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  #1  
Old 05-14-2014, 05:56 PM
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Default Historical Vehicles and 'period plates'

There has been discussion regarding historical plates. Each state is different in the USA. Their fees and qualifications differ as well. Here is Michigan's rules, taken from their site:

"License Plates for Michigan’s Historical Vehicles
Michigan, the automobile capital of the world, has many residents who collect and restore
antique vehicles. Since 1956, the state has offered a special, inexpensive vehicle registration for
older vehicles that are operated on the road only occasionally.
Many antique cars, trucks, and motorcycles qualify for special registration as Michigan historical
vehicles. A qualifying vehicle may be registered with the Michigan Secretary of State either with a
Michigan historical vehicle plate, or an actual Michigan license plate the same year as the historic
vehicle’s model year.

To qualify for a historical or authentic license plate, vehicle must be:
• 26 or more years old -- based on vehicle model year subtracted from current calendar year
• Owned solely as a collector’s item
• Used only for events such as historical club activities, parades, and car shows. (<--This could be a cruise night at the local drive-in.)
Note: A vehicle registered with a historical plate or authentic historic plate cannot be used for
routine transportation, except during the month of August when it may be driven anywhere in the
state without restrictions. (<--This is because of the annual Woodward Dream Cruise)
Historical Vehicle Plate
The Michigan historical vehicle plate is white with six blue numbers (four if a motorcycle plate).
Historical vehicle plates are $30 and valid for 10 years. To obtain one, present the following items at
any Secretary of State office:
(a) Proof of ownership, preferably a copy of the title.
(b) Proof of Michigan no-fault insurance.
(c) $30 fee (make checks or money orders payable to “State of Michigan”).
(d) The completed application on the reverse side.
If you do not have the original title or a copy of it, present a previous registration document as
proof of ownership. Your historical vehicle plate will be mailed from Lansing to the address on the
registration within two weeks.

Authentic License Plate
Michigan also allows residents to register their antique vehicle with a same-year general use
Michigan license plate. Reproduction or remanufactured plates are not allowed. The plate must
display the correct colors for the plate year.
For 1984 and later model year vehicles, blue plates with white letters were issued from 1984
through 2006. These plates may be used to apply for an authentic license plate registration if
the plate displays an authentic Michigan year tab corresponding to the model year of the antique
vehicle. The only exception is for the 1984 blue plate because tabs were not issued until 1985.
The authentic plate registration fee is $35. Authentic plate registrations are valid until the vehicle
is sold, transferred, scrapped, or modified. Authentic license plates must be registered by mail
and are not handled by Secretary of State offices. To obtain a registration, provide all the following
documents with your application:
(a) A color photograph, a color scan, or a color photocopy of the license plate (passenger,
commercial, trailer, or motorcycle). Do not mail the original plate. Personalized,
government, law enforcement, manufacturer, dealer, in-transit repair, disability, and special purpose license plates cannot be used as authentic license plates. If in doubt, check with the department before purchasing a license plate.
(b) Proof of ownership, preferably a copy of the title.
(c) Proof of Michigan no-fault insurance.
(d) $35 fee (make checks or money orders payable to “State of Michigan”).
(e) The completed application on the reverse side.
You will receive a new registration within two weeks."

So yes, if you happen to find a personalized plate that was issued in that year (and the numbers aren't taken), it is a valid candidate for renewal.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:21 PM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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Here is the text of the NC statute:

"Any motor vehicle of the age of 35 years or more from the date of manufacture may bear the license plates of the year of manufacture instead of the current registration plates, if the current registration plates are maintained within the vehicle and produced upon the request of any person."

This doesn't say that the plate had to be issued in that year by the DMV. In 1964 the format for a regular plate was two alphabet characters, a dash, and one to four Arabic numbers. It doesn't say anything about a 'vanity', or custom plate, so I'm going to assume that a newly manufactured, custom plate, with any combination of letters, up to 7 characters, is permissible.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:42 PM
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I read in another forum that a guy went to the DMV to register an antique vehicle and the clerk suggested he get a antique plate, because it would cap the tax value at $500. He asked if it restricted his use of the vehicle and the clerk said it did not. Here's the actual statute:

Quote:
§ 105-330.9. Antique automobiles.

(a) Definition. - For the purpose of this section, the term "antique automobile" means a motor vehicle that meets all of the following conditions:

(1) It is registered with the Division of Motor Vehicles and has an historic vehicle special license plate under G.S. 20-79.4.

(2) It is maintained primarily for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades, and other public interest functions.

(3) It is used only occasionally for other purposes.

(4) It is owned by an individual.

(5) It is used by the owner for a purpose other than the production of income and is not used in connection with a business.

(b) Classification. - Antique automobiles are designated a special class of property under Article V, Sec. 2(2) of the North Carolina Constitution and must be assessed for taxation in accordance with this section. An antique automobile must be assessed at the lower of its true value or five hundred dollars ($500.00). (1995, c 512, s 2; 2009-445, s. 24(a); 2013-414, s. 70(b).)
So unless "occasionally" means "whenever you want, including driving to other states", that clerk was wrong.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:20 PM
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Any time they impose exact rules, there are always issues.
Examine (a)(2). It is self-contradictory because "...is maintained..." means it must be serviced (by a qualified mechanic). Unless the mechanic makes house calls, the car must be driven to a garage. That's why they also stipulated, (3).

Hey, your mechanic may well live in another state.
They are trying to prevent classic cars from being used as daily drivers.
Along with 'limited use' comes limited insurance because the car is rarely on the road. - Dave
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:43 PM
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Since I have a 2012 car as a daily driver, use of my TBird has to be considered "occasional".

The classic car insurers insist that you also have a non-classic car registered, so that your classic is not your daily driver.

When I was looking around for classic car insurance one of the most advertised names would not insure me, because I told them I planned on driving the car to Florida maybe once/ year. Since my dad has a carport and not a garage, they wouldn't insure me. He lives in a gated community.
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