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Technical How-To - Historic and YOM License Plates

Every state defines a class of what we'll call Historic Vehicles, and every state does it differently. Eligibility is usually defined by age, often 20, 25 or 30 years old, but some as short as 15 years old, and some as long as 60 years old. Some states have multiple classes, perhaps one for really old vehicles, and one for newer vehicles. Each state uses different names for Historic Vehicles, such as “Historic”, “Historical”, “Antique”, “Vintage”, “Collector”, “Pioneer”, “Horseless Carriage” and more.

Some states have additional eligibility rules, such as “Must not have been altered from the original manufacturer's specification”. Some states extend this to “Must have the original engine”, which may be to distinguish Historic Vehicles from such things as “Street Rods”, a class we won't cover here.

Registration - Regular v. Historic – Just because your vehicle is old, doesn't mean you have to register it as Historic. If it's your daily driver, you should register it just like modern car, and get regular insurance. If you're just going to use it for shows, parades, club functions, and Sunny Sunday driving, you may want to register it as a Historic Vehicle, take advantage of any reduced fees and requirements your state offers, and get low-cost Historic Vehicle insurance from one of the companies that specialize in that.

Usage Restrictions – Most states limit what you can do with your Historic Vehicle. Generally speaking, this comes down to “Must not be used for general daily transportation”. But you really must find out exactly what your state allows, as a few states have very tight restrictions. That Sunny Sunday drive may not be permitted in your state. Actual enforcement of these restrictions varies. Additionally, where you live may make a difference. What's OK out in the country may get you in trouble in a big city. Know your state's laws. When a police officer asks you where you are going, answering “To a car show in the next county” might be a much better answer than “Just cruising around on a Sunny Sunday”.

Insurance Restrictions – Most of the Historic Vehicle insurance companies have restrictions on the use of your vehicle. These are typically of the “not general daily transportation” sort, but if you do get into an accident, you really don't want your insurance company to pretent they don't know you.

Fees and Inspections – Most states offer reduced registration fees for Historic Vehicles, while some do not. Some states offer permanent registration for a one-time fee, where some you still have to pay every year. Others extend the registration period to every five or ten years. Most states exempt Historic Vehicles from safety and emissions inspection, but again, some do not.

New “Historic” Tags – Most states will issue you a brand new “Historic” license plate if you register it as a Historic Vehicle. Some of these are rather cute, some are rather ugly. Some states will allow you to personalize the Historic license plate, but then you usually have to pay an annual fee for that.

Year-Of-Manufacture (YOM) Plates – Many owners want to use license plate(s) from the same year as their vehicle. About 35 of the 50 states allow you to do this for a one-time fee. The plate has to be from your state, be of the right kind (car tags for cars, motorcycle tags for motorcycles...), and have the same year on it as your vehicle. Some states only allow plates from years when expiration year stickers were not used. Some allow plates with stickers. Every state has a different name for these old plates: “Year Of Manufacture”, “Vintage”, “Authentic” and more... There are even a couple of states that allow you to use YOM tags on a vehicle with regular registration.

About Our Chart – We went to the website of each state's DMV, BMV, DOT, State Treasurer, Department of Revenue, or whatever they call it, to get our information. Some of these have very clear and concise information. Some give almost no information at all, and we had to dig deeply. We've done the best we could with the information available. State laws, and websites change frequently. If you find something that is incorrect, or has changed, or a website link that no longer works - please email: dave -at- toyhouse.org

For the purposes of our chart, HISTORIC: means the state will issue you a brand-new plate with one of those “Historic” words on it. YOM: means a 50-year-old license plate that you bought on eBay for a ridiculous price.

