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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All -
In the process of completing a 72 GTV 2000 restoration, and wondering if it is possible, when I register the car, to do so with California black and yellow license plates. First off, is this possible? The car is "out" of DMV's system. Secondly, where can I locate these plates? Any and all advice is welcome.
Thanks in advance,
Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Correction

I'm sorry...just re-read post.
I meant BLUE and yellow plates.
I think they stopped making the black ones in 70 or 71....anyone care to correct this info?
Thanks,
Peter
 

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Well, the answers are yes, yes, and no.

- California extended its YOM (year of manufacture) program in 2009 to include black plates. Previously, YOM just included the yellow background / black letter, and earlier plates.

- Pairs of black plates are generally available from license plate restorers. To a Google search - there are several around the country.

- BUT, a 1974 model car is well past the black plate era (approximately 1963 - 1969). So, I don't think the DMV would allow you to register it with black plates. The correct plates would have a blue background with yellow letters, but those aren't included in the YOM program.

UPDATE:

Just saw your second message. Well, the answer is still "no". Some people have told me that some DMV offices were still going through their stocks of black plates into 1970, but they were definitely gone by '74.

Lore has it that there are some "games" you can play, like getting a vanity plate whose numerals match those on a pair of blue/yellow plates you found at a swap meet. I have no direct experience with this - I couldn't face a DMV clerk with a straight face and say that I want my vanity plates to read "123 XYZ" 'cause that has sentimental value to me.
 

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I think the black plates (started in 1963) ended in late 69. I had a 69 car that got a YXX ### plate number in Feb 1969; they were issued in order (sorta) so they were nearly out by then.

Did the car ever have '74 Calif plates (blue/yellow)? If not, you're stuck with the current ones, and all the good Alfa vanity titles were taken long ago.

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jay -
Thanks for the info...
I caught that right after I has written it...I guess subconsciously I just WANT it to have black plates.
Have you dealt with any restorers before?
Recommend one?
Thanks,
Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Robert -
I'm sure it DID have blue and yellow plates at some point...just not now.
It has some ugly mid 90's blue-on-white scheme.
Not possible to change it back to yellow-on-blue???
Peter
 

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Jay - Have you dealt with any restorers before?
Recommend one?
Peter:

Here are some notes I put together a few years ago. Note that to do the job properly, you need a vintage month sticker to go on your restored plates. I have used both Rod Pearman and Darryls, and was pleased with both.

License Plate restoration:

Rod Pearman, 3270 Friendship Road, Buford, Georgia 30519 – 8005, (678) 482 – 7515

Darryls, Florida. http://www.darrylsplates.com/ Takes longer than Rod, buy his shade of yellow seems more accurate

Sources for the license plate stickers. These are original, NOS stickers from the DMV:

Brian Mueller in San Clemente. email: [email protected]. Brian charges
$30 apiece, which seemed a bit steep. But, he has all 12 months.

Rick, unknown location. email: [email protected]. Rick charges $10, but
doesn't have all months. Certainly if Rick has the month that you need, go with him. (No reply July 2009, so may have moved, gone out of business, or …?)

Bob Duedall, in Woodland. E-mail: [email protected] Bob charges $21 and has an eBay page. His eBay name is: bobsplatesandstickers. 530-668-8782. Bob is VERY responsive.

Dave Hindman in Vacaville have never dealt with Dave, but his website indicates that he supplies stickers as well as plates. Got an email back from Dave saying he didn’t have “OCT” and referring me to Bob Duedall.
 

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If you still have the yellow-on-blue plates, and maybe an original registration card, you MIGHT get a DMV worker to reissue that registration. YOM program only applies to 63-69 yellow-on-black (and earlier 50's black-on-yellow) plates.

Robert
 

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Restored plates are tricky. By the letter of the rules, DMV is looking for "original" plates. Repos are specifically illegal. Restored are dangerous - a pissy DMV clerk can deny them. I'd (and a few friends with 60's vintage Muscle cars) get a set of plates in original condition and get the registration done, then have them restored. Your 74 does not qualify, but an older car needs "cleared" plates, stickers - CA and year for the black plates - and extra tabs for the current year-and-month stickers.

Lots of plates on eBay, along with stickers and tabs. Pricy - expect $100-150 for the plates.....

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jay -
Great info...thanks!
I do NOT have the yellow-on-blue plates to be restored.
Just the mid 90's blue-on-white, standard-issue plates.
Sounds like Robert (60's Racer) says I'm stuck with the one I've got...
Would LOVE to put period-correct plates on it (plus I'm pretty sentimental about the old yellow-on-blue plates...very Californian).
Tricks? Something bordering on deceit? I'm an honest person, and never feel like intentionally screwing anyone...At the same time, I pay my taxes and don't feel like I owe the DMV anything after the decades of quality service they have provided me...
Peter
 

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The DMV rules says replicas cannot be duplicates. Some of them are made 'off size' to be legal. Some are simply not legal. It's up to your local DMV office if they slip thru and are allowed, so some succeed with 'grey market' plates. Black original plates were steel, the new white ones are aluminum with reflective paint. Blue was???? Also, there is a master list of valid plates. If somebody is using your plate, or if it's not listed as "unused" you get rejected, and you can't get a clearance without the plates to check.

There is a 'wild west' flavor in these plate games - some people get away with fudging, some get caught with legal plates.

Robert
 

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Replica 1969 (Blue Base) California License Plates -LICENSEPLATES.TV
What if I bought plates like these, had my existing numbers etched onto them, and brought them to the DMV?
Sure, that would work, except for the part about bringing them into the DMV. Why would you bother to do that? And, what would you say when you got there.

