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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There is quite a lot of conflicting information concerning antique/classic license plates for Texas cars. I've called TxDot several times and gotten vague or different answers, all of which causes me to think that the actual rules are buried in confusion. At issue is whether or not you are required to display front and rear license plates on a classic or antique car. The general received wisdom is, yes, you have to display both plates if two were originally required. You can, of course, not display a front license plate, a quite a lot of people do (I went for years without one) but I was curious about what the law requires.

Tonight I found an interesting comment from an official Texas site.

"The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) has two types of plates available specifically for older vehicles.

Antique plates are for vehicles at least 25 years old that are used strictly for antique exhibitions, parades, and related activities. (Occasional trips to the repair shop are permitted.)

Only one antique plate per vehicle is issued (Emphasis mine). To apply for the plate, complete the antique application form and bring it or mail it to your local county tax office. The plate cannot be personalized.

The plate is valid in five-year increments. For vehicles built before 1921, the yearly fee is $8, while it's $10 per year for vehicles manufactured after that. Local additional fees may apply."

Now, there are various ways to look at this of course and if you call your TxDot/DMV you'll probably be told you have to display two plates. But that's not exactly what this statement implies. I note that there's no additional clarification about having to display two plates. It specifically mentions ONE plate.
 

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I think the issue you're raising concerns the special plates that say "antique" on them (Antique Vehicle) as opposed to year of manufacture (YOM) plates that a car can be registered under as an antique. For some reason, the details on the YOM program are hard to find on the TxDMV site, but the antique vehicle application form includes instructions if you're supplying the plates (Here)

I've got all my old cars under antique YOM plates, and its well worth the small hassle.

As far as running without the front YOM plate, the DMV site seems silent on the subject. I like the logic that the DMV issues a single antique plate, so a car running under a YOM antique plate would also only have a single plate. I suppose ultimately it depends on the mood of the officer if you get stopped ...
 

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I got the TX "Antique Car" plates for my spider before replacing them with a set of "YOM" vintage plates under the same rules (registraiton and safety inspection every 4 years I recall). The Antique Plates supplied by TX were two. BTW. Before this I did Personalized plates and they needed reg and safety every year, but not the Antique or YOM plates.

When registering the Spider, a lady looked in a big book and told me for that year only needed to have one displayed for that year, but when I went in for Pinyo, that was disputed (for both cars) and I was told that only in some pre-50's years could you have only one plate legally and I'd need two. So go figure.

Have fun with the bureaucracy!! A new demon to take on?? Now Pinyo has a front plate, only it's Dutch!! And Bianca's will be German!!

And BTW2. While Pinyo is a 76, I supplied them 72 plates that they did not question. Anomaly #347.
 

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PSS, why not get some vintage Italian plates from e-Bay.it??
 

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I put YOM on both my classic Alfas this year. You must have two matching, pristine plates, to get the authorization. Took me no more than 30 minutes at the Travis County Clerks office on Airport Blvd. The registration sticker is good for 5 years. No inspection sticker required. There is apparently a little tag that is also issued that sticks up behind the plate. I did not get them, but so far, so good.
 

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From what I am reading if you have antique plates you can not drive on the road for regular daily driving. The plates that say Classic Auto, are for vehicles over 25 years, can be personalized are essentialy regular plates and you get issued two plates. Do YOM plates allow for daily driving?

Classic Auto
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think you can register your car as a vintage car with YOM plates and use it as a daily driver. If you do that you have to get regular inspections, etc. I don't want door dings so I don't like to use my Super as a daily driver. The antique plates make more sense for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Today, I went to the tax office to register for an antique license plate, sure enough, was issued a single license plate. Since the state obviously only issues one license plate for cars with this kind of registration I think it only logical to assume that a single year of manufacture plate would be acceptable. That's what I plan to do, anyway.

While there's a milage limitation and purpose/destination limitation on cars with antique plates the rules are pretty loosely applied. I've never run across anyone, for instance, who has been questioned about their destination and, besides, going to a shop or a test drive to check on some repairs is allowable. Frankly, so long as your car is properly registered, I think a car is off the radar as far as the state is concerned. Similarly, the cops most likely have better things to do than question the destination of a classic old car being driven on a bright Saturday morning. The best thing to do, if you are stopped, is make sure you are informed about what is acceptable use and then make sure any answer you give fits that criteria. Commuting to work won't cut it but driving to the Alfa Club convention in Kentucky will.
 

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Very good that helps. I have 1 year left until I can get some but as I use my spider for regular daily driving i'm going to get the cassic plates.
 

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Travis County requires you to present two (2) YOM plates when registering. I only display one. I keep the other in my trunk. I was pulled over once in Dime Box, Texas, for not displaying a front plate on my first Alfa. Local deputy held a badge up to his truck's window and made me pull over. He got a rusty piece of wire out of his cab, and made me attach my front plate, before leaving with a warning. That was 30 years ago, but I still think about it when driving an Alfa in BFE.
 

