So at some point in the past few years, the California year of manufacture plate program was extended to 1980. Previously it stopped at 1969. This means you can now get classic blue plates for your 1970-1980 California titled vehicle. Form is available here:
Note that the page with the link to the REG 352 form hasn't been updated with regards to the year range, but if you read the form you can see items 2, 10, & 11 state it applies to the later vehicles. A few notes:
- You'll need your current plates, your new YOM plates, your registration, the filled out form, and $45
- Note the details on the plate requirements (e.g. for '64-'69 the plates must have an original year sticker that matches the year of title of your car. I do not believe this is required for '70-'80 blue plates.)
- Get an appointment at the DMV or be prepared to wait several hours. With an appointment took me about an hour
- Be prepared for the folks at the DMV to be very confused about this whole process. They will likely need to ask around to find someone who knows what to do.
- Be polite but firm if they say your 1970-80 car doesn't qualify. They are confused, not you. Point out the relevant sections on the form and explain that the program was updated.
- They will take your current plates and give you a temporary window sticker and temporary registration. DO NOT LET THEM KEEP THE YEAR OF MANUFACTURE PLATES. You keep those.
- It took about two months until I got my new registration and sticker in the mail. Until then leave the plates off the car and just use the temporary window sticker.
I figured I'd post this as I don't think most folks know the program has been extended (I did not until I got my '74.) I went through this a few years ago to get black plates on the '63, and now have blue plates on the '74.
Also, I've bought two sets of plates from this guy. He guarantees that they'll be DMV clear and the plates were in really good condition:
Vintage Antique Classic Car Automobile | California Vintage License Plates for Sale