What Are the Benefits of Antique Plates in Texas?

Do you own an antique car? Are you looking for a way to show it off and give it the recognition it deserves? Consider getting antique plates in Texas.

Not only do antique plates give your car a classic look, but they also come with several benefits that can make owning an antique car a valuable experience. They range from lower insurance rates to exemptions from annual inspections, a single license plate, and a cool appearance.

What Are the Requirements to Get an Antique Plate in Texas?


A vehicle must be older than 25 years to be eligible for antique license plates. If a car has not attained the age of 25 years, it is considered “too young“ to be classified as an antique or classic and requires a standard license plate.


A registration fee must be paid. The fee is $40 for cars manufactured before 1921 and $50 for cars manufactured in or after 1921.

For the Plates in Use

Any old Texas plates being used must be examined by the local county tax assessor-collector’s office. The plates must match the year model of the antique vehicle, be in good readable condition, and have the correct color scheme. Specialty plates such as farm plates or dealer plates cannot be used.

Benefits of Antique Plates in Texas


Affordable Insurance

Since these vehicles are not frequently on the road, they pose a lower risk of accidents, and thus insurance rates decrease. You can expect to pay just a fraction of what you would for regular car insurance. This can save you a significant amount of money in the long run, especially if your antique car is a cherished possession and you plan on keeping it for a long time.

No Annual Inspections Needed

You will be excused from having to go through annual inspections. This can save you from the cost and inconvenience of taking your car to a mechanic each year. However, remember that your registration must still be current and up-to-date.

Single License Plate

Owning an antique car also means that you only need to have one license plate placed on the rear instead of the standard two plates required on both the front and rear of regular vehicles. This is a benefit that many antique car owners appreciate. You do not need to worry about cleaning and getting both plates polished regularly to keep their shine intact.

Cool Appearance

Antique plates can give your car a classic look and are easier to read. They come in different options and designs. Some car owners choose to display their antique plates as decorative items in their homes or office. It is also a great way to showcase your love for vintage cars and nostalgia.

Please add the following benefits as well

  1. Eligibility for car shows and parades:
  2. No annual inspection
  3. No limitations on the use
  4. Ability to drive on Historic Texas Highways
  5. Increased value

Is There Any Disadvantage of Having Antique Plates in Texas?

Overall, antique plates are a great way to celebrate the history and nostalgia of vintage cars, but they come with their own set of rules and regulations that must be followed. These restrictions can be classified as the ‘cons’ of having an antique plate on your vehicle.

Limited Use

Antique car plates are meant for limited road use and are only suitable for specific types of cars. These plates enforce strict rules on when and where an antique car can be driven and are generally only meant for special events such as car shows and exhibitions. The idea is to preserve these classic vehicles and keep them off the road as much as possible.

Ban on Commercial Advertisement

Texas’s strict policy prohibits any form of commercial advertising on antique vehicles. This is to maintain these classic cars’ authenticity and integrity and avoid any potential fines or violations for breaking this policy. The commercialization of these classic cars may harm their value as historical artifacts and can also distort the vehicle’s overall aesthetic appeal.

Time Consumption

Obtaining antique plates can also be somewhat time-consuming, as it may take longer to process the application than a standard plate. This is due to the additional scrutiny and care that is taken when issuing these special plates. It is also important to note that one should be prepared to provide all the necessary documents and proof of ownership before applying for antique plates to avoid unnecessary delays.

How to Get Antique Plates Registered: The Step-by-Step Process for Texas

  1. The first step to register for antique plates in Texas is to confirm that the car or truck is at least 25 years old. As mentioned earlier, if the vehicle is younger than 25 years, it will not qualify for this type of plate.
  2. Once you have confirmed the age of your vehicle, you can proceed with the application process. To apply for antique plates, you will need to visit the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website and complete an application. This application will require you to provide detailed information about your vehicle, such as the VIN, current license plate number, year, make, model, vehicle weight, and vehicle type.
  3. You can also fill out the application form online, but you will still need to visit a physical DMV location to apply and submit the documents. It is important to be aware that additional fees may be associated with certain types of vehicles. It is recommended to check with the Texas DMV to ensure your information is up-to-date.

Caring for Your Antique Car

Maintaining a classic vehicle requires extra care and attention to preserve its quality and appearance. Whether you are an avid collector or simply enjoy driving a vintage car, it is essential to take the necessary steps to keep your classic beauty in top condition. Here are some tips on properly maintaining your classic vehicle:

  • Protect your vehicle from harsh weather conditions by storing it in a garage or providing shade when not in use. Exposure to rain, sun, and other inclement weather can cause damage to both the interior and exterior of the vehicle.
  • To protect the interior from sun damage, use leather conditioners, vinyl cleaners, and UV blockers. Regular washing and waxing or detailing for the exterior can help prevent the buildup of dirt and protect the paint.
  • Regularly take your classic vehicle out for a drive. This keeps the engine in good shape and helps circulate necessary fluids and allows you to identify when the vehicle may need repairs or maintenance.
  • Regular maintenance can extend the life of a classic car. Keep up with oil changes, flushes and other necessary maintenance to keep the vehicle running smoothly and protect the engine. Inspect the car for rust, leaks, and other issues and address them early. Keeping a maintenance log of all work done on the classic car can be helpful for tracking any future issues.

Why Is Antique Plate Registration Available?

Antique plates are intended to preserve a piece of history. People get those for other reasons, such as protecting the legacy of a historically significant car or contributing to the environment positively.

To be precise, it is uncertain when exactly the United States began issuing antique plates, but they likely became popular around the same time car shows began to gain popularity, i.e., around the decade of 1980s.


If a car has been involved in a significant historical event, the owner may want to preserve its legacy by getting an antique plate. Additionally, some states have regulations on how far a vehicle can be driven, which can lead to better environmental outcomes, and getting an antique plate can be a way to comply with these regulations.

Cost of Antique Plate Registration in Texas

The good news is that the fees for antique plates are generally lower than those for regular license plates. But it is still to understand the different fees that may apply and how they are calculated.

As indicated earlier, the basic fee for an antique plate in Texas is determined by the year the vehicle was manufactured. If the vehicle was manufactured in 1921 or later, the plate fee is $50. However, if the vehicle was manufactured before 1921, the plate fee is $40. This fee is generally fixed and does not change regardless of the age of the vehicle.


In addition to the basic plate fee, there may also be additional fees that apply. These fees can vary depending on the location and are generally assessed by the county tax assessor-collector’s office. You can directly check with the DMV office to determine what additional fees may apply. Another important cost consideration is that antique plate fee are prorated either $10/$8 for each year or a portion of a year remaining in the five-year term.

Concluding Remarks: What Are the Benefits of Antique Plates in Texas?

Antique plates in Texas offer a unique way to honor and celebrate historic cars. Not only do they give your car a classic look, but they also come with a host of benefits such as affordable insurance, no annual inspections required, and the option for a single license plate. Though these benefits make owning an antique car a more attractive and less costly experience, remember that such plates come with their own set of rules and regulations that must be followed, such as limited use and the ban on commercial advertisement. While there may be some disadvantages, the benefits of having antique plates in Texas far outweigh them – enjoy driving an antique car on Texas roads!

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