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Burnet County insisted I have 2 YOM plates when I registered my Spider and Pinyo. In 36 years without a front plate on my Spider, in CA & TX, I've never been pulled over . . . for that. Even when pulled over for going a tad to fast, they never cited no front plate. Same here with Pinyo, once. He studied the car thoroughly, looked at the Dutch front plate and let me off with a warning on the speed issue. Guess it's just a matter of luck of the draw. So far they've been more interested in the car than the front plate. Like you JK, I do carry the 2nd plate in the trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Although the policy is unambiguous, I think there's confusion over the distinction between a "classic" registration and a "antique" registration. This obviously won't be a hot-button issue for a any cop who probably won't make that fine a distinction between the two classifications. In Texas, "antique" get you a single plate while "classic" apparently requires you to show front and rear plates.

It might be expedient to carry a copy of the TxDot policy with you when you travel.

Bruce raises an interesting point. Policy for classic registrations may require front and rear license plates but what if it doesn't specify which kind of "front license plate" is required? What if simply having a proper NL license plate satisfies the requirement for a front license plate? The possibilities are provocative. :)
 

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It might be expedient to carry a copy of the TxDot policy with you when you travel.
It seems the State Troopers are the only ones around here enforcing the requirement for front plates. That being said, the last thing you want to do is attempt to tell a Texas State Trooper that he doesn't know the law.:eek:
 

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Just got YOM plates for the new white Super (black on white). Jesse Perez of "Old Texas License Plates" in San Antonio looked until he found some nice 65's. He has no website but his phone is 210-532-7456. I bought two previous sets (69 & 72) from Dave Zubal at plateshack.com/daz - License Plates By Year. He has a listing of his stock on-line. His E-mail is [email protected].

In registering using the "Antique" designation today, it was fairly painless but still full of mystery. If you go beyond the 60 day title grace period they award you a 10% penalty. No excuses. Then I thought they'd said it was good for 4 years BUT both sets of stickers for my last two (this and Pinyo) both show an expiration of 3/2013, even though registered about a year apart. And that's no where near 4 years. Perhaps their PC is stuck at 3/2013??? Last time they asked to see two plates, this time not. Last time they wanted the foreign docs (title & reg) translated by a certified translator, this time not. Last time they told me I did not need to display the inspection sticker, this time they said I needed to. Their website does not address a lot of this.

The bottom line for me is the 80/20 rule, and as Jim said in his opening post: the basics are vaguely in-place but a lot of details are really fuzzy.

Here is a excerpt from the TxDMV guidance, but none of these fees are accurate:

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) has two types of plates available specifically for older vehicles.
Antique plates
are for vehicles at least 25 years old that are used strictly for antique exhibitions, parades, and related activities. (Occasional trips to the repair shop are permitted.)
Only one antique plate per vehicle is issued. To apply for the plate, complete the antique application form and bring it or mail it to your local county tax office. The plate cannot be personalized.
The plate is valid in five-year increments. For vehicles built before 1921, the yearly fee is $8, while it's $10 per year for vehicles manufactured after that. Local additional fees may apply. Find full information here.
Classic plates
are also for vehicles that are at least 25 years old. However, vehicles with these plates may be used for routine transportation.
Complete the classic plate form to apply for the plates, and bring it or mail it to your local county tax office.
The plates carry an annual fee of $15, and may be personalized for an extra $40. However, local additional fees may apply. Find full information here.
Model Year Plates
Have the original, model year plates for a vehicle? As long as they're Texas-issued, have the proper color, and are in a usable condition, you may apply to use them by completing either the classic or the antique vehicle form, whichever fits the situation.
Bring the form and plates with you to your county tax office, where the plates will be inspected for suitability of use.
It costs $10 annually to display the plates, although local extra fees may be added.
 

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Then I thought they'd said it was good for 4 years BUT both sets of stickers for my last two (this and Pinyo) both show an expiration of 3/2013, even though registered about a year apart. And that's no where near 4 years. Perhaps their PC is stuck at 3/2013???
I was told that the plates are good for up to 5 years, depending on when you register the car. It seems like the entire population of antique plates expires at the same time - all three of mine, registered over the past two years, have the same expiration date. Let's hope renewal is by mail ...
 

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Dean, is your "stuck-on" date 3/2012 also??? Unfortunately the paperwork on my two says the same date: 3/2012. I was told that YOM plates with antique reg were good for 4 years. Go figure!! And no written regs posted on details. Bugger . . .
 

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***?? SO much for 5 or even 4 years reg . . . I plan on calling Monday. B
 

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***?? SO much for 5 or even 4 years reg . . . I plan on calling Monday. B
Keep us posted. The first time I went through this and asked about the discrepancy between the five year term and what I got, the clerk at the Travis County office told me "your timing is bad." Baffled, I just took my registration and left.

I think the entire population of registered antique cars in Texas may be on the exact same registration schedule. We should plan shows in the tax assessors' office parking lots across Texas one day in March 2013.
 
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