have to match the title? Thank you Keith 9

  23. Dave Turney N.E.Ohio

    I have used Historic tags on my previous collector cars, but on my current collector car I have a vanity plate. I like to drive my vehicles any time and anywhere I want, and the Historic tag makes most of that illegal.

  24. Dave Turney N.E.Ohio

    I have used Historic tags on my previous collector cars, but on my current collector car I have a vanity plate. I like to drive my vehicles any time and anywhere I want, and the Historic tag makes most of that illegal.

  25. Bill Law Boise ID

    I'm not really into vanity plates and the like [I see voluntary taxation]. However, I do like the 'Year of Manufacture' option well enough to pay the additional fee for these plates. They are really another small part of the vehicles original look. As for mileage restrictions, no problem, don't like driving it much anyway. You see, another small part of the original look is no air conditioning. When I was young [and still original] A/C didn't matter. But now, I spend most of the time with the Suburban's switch set at MAX AC; while the trlr queen follows comfortably behind.

  26. Doug L Bancroft MI

    Whenever I drive my historic registered car, I am either touring or testing, even if I am testing on my way to work. I have never been stopped to question if my use of the car was within historic guidlines.

  27. Jack Geiger Port Orchard, WA

    Washington State has a good collector car plate system. No annual licensing fees, which saves a lot if you have multiple "toy" cars. There are some usage restrictions to prevent daily drivers. There are no odometer checks, which takes away the worries if you drive to a lot of distant car shows during the summer months. Strongly recommended for anyone with a "sunny days only" car over 25 years old.

  28. Vinny D'Amato Queens New York

    I have 1957 vintage plates on my 57 chevy belair. I found them while working in a landfill 30 years ago.I knew some day I will own a 57 chevy so i held on to them all those years ,so after raising the family and all the other stuff you have to do before you can do anything for yourself , 2 years ago my dream finally came true. The dmv had to run a check on the numbers to see if any crime was committed with them (30 years ago). So after they checked out fine it only cost 30 dollars a year and i have to have a safety inspection done on the car which is another 10 dollars, and I have no restrictions at all.

  29. Bernie Boston, MA

    Just replaced my antique plates with regular plates, so I could drive my fun car more often. MA regulations are too restrictive.

  30. Bryan Washington

    I have two collector vehicles. My 58 bug has collector car plates (a one time $60 fee) restricted to the usual club events, parades, or mechanical testing. I like to drive it 3 to 4 times a week, so if I get questioned I am sure to be testing. My 66 El Camino has daily driver plates on it. I use it 5 or 6 times a year gently as a truck, and when the bed is full of lumber it would be hard to explain that I am testing the mechanics of it. I have a set of year of manufacture origonal truck plates waiting for the tiime when I decide to stop using it as a truck for good.

  31. DRJothen Oregon

    Chris, you have a couple of options here in Oregon but they have restrictions. There are Antique plates that require the vehicle be manfactured before 1955. The vehicle must be maintained as a collectors item and they don't state a mileage limitation. It's a one time fee that does not need to be renewed. Then there is a Special Interest plate. They require that the vehicle be at least 25 years old and that your car is either recognized by a car club or historical organization or is a "street rod". They state a restriction that the vehicle may only be used for exhibitions, parades, club activities or other uses. Pretty broad and should allow you to drive whenever you want as most car clubs have events at least once a month. Bottomline is that these options save you money! I have 4 classic cars and drive them all regularily and the only time I have been stopped by police is when this office just had to get a better look at my 55 Chevy. I certainly would not buy these plates because you fear it will limit your ability to drive them. That is not the intent and the police won't bother you. Good luck! DRJ

  32. Bob A Kenosha WI

    In addition to the antique plates you documented on this site, Wisconsin has two other types of historical vehicle plates. There is a collector plate for unmodified cars over 20 years old and a hobbyist plate for modified cars over 20 years as well as replicas, homemade, and reconstructed vehicles. Both charge a flat fee for lifetime registration. The catch? The plates are not valid during the month of January! You must buy a temporary plate if you wish to operate your collectible vehicle in January. Maybe they figure older cars don't have good heaters? P.S. Check your email server. It may be down. Got two bounces over the last three days.

