Living in the past isn’t healthy unless you’re obsessing over classic cars. Nostalgia plays a big role in why vintage vehicles are so popular. More often than not, these cars always have a good story behind them, and it’s so easy to get lost in them as you listen to owners talk about the memories they’ve shared with their classic cars.
For some owners, their vintage vehicle is where they had their first kiss. For others, it’s where they had their first breakup. And for a select few, their vintage vehicle is what allowed them to win a big race or compete in an exhibition.
Regardless of the story, it’s fun to listen to all of the memorable moments that owners share with their classic cars, so much so that it may be tempting to get an antique vehicle for yourself. And while it’s not terribly difficult to find someone who will sell their classic car to you, it is challenging to get historical license plates and vehicle registration if your car doesn’t meet all of the guidelines and follow specific criteria.
What do states consider a classic car?
If you want to get historical license plates and vehicle registration for your classic car, the first thing you need to do is verify that your new car is actually historic. What’s considered “historic” will vary depending on the state you live in, but usually, when a car hits 25 years old, it qualifies as a historic vehicle.
However, again, that magic number can vary. For example, in New York and New Jersey, a car must be 25 years old to qualify as a historic vehicle. But in Connecticut, the car only has to be 20 years old. Slight differences like this make it extremely important to check your state’s guidelines.
But once you have what your state identifies as a classic car, you can move forward with getting historical license plates and vehicle registration. And both of these items will signal that you own a vintage vehicle.
Where are you allowed to use a classic car?
Unlike modern vehicles, classic cars are not eligible for everyday use in some states. Depending on where you live, you cannot take your vintage vehicle out for a joy ride or use it to run errands. If you want to get historical license plates and vehicle registration, your classic car will typically need to be a collector’s item, not a means of everyday transportation.
However, that doesn’t mean your classic car can’t ever leave the garage if you live in a stricter state. A collector’s item is great for parades, tours, club activities, educational purposes, exhibitions, or other showboating events. So you’ll have plenty of opportunities to present your classic car in all of its glory. But your state may limit where you can showcase your vehicle.
While this seems very restrictive, state officials create guidelines like these to protect classic cars. Most states agree that preserving these types of vehicles requires owners to limit their use of them. And while states may vary on what “limited” looks like, you’ll likely encounter some sort of regulation regarding when you can use your vehicle.
How often can you use a classic car?
Some states will regulate how often you can use your classic car, so if you want to get and keep your historical license plates and vehicle registration, you must consider this guideline.
Depending on where you live, you might only have the capability to drive your vehicle so many miles per year. This rule means that you’ll have to keep track of every mile you drive, and once you hit a specific number, you’ll need to keep your car in the garage.
Some states have slightly different rules. Instead of restricting your mileage each year, they restrict your distance. Specifically, you may have to limit how far your classic car is from your home address. For example, in Virginia, you can drive up to 250 miles away from your house.
Can you re-design your classic car?
Sometimes, it’s tempting to get a car and make enhancements, especially if you’re all about adding a personal touch. But if you want to get historical license plates and vehicle registration, you need to know that in some states, altering your vintage car’s design is not an option.
For example, in New Jersey, your classic car “cannot be altered from the manufacturer’s original design in any way.” This rule is another one of those regulations that are supposed to help protect and preserve historical cars, so while it may seem restricting, it’s inspired by good intentions.
Follow your state’s guidelines
It should go without saying that you can’t get historical license plates or vehicle registration for your classic car if you don’t follow your state’s guidelines. If you want to start on the right foot, do what your state requires.
And once you get your historical license plates and vehicle registration, make sure you don’t slip in following the rules. If you do, you will face penalties and hefty fines. While having an antique car has its financial benefits—like discounted insurance rates and cheaper plates—you can still rack up a lot of expenses in fines if you don’t follow your state’s guidelines.
How to get historical license plates and vehicle registration
If you’re going to adhere to your state’s rules for classic cars, you should have no problem getting historical license plates and vehicle registration. However, to make sure you experience the least resistance possible, go through a transportation agency like Barry Risk Management.
Using the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which is known for long wait times and continuous back-and-forth, will only lead to headaches. But credible and experienced transportation agencies can get you historical license plates and vehicle registration much quicker.
Barry Risk Management, in particular, has over 30 years of industry experience and has many representatives who know how to get the license plates and vehicle registration you need, regardless of the state you live in. And Barry Risk Management does everything online, so you don’t have to leave your home to get what you want.
Unlike the DMV, Barry Risk Management’s process is quick and painless, so skip the long lines at the DMV. Use Barry Risk Management to get your historical license plates and vehicle registration.
Call 1-888-995-TAGS(8247) to speak with a representative from Barry Risk Management who can help you get everything you need for your classic car.