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Author Topic: California license letter sequence  (Read 14780 times)
Hugger Orange 69
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« on: August 08, 2007, 02:27:48 PM »

I am wondering what the correct license plate letter sequence would be for my 69 Camaro? It was built in Van Nuys in October of 68 and purchased in Torrance, but I do not know the month or year of original registration. Can someone help me find this information?

The car currently has blue and yellow plates and I want to look for the correct sequence black and yellows.

Thanks, Jim
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2007, 02:43:16 PM »

X,Y OR Z should be the first letter. If you buy a set you will not be able have the car registered with them. Do not take them with you to DMV or they may confiscate them.
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Gary

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Hugger Orange 69
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2007, 02:49:10 PM »

Thanks Gary.
I know the plates are not allowed currently, but I am hoping that will change someday and I want to have a set that I can switch to when it does.

My brother bought his 69 SS while he was in the Army in Vietnam. His begins with "Z". I think he picked the car up in San Francisco upon his return in about June of 69.
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dutch
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2007, 10:00:50 PM »

Thanks Gary.
I know the plates are not allowed currently, but I am hoping that will change someday and I want to have a set that I can switch to when it does.

My brother bought his 69 SS while he was in the Army in Vietnam. His begins with "Z". I think he picked the car up in San Francisco upon his return in about June of 69.

 I have a set with 2 tags - upper left stickered in 1968 and top right last tagged in 1969. They begin with "I". How can the original date of issue be determined from the letter sequence?
 I was under the impression that these black and yellow plates were fairly valued as they could be reregistered these days if they were in presented in decent condition.
 Seems to me I read a few threads on the Yenko board in the past 6-12 months that lead me to believe that if the correct hoops were jumped through this was indeed possible at that time.
 Did something change recently to reverse the policy as the posters at that time advised that they had apparently managed to do this... Or were they just blowing smoke?  Thanks - Randy
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Ed Bertrand
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2007, 11:11:52 PM »

Really, there's no definable way to tell when your black plates were issued by the letters. The problem is that when California DMV's were issued black plates, large metropolitan areas went through theirs fairly quickly while rural areas were much slower. For instance, if you licensed your new 69 Camaro in Los Angeles, you would have probably received a set of plates starting with the letter "Y". Los Angeles registered hundreds of cars a day, so they went through the alphabet fairly quickly. However, if you licensed your new 69 Camaro in say, Birds Landing (California's smallest town), you would have probably received plates starting with the letter "B" or "C"! Small rural towns didn't register as many cars as the large cities, so they didn't use up their allotment as quickly. See what I mean?

I've seen original late 60's cars with original black plates, and the letters were only in the "E" and "F" ranges! No way to tell for sure...

As for YOM, here's the official text direct from the California DMV:

Quote
14.100 Year of Manufacture Model Year Date Plates (VC 5004.1)
Year of Manufacture (YOM) license plates are any officially manufactured California
license plates issued prior to 1963 that are determined to be legible and serviceable by
the DMV. YOM plates may be assigned in lieu of regular license plates to any
currently registered 1962 or older year model motor vehicle or trailer of a
corresponding model year.
Kit cars of vintage automobiles (a replica of a 1928 vehicle for example) do not
qualify for YOM plates. Vehicles with YOM plates have full operating privileges and
are not restricted to participation in historical vehicle activities.
The plates must be supplied by the vehicle owner and authenticated by DMV
personnel. Base year plates must have the appropriate year validation sticker attached
to the plate to be authenticated as other than the base year (for example, a 1956 plate
with a 1958 sticker equals a 1958 plate).

Ed
« Last Edit: August 08, 2007, 11:29:27 PM by bertfam » Logged
67camarorsss
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2007, 05:39:25 PM »

I've had 2 67's with black plates. Both were in the LA area and both started with a "U" (UZX - 6a code and UTV - 4a code).
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2007, 07:31:15 PM »

I have seen X, Y or Z in my area. But true, depended on where the car was licensed.
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Gary

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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2007, 07:38:26 PM »

Just a litle FYI, here in Kansas we can use vintage plates as long as they're Kansas issued, so it is true that some states allow it. Ours can also be from any county even if it isn't the one the car is registered in.
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wtexz10
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2007, 08:57:24 PM »

The same is true in Texas.  I'm currently running NOS 1969 "Texas" plates.  The state of Texas will issue a small aluminum plate which is afixed to the rear plate so that the authorities no the registration is current.

