Antique license plates are a common occurrence at car shows, as many collectors have them attached to the bumpers of their historic vehicles. These plates come with certain stipulations and rules that most people may not have been aware even existed. There are several drivers who were deterred from obtaining antique plates after hearing about these laws, but many enjoy the perks associated with them.
This list lays out the facts about antique license plates that several car enthusiasts might be interested to learn. They might find some of these facts surprising as they reconsider their plan to obtain an antique plate. Keep reading to learn ten things you didn't know about antique license plates!
10 They allow drivers to go to and from shows or exhibitions
Drivers are restricted on the places they are permitted to go when their vehicle carries the tag of an antique license plate. Most states declare that they can only be used when driving to or from a show or exhibition. They are not permitted to be used for joy riding or transportation for any reason.
Drivers can take them to repair shops, but they usually have a set mile range in which they are allowed to travel, and this further diminishes their rights as to where they can go.
9 The vehicle must be over 30 years old
This is a general number and really varies by state. There are some states who will give these plates to cars as young as twenty years old, while others make motorists wait even longer before claiming this tag.
States make the decision as an individual entity as to what they declare is a historic or antique vehicle. This can cause issues for people who move to a different state as their vehicle may no longer be considered historic enough to warrant an antique license plate.
8 It must be owned as a collector's item
Antique cars can only obtain this license plate if they declare their vehicle is a collector's item. When a motorist says this is fact, then they agree that their vehicle is not used for transportation or for anything besides showing it off to interested patrons.
This relates to the limits on their driving, but it is the hook that tears people away from their right to travel around town with it. It might not seem like a big deal, but it is when you decide you want more for your beauty than for it to sit in your garage.
7 A few states allow collectors to use the original plates and tags
A unique perk of some states is that the owner of the vehicle can use the original plate and tag. The only stipulation is that the date on the licenses plate must be the same year as to when the car was manufactured. Collectors have become ecstatic ever since this has come about and they have been pulling their truly antique license plates off of the shelves.
The states that issue the registrations usually have images of the correct plate based on the year, so collectors make sure they are matching the correct plate with their vehicle.
6 Antique plates are much cheaper
A definite plus to purchasing antique plates over regular ones is the price difference. The cost of this is drastically lower when you compare it to regular tags. It is usually the one thing that sells people on purchasing this type of plate, and many decide to take their chances with the law in terms of joy rides.
This enticing factor helps car enthusiasts join the realm of showing off their antique masterpieces, and we can all say we appreciate the low cost as well.
5 They can last for up to 10 years
The length an antique license plate is valid for is dependent upon the state, but some of them are valid for up to ten years. The average number is five years, but either way, owners are saving time and money by not having to go to the DMV for so many years.
This fact might blow your mind as you wish that all license plates and registrations had lifespans that long. You might even envy the fact that your car is not historic and dream of the day that it hits that mark.
4 There are some states which allow you to transport passengers or materials one day a week
There are some states, like Vermont, who do offer some leeway when it comes to riding around town. Vermont has the rule that you can transport passengers or cargo one day a week when your vehicle sports the antique license plate.
This gives owners more freedom in the way they use their vehicle. It reduces the restrictions they have and makes it more intriguing for owners to have their car licensed with an antique plate. People like to ride around town in their car baby, and this rule gives them the freedom to do just that.
3 These plates can be put on all types of vehicles, including travel trailers
You might have thought that antique plates only belonged on old cars, but you were far from the mark on this particular subject. Cars are not the only ones who can obtain this specialty plate, as any vehicle is included, even travel trailers in some states.
You could certify your motorcycle or your ancient dump truck. It does not matter what it is, as long as it is old enough to qualify underneath the rules set aside by the state.
2 The owner must be over the age of 25
This might hold some younger car lovers back because you have to be twenty-five-years-old in some states before you are permitted to obtain an antique license plate for your vehicle. It is unclear how this rule came about, but it is understandable if some people from the younger generation might be upset by this.
Those under this age limit will require the help of another adult if they wish to have their car deemed a historic masterpiece, so they can apply their own antique plate.
1 There are some states who manufacture the original plates
There are a few states who actually manufacture original antique plates upon request from a driver. These plates will cost the owner extra, but it does add another layer to the authenticity of the vehicle. The states that offer this usually have a list on their website of all of the plates they are capable of creating, and it makes it easy for collectors to choose the right one.
It might just be a way for states to increase their revenue, but collectors don't care because their car looks complete with the official antique license plate.