How To Register Your Antique Car, Truck, Custom or Hot Rod in the State of Florida

If you own a vintage vehicle (hot rod or classic), you have up to SIX ways to register it for the road in the State of Florida. You may register it with:

(1) A "Regular" "MyFLORIDA.Com" tag, either with (a) the County Name, (b) "SUNSHINE STATE", (c) "In God We Trust"

Florida County Plate  Florida Sunshine State Plate  Florida 2014 Plate

or (d) one of the 100+ specialty tags (extra fees vary) such as "Save the Manatee". Go to www.myfloridaspecialtyplate.com to see the current offerings. Any of these regular or specialty plates can be personalized (a.k.a. "Vanity Plate", 5 to 7 characters maximum) too. It's the same registration procedure for your everyday late model vehicle. You'll need your old registration/title, proof of Florida insurance and a Florida Driver's License. You must bring the car too (to verify VIN number) if it's the first time being registered in Florida. The 1960's Amphicar and other amphibious vehicles are registered as a road vehicle only (see RS-60). Links to the full procedure are RS-01, RS-20 & RS-60.

Florida Save The Manatee Plate  Florida Agriculture Plate  Florida Catch Me Release Me Plate

(2) A "Street Rod" tag with red background "STREET ROD - SUNSHINE STATE" if the modified car or truck was manufactured before 1949 but fitted with engine, driveline, suspension, brakes or other major components manufactured after 1949. Form HSMV 83045 needs to be filled out. These are non-permanent tags and DO have to be renewed each year. Procedure RS-28

Florida Street Rod Plate

(3) A "Custom Vehicle" tag with red background "CUSTOM VEHICLE - SUNSHINE STATE" (with distinctive pinstripe design) if the vehicle is 25 years of age or older and of a model year after 1948 or was manufactured to resemble a vehicle of that time frame and has been altered from the manufacturer's original design or has a body constructed from non-original materials. Replicars would fit this category. Form HSMV 83045 needs to be filled out. Procedures RS-25 & RS-28

Florida County Plate    Florida Custom Vehicle Plate

(4) An "Antique" tag with light blue background "ANTIQUE" if the modified or unmodified car, truck or motorcycle was manufactured in 1946 or later AND is 30 years old or more, AND equipped with an engine of 30 years old or more. Thus they are post-war vehicles but with 30 plus year old engines and bodies. These are non-permanent tags and DO have to be renewed each year. (Eg.: a 1948 Chevy with a 1987 engine, can't be registered with an Antique tag until the year 2017.) [Permanent, non-transferable Antique tags are only issued for old fire apparatus, historical or military vehicles where Form HSMV 83045 applies.] Procedure RS-25

Florida Antique Plate

(5) An "Ancient" tag with red background "HORSELESS CARRIAGE - SUNSHINE STATE" if the unmodified car, truck or motorcycle, weighing 5000 lbs. or less, was manufactured in 1945 or earlier. These are permanent, non-transferable tags and DO NOT have to be renewed each year. They are issued by the DMV only. These are typically chosen for vehicles made before 1920. Form HSMV 83045 is required. Vehicles over 5000 lbs. can not use this plate. Procedure RS-25

Florida Antique Plate

(6) or lastly, and the most prized, an "Authenticated" tag in various colors, sizes and numbering systems, otherwise known as Year of Manufacture (YOM) plates".

Florida 1925 YOM Plate  Florida 1935 YOM Plate  Florida 1939 YOM Plate

Florida 1942 YOM Plate  Florida 1953 YOM Plate  Florida 1964 YOM Plate

You need to find (try eBay or Google "Old License Plate Dealers") an old Florida license plate, in good condition, made in 1975 or earlier, with ANY county code (first number) and ANY class code (1-3 alpha letters usually before the dash) that matches the year your vehicle was made and you want to use it as your permanent license tag. For tags dated before 1920, they must be Florida state issue not just county issue or bridge issue and say "FLA" for "FLORIDA" on them. Thus your vehicle must be 1975 or older too, but it does NOT have to agree with the county and class codes on the vintage plate. The DMV makes no mention of modified or unmodified vehicles for these tags used on old vehicles. See the detailed procedure RS-25

Thus, if you own a 1948 Ford with a 1965 Chevy engine in it, you have a wide choice of Regular, Specialty, Street Rod, Antique, Custom Vehicle or 1948 "YOM" tag! Our local County Offices can handle methods (1) (2) (3) & (4) only. Those are new-issue tags and a $10 charge will be added to the registration fees. Regular, Specialty, Street Rod and most Antique tags will also need to be replaced every 5-10 years (another $10 charge each time). Vanity (personalized) numbers (such as "36 Ford") can be requested (use Form HSMV 83043) on any regular plate stock for an extra charge of $12 per year. In those cases, temporary (paper) tags will be issued and the vanity tag will be made and shipped to that issuing office in a few weeks. Methods (5) and (6) need to be handled in Tallahassee. The "Initial Florida Registration Fee" of $100 will be waived if the vehicle is more than 30 years old or you can prove it was already paid before you owned the vehicle or you recently paid a state sales tax on it when purchased. "Collectible" tags are no longer issued but are still seen on the roads. Florida is a one-plate state. Only one tag (on the rear of the vehicle) is required. The front of the vehicle may have any other plate or sign except a real license plate from Florida or any other US state. We therefore presume that a foreign plate on the front of the vehicle is OK. I have a cool porcelain plate from Florida, Argentina on the front of my antique!

You can check the availability of any prospective personalized number at https://services.flhsmv.gov/MVCheckPersonalPlate/.

Since the county offices don't know how to handle (4) "Horseless Carriage" or (5) "Year of Manufacture" tags, we put this detailed procedure together for you, called Registering Your Antique Vehicle with a Horseless Carriage or Year of Manufacture (YOM) Tags.

Prepared by Rich Courmettes
1942 Chrylser
Happy Motoring!
Updated 2/10/13.


All content Copyright © 2012- Richard Courmettes for The Villages Region Antique Automobile Club of America. All rights reserved.