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But Mad North-Northwest
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Discussion Starter #1
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:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/forms/reg/reg352

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
 

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I find the form confusing.

I currently have a 1972 GTV registered in California. It was brought into the state in 2006 so it was issued white background plates.

Will the state sell me new, six character blue plates for this car, or do I have to find a set of used blue plate and have then reassigned to this Alfa?

Thanks,
Bob
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Discussion Starter #3
You have to buy an original set of blue plates.

See the link I posted for one source.
 

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So if you don't have your original YOM plates, how do you get the blue plates. It seems like a catch-22. My 79 has some mid 80s plates because of some unknown reason. Old plates are long gone.
 

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DMV instructions are never very clear. It sounds like you have to bring in what ever is on your car, and the original plates that were on your car. And on top of that you have to buy plates from someone else at $375? And pay the DMV a fee? And this company that makes the plates just happens to know what plates are not already taken?

I really want them for my 79, but I was expecting if/when it ever got to the blue plates that you pay your fee and get the plates mailed to you same as when you got a new car.
 

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Okay. I just went through the YOM plate exchange at my DMV in Santa Barbara.

I bought the pair of “1972” CA plates online for $100. (1970 to 1972 the plates were made of steel, ‘73 and newer are aluminum) They were not restored but have a nice patina that suits the look of my daily driver. I can recommend the seller. She has a set of 1979 YOM listed online. (The year is only an issue if you are wanting the character sequence to have been issued in that year)

Bring to your DMV appointment the completed form, a check for $45.00, CA registration for the car, proof of insurance for the car, and the plates the car is currently registered with. The DMV takes the form, check and plates then gives you a piece of paper that is to be attached to the inside of the windscreen until the new registration arrives. That is as far as I’ve gotten in the process.

I did bring registration year sticker (NOS) that I got with the plates but the clerk who helped me wasn’t interested in it.

My clerk at the the DMV was familiar with the program.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Discussion Starter #8
Hey, if you want cheap and easy, just keep your 80s plates.

The guy I linked to doesn’t make the plates, he collects and restores them. There are other folks who do this as well, I’ve just had good experiences with oldpl8s. Yeah, not cheap, but neither is a GTV, and the plates look great.

You can always buy a set on eBay cheaper, of course. Anyone can call the DMV to confirm whether a specific plate number is available or not, just be prepared to wait on hold for quite a while.
 

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Yeah, reading other posts on the internet show much confusion over this. Apparently you have to bring in correct model year license plates with the correct years sticker on the right. This is of course some extra sticker since nobody with those plates removed all the other years stickers to reveal the original sticker. Then it is unclear what you do after you get a current year sticker of your paid yearly registration. It appears the DMV wants that old model year sticker to always be visible but they don't specify what to do with your yearly stickers. Some people have made a separate tab to place the new yearly sticker. All very strange.

And I can't find anywhere that states what sequence the numbers started with for each year. I assume if you brought in a set of plates from a 1977 sequence, that they would say it doesn't come from a 1979 and you'd be out of luck (and money).

And is there some way to find out what number was on your car when it was sold, assuming someone changed them at some later point for some reason.

I do see some used plates in the range of $20 - $40 in some places, so it seems possible to get it accomplished for a reasonable cost. I just got shocked seeing the prices those guys are charging for what the DMV would just issue you at the time. And I thought the program was about the DMV issuing you those plates after you paid them their fee. It would be nice to get back period correct plates, but it's not that high on my list. If a set of plates come around real cheap, I'll pick them up and start the process if I every understand the sticker situation.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Discussion Starter #12
You can buy an appropriate year plate with a correct year sticker from the guy I mentioned. Just tell him what year you need. Alternatively there are folks selling replica stickers.

When your YOM registration is approved you'll get a month sticker and a new 2020 registration sticker in the mail. They send you tabs so you can mount these above the YOM plate if you so choose. Personally I just put the plate with the original sticker on the front of the car, then put both new stickers on the rear plate in the typical locations.
 
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