Kris
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2007, 10:42:19 PM »

My 1968 RallySport Z/28 (02C) has been in the San Francisco Bay Area it's entire life.  It's original California black plates are WHTxxx.  I looked at a 1968 RallySport (04D) survivor back in February and it's original California black plates are XABxxx.  The current owner of this car states it has been in the Bay Area it's entire life too.

Paul
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Farm Boy
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2007, 12:39:03 AM »

There are no Camaros with a legal early black plate starting with "A" through "S". Back when the Camaro was first introduced in 1966 the state was issuing T or U plates.

When these cars were sold new the plates were issued by the DMV in Sacramento and mailed to the new owner. The plate number sequence a new car received was directly dependent on the date the car was titled. It didnt mater where in California the selling dealer or the buyer was located. The date the MSO was processed and the title issued determined the letter sequence the black plates received.

My car was first sold on 4/1/1967 and my plate number is URC 357.
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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2007, 04:02:25 PM »

I'm not going to argue with you but I just wanted to give you this to chew on...

When I was 11, my father bought a brand new 1966 Pontiac LeMans. We went down to the DMV in El Cajon, California to register it. The person behind the counter handed him two new license plates wrapped up in brown paper, which I installed on the car. We didn't have to wait for them from Sacramento.

Ed
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tom
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2007, 06:04:59 PM »

I don't know about CA, but in NJ we can transfer our plates from the old car to the new car at the first registration. If that works in CA it might throw the sequence out a bit.

Tom
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2007, 07:16:11 PM »

My 68 z was sold 3rd week of march in Orange California and the black plates that were on the car are VNK- - -
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2007, 08:32:30 PM »

When I was 11, my father bought a brand new 1966 Pontiac LeMans. We went down to the DMV in El Cajon, California to register it. The person behind the counter handed him two new license plates wrapped up in brown paper, which I installed on the car. We didn't have to wait for them from Sacramento.

Ed

Ed, any chance you remember the license plate number on your father's Pontiac?

Paul
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Ed Bertrand
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2007, 10:45:42 PM »

Geez, I knew someone was going to ask that!!! I really don't. I do remember they were black, but the letters and numbers elude me. Sorry guys. My mom and dad passed away long ago so I can't ask them. I looked through all the pictures I could find, but couldn't find any of the car. I remember it was a burgandy LeMans with a black interior and a V8 automatic, but that's about it.

Except to tell you guys an interesting story about the car...

One day my mom, my sister and I went to Monkey Wards to get something, and when we came out, mom had forgotten where the car was. We went up and down the isles until we finally found it. She unlocked the door and my sister and I got into the back seat. Mom started up the car and had started to back out of the parking place when I noticed a lot of stuff in the back seat that wasn't there when we pulled in! I looked at my sister and she looked at me and we both yelled at mom to stop the car. She pulled back into the parking place and we all got out of the car. We turned around and there was another Burgandy Pontiac LeMans one isle over. OURS!! Come to find out, we had gotten into the wrong car!! And the interesting part is that the keys to our car, worked perfectly in the other LeMans!!

Thought you guys might like that one.

Ed
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tom
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2007, 09:13:41 AM »

Yep, there were only if I remember, about 50 keys patterns used by GM back then. We had a full set at the gas station, and if someone locked their keys in the car, or took the keys when they left a car for service, we were good to go.

Tom
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1968RSZ28
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2007, 01:31:54 PM »

Yep, there were only if I remember, about 50 keys patterns used by GM back then. We had a full set at the gas station, and if someone locked their keys in the car, or took the keys when they left a car for service, we were good to go.

Tom

So what you are saying is there a thousands of people with the keys to my 1968 RallySport Z/28 Camaro!    Shocked   So much for that great GM feeling!    Tongue

Paul
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GaryL
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2007, 04:02:27 PM »

I'm not going to argue with you but I just wanted to give you this to chew on...

