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Year-Of-Manufacture program

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The DMV has a Year-Of-Manufacture (YOM) program that lets you register your car with
the plates it would have been originally sold with. The plates must have matching numbers and
be in good shape and can be restored as long as they have the original color. They also
need to be "DMV clear" which means that no other car is using your numbers since newer 
plates are reusing old numbers. The 1947 and 1951 numbering series matches many 1980's
and newer plates so the price difference when you buy the plates at a swap meet goes from 
about $50 for non-clear up to $300 or more for clear plates. The 1956 numbering is now being
used on the specialty plates like the Lake Tahoe and the California Arts plates so those 
plates will be harder to find clear.

I have registered many cars from 1928 to 1962 and each time the clerk at the DMV is not
familiar with the process and will tell you it can't be done. I had to convince them
that my 1956 plate with a 1959 sticker was proper for my 1959 car. They saw the 56 on the 
plate and told me I would need a 1959 plate. The Auto Club may also have trouble since
this is not a common transaction.