I have a match pair of 1923 Utah License plates, could some one give me an idea of what they could be worth please..
Original paint? It makes a difference to tag collectors. You could contact the ALPCA - The Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, they may be able to help you out.
License plates are a hard item to price. Condition and are they still registered to an individual from long ago are most important. If they are registered, you can't use them legally on your car, at least not here in Tenn. My friend here is a major collector of plate. He said there are 7 sets of 1915 plates for Tenn and worth $7-8K a set. He owns 3 of the 7 sets and offered a set to my friend with a 15 touring for $10K. My 26 Tenn plate which is registered to my car cost me $200 and I only have one of the matched set. If the plates are nice and unregistered, $200 is a good starting point. Everybody is going to work you on the price. Bob
Hi Bob, one is still in the orignal colour paint and the other was being restored when I got them, they came off Bruce McCalley's car when he lived in Burbank. They are 45 years out of registered use, Im cleaning out the work shop so there could be other sets there as the plates have been packed away for 40 years and I just have the interest in collecting any more, there is even a key board there with nearly all the keys still on it but its not for sale.
the above should read "I just dont have the interest in collecting any more"
Wife bought me two sets of SD plates for $40 pair for Fatherís day.
1919 and 1926. They were in pretty good original condition.
Im really tiring to get a idea of values and not sell off the collection, I will sell off some of the books and toys and posters and metal signs but the small things will stay. there is even an assembly line still in its box in the loft with no were to put it so thats why the books can go so it will fit.
Ray just be sure that if you do have any plates that have original paint not to try and restore them until you do talk with someone from the ALPACA. Plates with original paint even if its partial are worth more depending on the rarity. At one time I collected plates and had in my collection two of the top 5 most rare plates, 1912 Mississippi & a 1913 dated Mississippi. Plates in the top 10 can go for as much as 50k to collectors trying to make a run. By the way that 50k is not a mistake. The early ones that are not to rare, to Bob's point you can buy for little of nothing to 2-300 restored to original color.
I forgot to mention, my plate is a restored plate done by a professional.
I picked up a tea chest of early plates in my travels in 1970 from New York to LA which ranged from 1920 to 1964, I did let alot go to pay for my divorce as well as a lot other items which I would never pick up again.
I never unpacked all of the boxes I had stored away and these are part of that, I sold three quarters of the collection for over $10K to a friend who nailed them to his work shop wall and just sit there till he dies with the 450 to 500 cars he owns. He is a photo of some of the 200 cars that are parked out side the workshop and just a few of the 100 parked inside.
I recently purchased a VG condition set of Missouri 1924 plates from e-bay for the low, low price of $40. But wait, there's more, FREE shipping included! They look to be original to me. Creases in paint were made from the wax paper still between plates, I'm guessing from manufacturer. I was able to register them to my '24 Sedan here in MO. I called MO. Dept. of Rev. to check numbers first, they were available, then purchased. Plate prices seem to be all over the place. A lot of variables; condition, single or set, number sequence, available to register or not, etc. Years ago, I paid quite a bit more to a dealer for a set of well worn MO '23 plates before I checked and I WAS NOT able to register to a vehicle. Lesson learned!
Prices vary widely depending on state, year, and condition. Some T era plates may be worth thousands, but I've never paid as much as $100 for any of mine. In fact, I think most were under $50.
Interesting post! I live in Texas and have a matched pair of 1925 Texas plates I've had for years and considering selling them.
They have the remains of the original white trim and maroon background on them. one has a small piece of the corner missing but could be repaired.
They are not bent up and creased. Would be a nice pair if restored. All they need is a nice repaint and the corner repaired on one. Thought I might do it myself.
Some of the restored plates do look to be over done to me though.
The paint used these days is much better than original. To each his own I guess.
Like others have said the prices are all over the place for good solid plates that are restorable.
It boils down to how bad you want them.
Another factor is whether the state allows YOM Plates on a car. Those who can register and use them can bring a higher price as well. MG
Matched sets are a big deal. I've been to a lot of swap meets and auctions and come across single IL plates and wished the mate was there. If I'd been hoarding them all I might have come across a few long lost siblings, but oh well.
The pair I have for my '23 came via auction. I was unable to attend, but luckily my mom works for the local auctioneer. I told her I'd go to $50, since they were in decent shape and they were the right year. Ended up only having to give 15, and my brother redid them for me. They weren't very good as far as the paint, but they were good enough to tell what color they needed to be.
It also depends on the state, some states had large populations in the day, and made more plates, some didn't and made less plates. Some states used a single plate, others used pairs. In Calif. the only single plate for cars is 1945, so single plates go pretty cheap. Most states claim to not allow restored plates, but if done right there is seldom a problem. Many Licensing office don't know much about their own YOM procedures, so you are encouraged to know the rules before you go there! My '25 Calif. plate for Barney starts with a C and the office thought that meant "commercial" and I had to show them IN THEIR OWN BOOK that commercial plates then had a vertical "COM" on them, and mine was just a letter sequence on a passenger car plate.