  33. Bob A Kenosha WI

    In addition to the antique plates you documented on this site, Wisconsin has two other types of historical vehicle plates. There is a collector plate for unmodified cars over 20 years old and a hobbyist plate for modified cars over 20 years as well as replicas, homemade, and reconstructed vehicles. Both charge a flat fee for lifetime registration. The catch? The plates are not valid during the month of January! You must buy a temporary plate if you wish to operate your collectible vehicle in January. Maybe they figure older cars don't have good heaters? P.S. Check your email server. It may be down. Got two bounces over the last three days.

  34. Ian Robinson New Jersey

    NJ law limits the use of the historic vehicle for eductional purposes,car shows, etc, and they must be 25+ years old. The cost to register a vehicle with the standard "QQ" plates, designating a historic vehicle, is around $45 for a 3 year term, compared to around $75 annually for a standard registration. Historic vehicles do not require any inspection whereas standard vehicles require a bi-annual emissions check (no roadworthiness check in NJ). As I wouldn't dream of using my '53 MG TD for commuting or driving to the corner store the historic plate option is clearly the right choice.

  35. Dave TX

    In many states, the license plate (tag) fee is based on USAGE. If you register an Antique, you pay a very small charge and they expect you to only use it on special occasions. If you want to use it more often, but not daily, then you register as a Classic and pay a slightly higher fee. Full use, everyday, no restrictions, then you should pay full price. I just moved from NJ to TX. In NJ it was registered as a Classic to avoid annual inspections and to receive a much lower insurance premium. When I registered / retitled my antique El Camino (over 25 years old) they asked no questions and gave me no options - it was registered as a 'Half Ton Truck' with no use restrictions. In TX, I can have Classic Insurance (much lower rates) and keep a Normal registration for unrestricted use. We should really try to standardize these rules and regulations across the whole country.

  36. Greg Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

    I have a 1946 Ford Sedan, a 1959 Ford Ranchero, and a 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible. Delaware is a relatively easy and cheap state to maintain a regular vehicle registration. The cost is $40 a year which includes a state inspection at least every 2 years. I do not register my vehicles as historic or antique because Delaware Law does not include the phase "and occassional use". This makes the historic registration far to restrictive for me. I do not own museum pieces, I own vehicles I love to drive. If you choose a hstoric registration you pay a one time $40 fee including inspection and you never have to pay or get an inspection again. The state issues a plate that is the same blue with yellow numbers as standard plates (remarkably simular to the one at the beginning of this story) that says either auntique,classic or hot rod. Delaware is a permanent plate state and the only one that is all numeric. The number on the plate is the same as on the title to the vehilce. Any plate issued since 1940 can be diplayed, wih porcalin and stainless steel with rivited numbers still available. Delaware is the only state that still has porcalin platee availabe for an extra one time fee of $100. The State only controls the numbers 1 (the Governor), 2 (the Lt. Governor) and 3 (Secretary of State). Low digit tags are bought and sold on the open market. The original porcalin tag number 6, which was recently sold attached to a 2005 Chrysler 300 for $675,000. Yes, that is 3 zeros there.

  37. Brian Ohio

    I have all three of my cars registered and use period plates. I really like that I had to do it one time and there are no renewals. I take the cars to shows and parades plus just take them out for a drive when ever we want to. I don't use them for everyday driving but I do drive them because I bought them to enjoy.

