Last week, California's Assembly Transportation Committee passed Los Angeles Democrat Mike Gatto's Legacy License Plate Program, or Assembly Bill 1658, in a 14-0 vote. Now, the state's department of motor vehicles will need to receive 7,500 paid applications before it will consider moving forward.
"What's old is new,"ť said Gatto in a statement. "This bill would enable everyone from the backyard auto restorer, to the nostalgic, to the purchaser of a brand-new but retro-styled automobile, to opt for a license plate most appropriate for their car. And it might make the state a little money too."ť
It's unclear what upcharge California would make for the specialty plates, although other designs typically run $20-50 according to the DMV's website.
California used plates with a black background and yellow/gold letters from 1963 to 1969. The design was replaced in mid-1969 with a blue background that lasted until the early 1980s. For car collectors, a car that still bares its black or blue California plates is often worth a hefty premium because it shows that the car has, presumably, been continuously operated in the Golden State's generally mild climate.
The reborn black and blue plates will follow a modern numbering sequence, so they can't be used to fool buyers, but they would at least give vintage car enthusiasts a period-correct style for a small fee.
Photo by Ronan Glon.