Antique Vehicle Registration: Navigating the Complexities

Understanding the Definitions

In the world of automobiles, the terms “antique” and “classic” often evoke images of well-preserved vehicles from a bygone era. However, the legal definitions of these categories can vary depending on the jurisdiction. In Idaho, the distinctions between antique and classic vehicles are particularly relevant for owners seeking specialized license plates.

Idaho's Vehicle Age Criteria

Under Idaho law, a vehicle can be classified as an antique if it is at least 30 years old. Classic vehicles, on the other hand, must be at least 25 years old.

Conflicting Definitions: The 45-Year Rule

While Idaho uses specific age criteria to define antique and classic vehicles, there is another commonly accepted rule known as the “45-year rule.” This rule states that a vehicle must be at least 45 years old to be considered an antique. This rule does not have legal standing in Idaho, but it may be used by car clubs and other enthusiasts to determine eligibility for events or programs.

Idaho's Vintage Car Registration Scheme

Idaho's vintage car registration scheme can be confusing. Owners of antique and classic vehicles can choose between a variety of specialized license plates, each with its own requirements and fees.

Registration Options

For a fee of $25 initially and $3 every three years thereafter, owners can obtain an Idaho classic or special license plate. These plates can be used on vehicles that meet the following criteria:

  • Any motor vehicle or motorcycle that is at least 30 years old
  • Any vehicle manufactured before 1978 that is of a British origin

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