  38. Eric TN

    I just registered my '86 as an antique in TN today. $30 one-time fee, no more emission tests (which I easily pass but now I don't have to pay the testing fee), and I can drive as much as I want on weekends. Weekdays only to/from shows, parades, events, etc. or for "maintenance and testing"... well, a screwdriver in the glovebox should make that believable. I don't commute with the car anyway, so if I'm driving during the week it probably IS to a show or club event. Actually, since I now work for the company that made my car, I could conceivably claim that my workplace IS a club event! On my commute to work I sometimes see an old bimmer with antique tags, so I doubt the cops care much. I can also use a period-correct plate (I don't think they even inspect it) as long as the antique plate is inside the car. Too bad for me TN plates in the '80s were butt-ugly.

  39. Bob A Kenosha WI

    In addition to the antique plates you documented on this site, Wisconsin has two other types of historical vehicle plates. There is a collector plate for unmodified cars over 20 years old and a hobbyist plate for modified cars over 20 years as well as replicas, homemade, and reconstructed vehicles. Both charge a flat fee for lifetime registration. The catch? The plates are not valid during the month of January! You must buy a temporary plate if you wish to operate your collectible vehicle in January. Maybe they figure older cars don't have good heaters?

  40. Mark J Smith Waterford, MI

    I live in Michigan and have Historic Plates on my hot rod 1969 Camaro. The car is not original as it has a 500+hp BB Chevy engine and is a bit loud. I have never had a problem with the police in my area. I have driven next to them, had them behind me and never been stopped. I think this area of Michigan has so many hot rods, collector cars and antique cars that the police are very friendly and considerate about cruising with your car. The largest car cruise is in Michigan - the Woodward Cruise. At times I have driven my car during the week in the morning, afternoon and evening and never had a problem with the police. If I did get ever get stopped, it is legitimate to be driving the car after repairs to test it.

  41. Mark J Smith Waterford, MI

    I live in Michigan and have Historic Plates on my hot rod 1969 Camaro. The car is not original as it has a 500+hp BB Chevy engine and is a bit loud. I have never had a problem with the police in my area. I have driven next to them, had them behind me and never been stopped. I think this area of Michigan has so many hot rods, collector cars and antique cars that the police are very friendly and considerate about cruising with your car. The largest car cruise is in Michigan - the Woodward Cruise. At times I have driven my car during the week in the morning, afternoon and evening and never had a problem with the police. If I did get ever get stopped, it is legitimate to be driving the car after repairs to test it.

  42. Michael Godley Mssachusetts

    Just switched from Antique to regular plates. Antique registration must be renewed yearly and it works out to be approximately 2X the cost of regular plates...this on top of the many usage restrictions.

  43. Mike Galvin New Hampshire

    Here in NH Antique simply mean the vehicle has to be in Parade Condition. What is parade condition? I asked and they said it must be running and able to drive in a parade. The actual meaning other than drivable she said was really up to me and the parade organizers. I can drive the car when and where I want. I don't even have the heater working or even the hoses installed (how I bought it and have not tried to see if it worked)

  44. nick zanz queens, ny

    Just a note. To add to what Vin from Queens said, there has been a surcharge added to ALL vehicles in NY( city???) of $25.00 dollars, bringing the annual registration to 53.75 per year for my 68 GTO.

  45. Paul Brevard County, Flordia

    I have period 1967 Utah Plates where I brought my car from to Florida. I'm not going to cave in to the BS tax man here and pay $450 to tag my Karmann Ghia in Florida with cheesy Antique Plates I'm maintaining my registration in Utah and it will be licensed legally every year, since I do plan on going back to Utah periodically . After all it is a vintage car, safe to drive. Going to shows, etc. Not a daily driver

  46. Paul Brevard County, Flordia

    I have period 1967 Utah Plates where I brought my car from to Florida. I'm not going to cave in to the BS tax man here and pay $450 to tag my Karmann Ghia in Florida with cheesy Antique Plates I'm maintaining my registration in Utah and it will be licensed legally every year, since I do plan on going back to Utah periodically . After all it is a vintage car, safe to drive. Going to shows, etc. Not a daily driver

  47. Lou Liserani Vancouver, WA

    I am the original owner of a '74 Alfa Romeo Spider. Have it registered as a "Collector Vehicle" - paid once and never again and no emissions testing. Limited to 1,000 miles/yr - keep the costs down and work for me.

