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Pennsylvania Allows Vintage Plates for Vintage Cars

Owners of antique and classic cars are now allowed to place time period-correct vintage license plates on their vehicles. In other words, House Bill 1203, signed into law on Thursday, allows the car owner to use the license plate from the era in which their car was made.

State Representative John Lawrence (R-Chester) explains that the legislation does not change anything about the registration or use of antique or classic cars.

"Rather than displaying the modern antique or classic tag issued by PennDot," Lawrence said, "It would simply allow you to display a vintage license plate from the model year of the automobile."

To register a car as an antique in Pennsylvania, it must be manufactured more than 25 years prior to the current year. A classic car must be manufactured at least 15 years prior to the current year. The registration cost for either an antique or classic vehicle is $75. If a car displays a regular state-issued plate or modern classic or antique car plate issued by PennDot, it can only be operated for events such as tours or exhibits and one day a week for leisure driving.

Lawrence says that 45 other states allow classic or antique car owners to display time period accurate plates, and adds that this legislation is something that people involved with the antique car hobby have been wanting for a long time. He notes that Pennsylvania annually hosts several internationally-known car shows throughout the state.

"It's a significant economic impact upon the state," Lawrence said. "Car shows bring in a lot of tax revenue, a lot of tourist dollars."

Time-period correct plates are often something owners of vintage vehicles already have or purchase at car shows.