California hopes to make some money issuing vintage plates


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For an extra $50, California car enthusiasts will soon be able to order vintage license plates, including the black plates with yellow lettering issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles in the 1960s, thanks to action taken by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Among the hundreds of bills signed by the governor last week, AB 1658 is aimed at Californians who restore and drive vintage automobiles, as well as residents who are just nostalgic for the good old days.


Other plates to be offered after Jan. 1 include those used in the 1950s, with a yellow background and black lettering, and those issued in the 1980s, with a blue background and yellow lettering.

The DMV will only produce one of the designs once 7,500 applications have been received for that design statewide. The cost of producing the plates would be covered by the money raised if the minimum number of each of the three designs is sold. State officials hope additional plates are ordered to bring in money above the cost. Excess funds beyond those needed by the DMV to run the program would go toward environmental programs.

‘AB 1658 will enable the backyard auto restorer, the nostalgic, or the owner of a brand-new retro-styled automobile to choose a license plate that best matches the look of their car while making a little money for the state too,’ said Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), who introduced the bill.


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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento