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Thanks for the info Ron. This is probably the 2nd or 3rd time California has tried this. I have black plates on my 66 but would love to have them on my 65.

For those of you not in California, this is a big deal on classic cars over here. California cars are a premium in the market due to their rust free condition. Plates follow the car here. Black plates on a first generation Mustang almost verify that this car has been here since the beginning. Blue and gold plates are not far behind. Many people bought black plates from outside dealers only to find that the State of California wouldn't register the plates. So we'll have to see how this shakes out.
 

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And what if they take your plate number? (a set that you own, not currently on any car) But you have plans to go to DMV & get them re-issued to an older car? Say your '65??

I still have my 2 Black & Gold plates. Guess it matters to Californian's the most.
 

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That is interesting. I'm sure someone at DMV figured out that there's some tax revenue to be made, since original black plates often sell for a minimum of $200 unrestored. They'll probably charge an annual fee like their personalized plate program. But if they reissue the original "AAA 123" format, they might start taking the original plate numbers that are currently "Not On File," which means you won't be able to re-register an original plate with the same number in the future.

In reality, you can re-register black plates to your classic, regardless if they originally belonged to the car or not. Most DMV clerks are not familiar with the process, which is why so many of them would rather shoo you out the door by telling you it's not possible. All that's required is that the plates are not on file (meaning not currently or formerly registered to any car in their database), that they're metal (they're supposed to test them with a magnet if they can find one), and that they're legible enough to be displayed on a car. The process requires you to fill out a form describing that you want to re-register these plates to your classic car, the clerk's signature that the plates were inspected and suitable, and the paperwork to get sent off to Sacramento for a 4-6 month processing turnaround.

I was fortunate enough to get the original plates with my car when I bought it, though the PO had re-registered it to some newer white plates some time in the 90's. It helped that he also gave me some original registration cards from the 70's and 80's showing that the black plates were registered to the car at some point. The clerk at the DMV was incredibly rude and quick to turn me away, but I had done my research and argued for about 45 minutes to her and a supervisor before they did what they were supposed to do. They even tried seizing my plates, saying they needed to be sent back to Sacramento. whatever you do, DO NOT let them take them!! You'll never see them again! :nono:

I got my registration back in about 4 months, which is not bad considering our DMV. That was about how long it took to get the plates back from being restored.

A few other interesting things I learned- you are NOT required to display a current registration sticker on the plate itself, though it might be difficult convincing a cop that... or especially parking enforcement or a tow yard who impounded your car for not displaying current tags. I bought an original "1966" registration sticker off ebay and put that on, though most people do display the current sticker on a metal tab mounted near the plate to avoid getting hassled by cops or meter maids.

You're also not required to display a "month" sticker. Most people buy an old red one to put on (I did too), but in reality those were not original. California didn't start issuing month stickers until the early 70's, at which time they instructed people to put the month sticker in the left box and the current and future year stickers in the right, which is how they're displayed today. Most people who didn't have a month sticker prior to the new program simply put them on when DMV started issuing them, which is why many think the red sticker was original. In reality, before the switch in month and year sticker rules, the annual registration sticker was to be displayed in either the left or right box on the plate depending on the year- 65 was displayed on the left, 66 on the right, 67 on the left, 68 on the right, and so on, until the change.

I thought that was some cool history when I learned about it. The program now doesn't have the current requirements because the plates and car are considered "classic" or historic. So you can have an original black plate on a 65 displaying only a 1965 year sticker in the left box, or only a 1966 sticker in the right box on a 66... if you so choose to be "completely" California original.
 

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Thats some interesting info. And an old mustang always looks better with the old style plates. Unless it is modded.
 

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To make certain your original black plates can be used I think you need to get them back in the system. If someone else has the same number in another plate style, like the prior yellow ones, that will more than likely prevent anyone from using that set of black plates unless or until the number again becomes unused.
 

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That's a good point, since the 1956-1962 yellow plates were in the same "AAA 123" format and likely had the same serial sequence (AAA-ZZZ and 001-999). If those are still registered to a car and you're trying to register a set of black plates with the same number, you'll have a problem. I wonder how DMV worked around that in 1963?

Fortunately, there aren't as many of those cars that are still registered, and I believe the DMV purges those old plate numbers if they haven't been registered in something like 10 years (that length of time is just a guess though- they purged mine when it hadn't been registered between 1985-1996).

I have to correct myself too- DMV started issuing the red month sticker in 1969, along with the new gold on blue plates and new format (123 AAA). Not the early 70's. There's no worry of conflicting numbers with that or any future format, though, since they never went back to the AAA 123 format. But on that note, the Year of Manufacture program for registering old plates is only offered to vehicles and plates manufactured UP TO 1969... Which means you can't re-register original gold-on-blue plates unless they're still on the car and haven't been purged, and you can't put black plates on your 69 Mustang (not that you would want to anyway).
 

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I think in 63 everyone in CA got a new plate. Only later did they let you keep your old style plate as a way to save some money by not re-issuing a new plate to everyone at the same time. Its got to the point now where CA has so many different style plates on the road at the same time that you need a book to know what you are looking at. :)

I once carried a CA drivers license but my cars were all registered somewhere else so I never owned any CA plates.
 

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Actually you can have/put black plates on vehicles through/including 1969. I think you may even be able to have black commercial plates on pickups through 1970. I put black plates on my 1969 bronco.
 

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Well... there's nothing shocking in CA. Especially from DMV clerks. There is a vehicle code section describing the rules of the YOM program that says it's offered up to the 69 model year... but I suppose that may have been a transitional year and the rule was open to interpretation. It seems the new law about YOM plates was supposed to coincide with the issue of the new gold/blue plates in 69. Are your black plates original to your 69 Bronco, and were they commercial plates?

