Nostalgic black license plates are soon hitting the road

Attention vintage auto enthusiasts: the California DMV is now producing '60s-era black license plates

A little retro flair will soon be hitting California roadways, as the Department of Motor Vehicles announced this week it has begun producing historic black license plates.

The state originally issued black plates with yellow lettering from 1963 to 1969. Now, they're back on the presses, thanks to a 2012 law by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) which instructed the DMV to start producing the iconic plates if the department received at least 7,500 applications for the plates.

"California motorists are excited about classic license plates," Gatto said in a statement. "Aside from not salting our roads, California doesn't do much for automobile enthusiasts."

The historic plates program "is an easy way for the state to enable everyone from the backyard restorer, to the nostalgic, to the purchaser of a retro-styled automobile to add that extra bit of detail for those of use who appreciate the classic era of automobile design," he said.

Under Gatto's legislation, AB 1658, the DMV can also produce yellow plates with black lettering, a design from the 1950s, and blue plates with yellow lettering, recalling the 1970s. At this time, neither design has hit the 7,500 pre-order application threshold for production.

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