California to Reissue Black License Plates

California Black License Plate (Marcin Wichary / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
Marcin Wichary / Flickr / CC / Cropped

On Monday, the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced it will start releasing black license plates similar to the 1960s version in two or three weeks. Personalized black plates will be released in August.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the new plates differ from the ones issued from 1963 to 1969 because they will be spray-painted with a coating, making them visible at night. The DMV wrote on Facebook, “Want to relive the 1960’s? Now your vehicle can reflect a time when cars cruised. The 1960’s Legacy License Plate is now available, you can order now at”

The reissue of black plates stems from the California Legacy License Plate Program, brought forth by state Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Glendale. Gatto acted in response to the desire of car enthusiasts who had fondness for old-model rides. The sentiment was strong enough that once it became clear they were to be issued, the $50 cost did not keep them from becoming the fastest specialty plates to ever reach 7,500 pre-orders. The DMV started offering the plates on June 17.

Gatto told the San Francisco Chronicle, “When people picture a really awesome muscle car or classic car, they picture a black plate. They are the most classic of the classic era.”