Benefits of Having Antique Plates in New York

Are you a vintage car enthusiast? If so, You must have seen or at least heard about the antique plates for vintage cars.

If you already own a classic car that you showcase at car rallies or plan to buy one soon, cause a car freak can’t live without at least one age-less beast in their garage. In any case, you might be intrigued to know more about these historical plates. Are these authentic and approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)? What cars are eligible? How much does an antique plate cost? Are these antique plates customizable, and where can I get them?

Hold your horses! We will run you down through each important detail you need to know about antique plates in New York.

What Are the Requirements to Get an Antique Plate in New York?

Let us crumble all the myths resonating around the credibility of antique plates. All historical plates are issued directly by the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMY) and are as authentic and original as a standard number plate. 

To apply for one of these historical plates, you must own a vintage vehicle, at least 25 years old, from the date of application. Furthermore, these antique plates can not be applied to vehicles in daily use and are specific only for cars considered collector’s items or a piece of art that you showcase only at exhibitions or car rallies.


However, there are some exceptional cases where you can still get a historical plate even if your vehicle isn’t 25 or more years old. Ideally, DMV officials would inspect and declare if the vehicle is eligible or not, but here are some instances where you have higher chances of getting a vintage plate:

  • If your vehicle is associated with some important historical event
  • If your vehicle is linked with a highly influential or popular personality from the past
  • If your vehicle retains its original design as it was during manufacturing or has been restored to its original condition.
  • If your vehicle has any crucial sports achievement
  • If you have revamped your vehicle using the technology of the time of its manufacturing.

Then again, these are all hypothetical instances; we recommend you get your vehicle inspected by the DMV to understand your eligibility better. 

Don’t get surprised by the word “Historical”; these plates aren’t from the 19 century. In fact, these are new specialized plates reserved for your vintage vehicles. 

A standard vintage license plate offered by the DMV begins with the initials “H.X.” for trucks and cars and “H.M.” for motorcycles. In addition, you will also find the word “HISTORICAL” carved at the bottom of your plate.

5 Benefits of Having Antique Plates in New York

Besides the fact that yellow plates look more classy on your car, there are many other benefits.

1. One-Time Registration Only  

Getting your car reregistered every year or even in the cycle of 5 years could be both hectic and costly. Especially with old cars, you might also have to pass a separate emissions test. Quite a headache, isn’t it? 

By transiting to historical plates, you would only have to register your car once; this means no extra money being wasted on rounds of registration fees and no extra hustle for emission testing at the hands of untrusted dealers. You only need a single-time registration fee, and you can keep your classy beast for a lifetime.

(However, in case of any accident, you might have to get your vehicle reinspected, but that’s a rare chance.)

2. Special Insurance Offers 

One of the most lucrative benefits of having an antique plate in New York or any other state is the special discount offers you get on insurance policies. 

A significant issue that antique car owners face with insurance companies is concerned with the fact that you won’t use these cars as a daily vehicle. So why pay for a yearly premium package while your car rests most of the time in the garage? 

Luckily, after having a historical plate from the DMV, you can opt for a shorter and more suitable insurance plan for your vintage vehicle. In addition, many insurance companies offer discounts to old vehicles for O.C. (third-party insurance) packages.

3. Accident Insurance Policy  

Another perk that comes with historical plates is in case of any accident involving the vintage vehicle. The insurance company will assess the vehicle’s value according to the colletor’s value (considering it a piece of art rather than a simple car or bike) rather than the catalog value. Henceforth, though it will be hurtful to see your vintage vehicle crash, you’ll get a reasonable return from your insurance company.     

4. Customized Antique Plates

Being able to customize or personalize your collector’s item is nothing less than a dream come true. Most wouldn’t consider it much of a benefit, but we understand how a customized vintage plate can increase the sentimental value of your car. 

You can officially get your antique plate customized. Read the section below to get a better insight.         

5. Make Your Car Even More Prestigious 

Having a yellow (historical) license-plated car at a rally is undoubtedly a prestigious feeling. In addition, an antique plate can dramatically increase the value of your car. So it’s a win-win situation for you.  

Disadvantages of Having Antique Plates in New York

Undoubtedly, the pros of having antique plates outweigh the cons. But it is still necessary that we discuss the potential disadvantages you might face. 

1. Milage Restriction

As stated earlier, historical plates are meant for vehicles considered collector’s items rather than daily commute vehicles. Thus after applying the antique number plate, the state would only allow using your vintage vehicle occasionally. This means that a yearly mileage limit would bind you. In the case of any violation, you can face expensive tickets and even a permanent ban. 

Remember that you can still drive freely to and from car shows, rallies, exhibitions etc.   

2. Higher Cost of Registration 

The cost of registering for vintage plates is much higher than standard, white plates.

3. Slightly Time Taking Process 

The time to process the antique plates is also considerably higher than the time to process the white plate.

4. Antique Plates Cannot Be Undone 

Once you have applied for the yellow antique plates, you can not return to the standard white plates. 

5. Registration Is a Detail Oriented Process

You would have to detail the DMV office of every minute detail regarding any modifications or changes done to the vehicle; this can be cumbersome for some people.

How Can I Get Antique Plates Registered in New York?

To register for Antique Plates in New York, you need to have the actual plates from the year the vehicle was manufactured, and these plates should be valid in New York. 


If your vehicle was manufactured when DMV used metal tabs, you must have the actual metal tab at the time of registration.

Here is the mailing address of the DMV and the list of documents you need to mail to enroll yourself for the registration process:

Mailing Address:


Custom Plates Unit

P.O. Box 2775

Albany, NY 12220

Required Documents:

  • Filled Vintage License Plates Form 
  • Filled Application for Registration Form
  • Photographs of the vintage plate/plates (in the case of two plates, clear color photographs of both plates must be sent to the DMV).
  • A copy of your driving license
  • Ownership documents
  • Insurance Documents
  • You must also submit sales text Receipts if the vehicle was never registered in your name.   
  • Proof of payment of the registration fee

Can I Personalize/Customize Antique Plates?

Absolutely! You can personalize your antique plate. The Department of Motor Vehicle allows you to order a customized combination of 8 alphabets or numbers. Moreover, you can also add the silhouette of New York State with 6 alphabet/letter combinations. Unfortunately, you can’t add the silhouette of New York State for motorbikes. 

What Are the Costs and Pricing of Antique Plates?

Below you will find the cost details of antique plates for both cars and motorbikes.

Car and Truck:

  • If the vehicle were registered with the New Your State under your name, the fee for the new document would be $3.75
  • However, if the vehicle were not registered with the New York State, the standard fee would be $28.75.
  • If your vehicle’s model number is 1973 or newer and the registration record does not exist with the New York State, the additional fee for the title would be $50.00.



  • Similar to the car and trucks. If the motorbike is already registered with the New York State, the new document fee is $3.75.
  • For registered motorbikes, the total fee of registration is $11.25 (including the new document fee of $3.75).
  • If your motorbike still needs to be registered with the New York state, you must pay $25
  • For unregistered motorbikes with a model number 1973 or newer, the final cost will be $50.00.

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