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Vintage car collectors divided over reissuing of CA classic license plates

A vintage California license plate
A vintage California license plate

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles has been taking pre-orders for the so-called “legacy license plates” – the yellow, blue and black plates that were originally released between the 1950s and 1970s. If 7,500 people put in their orders before January 2015, the plates will go into production.

The program was established by a bill authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who represents parts of the San Fernando Valley as well as Atwater Village, Los Angeles and Silver Lake. The DMV wants the new plates to resemble the look and feel of the originals as much as possible, despite certain standards these replicas would have to follow (for instance, license plates in CA have to be reflective).

But the re-releases could be used on any cars, even though California laws only allow classic plates to be used on classic cars. Some vintage car enthusiasts are less than thrilled about the reissue, saying that it cheapens the value of the originals they’ve worked so hard and spent so much money to acquire.

Rex Roden, President and Director of the Association of California Car Clubs; the ACCC consists of thousands of automobile hobbyists throughout the state who are interested in California laws and policies regarding collector automobiles.

Jeff Forton, owner of Fortech Automotive and Restoration in Tustin, CA; the shop restores and sells vintage license plates, among other things