When I was 11, my father bought a brand new 1966 Pontiac LeMans. We went down to the DMV in El Cajon, California to register it. The person behind the counter handed him two new license plates wrapped up in brown paper, which I installed on the car. We didn't have to wait for them from Sacramento.

Ed

Yes, if you want to get a car registered in person you get the plates. Who buys a new car and goes to DMV? We wait for them to come in the mail after the dealer registers it.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 04:04:01 PM by GaryL » Logged

Gary

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67camarorsss
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2007, 04:19:41 PM »

Geez, I knew someone was going to ask that!!! I really don't. I do remember they were black, but the letters and numbers elude me. Sorry guys. My mom and dad passed away long ago so I can't ask them. I looked through all the pictures I could find, but couldn't find any of the car. I remember it was a burgandy LeMans with a black interior and a V8 automatic, but that's about it.

Except to tell you guys an interesting story about the car...

One day my mom, my sister and I went to Monkey Wards to get something, and when we came out, mom had forgotten where the car was. We went up and down the isles until we finally found it. She unlocked the door and my sister and I got into the back seat. Mom started up the car and had started to back out of the parking place when I noticed a lot of stuff in the back seat that wasn't there when we pulled in! I looked at my sister and she looked at me and we both yelled at mom to stop the car. She pulled back into the parking place and we all got out of the car. We turned around and there was another Burgandy Pontiac LeMans one isle over. OURS!! Come to find out, we had gotten into the wrong car!! And the interesting part is that the keys to our car, worked perfectly in the other LeMans!!

Thought you guys might like that one.

Ed

Another interesting "key" story. back in the early 70's I had a 67 Nova Sport Coupe and my buddy had a 67 Malibu. We were going to take his car but he had to run back into the house to get something. It starts to rain. Knowing there were only so many key patterns I decided to see if I could unlock his car to get in. Sure enough the key fit. Thinking I'll really freak him out I decide to see if the ignition key works in the ignition too. Sure enough the car starts right up. The look on his face when he saw me sitting in the passenger seat of his locked car with the engine running was priceless.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2007, 04:21:26 PM by 67camarorsss » Logged

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Hugger Orange 69
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« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2007, 11:52:26 AM »

Well, my California plates finally arrived from Australia.
Black and yellow, XTR xxx.
I did some research online, and by removing the registration tags one at a time.
Here's what I discovered:

I checked out a lot of pictures of cars online that have readable black and yellow California plates.
Near as I can tell 1967 vehicles had high T's (TRW, TWY) through low to mid V's (VAM, VEL); 1968 vehicles had mid V's (VNK) to high X's (XPV); 1969 vehicles had high X's (XUL, XXP) to the end of the Z's (ZQX). Note: (_ _ _) denotes the actual letters I found for that particular year of vehicle.

Then I did a little archaelogical digging on my plates by carefully removing the registration stickers one at a time and recording them. What I discovered is that the earliest sticker is 1968. It is located in the upper right hand rectangular recess, then the 1969 sticker is in the upper left hand recess. The yearly stickers alternate back and forth from one side to the other: 1970 on right, 1971 on left, 1972 on right. There is no 1973 sticker. There is a 1974 sticker on the right and an OCT sticker on the left. The OCT sticker was on the top of the stack when I bought the plates. The year stickers on the right continue all the way up to 1978.

Based upon this, I can deduce that the plate was issued in October 1968 and it was continuously registered until 1978.

My 1969 Camaro was built in the 2nd week of October 1968, so these plates, originally registered in October 1968, are a pretty good match!

I have written to the Governor to ask him to sign an updated YOM law that would allow black and yellow plates to be put back onto vehicles of the same vintage. I received a reply asking for more information. It stated that the Governor is very interested in this issue. Maybe we a close to getting this resolved.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2007, 04:56:51 PM by Hugger Orange 69 » Logged
fireZ
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« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2007, 06:07:25 PM »

That all makes sense as my 1968 Z28 was built 02E of 68 and my black plate is VNK----. Nice detective work
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« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2007, 01:39:04 PM »

I saw a '68 Camaro (plain jane) coupe today at the grocery store with it's original CA black plates:  VXU---.  I couldn't locate the owner before I left so I couldn't pop the hood to check the build date, but the vin is 124378L3163--.   Grin

