States first began issuing special plates for old/collectible cars in the middle of the twentieth century, and by 1985 (when Oklahoma introduced its “Antique” plate) it was possible to obtain this type of plate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Antique vehicle registration is a special form of motor vehicle registration for vehicles that are considered antique, classic, vintage, or historic. Roll-up windows do not automatically qualify your vehicle for antique plates, or what some states also refer to as vintage plates, collector plates, classic vehicle plates, and historical plates. Before applying, check with your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Each state governs differently, but in general, you’ll find the vehicle must be a certain age, based on the manufacturing date.
Antique vehicle registration may provide certain benefits, such as a reduced or waived registration fee, exemption from vehicle inspection, and/or distinctive vehicle registration plates. The special license plate may take the form of a newly manufactured license plate with a tag such as “Antique”, “Historic”, “Early American”, or “Horseless Carriage.” The license plate has a separate number sequence from ordinary license plates and may have a distinctive color scheme.
If your vehicle qualifies for antique status, apply for plates with your state motor vehicle agency. You’ll follow the same steps as a regular vehicle registration, except for the need to complete a special car registration form for antique plates. Depending on your state, you may be charged a one-time car registration fee, but some states waive the registration fee.
If you’re purchasing a classic car utilizing PaySAFE escrow service, the seller can upload the current registration outlining the cars current status as an antique. This paperwork can help expedite the process.