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The Joy of registering Vintage Motorcycle License Plates.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by daniel deblanke, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. daniel deblanke

    daniel deblanke XS650 Enthusiast

    My Father In Law bought a "1979" NOS license plate nearly ten years ago, before California changed the YOM (year of make) laws to include 1970-1980 blue plates, and he gave it to me when he gave me his bike.

    After I received the bike, I transferred the title and applied to use the plate. The DMV kept telling me the plate was clear, and unregistered, but they also said the system wouldn't take the plate.

    I received my new title this week and didn't receive new stickers, and I called the DMV and found out the vintage plate was STILL unused (meaning It wasn't applied to this biket).
    So I did a TON more digging and found this website:


    It clearly states that 7 digit plates only existed in the mid 80's.
    Also CA has a new application (that neither the DMV or myself could find in October) that states non commercial blue plates can only have 6 digits.

    So now I have purchased another 6 digit late 70's plate, and I have ANOTHER appointment to re-plate the bike.

    This website doesn't come immediately when scouring the internet, but it includes straight forward data on how License plates for cars, trucks, trailers, and motorcycles were numbered over the years.

    Attached Files:

    gggGary likes this.
  2. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    You gotta love government bureaucracy.
  3. cycleranger

    cycleranger Generally Ok.

    I just went this week to get new tags for my CJ360T.
    It had been registered here in Texas as a "classic" with a vintage NOS plate.
    It's been "non-operational" for over a year so the tags expired in February of this year.
    I was informed that because the tags were more than two months expired it had already been dropped out of the system and in order to continue using the vintage plate I had to bring it in to have them approve it.
    The same vintage NOS plate they had just approved last year.....

    I'm pretty savvy about the DMV procedures here in Texas but apparently this practice of dropping vintage-plated vehicles (and only vintage-plated vehicles) from the system two months after the tags expire just started this year.

    While the DMV folks did agree that this was pretty stupid they held firm and made me bring the plate in again so they could "approve" it.
    Seems to me like Texas is trying to discourage the use of vintage plates.
    Gotta keep those prisoners busy making new ones!
  4. daniel deblanke

    daniel deblanke XS650 Enthusiast

    small government getting in on the action I see!!

    as for me :::

    4 phone calls totaling 3 and a half hours, plus two DMV visits, and a $50 application could have been avoided if the first "technician" had told me n October that 7 digits were too many for a vintage plate.

    1 more appointment next week hopefully will fix it.
  5. cycleranger

    cycleranger Generally Ok.

    I have two '76 bikes with vintage plates.
    In Texas a vintage plate must be issued the same year as the vehicle.
    The problem is Texas used the same plate for motorcycles from '75 to '78 and the plates have "75" stamped where the sticker goes.
    The sticker covers the "75".
    So since I had NOS plates with no previous stickers on them I had to argue with the DMV (both times) that these plates are valid for a '76 vehicle since they didn't have an example of a '76 plate in their book.
    Why? Because the same plate was used from '75 to '78...... :rolleyes:
  6. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

    They should have left them blue and yellow.
    daniel deblanke likes this.
  7. daniel deblanke

    daniel deblanke XS650 Enthusiast

    I really hate the fake old plates. "legacy" with vintage colors but major fonts off etc.especially on NEW cars. wtf/
    o have an old ghia with the og black plates.... its pos daily driver but im the third owner .... dont take away my plates
  8. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

    The blue and yellow plate seemed to have been featured prominently in movies and TV shows.
  9. daniel deblanke

    daniel deblanke XS650 Enthusiast

    just a quick UPDATE.

    had another DMV visit.

    had my NOS 6 digit plate. had my properly filled out form.
    which has the following rules:


    My plate follows all the rules.

    The problem with the DMV is that they aren't updated as laws and regulations change.
    The YOM policy changed in 2016 to include 1970 to 1980 original plates.

    This woman took one look at my plate and said "NO, NO, no, no, no..... not going to work."

    I then had to walk her through the fucking LAW book. And show her the regulation.

    Then she made me renew my registration (it doesn't expire until nearly march 1st, and the bike is CURRENTLY REGISTERED, to ME)

    Then she asked for my plates, and I told her I need the plates until the application hoes through, so she gave me a giant paper temp registration, which I don't know what to do with because it isa motorcycle not a CAR.

    regardless, I think this should finally work, and maybe in 8 - 10 weeks I'll get new stickers in the mail. And I can put my OG blue plates on my bike.


    Attached Files:

  10. cycleranger

    cycleranger Generally Ok.

    You're lucky she didn't tase you.....:rolleyes:
    TwoManyXS1Bs likes this.
  11. daniel deblanke

    daniel deblanke XS650 Enthusiast

    Just a follow up on this thread -

    I did indeed YOM plate the bike.

    I finally made them legal in march of 2018

    had to have the proper , authentic plate, and it had to have a vintage 1979 sticker on it.
    (which i bought off ebay)

    it took 90 days, but they approved my plate and sticker as authentic.
    They determined my plate and sticker to be authentic by looking at A PHOTOCOPY OF THE PLATE.

    and after they registration of the plate was complete?


    they all sent dog ears to add behind the plate to add the month. i didn't add them

    and also - the plates are their own thing now. they are a custom plate and need all their own paperwork etc.

    yay california.
    Mailman likes this.

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