  48. Lou Liserani Vancouver, WA

    I am the original owner of a '74 Alfa Romeo Spider. Have it registered as a "Collector Vehicle" - paid once and never again and no emissions testing. Limited to 1,000 miles/yr; same as Hagerty Ins. - keep the costs down and work for me.

  49. Guy O. West Texas

    Texas Antique Plate WAS available to any vehicle over 25 years old (even Dave's El Camino if he'd asked); however, I'm told that this type of plate which cost $55.00 and was good for five years, with no yearly inspection required is being phased out. We only have two more years for these plates to be valid, then I guess the State of Texas will require us to run the much more expensive yearly plate which runs about $85 depending on the vehicle and forces yearly inspections. I can just see some kid at the inspection station trying to figure out how to inspect a Model T! I hope the Historic Vehicle Association will look into the reason behind Texas doing away with Antique vehicle plates and see if anything can be done to keep them...I think it is a bad thing to have them withdrawn from those of us with "antique vehicles" as the increased hassel and cost may cause some to decide not to get into the hobby or leave it.

  50. Historic Vehicle Association HVA

    **Good News: in researching Texas Code 504.502 there do not appear to be any changes coming to the cost of antique plates or antique vehicle registration in Texas. The changes appear to be in reference to "specialty" or "vanity" plates.

  51. Historic Vehicle Association HVA

    **Good News: in researching Texas Code 504.502 there do not appear to be any changes coming to the cost of antique plates or antique vehicle registration in Texas. The changes appear to be in reference to "specialty" or "vanity" plates.

  52. Steven Meakings Clinton Twp, Michigan

    I have four motorcycles and one car registered with original year plates ranging from 1950 through 1970. By registering them this way I can use them for everything except daily transportation needs as the law states, I can use them for parades, club events, and touring. The 1950 and 1952 motorcycle plates are slightly larger than your average business card. I've never had a problem with the police when out riding around. I think they're probably well informed and have larger issues to deal with than someone out in a classic vehicle. I also think the police realize we have more invested in our vehicles and are probably more better and safer drivers because of it. On a couple of occasions I've even driven my 1970 MG BGT to work and had the police behind me and they haven't batted an eye. I don't do it regularly so again I'm sure they are not to bothered.

  53. Steven Meakings Clinton Twp, Michigan

    I have four motorcycles and one car registered with original year plates ranging from 1950 through 1970. By registering them this way I can use them for everything except daily transportation needs as the law states, I can use them for parades, club events, and touring. The 1950 and 1952 motorcycle plates are slightly larger than your average business card. I've never had a problem with the police when out riding around. I think they're probably well informed and have larger issues to deal with than someone out in a classic vehicle. I also think the police realize we have more invested in our vehicles and are probably more better and safer drivers because of it. On a couple of occasions I've even driven my 1970 MG BGT to work and had the police behind me and they haven't batted an eye. I don't do it regularly so again I'm sure they are not to bothered.

  54. Asa Jay Washington

    The Pros... only ONE plate necessary, mounted on the rear of the car, no more front plate. Reduced fees. Pretty much one time and your done for the life of the car instead of every year. And no emissions testing. Cons, depending on the plate, there are driving restrictions, though in some cases it may be similar to the insurance company. With some plates, you can't even drive the car on the street, it must be trailered everywhere. What's up with that? Others restrict you to low annual mileage (like how will they check?) and you can only drive it to and from events, not to work or to the grocery store. Shoot, in Washington alone you could end up putting most the allowed miles on a car in one car show trip. We've got wide open spaces up here in the Pacific Northwest. So it really boils down to if I have a restored or all-original pristine garage queen. If I do, I'd get the historic kind of plate. But mine are far from being restored. I'm still at that "drive and enjoy" them age.

