Do you need that CA black plate? They can be charming, and you can do it all on the CA DMV website under specialty plates. However, you may not find a way to make one until your actual plates arrive. So, follow this post carefully to know how to get black license plate in California.
The CA black license plate in California is also known as the 1960 Legacy plate. These plates are available for cars, commercial vehicles, trailers, and motorcycles, and give your vehicle a touch of the past. California used to issue yellow on black plates between 1963 and 1969, and the black plates are a modern tribute to that era.
You can apply for a black California license plate either online via the California DMV website or by mailing or submitting a Special Interest License Plate Application (REG 17) form to a local CA DMV office.
The money you pay for these black plates is used for a good cause. It goes into the Environmental License Plate Fund (ELPF), which supports environmental projects in California.
California has a program called the Legacy license plate program. With this program, you can buy replica license plates that look like the ones from the 1960s. This program brought back the black 1960 Legacy plate since enough people (7,500) ordered it before January 1, 2015.
When you get one of these black special plates, the money you pay goes to the Environmental License Plate Fund (ELPF) to help with environmental projects in California.
How to Get Black License Plate in California
Here’s how to get black license plate in California:
1. Check if Your Vehicle is Eligible
Most vehicles, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles registered in California are eligible. However, you cannot get sequential black plates for motorcycles and trailers.
If your vehicle is leased or has a lien on it, you can’t get black license plate in California. Also, for certain situations such as gifting, renewal, retaining, replacement, converting, or transferring plates, you can’t order black CA plates online.
2. Prepare Your Paperwork
You can order the black CA plates online, either as sequential or personalized. Alternatively, mail a completed Special Interest License Plate Application (REG 17) form with the necessary fee to your local DMV, using the address on the form.
If ordering sequential plates, you will need details from your registration card. Required documents include the Special Interest License Plate Application (REG 17), your current Registration Card, and the applicable fees.
3. Order Online
Visit the DMV website at CA DMV Special Interest Plates to order your black California license plates. Choose either sequential or personalized plates. Remember, online orders are only for original requests. For other types of requests, submit the Special Interest License Plates Application (REG 17) at your local DMV. It’s recommended to make an appointment for faster service. Once you place an order, you are not eligible for any refunds.
For Sequential Black CA License Plates
- Under ‘Select plate type’, choose your vehicle type (auto or commercial).
- Enter the license plate number you’re replacing and the last 3 digits of your VIN.
- Indicate if the registration expires within 30 days.
- Confirm if the vehicle is leased or has a lien. If yes, you cannot order online.
- Select ‘1960 LEGACY’ from the list and follow the on-screen instructions.
For Personalized Black CA License Plates
- Choose your vehicle type (motorcycle, auto, commercial, or trailer).
- Enter the license plate number and last 3 digits of your VIN.
- Confirm registration expiry and lease/lien status.
- Select ‘1960 LEGACY’ from the list and proceed as directed.
You can’t use letters and numbers interchangeably to create a similar license plate appearance. Also, the DMV doesn’t allow configurations with offensive or inappropriate content, or those misrepresenting law enforcement.
4. Make Your Payment for CA Black License Plates
The black license plates, which are the 1960 Legacy style, cost $50. Every year, you need to pay $40 to renew them. If you use a credit or debit card to pay, there’s an extra charge of 2.1% on top of your payment.
5. Get Your Black CA Plates
After you order your black CA license plates online or through mail, you’ll have to wait about 8-12 weeks to pick them up. If you chose the Sequential black CA 1960 Legacy plates, they’ll be mailed to you instead. You should get these in about 4-6 weeks.
The plates will be sent to the address the DMV has on file for your vehicle. If you need to change this address, you have to fill out and submit the ‘Notice of Change of Address’ form (DMV 14).
If you’ve just updated your address, wait for at least 72 hours before ordering your black plate. This makes time for the DMV to update your details in their system.
Can I Transfer My Black License Plate to Another Car in California?
Most special license plates cannot be reassigned to another person, except as shown in the Special License Plate Transfers section here.
Are you transferring your vehicle ownership? You can keep your black California license plate on a vehicle you are transferring. But you need to sign a form saying you’re giving up your rights to it. This form is called the ‘Special Interest License Plate Application’ (REG 17).
If you don’t sign this form, you must return back the black 1960 Legacy plates to the DMV. The only exception is if you’re transferring the vehicle to your spouse, parents, children, or grandparents.
The person who gets your black plates needs to fill out their own REG 17 form. They also have to pay the original fee for these plates, even though they’re already on the vehicle.
If you are still the registered owner after the transfer, like if you are adding or removing a co-owner, you may not have to pay the original registration fee again.
Can You Keep Your Black License Plates in CA?
To keep your black plates for later use, you have to transfer them to another vehicle in your name or release your interest in them. You would have to submit the completed REG 17 form.
If you want to keep the plates for future use, there’s an annual fee you need to pay. Otherwise, your black CA plates will be canceled and given to someone else. This process is the same as with regular California license plates.
Can You Switch from Black California License Plate to a Regular One?
In California, if you wish to switch from a black 1960 Legacy license plate to a standard one, you need to fill out the Special Interest License Plate Application, also known as the REG 17 form. This form lets you request the change, and you’ll find the necessary fee listed on its second page.
This process can’t be done online; instead, you must either mail in your request or contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) directly.
Cost of a Black License Plate in California
Regarding the cost of obtaining a black license plate in California, there is an initial fee of $50.00. Additionally, to keep the plate, there’s an annual renewal fee of $40.00. For a replacement, the CA 1960 Legacy plate costs $35.
How Long to Receive Black License Plates in California?
As for the time frame, getting a black license plate in California typically takes between 8 to 12 weeks. If you choose the sequential black CA 1960 Legacy license plates, these are mailed directly to the address listed on your DMV vehicle record and usually arrive within 4 to 6 weeks.
So, with these steps, you should be able to get black license plate in California as long as you are eligible. This is a classic number plate, and worth the money you will put down for it. Go for it.