Paul
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KevinK
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« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2007, 12:31:25 PM »

  Just to add...
  ...These are the original Black Plates off my (11B) '67, ...and were valid through AUG' '06 (when I had the car shipped back to NY). I have paperwork back to '72 reflecting this #, ...so it seems to add up. Only the rear plate has all the stickers on it, ...I didn't want to disturb them, ...so there still all 'piled' on there... Smiley


 
 

« Last Edit: September 07, 2007, 12:33:15 PM by KevinK » Logged
duntov3030
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« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2007, 07:08:17 PM »

What is the significance of the Black plate?
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Butch
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« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2007, 07:43:27 PM »

Yellow-on-black (or "black"), six-character (i.e. ABC 123) license plates were original on California cars up until just about the end of the 1969 model year.  I've seen only a FEW '69s with the succeeding series of plates (yellow-on-blue, 123 ABC, configuration).  Since California plates stay with the car when it's traded, and "black plates" cannot be retroactively assigned as can the series that immediately preceded the black ones, a car carrying it's original set of plates is accorded a level of respect that comes with having just one more element of originality.  It's been factor out here for over twenty years but, apparently, it's becoming a more widely recognizable feature that denotes something special about a survivor car.  More aficionados are now realizing that first generation Camaros sold new in California were assigned license numbers beginning with the last letters of the alphabet as the series ran out of possible combinations.  I've watched it play out for over forty years but it's sort of cool to watch others catch on.
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duntov3030
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« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2007, 09:51:44 PM »

CNorton ... Thanks for the explanation.  I've seen the mention of black plates in ads.  Just didn't realize the significance.
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Butch
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« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2007, 05:52:43 AM »

Heres my set that was refurbihed by the tag Dr.
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« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2007, 07:34:35 AM »

Did California cars in 1968 have both front and rear plates? I have one black plate that matches the California Title for my Z,
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« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2007, 08:20:20 AM »

...yes, ...two plates.
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fireZ
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« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2007, 09:06:38 AM »

Well I guess 1 is better than none. Nice having the California Title that lists the plate to the VIN #
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« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2007, 03:15:11 PM »

Here's another '68 Camaro with it's original CA black plates...

License plate number:  VWF 246
Build date:  09A
Date first sold:  11-2-1967
Vin:  124378L301236

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120162782645&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:MT:1

Paul
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« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2007, 03:29:40 PM »

Here's a '69 Camaro with it's original CA black plates (2)...

License plate number:  XQY 454
Build date:  12C

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1969-camaro-all-original-327-4speed-sport-coupe-67-68_W0QQitemZ190153079667QQihZ009QQcategoryZ6161QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Paul
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« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2007, 10:13:31 PM »

Here's a '69 Z/28 with it's original CA black plates...

License plate number:  YFW099
Build date:  12B
VIN:  124379L512979

Paul
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1968RSZ28
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« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2007, 12:20:49 AM »

Here's a '68 Camaro (plain jane) with it's original CA black plates...

License plate number:  WFA149

Paul
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« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2007, 12:07:01 PM »

Here's a '68 RS/SS (396) Camaro with it's original CA black plates...

License plate number:  XBN100

Paul
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« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2007, 12:02:11 AM »

Here's a '68 RS/SS Camaro with it's original CA black plates...

License plate number:  WUM130

Paul
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« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2008, 12:09:07 PM »

Not sure if this helps or not but by 06A 67 Los Angeles Camaro had a black licence plate that began with "V"
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« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2008, 04:31:44 PM »

This will throw you a curve
I have a 69 SS purchased in october of 1969 with the original BLUE plates  478XXX
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« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2008, 10:23:40 PM »

That's not really a surprise.  After plate ZZZ999 was distributed, California made a seamless shift to the blue plates.  The model year for the car that received 000AAA was immaterial to the state.  I've seen several 1969 cars with original blue plates.  The same thing happened about ten years later when the six digit combinations were exhausted and the next combination was the same yellow letters on blue plates but with an additional digit. In 1980 my Suburban was assigned plate 1AEK###.
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