State Historic YOM Notes
Alabama Yes Yes HISTORIC: (“vintage”) 30 years or older
YOM: 1976 and earlier
2017-05-14 - DaveH
Alaska Yes No HISTORIC: 30 years or older
2017-05-14 - DaveH
Arkansas Yes No HISTORIC: 25 years or older
2017-05-14 - DaveH
California Yes No HISTORIC: “Historical Vehicle” 25 years or older; “Antique Motorcycle” 1942 or older
2017-05-14 - DaveH
Colorado Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Horseless Carriage” 50 years or older
YOM: 30 years or older. No fee! Doesn't appear to require Horseless tag
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Connecticut Yes Yes HISTORIC: 20 years or older. “Classic Vehicle” replaces “Early American”.
YOM: Requires “Classic/Early American” plate
2017-05-15 - DaveH
District of Columbia Yes No HISTORIC: “Historical” 25 years or older
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Delaware Yes No HISTORIC: You buy a regular plate, then buy an “antique” plate. One-time safety inspection.
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Florida Yes Yes HISTORIC: 30 years or older. “Antique” tags are permanent. YOM: “Authenticated” issued for any vehicle 1975 or earlier
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Georgia Yes No HISTORIC: “Hobby Antique”: 25 years old or made to resemble an antique or historical motorcycle.
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Hawaii Yes No HISTORIC: 35 years or older. Permanent.
2017-05-15 - DaveH
State Historic YOM Notes
Idaho Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Classic” older than 30 years.
YOM: 1974 and older except 1969,70,21,72,73.
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Illinois Yes No HISTORIC: “Antique” 25 years or older.
“Expanded-Use Antique” no restrictions April-October
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Indiana Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Collector Vehicle” 25 years or older
YOM: Annual fee
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Iowa Yes Yes HISTORIC: 25 years or older. $5 annual fee.
YOM: No fee
Registrations handled by county tresurers. IA DOT website not helpful.
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Kansas Yes No HISTORIC: “Antique” 35 years or older. Must be titled as antique.
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Kentucky Yes Yes HISTORIC: 25 years or older. Permanent registration.
YOM: May display YOM plates. YOM plates not registered,
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Louisiana Yes No HISTORIC: 25 years or older. Permanent registration.
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Maine Yes Yes HISTORIC: 25 years or older. No safety or emissions inspection.
YOM: YOM plates are not registered, but can be used if the currently issued plate is carried on the vehicle (in glove box/saddlebag).
2017-05-15 - Jim Garrett
Maryland Yes Yes HISTORIC: 20-years old: $51 for 2 years, 60-years-old, permanent, one-time fee
YOM: you pay for a Historic tag, then you pay $25 to register your YOM (vintage) tag. You now have two tags and two registrations.
2017-05-14 - DaveH
State Historic YOM Notes
Massachusetts Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Antique” 25 years or older
YOM: 1978 or older. NO repaints.
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Michigan Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Historical” 26 or more years old. Renew every 10 years
YOM: “Authentic” Any year, including sticker years. No remans or repaints.
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Minnesota Yes Yes HISTORIC: 20 years or older. “Collector” “Classic”, “Pioneer” see Link
YOM: Any year including stickered years
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Mississippi Yes No HISTORIC: 25 years or older. Permanent registration
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Missouri Yes Yes HISTORIC: 25 years or older. Permanent registration
YOM: 25 years or older. Permanent registration.
2017-05-15 - DaveH
Montana Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Vintage” 30 years or older and >= 1934, “Pioneer” <= 1933
YOM: “Original” Can be used on Vintage/Pioneer, and also on general transportation 25 years and older
2017-05-20- DaveH
Nebraska Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Historical” 30 years or older. Permanent registration.
YOM: “Vintage Year”
2017-05-20 - DaveH
Nevada Yes No* HISTORIC: “Classic Vehicle” 25 years or older. “Old Timer” 40 years and older
YOM: This is very strange - the DMV will replicate YOM plates that are from 1942 or older. But you may not use actual YOM plates.
