Classic Car Vin Plate Replacement (How To)

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If you need a replacement VIN plate on your classic car, you must follow the proper steps and learn how to do it legally.

Older classic cars commonly see the VIN plate get deformed, lost, or damaged, forcing drivers to find a replacement. But most car owners don’t understand the legal process to replace them, and this guide will show you how to do it.

To replace the VIN plate on a classic car, you must locate your VIN and complete the proper paperwork based on your state requirements. Once you apply, the DMV or a local officer inspects your car. You will receive your new VIN replacement plate to get installed locally at an authorized shop.

A VIN plate is the identifying number on a vehicle's license plate that indicates the state and country where it was registered. It is usually found on the driver’s side of the front bumper or front quarter panel. If you run into a situation where you can’t find the VIN plate or need a replacement, this guide will help you do so correctly.

Replacing the VIN plates on your classic car is one of those things that should be done with care and caution because strict rules apply. Continue reading to ensure you understand best practices when doing so.

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Classic Car VIN Plate Replacement (How To)

Vin plates are the plates that show your vehicle identification number and state registration. They are typically located on the front or rear bumper, but some vehicles have them on the side of their body.

This became law in 1969 when the government required every vehicle to have a VIN plate.

The process of replacing the VIN plate is not complicated, and anyone can do it with some essential tools and know-how.

There are many ways that a vehicle identification number plate can be replaced. One of these is simply replacing the old plate with a new one.

In most cases, the old plate will be taken away and given to the police or scrap metal dealer. This is done as a solution when the classic car owner has lost, destroyed, or defaced the original VIN plate.

Follow these steps to get a VIN plate replacement installed quickly without any problems.

1. Locate The Classic Car’s VIN

The first step before doing anything is locating your VIN, despite the VIN plate being unusable. This can be found in a few different places, but the easiest way to find it is in the owner’s manual.

This will also give you all the necessary information about the vehicle while filling out the paperwork to get your new VIN replacement plate.

2. Fill Out Replacement VIN Application

Filling out the VIN application is the next step, but you will need to gather critical documents and vehicle information. This includes the vehicle title, registration, bill of sale, and VIN.

The paperwork and documents needed will vary based on state rules, but you should have these handy for your classic car. This will save you time during the inspection step too.

3. Get The Vehicle Inspected

After the application has been filed, you will be contacted by the DMV or local police regarding your vehicle and VIN. Who calls you depends on where you live, but this is to set up an inspection appointment.

This is done to ensure the VIN you are ordering is for a legal vehicle and that you are not trying anything illegal. The process is thorough, so expect to answer a few questions during the inspection.

4. Wait For Approval

After the inspection, you will hear about an approval right away on site, or it could be a few days after the inspection. The process varies significantly by state, so it is hard to say what to expect.

When the approval does happen, your VIN plate will be ordered, but you are not authorized to install it on your own.

5. Bring Your Vehicle To an Authorized Location for VIN Plate Installation

Once the VIN replacement plate is available, and approval has been completed, you will be told to go to a local shop that is authorized to install VIN plates.

This is done so nobody can install the VIN plate on a different vehicle. This was an issue in the past, and steps have been taken to avoid it.

Can A VIN Plate Be Replaced?

A VIN plate is an identification number for cars. It is meant to be unique and permanent. There are ways to replace your VIN plate, but it would cost you a lot of money and time.

Replacing your VIN plate is not worth the hassle if it will not make a difference in your life. It might be more convenient to buy a new car instead of replacing the old one with a new one.

The VIN plate is a physical, tangible thing. It must be replaced when damaged or lost, but you must follow specific rules.

You cannot decide to replace this plate on your own. It must be approved, and local authorities must inspect your vehicle before doing so. The same applies to a classic car too.

Is It Legal To Change Your VIN Plate?

You could be breaking the law, depending on what steps you take to change your VIN plate. For example, replacing or removing your VIN plate without authorization is illegal.

Doing this would be a state and federal violation, meaning you would get in serious trouble if caught driving the car without the proper VIN.

If you are unsure, the best thing to do is to contact the local DMV in your area to learn about the next steps. They vary slightly based on location, but the steps above should be followed to avoid legal troubles.

We recommend being very careful when changing your VIN plate. This guide is intended to help you do things legally to avoid future issues with your classic car.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A VIN Plate Replacement?

The cost of replacing a VIN plate can be high if you are unsure what you need or if you have an old car with outdated plates that need to be replaced.

There are also instances where people might not even know they have a VIN plate and might not know how much it costs to replace it.

Knowing how much it costs to get a VIN plate replacement can help you avoid paying more than necessary.

If you need a new VIN plate, the cost will depend on the state your car is registered in because of various fees. You should expect it to cost around $50, but it can range between $50-$150.

The cost of replacing a VIN plate depends on the type of vehicle and where you get the replacement from. It is best to check with the local DMV in your area to inquire about the exact costs.

Can You Change The VIN On A Classic Car?

The VIN is a unique number assigned to every car in the world and can't be changed without changing the car's registration.

If you buy a classic car, you can't change its VIN and make it look like a different type of vehicle. To sell your classic car, you must do so with its original VIN.

While this may seem like a common sense rule, many people try to change their VINs. This can be dangerous because it is against the law and puts you at risk for a significant violation.

Does The VIN Need To Be Visible?

You need to check with your state rules about whether you can cover the VIN or not. For some, you are required to display it on the left side of the dash; in other states, there is no law regarding this.

Many people prefer not to display the VIN openly, but local authorities have the final say in what you legally can and cannot do.