The problem is that 1974 blue plates should have three letters followied by three numbers (or is it the converse?). Later blue plates had 7 digits, usually preceeded by a "1". Your 1990's plates probably have 7 digits, and probably have the numbers and letters intermixed. So, having licenseplates.tv make up a blue/yellow set that matched the characters on your modern plates would produce something that looked anachronistic. You could probably get away with running them, but they wouldn't look 100% right.
 

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California YOM only goes to 1969 for cars, motorcycles, and trailers. It goes to 1972 for trucks and other commercial vehicles.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg352.pdf

As far as YOM plates in general, I guess if you have a '69 car or earlier, is whether you want to find the correct sequence of letters and numbers for the particular year of your car. Several years ago I bought off of eBay, a '70 Ford Galaxie 500 Sportroof, which had the correct January 1970 California blue plates. I registered it here in New Mexico with current NM plates, then found a YOM 1970 New Mexico plate. I was about to have it assigned to the car when I found out that the plate that I found wouldn't have been issued in January of 1970, so I didn't use it (I'm picky)!
 

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Don't do that. If you got stopped for anything, a DMV check would highlight the illegal plates, and they'd confiscate your car! You'd have a battle royale to get it back!

Robert
 

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The black plates were issued in rough order (AAA 001 in 1963 thru ZZZ 999 in about June 1969), but they were stocked at all the DMV offices. As a result, a car could have numbers (letters actually, which were the first digits) well out of the 'current' sequence if you were at a small DMV office that could have a plate a year old. I wouldn't try to put an AAA 001 plate ( issued in 1963) on a 1969 vehicle, but anything from NAA nnn to ZZZ nnn would be pretty close. Also, a 1967 car could have been first registered in California (from another state) 1967, 1968, or even early 1969, so there are a lot of 'valid' numbers. This is an area where the local DMV clerk can really mess with you. One of the local car clubs has successfully battled with the Ventura DMV over this issue claiming that the text of the law allows any 1963 thru 1969 plate for any car.

Often the DMV clerks do not even know of the YOM program, so you end up with a supervisor. Be really nice as there isn't any easy appeal from her decision.

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Hmmm......
Good point, Jay. I thought about that as well. It does have 7 numbers/characters on the blue-on-ehite plate, not the standard 6 for yellow-on-blue. The site actually has software where you can enter your plate, and they do a mock up so you can see what it'll look like as a finished product. And you're right...it doesn't look right...
Good point, Robert. I absolutely do not want my car impounded.
Question (with no probable answer) : why does it matter what color/style the plate is if the numbers/letters are congruent with the registration? I could see the argument if they don't match up, but if they do, and they are consistent with the era of the car, the era of the license plate, and the info is correct, who cares and why? I know it's most likely a money issue...something else I'm not seeing here???
Maybe I should just steal the plates off my Fiat and be done with it!!!!
 

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CA Black Plates Possible?

Hmmm......
Good point, Jay. I thought about that as well. It does have 7 numbers/characters on the blue-on-ehite plate, not the standard 6 for yellow-on-blue. The site actually has software where you can enter your plate, and they do a mock up so you can see what it'll look like as a finished product. And you're right...it doesn't look right...
Good point, Robert. I absolutely do not want my car impounded.
Question (with no probable answer) : why does it matter what color/style the plate is if the numbers/letters are congruent with the registration? I could see the argument if they don't match up, but if they do, and they are consistent with the era of the car, the era of the license plate, and the info is correct, who cares and why? I know it's most likely a money issue...something else I'm not seeing here???
Maybe I should just steal the plates of my Fiat and be done with it!!!!
Generally, California Law is that a plate stays with the car and is transferred with the car to the new owner, with the exception of personalized plates, which may be kept by the previous owner.

I'm sure it's a nightmare trying to keep track of "illegally" produced plates, usually cancelled plate numbers when a car is wrecked or junked; let alone the plates that are reported lost or stolen. I still have the plates my car was issued with when I moved to a personalized plate in case I ever want to revert back to the original plate.

When California's population was smaller, six digit plates were issued; then they moved to seven digits with the original six digits preceded with a "1" and when that didn't work, they started moving through the succeeding numbers. Prior to adding the "1" they changed the plate colors to allow duplicate combinations but on reversed color plates. I've lived through the changes from the yellow plate with back letters forward.

California has become ever more clever about tracking everything, so I would not want to take the chance of having my car confiscated over the desire for an original plate. Insurance companies report if your insurance premium is not paid on time and your license is suspended. We no longer receive those proof of insurance forms to show if you're stopped because they are electronically transmitted just as the smog certificates are.
 

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Hi guys - just went through this on the 1972 Berlina. VR 2009-21 says that if you can prove that your have blue/yellow plates that are original to the car they can be put back on. Takes a fair amount of paperwork, and they'll want to see both plates, but each office handles this differently. You'll probably need to write up a State of Fact and explain why they were removed.

There is an excellent change they'll get confused and give you YOM paperwork, and they don't always like being quoted their own regulations back to them when you gently try to explain why YOM isn't correct. I actually had a supervisor give me YOM paperwork, collect a fee for it, and then insist that I brought the YOM paperwork with me when a junior person pointed out that a 1972 car doesn't fit the YOM program.

After all that they will suspend the plates, give your a temporary move permit, send the paperwork to Sac, and then you cross your fingers like I am doing now....
 
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