  55. Steve K. Georgia

    Just a correction on the Georgia info - all appears to be accurate, except now the state charges $60 for any type of specialty tag (university or college, save the whales, etc.), including the antique auto tag. . .

  56. DoctorWho Connecticut

    Here in Connecticut, classic car owners have several incentives to register their cars as Historic. Your car needs to be 25 years old or older, and registration renewal (every two years) costs the same as for any modern vehicle--plus, you are exempt from emissions testing. There are no restrictions on using your classic car, and there is a nice tax advantage: All cars in CT are subject to annual personal property tax levied on 70 percent of the car's Tax Town-defined book value--but if you have Historic plates on yours, the book value is just $500 and the tax amounts to around $35. Another nice treat is that if your antique vehicle has foreign plates, you can display those in place of the official State ones--just file a form with DMV and keep a copy in the car!

  57. Pedro H. West Texas

    I enjoy YOM plates and antique guidelines. Sure, Texas only allows me to use my car on "special occassions", but as it was explained to me, that could be birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or any event I consider "special". My wife and I cruise every weekend and have yet to be stopped. Ain't nothing more special than a cruise around town with my two favorite girls! With that said, REGISTER AND DRIVE FOR THE LOVE OF THE ROAD!

  58. Harry Mueller Modesto Ca.

    Here in the central valley I'm unsure that I can even can get historic plates. But I don't much care. When I drive the first MGB I ever saw up close, the first MGB I ever drove, I'm just happy that I don't have to pay smog and I can use my Dad's car as he wished "I want it to go to someone who will use it" so every day that I drive it is a small victory.

  59. William J Toensing Nevada City, CA

    There are 3 parts to Calif. plate cost if you plan to drive your car. The basic fee of $69 is the first part. The VLF fee based on the car's value which can range from $1 to thousands of dollars which is paid in place of a personal property tax is the second portion. The third is for local & district fees. Many collectors prefer the year of manufacture plates. The extra cost of these plates is the same as for vanity plates & allows the same unlimited use as regular plates. If you have a newer 16 cylinder car or a car that is 25 years old or older, you can get historical vehicle plates. The main benefit of historical plates is that the VLF portion is an automatic $2 regardless of the actual value of the car. The only 16 cylinder car younger than 25 years old I can think of is the $1.5 million Bugatti Vyron. There is a one time fee of $25 to get a historical vehicle plate. I understand you can get historical or collector plates if a car is less than 25 years of age if you can prove to the DMV that it is a collector car but I have not seen any examples of this. The limits of use for cars which have historical or collector plates is the same as imposed by collector car insurance companies: parades, shows, club events, & "occasional" other driving but not for every day use or use as a "back up" car. On some of my collector cars I keep the regular plates on if the VLF is down to $1 or $2. In Calif. cars are artifically depreciated over a period of 11 years from the price you bought the car, down to 15% (not sure, it might be 10%) of the price you paid for the car. If you don't plan to drive your car on any public road or highway you can pay a one time "planned non-operation" or "PNO" fee which is now $18. One thing most Calif. car collectors don't know is that a car collector is exempt from late registration penalties & you are not required to file a PNO fee on a collector car as per CVC (Calif. Vehicle Code) 4604.2, subsections (b) & (d), & CVC 5004(subsections a thru e) & CVC 5051(subsections a thru f). Some collectors think there is a mileage limit but I could not find any such limit in the aformentioned vehicle codes. I believe you can access these these vehicle codes on the Internet.

