California DMV Legacy License Plate Program Pre-Order Season Open

By the legislation introduced earlier this year to the state,  the California Legacy License Plate program is offering vehicle owners the opportunity to purchase replicas of California license plates similar to those issued in the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s. There is one caveat however, the program requires a minimum of 7,500 pre-paid applications prior to January 1, 2015.

Replica plates

California plates like those issued in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970 can be pre-ordered now. A minimum of 7,500 pre-orders must be made for the program to be implemented.

The legacy license plates can be ordered for ANY year model automobile, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, or trailer but, the legacy license plate program will not replace the current Year of Manufacture (YOM) license plate program.

The DMV is accepting pre-orders until January 1, 2015. A pre-order form California Legacy License Plate Pre-Order Form (REG 17L) is available for these plates. The completed form and $50 payment must be mailed to the address provided on the form. Payment can only be made by check, money order, or cashier’s check made payable to Department of Motor Vehicles. Pre-orders will NOT be processed at DMV Field offices or Auto Club offices.

If and when the Legacy License Plate program is implemented, a $40 renewal fee for annual renewal, $15 to transfer the plates to another vehicle and $35 for substitute plates will be the fees for the foreseeable future.

The Legacy Plates can be assigned to any year or  model of vehicle, including motorcycles. 


The Legacy Plates are not going to look exactly like the license plates issued in the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s because current law requires license plates to be reflectorized and modern manufacturing processes may not allow for an exact replication of the original plates. The images shown here and on the DMV website are for illustrative purposes only. The final design of the plate will differ but as many characteristics of the original plates as possible will be applied.

The tentative date is January 1, 2015 to start the program if enough pre-orders have been submitted, but if the minimum pre-order amount is met before that date, implementation of the program will begin immediately. 

Preorders cannot be made online and the payment must be included with the order form. Debit cards cannot be used, payment will be accepted in check, money order, or Cashier’s check only, made payable to: DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES.

Mail REG 17L WITH a $50 PAYMENT to:

Department of Motor Vehicles

Legacy License Plates

Customer Service/Operations Support, MS H203

PO Box 825393

Sacramento, CA 94232-5393

Pre-orders will not be processed at DMV offices or Auto Club Offices. 

NO REFUND will be issued after the program begins and your plate number reservation has been made.

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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