2017-05-20 - DaveH
New Hampshire Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Antique” 25 years or older
YOM: See Saf-C 515.04 in YOM Law. Might be 1960 and older.
2017-05-20 - DaveH
New Jersey Yes No HISTORIC: 25 years or older
2017-05-20 - DaveH
State Historic YOM Notes
New Mexico Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Horseless Carriage” 35 years or older
YOM: 30 years or older - doesn't have to be Horseless
2017-05-20 - DaveH
New York Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Historical” 25 years or older
YOM: Historical vehicles 25 years and older
2017-05-20 - DaveH
North Carolina Yes Yes HISTORIC: See Historic Law § 20-79.4(b)(91) authorizing plates. Also, reduced taxes and no inspection.
YOM: Not registered. 35 years or older may display. See §20-63 (d) paragraph 2
NC DOT website fails to mention most of this....
2017-05-20 - DaveH
North Dakota Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Antique (Pioneer)” 40 years or older. Must not be used for business or farming. Permanent registration.
“Collector” 25 years or older. Typical use restrictions. Permanent registration.
YOM: (or military ID#, no tags needed) must be greater than 10,000, available for either Antique or Collector
2017-05-20 - DaveH
Ohio Yes Yes HISTORIC: 25 years or older
YOM: “Model Year” plate. Military ID# also acceptable in lieu of plate.
2017-05-20 - DaveH
Oklahoma Yes No HISTORIC: “Classic” 25 years or older. 1 or 10 year registration
YOM: Unclear. Appears to have been revoked in 2001. See, Laws 710:60-3-157   So this form may be obsolete.
Ex-military: reduced fees, no tags
2017-05-21 - DaveH
Oregon Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Antique”older than half the number of years between the current year and 1900. “Special Interest” 25 years or older
YOM: Yes, for Special Interest. Unclear whether this applies to Antique also.
2017-05-21 - DaveH
State Historic YOM Notes
Pennsylvania Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Antique ”More than 25 years old; “Classic” 15 years or older
YOM: 1906 to 1976
2017-05-21 - DaveH
Rhode Island Yes No HISTORIC: 25 years or older. No inspection.
2017-05-21 - DaveH
South Carolina Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Antique” 25 years or older. Permanent regitration $10.
YOM: 30 years or older. Appears to be allowed for both Antique and regular vehicles.
2017-05-21 - DaveH
South Dakota Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Antique” 30 years or older.
YOM: 30 years or older. Appears to NOT apply to motorcycles.
2017-05-21 - DaveH
Tennessee Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Antique” 25 years or older. No personalize.
YOM: 1912 to 1987. See Link for details for 1963-1987
2017-05-21 - DaveH
Texas Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Antique” 25 years or older. Usage restrictions.
HISTORIC: “Classic” 25 years or older. General daily transportation.
YOM: Available for Antique and Classic.
2017-05-21 - DaveH
Utah Yes Yes HISTORIC “Vintage Vehicle” 30 years and older. Restricted usage. No safety or emissions inspection. May be personalized.
HISTORIC “Special Interest Vehicles” 20 years and older. Dicontinued, experimental, etc. May be personalized.
YOM: 1973 and older. Available for Antique and general daily transportation.
2017-05-21 - DaveH
Vermont Yes Yes HISTORIC “Antique” 25 years and older. Usage restricted.
HISTORIC “Exhibition” Only for display and parades.
YOM: 1968 and older. Available for Exhibition only.
2017-05-21 - DaveH
State Historic YOM Notes
Virginia Yes Yes HISTORIC: Permanent, $50 one time fee
YOM: Permanent, $50 one-time fee (instead of Historic); Note: M/C Dealer and M/C-sized SCC tags are OK - they lost their “specialness” when they expired
2017-05-14 - DaveH
Washington Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Collector Vehicle” 30 years or older. No personalize.
HISTORIC: “Horseless Carriage” 40 years or older. No personalize.
YOM: “Restored” Collector or Horseless.
2017-05-21 - DaveH
West Virginia Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Classic” 25 years or older.
YOM: Can be used on Classic, also can be used on 25-older vehicle registered for general daily transportation.
2017-05-21 - DaveH
Wisconsin Yes Yes HISTORIC: “Antique” 1945 or earlier, not modified, use restrictions, permanent registration $5. No personalized. May use YOM plates.
HISTORIC: “Collector” 20 years or earlier, not modified. Permanent registration. Can NOT use YOM.
2017-05-21 - DaveH
Wyoming Yes No HISTORIC: “Pioneer” 25 years or older
2017-05-21 - DaveH