Learn about historical and vintage plates

What are historical plates and what vehicles are eligible?

Historical license plates are new plates issued by the DMV to a vehicle that was manufactured more than 25 years before the current calendar year that is used only as a collector’s item or exhibition piece, and not for daily transportation.   The manufacture date will be based on the model year of the vehicle.  1

Standard historical license plates begin or end with the letters “HX” (for cars and trucks), or “HM” (for motorcycles). However, both types of plates can be personalized for an additional fee.  2

All standard and personalized historical plates have the word “HISTORICAL” printed at the bottom of the plate.

Historical plates are optional, and their registrations are valid for one year. 3 

Learn about pricing and how to apply for historical plates.

 

What are vintage plates and what vehicles are eligible?

Vintage plates are the actual plates issued to the vehicle owner, or other original plates (not reproductions) issued by New York State, in the year the vehicle was manufactured.  4

Any motor vehicle manufactured more than 25 years before the current calendar year that is used only as a collector's item or exhibition piece, and not for daily transportation, may be registered with vintage plates from the model year of the vehicle.

Vintage plates are optional, and their registrations are valid for one year. 5 

Learn about pricing and how to apply for vintage plates.

  

Where can I purchase vintage plates?

You can buy vintage plates from a local source like an automobile collector, an antique dealer, or a flea market. Make sure that the vintage plates are original.

Before you purchase a vintage plate, contact the Custom Plates Unit at 1-518-402-4838 to verify that the number on the plate is available for your vintage plate registration.

 

Can the DMV reissue vintage plates to another registrant?

If a historical registration expires, we can reissue the vintage plates or transfer them as original vintage plates.

 

If I remove a vehicle from the road, can I keep my historical or vintage plates?

Yes.  You can store historical plates at most DMV offices. 6

Find a DMV office. 

You will receive a receipt (form FS-6T) when you surrender your plates.  Verify the information listed on the receipt, make sure that the receipt displays the words "Stored at Local Office,” and keep this receipt.  We will indicate on the registration record that the vehicle plates have been stored.

DMV offices do not store vintage plates.

To register the vehicle again, or to use your stored historical plates to register another vehicle, you must visit the office that has your vehicle plates.  Make sure that you bring the receipt (form FS-6T) and the other documents required to register your vehicle.

  • 1. Some vehicles that are less than 25 years old and have unique characteristics can qualify for a historical registration. We will determine if the vehicle has historical, classic or exhibit value.
  • 2. You can order personalized letter/number combinations of up to eight characters (includes spaces and/or a silhouette of New York State) or 6 characters/spaces (no state silhouette available) for a motorcycle.

    Personalized plate requests for vehicles NOT currently registered will first be issued standard historical plates while your personalized plates are being manufactured and mailed.
  • 3. Special insurance is required for a historical registration. The insurance identification card that is issued to you must display the word "HISTORICAL" to indicate the type of insurance coverage that is provided. "Antique" and "classic" are not acceptable words. Contact your insurance company for more information on historical registration insurance requirements.
  • 4. For example, you can use a set of authentic vehicle plates that the DMV issued in 1963 on a vehicle of model year 1963.
  • 5. Special insurance is required for a historical registration. The insurance identification card that is issued to you must display the word "HISTORICAL" to indicate the type of insurance coverage that is provided. "Antique" and "classic" are not acceptable words. Contact your insurance company for more information on historical registration insurance requirements.
  • 6. The policy to store vehicle plates is different in each office. Ask your local DMV office about the storage policy in that office.