Antique & Vintage Tags in Virginia

Scott Harrison

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional"
Staff member
Contributing Member
Member
#1
Since we frequently get questions from new Cobra builders/owners concerning registering their car in VA, the following is the text from VA DMV WEB site as well as the Va. Code regarding the use of Antique or Vintage License plates in VA. You will need a Title or MSO indicating your car is 25 years or older to be eligible for this type of registration.

Antique and Vintage License Plates

If you own a passenger vehicle or motorcycle with a model year that is more than 25 model years old before January 1 of the current calendar year, you've got an antique! Depending on how you plan to use your vehicle, you may choose antique, vintage or any one of our standard license plates. Antique license plates are provided by DMV; vintage license plates are original Virginia license plates issued prior to 1976 that you provide.

Is your antique vehicle just for show…?

If you plan to use your antique vehicle solely as a collector's item, you may register your vehicle with antique license plates or permanent vintage license plates

Registering your vehicle either of these ways limits your use of the vehicle to:
Participation in antique car club activities, exhibits, tours, parades, and similar events.
Testing its operation, obtaining repairs or maintenance, transportation to and from events as described in number 1 above and for the occasional pleasure driving not to exceed 250 miles from your residence.
You may not, however, use your vehicle for general, daily transportation. This includes, but is not limited to, driving to and from work.

If you are providing vintage license plates,

The issue year of the license plate must match the model year of the vehicle.
DMV must inspect and approve their physical condition.

To register your vehicle with antique or permanent vintage license plates, DMV charges a one-time fee of $13.50. Use form VSA14.

Your license plates will be valid for as long as your own the vehicle.
You may not transfer your license plates to another vehicle, but you may surrender them to DMV and then register them to a different vehicle for an additional $13.50.
Unless the vehicle was manufactured for one licensee plate only, you must display license plate on the front and the rear of your vehicle.
…or do you plan to use it for everyday driving?

In order to enjoy unrestricted driving privileges in your antique vehicle, you'll need to provide vintage license plates and register your antique vehicle for general transportation purposes. Just like owning a modern vehicle, you'll have to:

Renew your vehicle registration every year or every other year (depending on whether you renew for one or two years), pay the same registration fee you would pay to purchase standard license plates.
Display month and year decals on your vintage license plates.
Obtain an annual safety inspection sticker for your vehicle.
If you own another vehicle of the same model year, you may transfer your general transportation vintage license plates to that vehicle.

For more details about the use of antique or vintage license plates, visit Virginia Code Section 46.2-730. (See following text)

§ 46.2-730. License plates for antique motor vehicles; fee.

A. On receipt of an application, the Commissioner shall issue appropriately designed license plates to owners of antique motor vehicles. These license plates shall be valid so long as title to the vehicle is vested in the applicant. The fee for the registration card and license plates of any of these vehicles shall be ten dollars.

B. On receipt of an application, the Commissioner may authorize for use on antique motor vehicles Virginia license plates manufactured prior to 1976 and designed for use without decals, if such license plates are embossed with or are of the same year of issue as the model year of the antique motor vehicle on which they are to be displayed. Original metal year tabs issued in place of license plates for years 1943 and 1953 and used with license plates issued in 1942 and 1952, respectively, also may be authorized by the Commissioner for use on antique motor vehicles that are of the same model year as the year the metal tab was originally issued. These license plates and metal tabs shall remain valid so long as title to the vehicle is vested in the applicant. The fee for the registration card and permission to use the license plates and metal tabs on any of these vehicles shall be ten dollars.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-711 and 46.2-715, antique motor vehicles may display single license plates if the original manufacturer's design of the antique motor vehicles allows for the use of only single license plates or if the license plate was originally issued in one of the following years and is displayed in accordance with the provisions of subsection B of this section: 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1945, or 1946.

D. Except as provided in subsection E of this section, motor vehicles registered with license plates issued under this section shall not be used for general transportation purposes, including, but not limited to, daily travel to and from the owner's place of employment, but shall only be used:

1. For participation in club activities, exhibits, tours, parades, and similar events; and

2. On the highways of the Commonwealth for the purpose of testing their operation, obtaining repairs or maintenance, transportation to and from events as described in subdivision 1 of this subsection, and for occasional pleasure driving not exceeding 250 miles from the residence of the owner.

E. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision of this section, antique motor vehicles displaying license plates issued pursuant to subsections B and C of this section may be used for general transportation purposes if the following conditions are met:

1. The physical condition of the vehicle's license plate or plates has been inspected and approved by the Department;

2. The license plate or plates are registered to the specific vehicle by the Department;

3. The owner of the vehicle periodically registers the vehicle with the Department and pays a registration fee for the vehicle equal to that which would be charged to obtain regular state license plates for that vehicle;

4. The vehicle passes a periodic safety inspection as provided in Article 21 (§ 46.2-1157 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title;

5. The vehicle displays current decals attached to the license plate, issued by the Department, indicating the valid registration period for the vehicle; and

6. When applicable, the vehicle meets the requirement of Article 22 (§ 46.2-1176 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title.

If more than one request is made for use, as provided in this subsection, of license plates having the same number, the Department shall accept only the first such application. Only vehicles titled to the person seeking to use license plates as provided in this subsection shall be eligible to use license plates as provided in this subsection.

(Code 1950, § 46-99.1; 1954, c. 60; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-104; 1980, c. 359; 1986, c. 8; 1989, cc. 338, 727; 1999, c. 292; 2000, c. 259.)
 
#2
Good idea for a post. Following is the web site where this information can be found:

http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/citizen/vehicles/antique.asp

In addition, if the car is registered as an antique/vintage, the following site describes the ability to only use one plate if the car was designed for only one plate:

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-730

I keep print outs of both with my registration in the car, should the question ever arise.
 

Scott Harrison

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional"
Staff member
Contributing Member
Member
#3
:!: Good idea since not all of Va's finest know these laws. BTW, the single plate provision is also included in para. C above.
 
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