The process of applying for an Ohio antique car registration and vintage license plates can be completed by owners of vehicles with historic value. However, the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will issue a historic vehicle registration only after confirming that a vehicle meets the state definition of a historical motor vehicle.

Note that car owners who successfully obtain antique license plates will not be required to pay the annual license tax and their plates will be valid as long as the vehicle exists. To learn more about registering a vintage car in Ohio and obtaining the corresponding plates, read the following sections.

Definition of a Historical Vehicle in Ohio

Prior to requesting these types of plates, applicants must ensure that their vehicles abides by the state antique license plates rules. To qualify for a historic auto registration and plates, a vehicle must be older than 24 years.

Also, unlike standard car registrations, historical plates and registrations do not authorize the driver to operate his or her vehicle for personal routine transportation. Vehicles with vintage car tags in OH can only be used as collector’s items put on displays during exhibitions, parades and other similar educational events or to drive to and from service stations.

Steps in the Ohio Registration Process

Submitting an application for an Ohio historic car registration and vehicle tags is a procedure that can be completed by delivering the required documents and fees to the state BMV in person or by mail.

While in-person applications for antique vehicle tags are processed through any BMV Deputy Registrar agency, car owners who choose to mail their requests will have to send them to the BMV Registration Section in Columbus. A complete request for vintage car registrations in OH must include the following items:

  • A standard vehicle registration card (if available) or a car title certificate
  • A filled out Application and Affidavit for Historical License Plates (Form BMV 4806)
  • Proof that the vehicle has been inspected and abides by the state motor vehicle regulations (if required)
  • Evidence of a valid vehicle insurance policy (if required)
  • Payment for the applicable fees

Car owners must sign their applications for historic car tags and have them notarized prior to submitting them. Also, applicants who would like to obtain personalized antique license plates will be able to enter their choices on the form.

After processing an application for vintage auto registrations in OH, the state BMV will mail the registration card and plates to the applicant’s address within seven to 10 days.

Fees to Register a Historical Vehicle in Ohio

To finalize the application process for Ohio historic vehicle registrations, car owners will be required to arrange payment for several types of fees and costs.

The total cost for the plates generally includes the initial payment fee, a service fee, postage fee and the cost for the state permissive tax. Since vintage license plates are permanent, applicants will only be required to pay a one-time fee installment, which will vary based on the type of historical tags being requested.

For example, a set of standard OH historic auto tags are available at a cost of $7.50 if the applicant has held a standard registration card within the last 12 months. Personalized plates, however, are available at an initial cost of $50 and applicants will be required to pay a specific annual renewal fee.

Per the Ohio Revised Code, instead of paying the annual license tax, antique vehicle registration applicants will be required to pay a $10 license fee to operate a historical motor vehicle.

Note: Antique car owners who also have a regular passenger vehicle must remember to renew their registration cards on a regular basis, even if they are not required to do so with their historical vehicles.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.