Antique Plate Options In Texas

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Old car owners have the choice to register their cars as antiques. In Texas, there are a few antique license plate options worth considering.

The antique plate options in Texas include a default antique license plate or the traditional Texas license plate from the year of manufacture for an old vehicle. Antique cars are 25 years or older and have limited driving restrictions, but they have cheaper insurance and no annual inspections.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles offers a variety of options for license plates for antique vehicles. We have compiled the options below directly from the DMV below, along with the key rules and classifications Texas uses for antiques.

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Antique Plate Options In Texas

Getting a license plate for a car is not always a simple task, which is why people often look for alternative solutions. This is especially true for antique and classic car owners.

When a vehicle is at least 25 years old, it can be issued an Antique license plate to keep displayed on the vehicle. When this is issued, it lasts for five years, but this can vary depending on the vehicle's year.

Many antique car owners choose to personalize their registration by getting a custom license plate that resembles an old-school license plate instead of the standard yellow one.

Some options are available if you want an antique license plate for your car in Texas. However, these will require you to get creative and find ways to make it work with an antique vehicle.

Many of these antique plate options are white with blue or black lettering. On Etsy, there are plenty of vintage plate options available for sale or to use as inspiration.

The top of the license plate includes a fading blue design with “Texas” in all capital letters. Antique plates also include the phrase “Antique Vehicle” in the middle on many of the license plate variations.

However, the option is left up to the owner. There are two primary types of plates to decide from, including the default antique car plate or the traditional plate from the year of the vehicle.

Default Antique Plate

The default antique license plate is the first plate option in Texas. This is the white license plate with red or blue lettering with “Antique Vehicle” written on the front.

This is the most common plate choice because it indicates it’s an antique vehicle plate right on the plate. It’s also easier to get for most vehicle owners.

Traditional Texas License Plate

The traditional Texas license plate option is the more creative method.

This law states any antique car or truck owner can opt to use the original license plate from their vehicle’s manufactured year as their plate choice.

This means older car owners can use a plate from an older year. The design is much more unique and stylish too.

What Is An Antique License Plate?

To understand Texas's different antique plate options, we first must look at how they define an antique license plate.

An antique license plate is an older license plate used to indicate a vehicle is older in age. In Texas, the age for an antique license plate is 25 years or older.

The state of Texas uses different designs and styles of plates, so there are many different vintage license plates to choose from.

A classic plate is a yellow license plate with the state name and various design types.

An antique or classic plate can be used on much older vehicles, but the initial cost increases in Texas as the vehicle ages.

How To Get An Antique License Plate In Texas

Before applying for an antique license plate, confirm that the car or truck is at least 25 years old. If not, the vehicle won’t qualify for this plate type.

After confirming the age, head over to the Texas DMV website to complete an application. This application asks for all vehicle information like the VIN, current license plate, year, make, model, vehicle weight, and vehicle type.

An online form is also available on the DMV website, but a visit to the physical DMV location is required. Be aware of the hidden fees for some vehicle types too.

For example, any car or truck manufactured in or after 1921 owes a $50 registration fee. However, the fee decreases to $40 for cars built before 1921.

What Are The Rules For Antique Plates In Texas?

The following rules are used to classify an antique vehicle. These rules can also be followed after getting antique plates to avoid violations.

Vehicle 25 Years Or Older

You can only get antique plates in Texas if your car is older than 25 years. Otherwise, the car is too new to be classified as an antique or classic car and needs a traditional license plate.

This results in a high insurance cost, among other required fees for a road-ready car in the state of Texas.

Antique Car Plates Indicate Limited Road Use

Antique plates should only be used on specific cars because they enforce strict road use for these types of vehicles. The car or truck with an antique plate can only be driven to special events like car shows, exhibitions, and parades.

No Commercial Advertisements On The Vehicle

There is a strict rule about putting any form of commercial advertising on antique vehicles in Texas. Avoid doing this, and there should be no concerns about fines or violations for breaking this policy.

No Safety Or Auto Inspections Needed

Lastly, there are no safety or auto inspection requirements for antique vehicles in Texas. This is one reason why many people opt to use antique plates instead of classic vehicle license plates.

Do You Need An Inspection With Antique Plates In Texas?

For any car or truck in Texas with an antique plate, there is no requirement to get any type of safety inspection to get new plates. However, the vehicle registration does need to be up to date.

The other thing is these plates are good for five years, meaning once they are issued, the antique car is covered until new ones are needed. The insurance requirements for an antique vehicle differ from traditional cars too.

Benefits Of Antique Plates In Texas

There are a few benefits to antique plates in Texas, like cheaper vehicle insurance, being exempt from annual inspections, only needing one plate, and the stylish, vintage design.

Cheaper Insurance

Antique cars have much cheaper car insurance because they are very rarely on the road. Expect to pay only a few hundred dollars annually to insure an antique car, and it’s often cheaper than classic car insurance because they are on the road much less.

Exempt From Annual Inspections

As mentioned, these vehicles don’t need annual inspections. This saves money on consistent visits to a local mechanic and is one of the primary benefits of using an antique license plate.

Only One Plate Is Required

Lastly, only one rear license plate is required to use this car compared to the traditional vehicle needing two plates on both the front and rear. This is preferred by many drivers and is another benefit of antique plates.

Vintage Plate Design

Antique plates can give the car a vintage look and are also easier to read. The plates are more stylish, and there are multiple options to consider for antique car owners.

For example, the antique default plate can be used, or the car owner can choose the antique plate from the vehicle’s manufactured year. This means that a 1960 truck could use the original license plate issued in 1960 as its antique plate.