  60. J. K. Salser Dallas, TX Area

    It was a no-brainer for me. I registered my collector car as an Antique. I need to re-register only every 5 years, greatly reducing the cost of registration. Although this registry reduces the amount of driving that I can do, I knew that I would not be driving daily. There is plenty of latitude to drive to shows, the mechanic shop, to meetings and to get-togethers with other car buffs. The single Antique plate (on the rear of the car) is changed every 5th year along with the registration fee. An Antique vehicle does not have to be inspected yearly, thus saving yet another fee. A vehicle can also be registered as Antique-Classic in order to use year-of-manufacture plates (front and rear) with a small tag on the rear plate to indicate registry. This tag is changed every 5th year but the plates remain with the car. These original plates must not be registered for any other car and they must be clean and in excellent condition. As an Antique, I then qualified for Hagerty Collector Insurance--again greatly reducing insurance costs to a 4th of regular insurance. Collector insurance is much superior to regular insurance. One down-side: law enforcement is not always well-versed about the single Antique category plate (on the rear of the car). I carry a document in the glove box which is a copy of the Texas Antique Vehicle Code. jay salser Dallas, TX area

  61. Gary Ross Frankfort, IL

    I bought my cars to drive and enjoy. Sure I show them, but as drivers. At car shows everybody is looking at the barn finds

  62. Adam Washington State

    Here in WA they hand out collector plates like candy to any car over 25 years old. Great if you are a collector, but in my town anyways it has become "trendy" to use collector plates on anything that moves that's over 25 years old, restrictions be damned. If they can save $40 a year they will do it. Just around my town I see as daily driver's with collector plates, a 1981 VW GTi, 1978 Chev Van, 1976 Dodge Van, 1980 Ford F250, 1977 Ford LTD coupe, and several others. ALL TRASHED. Why do I care? Well, just in the last WA state legislative session they were trying to eliminate the collector plate program because of this abuse. I'm fine with getting rid of the abuser's, but I follow the rules and have 4 cars currently with collector plates and if we lose the privileges of collector plates, I'll have to downsize my collection. Thanks a lot.

  63. Jim Bowers New JERSEY

    I have owned collector cars since 1970 (same plate on my first car). The plates are marked as "Historic", and designated with the letters QQ. Initial lifetime registration is done by mail. There is a moderate fee and photographs are required.There is no initial or annual inspection required, Renewals are mailed out every four years, I guess to keep records current, but there is no charge. Collector insurance is very affordable in my state considering the cost of everything else. Both the registration and of course the insurance have the usual restrictions I own 4 cars presently and drive my cars often and whenever I want, but wisely and carefully. I have never been stopped. This is probably the main reason I stay in New Jersey. Good program here.

  64. jack Alley Orlando, FL

    Be aware that in Florida, If you purchase a car from out of state or out of country. and plan yo use it there, you will have to ship the car to Florida so DMV may see and feel it for VIN and safety. Makes me sick. Now I am stuck with a model a Ford, which I bought to use as a snow bird in Maine, and can't get a registration. Some lawmaker has his head up his ass.

  65. Dick Baumhauer Clawson, MI

    One thing I just read about is when you have Historic plates on your car in Michigan, even though the state law limits driving to car related events and testing after repairs, you are allowed to drive anywhere in Michigan at any time during the month of August. Just so happens that that is also the month that the country's largest car event, The Woodward Dream Cruise, is held every year in August. In case you are not familiar with TWDC, 35,000 to 40,000 cars and over 1,000,000 people attend each year.

  66. Kristy fennell Ca.

    I live in the Central Valley and I am very interested in finding out if I can register my 1971 ranchero as a classic car. I've heard you can pay a one time fee but haven't been able to confirm that from any of the articles on the Internet. As of now, it is registered and I drive it daily. Does anyone have any information about a one time classic car registration in California? Thanks

  67. Anne Lawrence San Francisco, CA

    I thought that, by law, you had to register your car. Won't you get a fine if you don't? I've been pulled over for expired registration before! http://www.lawnorthwest.com/PracticeAreas/Economic-Non-Economic-Damages.asp