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Chapter 21: Special Plates
21.120 Historical Vehicle and Horseless Carriage License Plates
Chapter 21 Special License Plates
21.120 Historical Vehicle and Horseless Carriage License Plates (CVC §5004)
Permanent special identification plates may be issued to vehicles of historic value and interest. Vehicles assigned Horseless Carriage or Historical Vehicle License Plates are limited to operation or movement over the highway primarily for the purpose of historical exhibition or other similar, noncommercial purposes, such as parades or historic vehicle club activities, and are subject to a fixed annual vehicle license fee (VLF) of $2. Historical Vehicle and Horseless Carriage License Plates are not available as personalized plates.(R&TC §10753.5)
Horseless Carriage License Plates are issued to two types of motor vehicles:
- With an engine size of 16 or more cylinders manufactured prior to 1965.
- Manufactured in 1922 or before.
Historical Vehicle License Plates are issued to motor vehicles or trailers that are:
- Manufactured after 1922.
- At least 25 years old.
- Of historic interest.
Original Sequential License Plate Application—the following must be submitted:
A completed Special Recognition License Plate Application (REG 17A) form.
- The registration card in the applicant’s name or the documents required to register the vehicle to the applicant.
- Commercial Vehicles—The California Certificate of Title is required.
- The license plates currently assigned to the vehicle.
- The fees due.
Exchange—Existing personalized license plates may not be exchanged to Historical Vehicle License Plates.
Reassignment—Horseless Carriage and Historical Vehicle License Plates are permanently assigned to the vehicle and cannot be reassigned.
Renewal—No additional fee for renewal.
Retention—The license plates cannot be retained.
Substitute Plates—If another type of license plate is requested for a vehicle with Horseless Carriage or Historical Vehicle License Plates:
- The Horseless Carriage or Historical Vehicle License Plates assigned to the vehicle must be picked up.
- A new VLF class based on the last purchase price/cost or by the VLF class shown on a prior registration card for the vehicle is assigned.
- Additional VLF is not collected. VLF based on the new VLF classification will be due the next registration year.
- The application will be processed in accordance with procedures for the type of license plate requested.
Transfer of Ownership—The license plate remains with the vehicle and the transfer is processed as usual. Refer to Chapter 11 for transfer procedures.