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DMV Information, Sample License Plates,
and Year of Manufacture Laws
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Click a state name below to view DMV contact information, information about Sample license plates, and if the state allows Year of Manufacture license plates to be registered or displayed.

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Thanks to all the D.M.V. employees who provided us with prompt and courteous replies and complete information about your respective states!
 
 
Notes

We are currently updating information for all 50 U.S. States.  We have many e-mails and snail-mails outstanding to various DMVs requesting updated information about their state.  We will post current information as soon as possible after we receive a reply.

Information listed for each state was collected from various sources.  We visited each state's website and posted information posted there for your convenience.  If the website did not contain answers in each category that we list for every state, we e-mailed or mailed the DMV directly requesting information. 

Many DMVs are very prompt and courteous in replying to inquiries.  They answer all questions and we appreciate them very much.  Others, however, only partially answer questions or don't bother answering our inquiry at all.  These states will not be updated again for a year or two until we update this entire section of the website. 

When we could not obtain or verify information directly from the DMV, we posted information obtained from license plate collectors and auto enthusiasts.  Please notice the small line of type under each state's logo that tells when the information was updated and the source from which the information was obtained.

DMV Contact Information

Click a state in the table below for current DMV contact information.  Be advised that while we list the main DMV address and contact information, most DMVs have local branches that are not shown.  If needed, you can obtain those addresses and telephone numbers from many of the DMV websites or from the DMV main office.

Sample License Plate Purchase Information

Some (but not all)  states offer sample license plates for purchase by collectors or others who are interested in them.  Most states call these plates Samples, but others call then Souvenir plates.  Sample license plates are not used for vehicle registration, but are identical in appearance to regular issue plates of the same type in the same year except that their serial numbers are usually similar to "AAA-000", "000-000", or "SAMPLE".   All states that offer sample plates have passenger samples, and some offer other types like truck, apportioned, vanity, etc.  We have listed the types available when this information was provided by the respective DMV.  Prices vary by state. 

The information listed was current at the time each state was updated, but is subject to change without notice.

Year of Manufacture License Plate Registration and Use Information

Many U.S. states and some Canadian provinces allow antique and classic vehicle owners to register their vehicle using authentic license plates of the same year as the vehicle, called "Year of Manufacture" or "YOM" plates.  However, they don't sell previous year plates.  You must obtain your own plates elsewhere, probably from a dealer like us.

This section lists each state's known rules regarding Year of Manufacture plates.  We collected information from various sources and believe it to be correct as of the posting date.  When possible, we verified information directly through the state's D.M.V. and greatly appreciate the help each provided in insuring that our information is current and correct.

We posted information gathered from license plate collectors and antique auto buffs in cases where the D.M.V. did not respond to our request.   We are still trying to officially verify current information for each state and will post updated information as we receive it.

Where possible, we show the following information regarding each state's laws:


You should verify the information shown before taking any action to register a vehicle based on it.  Please e-mail us if you find incorrect information and provide us with contact information (your D.M.V. address, contact name, and e-mail address if possible)  where we can verify the information and we will update our site to reflect the changes.

Keep in mind:

Year of Manufacture laws are periodically revised.  Check with local authorities for current requirements.

In most states, but not all, YOM registration is allowed for historical accuracy.  Consequently, a vehicle registered with YOM plates cannot be substantially altered from its original manufacture condition (no major body modifications, larger engine, etc).

All states require the numbers to be legible.

Registration rules are subject to local DMV office interpretation, which can result in a wide range of what is acceptable.  This is not malicious on the clerk's part, it is simply a matter of the particular clerk's judgment and experience.  For example, the local DMV clerk may not be able to identify a repaint from an original, or a truck from a passenger plate.  Some offices are very strict, others aren't.  One clerk may easily approve a plate, another may refuse the same plate.   We've had this (and more) happen through the years.

Older plates may still be valid in some states (CA, DE, OR), meaning a continuously registered 1955 car should still have the original plates.  If a car is brought in from another state or has had its original plates replaced, in some cases older plates may be registered.  Check with the DMV.

When inquiring about Year of Manufacture registration in your state, please be advised that terminology varies by state.  Some states refer to the plates as Year-Date-Model plates, Antique (Original Issue), Vintage plates, Authentic Historic Plates,  or Historic plates (not to be confused with Historic-class vehicle registration or state-issued Historic vehicle plates), or Authentic Plates.




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