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DMV to take orders for retro license plates

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This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles will start taking orders Jan. 1 for license plates that mirror ones issued from the 1950s to the 1970s.

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The state needs 7,500 orders by Jan. 1, 2015, to print the ‘legacy license plates,’ which have either blue, black or yellow backgrounds. Drivers must fill out a form, which is available on the DMV website, and pay $50. If the state does not meet the order threshold, it will refund the application fees.

The start-up cost for the program, should it move forward, will be $385,000, which will be covered by application fees, according to a legislative analysis.

The program is intended, in part, to give classic car collectors a way to get plates that match the era of their vehicles, the analysis said.

[For the Record, Dec. 28, 2012, 11:16 a.m.: A previous version of this post and its headline stated incorrectly that the DMV was taking orders for the retro license plates. The state agency will begin taking orders Jan. 1.]

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