Vintage California License Plates FOR SALE

Click here to see plates for sale

What is your restoration process?

Click here to see our restoration staff in action

Can I buy online, How do I pay?

Since each set of plates is unique I don't sell direct online with the traditional shopping cart.
You can email me to check stock and I can reserve the specific set for you. I can phone you if you include your number in the email.
I'm not set up for credit card. Payment can be made via check or money order.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Will the DMV hassle me?

I guarantee the plate numbers to be DMV clear for 60 days after purchase,
in other words: the numbers are not in use in the DMV computer.
Since each DMV office seems to interpret the rules differently, I can not guarantee they will not give you a hard time.
Giving taxpayers a hard time is their reason for living.
Most offices do not have a problem with plates restored back to their original colors. Some people have had to go to a different DMV office to get them accepted.
Be prepared to watch them fumble through their own rules and call over several co-workers figure out what to do and understand why you want these funny looking plates anyway.
You might want to slam your hand in a car door before entering the DMV the next time so dealing with them won't seem so bad...

Can't I just get new vanity plates with the same numbers as my old plates?

NO.
The DMV is wise to this trick so they won't let you use old standard configurations like the 3 letter / 3 number combo used for most 1956 - 1980 plates.

Do I need the year stickers (56 - 62) or metal year tabs (48-55)?

You will need a sticker to match the year of your car. Use a 1959 sticker on a 1956 plate for example.
Do not try to use sample stickers (they have serial numbers of all zeros).
For 1947 - 1955, they used metal tabs. Tabs were used on front and back from 1948 - 1953, then only on the back in 1954 & 1955.
They may not ask for both tabs. Don't count on it.

Can I register the blue plates from 1970 - 1980 in the YOM program?

YES.
The YOM program extends only to 1980 and older year model auto, commercial, motorcycle or trailer vehicles.

CLICK HERE for the rules and registration form

Do I need both plates?

You will need a matching set of plates no matter how old your car is.
1945 was the only year the DMV issued only 1 plate which continued to 1946 with a yellow tab for the 1945 plate.

Where do I put the month and current year sticker?

The DMV is supposed to send you 2 aluminum tabs for the stickers so you don't spoil the look by putting new stickers on your vintage plates.
These tabs are designed to bolt above or below your plates depending on what fits better. I am told they don't always send these so it wouldn't hurt to ask for them.

Can you make plates?

No. That is illegal. If I made plates, they would put me in prison where I could... make plates

Do I need commercial plates for my vintage truck or pickup?

I am told the DMV will allow passenger car plates prior to 1945, but may still list the truck as commercial (so they can charge more $).
They are consistently inconsistent in their interpretation on COM plates. Take more valium.
Vintage commercial plates are very hard to find.

Do you have plates for 1951 - 1955?

Most (not all) 1951 plates were 7 characters arranged as 6 numbers with a letter in the second position (ex: 1A23456).
The DMV started reusing this configuration on commercial plates in the last 30 years, so they have used up most of the numbers again.
This scarcity of DMV clear 1951 plates added to a high demand for years 1951 - 1955 makes them VERY EXPENSIVE, so I rarely have them.
1947 base plates (used 1947 - 1950) are also in high demand but didn't tend to use numbers that were re-issued.

License Plates used for more than 1 year 1945 - 1969

New plates were made in 1945, 1947, 1951, 1956 and 1963

Metal tabs or stickers were used for the years in between the new base plates

1946 California License Plates used a 1945 base plate with a metal 46 tab
1947 California License Plates were a new base plate
1948 California License Plates used 1947 base plates with metal 48 tabs
1949 California License Plates used 1947 base plates with metal 49 tabs
1950 California License Plates used 1947 base plates with metal 50 tabs
1951 California License Plates were a new base plate
1952 California License Plates used 1951 base plates with metal 52 tabs
1953 California License Plates used 1951 base plates with metal 53 tabs
1954 California License Plates used 1951 base plates with a metal 54 tab
1955 California License Plates used 1951 base plates with a metal 55 tab
1956 California License Plates were a new base plate
1957 California License Plates used 1956 base plates with 1957 sticker
1958 California License Plates used 1956 base plates with 1958 sticker
1959 California License Plates used 1956 base plates with 1958 sticker
1960 California License Plates used 1956 base plates with 1960 sticker
1961 California License Plates used 1956 base plates with 1961 sticker
1962 California License Plates used 1956 base plates with 1962 sticker
1963 California License Plates were a new base plate
1964 California License Plates used 1963 base plates with 1964 sticker
1965 California License Plates used 1963 base plates with 1965 sticker
1966 California License Plates used 1963 base plates with 1966 sticker
1967 California License Plates used 1963 base plates with 1967 sticker
1968 California License Plates used 1963 base plates with 1968 sticker

Click here to see the base plates for sale. I have the year tabs and stickers to go with them

Genuine DMV rules from their own website

They won't know their own rules, but now you do!

from the DMV website at: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/766469ad-9709-48c9-bf55-3fc094a94183/app1e_ca_license_plate_data.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

Print this section and take it in with you

Model Year Date License Plates
California License Plate Data (1914–1972)–Appendix 1E REV August 2015 1E-1 .0100 Year of Manufacture (YOM) License Plate Program Stipulations from the California Code of Regulations,
Title 13, Article 3.3 §§201.00–205.14
YOM License Plates were originally issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). YOM License Plates will be authenticated by DMV personnel and:

Must be supplied by the vehicle owner.
May be restored/painted but cannot deviate from the original colors or configurations.
Year stickers must be attached to the license plate prior to registration.
1963 and newer configurations must be assigned to the specific vehicle for which it was intended (for example, auto to auto, commercial to commercial, trailer to trailer, motorcycle to motorcycle).
1963–1969 year model auto vehicles must have a black license plate with yellow characters within the alpha-numeric series of AAA000–YYY999.
1963–1969 year model commercial vehicles or pickups must have a black license plate with yellow characters within the alpha-numeric series of A00000–Z99999.
1970–1972 commercial vehicles or pickups must have a blue license plate with yellow characters within the alpha-numeric series of 00000A–99999Z. Other information for the YOM program:
License plate colors may vary slightly due to age and exposure.
License plates issued may vary in length and width by up to a 1/8 of an inch (when license plate sizes were standardized) prior to 1956.
Environmental License Plates (ELP) (personalized license plates) are not valid for YOM registration because they were not issued until 1973.

CLICK HERE for a list of plate / tag / sitcker colors for every year

CLICK HERE for photo examples of 1947 and 1951 plates to show the DMV clerk