REMINDER: Get your California blue plate before year’s end

CA Legacy License Plate 1970s banner

So here’s a thing that is probably not going to happen due to lack of interest. But it should! The California Legacy License Plate Program is offering you a chance to get a legal blue plate for your 1969-87 cars, and there are two weeks left.


This is the period correct color scheme for any car registered in California during that era, and in this state the plate goes with the car when it’s sold (unless it’s personalized). See Dave’s wonderful story about California license plate history for more details. That’s why you see so many JNCs with new white California plates, which always looks a bit off. Not to mention, having a the URL for “” in bland font plastered across your new plate seems like an inconsistency for a classic car and is also an eyesore.

The state needs 7,500 commitments to put the plates into production. There are currently only 1,914. The 1963-68 black plates, on the other hand, have 13,047. The offer expires December 31. Maybe this would make a good gift for the JNCer in your life. Let’s make it happen, California.

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13 Responses to REMINDER: Get your California blue plate before year’s end

  1. Ray says:

    First off the blue plates look like crap, which is why there is no numbers for them second the black plates would go good with any color cara whole lot better. The blue plates will stick out like a sore thumb just like the white ones. And they will still look slightlt out of place due to they will be 7 numbers and will be reflective for new laws. Your paying for just the colors.

    • The Black CRX says:

      The DMV has stated that the Legacy plates will have a six-character sequence. (They’ve also stated the series order as “two numbers, one letter, space, followed by another set of two numbers, one letter, for example Q12 12Q.” Yes, there’s a contradiction there, since their stated order would actually be 12Q 12Q, but at least they got the six characters thing clear.)

      You’re paying for period-correct ’70–’89 colors, period-correct CALIFORNIA in block letters rather than the ’93-on script, and not having the silly URL on the bottom on the plate.

      • RainMeister says:

        That combination sequence is inauthentic, and also makes it very difficult to come up with a combination approximating a vehicle model name or nickname. I thought about getting a black plate for my ’67 Alfa Duetto, and sent in a check, but they rejected the requested combination. I gave up.

        • The Black CRX says:

          That’s the sequence for non-vanity plates. I believe it’s deliberately inauthentic — in part because they can’t issue new plates in a configuration that’s still in use, and in part to make the new plates clearly not original to the car (something that’s important to collectors, since it supports that car has been registered in CA all its life).

          A vanity plate could have the same up-to-seven-character setup as any currently available CA plate.

  2. Ben E says:

    I am quite surprised there isn’t more interest. With all the classic cars around there. Personally I would jump on that opportunity. I also think the blue with yellow lettering look awesome. All we’ve had here since about 1970 are white with blue lettering. Boooooring.

  3. MikeRL411 says:

    A blue plate on a blue vehicle [of varying shades] looks good. I wonder if you could get these blue plates in the Vanity series e.g. your year and model? When the blue and white plates were switching over I got 67RL411 as my blue plate.

  4. mister k says:

    kaliphoneya is dropping the ball again. they shoulda coulda woulda did something more like tejas did

    agreed both the black plates and blue plates are ugly, and i’d never want them on my jnc

    new mexico turqouise plates, however, give me a stiffy

  5. LTDScott says:

    I’m not surprised the blue plates aren’t getting traction. The additional $40/year fee is a turn off, and the people who would be willing to pay that are likely older people with classic cars who have more expendable income. I have an ’85 car that I considered getting these plates for but I already have personalized plates that I pay an additional fee for. The state already gets enough of my money, and then I have to pay more for a Test Only smog every two years.

    Not to mention the fact that the DMV’s archaic method of applying is a turn off. Mail an application and a $50 check for the DMV and hope you’ll get that back if the number of applicants isn’t met? Eh, I’d rather not. Having said all that, I’d almost consider doing it if were the mid-’80s sunset plates.

  6. mattallac says:

    I went to DMV about 6 months ago in Walnut Creek Ca and the manager didn’t even know the program existed . She had no info and didn’t want to help me . This is probably one of the reasons for the low numbers .

    • Mister K says:

      see that’s your first mistake: you’re supposed to order online and only go into the field office to pick up your vanity plates. if you ordered sequential, they’re mailed to your home address

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