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Explaining registration plates in the USA
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Rick
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 21546
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:46 pm    Post subject: Explaining registration plates in the USA Reply with quote

And we think that registering a car here can be a minefield ...

https://www.hotcars.com/historical-plates-explained-and-how-to-register-your-car-as-antique/

RJ
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Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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PapaJoe



Joined: 09 Nov 2020
Posts: 39
Location: Massachusetts USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick, One of the challenges that results from the way vintage vehicles are registered in the States is difficulty tracing a car's history. Plate numbers change from one owner to the next and, as happened in Massachusetts, Registry records can go missing after a few decades. The only clear identifier is the VIN number which is not visible in old photographs. A car's ownership history gets murky once it starts moving from one family's ownership to a dealer or other family.

I ran into this trying to locate my late uncle's King Midget, the first car I ever drove. We have a photo from the mid-sixties showing the plate number, but no way to trace it's VIN number or the names of subsequent owners. Massachusetts records from that era were lost or destroyed at some point. Very frustrating. The International club ran a story I wrote about the car in their newsletter, but that also provided no leads.
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Owned: 1917 Ford Model T Touring
1932 Chevy 5-Window Coupe
1967 Harley (Aermacchi) Sprint SS
Coveted: Ford Model Y Saloon
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3608
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PapaJoe wrote:
Rick, One of the challenges that results from the way vintage vehicles are registered in the States is difficulty tracing a car's history. Plate numbers change from one owner to the next and, as happened in Massachusetts, Registry records can go missing after a few decades. The only clear identifier is the VIN number which is not visible in old photographs. A car's ownership history gets murky once it starts moving from one family's ownership to a dealer or other family.

I ran into this trying to locate my late uncle's King Midget, the first car I ever drove. We have a photo from the mid-sixties showing the plate number, but no way to trace it's VIN number or the names of subsequent owners. Massachusetts records from that era were lost or destroyed at some point. Very frustrating. The International club ran a story I wrote about the car in their newsletter, but that also provided no leads.
Interesting, in the UK we have a central function that operates a core principle around maintaining the vehicles identity, it can, sometimes be a frustratingly bureaucratic organisation to deal with, but perhaps we should be more mindful of what we wish for !

Dave
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