Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 22 of 38

Chapter 21: Special Plates

21.260 Year of Manufacture (YOM) License Plates

21.260 Year of Manufacture (YOM) License Plates (CVC §§5004.1, 4463, 4463.5, California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 13, Article 3.3, §§205.00-205.14)

YOM License Plates are officially manufactured California license plates issued in:

 1969 or prior, for autos, trailers, and motorcycles, and
— 1972 or prior, for commercial vehicles.

In lieu of the license plates otherwise required for the vehicle, YOM license plates may be assigned to any currently registered:

— 1969 or older year model auto, motorcycle, or trailer of a corresponding model year.
— 1972 or older commercial vehicle of a corresponding model year.

  • DMV must determine that the YOM license plates are legible and serviceable prior to assignment to a vehicle.
  • Vehicles with YOM license plates:

— Have full operating privileges.
 Are not restricted to participation in historical vehicle activities.

  • Replica vehicles, such as specially constructed vehicles (SPCNS) and Kit cars (for example, a replica of a 1928 Duesenberg Model J)) do not qualify for YOM license plates.
  • YOM license plates must be supplied by the vehicle owner and authenticated by DMV personnel.

— Base year license plates must have the appropriate year validation sticker attached to the plate to be authenticated as other than the base year.


— A 1956 license plate with a 1958 sticker equals a 1958 plate and must be placed on a 1958 year model vehicle.
— A 1963 license plate with a 1968 sticker equals a 1968 plate and must be placed on a 1968 year model vehicle.

A 1956 base license plate with a 1963, and newer year sticker is not valid for a 1963 and newer year model vehicle YOM registration.

  • 1963 through 1969 year model autos, trailers, and motorcycles must use a 1963 black background and yellow character base license plate and a corresponding year sticker for the corresponding year model vehicle (unless it is a 1963, no sticker needed).
  • Must be with the configuration series AAA000–YYY999.
  • 1963 through 1969 commercial vehicles must utilize the 1963 black background and yellow character base license plates, with appropriate year sticker (if applicable) only.
  • Must be within the configuration series A00000–Z99999.
  • 1970 through 1972 commercial vehicles must utilize the 1970 blue background and yellow character license plates with appropriate year sticker only.
  • Must be within the configuration series 00000A–99999Z.
  • Blue and yellow license plates:

— Do not have a specific year model designation, but were not introduced until 1970.
— Valid for 1970–1972 year model commercial vehicles.
— 1970 through 1972 commercial vehicles must utilize blue background and
yellow character license plates only. 1963 base license plates with a 1970, 1971, 1972 year sticker does not qualify for YOM registrations.
— Must be within the configuration series 00000A–99999Z.

  • Unique plate series, such as exempts, dealers, etc., will be authorized for currently qualified applicants only.

California dealer #103 (if currently licensed) would be allowed to use an authenticated 1956 dealer plate #103 on a 1956 vehicle registered to the dealership. The plates must be:

— original (legible and unaltered characters).
— a configuration authorized for the year of the vehicle entered on the application.

  • Legitimate YOM specifications may be determined by verifying the license plate(s) against the license plate information contained in Appendix 1E.
  • The YOM plates must be acceptable by DMV and may be rejected by DMV if the configuration carries any connotations offensive to good taste or have been restricted or removed from regular series license plates.
    — Two license plates are required for every qualifying vehicle, except trailers
    or motorcycles which require only a single plate. Exception: In 1945 and 1946, DMV issued only one license plate for all type vehicles, therefore only one license plate is required for a 1945 or 1946 YOM assignment, regardless of vehicle type.
    — The vehicle and the license plate must be compatible for any 1963 and newer vehicle.(Example: An auto license plate to an auto, a motorcycle license plate to a motorcycle).
    — Weight fees must be collected on all commercial vehicles.
  • Because DMV does not have year model information for all historical vehicles, the YOM applicant may have to prove that the year model of the vehicle described in the application is correct

Original Plate Application—the following must be submitted:

In addition to the usual registration and/or transfer requirements, the application must include:

  • A Year of Manufacture (YOM) License Plate Application (REG 352).
  • Authentication of the license plates by DMV which requires taking the plates to a DMV field office.
    — DMV will also verify that the configuration is not duplicated and already in use on another vehicle.
  • Surrender of the license plates currently assigned to the vehicle.
  • Original YOM license plate fee

Displaying YOM sticker
The applicant will be issued a PYR (partial year) sticker showing the month and year of expiration, along with a metal permanent sticker well for displaying the PYR sticker.

  • The well must be placed behind the license plate, extending above the upper right hand corner, or, if not possible, placed on the right side of the plate.
  • The original sticker(s) on the license plate must not be removed from the license plate, or the validation will be void.

Transfer of Vehicle Displaying YOM Plates

  • YOM license plates can remain on the vehicle when ownership is transferred if the seller releases interest in the license plates to the new buyer on a the REG 352 for release of interest.
  • The buyer completes a new REG 352.

Renewal and Reassignment
YOM license plates require an additional fee for renewal and for reassignment of the plates to another vehicle.

The vehicle must be of the same year model as the vehicle from which the license plates are being removed.

YOM License Plates may be retained when the registration is not renewed, if the license plate owner pays the annual retention fee due by the registration expiration date for the vehicle last assigned the license plates.

Retention of Old License Plates (not YOM license plates) on Collector Vehicles
Under specific circumstances, DMV may allow a car collector to retain the old license plates that were originally assigned to the vehicle.

The original or photocopy of the California title or registration showing the plate number originally assigned to that vehicle must be submitted with the application.

  • The plate configuration:
    — Must be available.
    — Not in a series reserved for issuance as any other plate series.
  • Check with your local DMV office.