Our DMV is far from perfect, and they often screw things up. You can get a new set of plates just by showing up and saying they're scratched, and there's no requirement to turn in your old ones before they give you new ones (the law says you're supposed to, but it depends on the DMV clerk). There's also a law that you must obtain a CA driver license if you've established residency and plan to drive in the state if you stay longer than 30 days, but there's no provision for people who have multiple residences in states including CA, or those who are temporary residents (students or business travelers). Unless you're a run-of-the-mill resident renewing your license or registration, stand by for the red tape.
 

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My plates wre non commercial & were not original to the vehicle. Bought them at a swap meet & registered them to my 69 bronco. I think you pay a premium though similar to personalized plates. When i sold the bronco, the owner went to register it with the black plates & he had to have me sign some thing that dmv required that I was realising the plates to him.
 

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To make certain your original black plates can be used I think you need to get them back in the system. If someone else has the same number in another plate style, like the prior yellow ones, that will more than likely prevent anyone from using that set of black plates unless or until the number again becomes unused.
I was reading few days ago...forget where but for $20 a year, you can reserve your plate number until you put it back on your car. That way if they do start to re-issue the black & gold plates, they wont take your plate number.

I dont know about everyone else but id be scared to put the black & gold plates back on. Have you looked at prices on ebay lately for a set of good condition plates....$500 to $800.

Edit - Napa sells set of Theft resistant screws for license plates with special driver to R/R them. :yup:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_registration_plates_of_California

http://www.ply33.com/misc/yom.html YOM program info
 

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I didnt know how else to do this but happy reading. :yup:

Plate DSC 130 Calif Black & Yellow

NOTE: We are certain these plates are currently “clear, I called these in myself a few days ago. But you may wish to confirm this yourself by calling the DMV @ 1-800-777-0133. Be prepared to wait awhile as you navigate thru the auto system but they will eventually speak to you (or call you back) and confirm these are “clear”. We additionally 100% guarantee these plates will "stay clear" for 30 days following your receipt of these plates. But as there is always the very remote possibility these numbers could be assigned to a motorcycle or trailer, or even assigned to a personalized plate customer (although DMV frowns on that) in the meantime, we strongly encourage you to register them for your car ASAP to avoid tragedy! Once these are assigned to your 1966 GTO (my example) they are yours forever, BUT they can only be transferred in future to another 1967 car. They will now be "1967 YOM plates forever".



Terms and conditions for the California DMV YOM Program:
1. The YOM plates described in this application must be authentic and serviceable as determined by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and must have the approval of DMV headquarters.
2. The YOM plate number cannot conflict with any Special Interest License Plate or configuration currently in use.
3. Configuration of letters and numbers cannot carry any connotations offensive to good taste and decency.
4. YOM program extends to 1972 year model and older commercial vehicles only.
5. YOM program extends to 1969 year model and older auto, motorcycle or trailer vehicles only.
6. 1963 to 1969 year model autos, trailers, and motorcycles may utilize 6 character black base plates with yellow characters only.
7. 1970 to 1972 year model commercial vehicles may utilize 6 character black or blue base plates with yellow characters.
8. Two plates are required for every qualifying vehicle and must be compatible (auto to auto, commercial to commercial, etc.)
9. If you wish to retain YOM plates that are assigned to a vehicle in which the vehicle is not currently registered, a $20 retention fee is due each year.
 

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yet more reading. Good info if ya havn't read it yet.

California License Plates – A Short History

The State of California started issuing license plates in 1914, but license plates were also issued by the pre-statehood government as far back as 1905. The license plate size from 1914 through 1919 was approximately 5 inches by 14 inches. During the period from 1920 through 1955, the license plate size was approximately 6 inches by 14 inches. In 1939, square corner plates were replaced by rounded corner style plates. Most of the California license plates from 1920 through 1955 were painted in yellow, black or orange with imprint colors of black, yellow or orange. In 1939, California issued a yellow on California blue license plate to commemorate the 1939 World’s fair held in San Francisco, also known as the Golden Gate International Exposition. The 6 inch x 12 inch standard size license plate was first issued in 1956 (black on yellow plate).


Iconic 1963 to 1968 Series California License Plates

The 1963 series California license plate (yellow on black plate) was issued until 1968 and has become an icon among license plate aficionados and classic car collectors. This California license plate is the most sought after and collected license plate in the world. Collectors from every continent in the world covet the 1963 yellow on black California plate because it was during this period that iconic American sport cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro, and Dodge Challenger and Charger became icons in American motoring history. In 1969, California kept the same basic design of the 1963 to 1968 yellow on black license plate, but changed the plate color to California Blue. This color combination lasted until 1983.

The popularity of California license plates issued between 1956 to 1983 has been bolstered with the use of these plates in popular Hollywood movies and TV shows like: American Graffiti (1956 plate THX 138); Bullitt (1963 plate JJZ 109) and The Rockford files (1969 plate number 853 OKG). California license plates are like art in American pop culture and many Americans and people from countries like Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and other members of the European Union want these plates on their classic American cars. California license plates issued between 1956 through 1983 have become pop art.
 

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All pretty similar to NM rules except we only need one plate even though in years past NM had two plates per car. For us its a one-time $25 fee and after that it cost nothing extra unless you transfer it to another car/owner.

If the plate is on your car and registered to you by CA how could any thief use them on another car? I don't think they have much value for any other use.

4 of my 5 cars have YOM plates. Some of the older, restored plates in NM are going over $100 as well but all of mine are unrestored originals even the pair from 1939. Although I only need and use one I bought both plates just to prevent anyone from trying to use the same number on another car. Whether or not restored plates are legal depends upon what your state allows; some do, some don't
 
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