California Fails to Pass Bill to Expand Legacy License Plate Program

The California state legislature failed to pass SAN-sponsored legislation (AB 1980) to expand the state’s successful Legacy License Plate Program, which is available for all model years of motor vehicles. Under the bill, the DMV would create and issue an additional series of new specialized license plates resembling designs from the state's past: 1950s (black lettering on a yellow background), 1970s(yellow lettering on a blue background), and 1980s (white plate with blue lettering and California “The Golden State” sunset imagery). The bill passed the Assembly Committee on Transportation, but the Assembly Committee on Appropriations failed to advance the bill prior to the required legislative deadline.

Currently, only the style of the 1960s (yellow lettering on a black background) is available for a $50 fee. Similar to the 2013 law that launched this program, AB 1980—if enacted into law—would require at least 7,500 applications for any particular plate design to be received by the DMV on or before January 1, 2026, to go into production.

Thanks to all who voiced support for this effort.