National Historic Vehicle Register

The Historic Vehicle Association is developing a National Historic Vehicle Register to carefully and accurately document America’s most historically significant automobiles, motorcycles, trucks and commercial vehicles.

In March 2013, the HVA entered into a collaboration with the U.S. Department of the Interior to explore how vehicles important in American and automotive history could be effectively documented and recognized. This project is the first of its type to create a permanent archive of significant historic automobiles within the Library of Congress.

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The National Historic Vehicle Register

Register Vehicles

Learn more about each of the vehicles on the National Historic Vehicle Register.

Since the 1930s, the Department of the Interior has been working to document historic buildings and other historic sites throughout the United States. These efforts were bolstered by the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966, and since then the National Register of Historic Places has grown to include a multitude of buildings, landmarks, ships, aircraft, etc. Although the National Historic Preservation Act made it possible for automobiles to be included in this database, none have yet been documented.

The HVA is working with the National Park Service’s Heritage Documentation Programs to begin creating a comprehensive record of our most historically significant vehicles, which will reside in the Library of Congress. This partnership leverages decades of thoughtful consideration of buildings, airplanes and vessels, which now can be applied in a unique way to our automotive world.

The National Historic Vehicle Register will help document historic vehicles as they exist now, preserving their information for future generations. It is by no means a directive as to how these vehicles should be used and maintained, but rather a chance to take inventory of the historically significant vehicles that are of our history or within our care.

Draft Criteria

The guidelines for consideration for the National Historic Vehicle Register have been created in conjunction with the Department of the Interior. This program is a work in progress and specific language will continue to be refined and developed over the course of the coming year. Each of the initial vehicles will help to act as a case study to perfect the process of nominating, documenting and collecting vehicles and their histories and specifications.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are the vehicles added to the National Historic Vehicle Register determined? Who chooses what vehicles will be added? Who establishes the criteria? What effect will this have on the cars added? Does my car qualify? Find the answers to all these and more on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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Register to receive updates about the National Historic Vehicle Register, the HVA, and our progress as we document the first 50 vehicles into the National Historic Vehicle Register!

News about the National Historic Vehicle Register

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