<VV> Corvairs Plates

Sethracer at aol.com Sethracer at aol.com
Mon Apr 5 00:42:18 EDT 2010

In a message dated 4/4/2010 7:44:13 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
shortle556 at earthlink.net writes:

Correct,  so long as the vehicle stays currently registered. But after (5 
years I  believe) the car is no longer in California's system and at that 
point new  plates are needed as well as a vin verification. And California is 
totally  broke (as usual). Timothy Shortle in Durango Colorado
Not missing much of  California

Well - I will let much of that slide on by - Colorado altitude sickness, I  
But as to the registration of cars with "Original" plates.  A little  
history. California changed out all license plates in 1963. Any car owned at  
that time had to turn in their Yellow with black lettering plates and get a new 
 set of Black with yellow letters plates. So Corvairs originally registered 
 before that time probably lost their original plates. Then the Black 
plates (3  letters 3 numbers) were issued until late 1969 - well beyond where the 
last  normal sale of a 69 Corvair would take place. ( Some stowed-away 
dealer cars  might have gotten the new color replacements). The state just 
changed the  plate color and swapped the letters and numbers - Blue plates 3 
numbers  three letters. They didn't replace the black plates - many Corvairs 
still  have them, but all new plates were Blue. They ran out of those pretty 
quick and  now new plates are White. But then California, in their clear 
thinking  ($$$) decided to allow people to retrieve old plates - Those yellow 
with black  lettering that might be appropriate for a 62 or older model and 
re-use them on  their same-vintage vehicle. So If a 1962 Corvair owner found 
(purchased)  a  pair old vintage plates he could - for a fee - replace his 
newer plates with  those. The California DMV accepted this because the Yellow 
with black  lettering plates had all been removed from the road in 1963 and 
couldn't legally  be attached to a current vehicle. About as soon as that got 
into law, the owners  of the 63-69 vehicles started pushing for the right 
to "find" a pair  of period correct black with yellow lettering plates for 
their cars. The  problem - in the DMVs view - was that there were plenty of 
legal black plates  still in use, and they didn't want the hassle of tracking 
two types of black  plates. Finally, money won, and, as of last July you can 
apply to use a  pair of "Vintage" black plates on your Vintage car. For an 
extra fee - of  course. The five year problem that Tim mentioned, dropping 
out of the computer  if not registered for 5 years is a problem, but the DMV, 
for once, came up with  a reasonable solution. If you have an old 
registration card that ties the  car (by VIN) to those plates, they will let you keep 
the plates when you go to  register it. They make you bring in the plates 
to verify their condition. If you  do not have any paperwork, they make you 
turn in the black plates and you get  new non-descript plates.     
Some California plates even make it all the way back to West  Virginia!
Seth  Emerson

C's the Day! - Corvair, Camaro,  Corvette

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