So, you will find prices all over the place--and "cleared" plates, those that don't duplicate a sequence already in use by another vehicle, command a higher price.
And then there's the "Antique Store" prices. . . .
I bought a matched set of Jersey plates for 10 bucks.
I picked up a matching pair of WI 1926 plates for my car. Also have a set of nice WI 1920 plates on the wall. I believe both sets cost me about $40 ea/set.
There's a vendor at the Iola, WI car show who has a ton of vintage and antique plates for sale reasonably. He has lots of matching plates as well.
In Texas there were no license plates issued in 1924. They used 1923 plates and added a radiator tag.
Both were found on Ebay for under 50 bucks. the radiator tag was professionally restored and the 1923 plate just re-painted with canned paint and a small brush by a patient daughter with artistic talents.
Joe, I did mine a little differently. I wrote (back in the snail mail days) to the license plate collectors who advertised in Hemmings and asked them to send me the numbers of their 1924 MO plates. Once I had a number that passed the DoR, I bought them. Funny thing is that a retired mailman friend remarked that 63081 looks like a Missouri zip code. He added that 63080 is Sullivan and 63084 is Union. There is no 63081 zip, but if there were, it would be a town that starts with "T."
I picked these up for 20 bucks.
I paid about $20 for a 1927 Mass. plate. Massachusetts does not allow the restoration of YOM plates. Nobody in either the state legislature nor the Mass. Registry of motor vehicles has been able to tell me why. The bride and yrs. truly are moving to Florida (which for some bizarre reason doesn't allow the restoration of YOM plates either). The going rate for a decent 1927 Florida plate seems to be about $175. I guess that I'll have to settle for antique plates there.
Fortunately Washington State does allow YOM plates. You can register the car with a just a single plate (displayed on the rear) providing the mate is not being used elsewhere. The Department of Licensing also says the plates need to show good original color or be restored.
To answer the question "What is a set of license plates worth?" The answer might as well be... What you are willing to pay. My 1925 WA state plates are expertly restored examples, no filled holes and no dents. I paid $200 for the pair. I wasn't happy about it.... but I just had to have em!
My question for the legislative geniuses who wrote the YOM laws in Florida, Massachusetts, and New York: How do you know whether a plate is restored or a well preserved original?
When I saw what you guys were paying for sets of plates compared to what I paid for one plate, I decided to ask my license plate friend why the big difference. He explained that the southern plates bring better money. States like Miss, Ga, Al, Tenn and Fl. do the best. Now to my plate...Tennessee plates 26 thru 28 were marked front and rear on the plate for some reason. This is the only years for Tenn. with the front & rear markings. Mine was also professionally restored. A matched set of these plates will bring up to $400. He wasn't sure which other states have front & rear marked on their plates since he only collects Tenn. Northern plates are also more plentiful due to population years ago, which keeps the prices down. Before you comment, Yes I am running a front plate on the rear and it is registered to my car. Tenn. does not recognize the markings anymore. Just some additional info.
Hi All, been away for a few days but here is two of what I have as per the photos. I was told the California should get between $250 to $400 if I sell then. Its sad that we can not do that here in Australia as our DMV is only in it to get the money out of the motorist by selling the early plates. The best rip off is that you buy the old remade plate off then at any price they set up from $1k to $30K or $40K then they sting you another $400 each year to have them on your car. So they could get away with it the DMV sent out a letter to all owners with old plates issued up to 1950's telling them to hand them in as they were re-issuing new ones and as soon as they got them they resold them back to new car owners.
On the '27 California plates, it depends on if the number is in use already or not. Also, the one plate needs quite a bit of restoration, I'm notice some rust out or damage on one mounting hole and requiring repainting--that red is way too "red". '27s are popular, but not uncommon, so you're likely in the $200US range for them. If the number is in use, much less as then they are only "wall-hangers"
I've no idea on the Utah plates, but I would expect them to be much more scarce, as there weren't that many folks living in Utah at the time. Now how many car collectors are active in Utah today also effects value. I don't think it's as much a "hot-bed" of activity like California is.
In reply to some earlier comments: Charles Weisgerber says that for WA state re: YOM, only one plate is required "providing the mate is not being used elsewhere". Actually WA state allows one or two plates, but there's no restriction on the use of a duplicate plate. Use it on another car you own or simply mount it on another person's car. WA state assigns an Equipment Number for registration and doesn't rely upon the license Plate number.
M. G. Hillhouse says: "Another factor is whether the state allows YOM Plates on a car." The good news is that based on the latest review of all 50 (48?) states, it's reported that all but two states allow some use of YOM plates; Del and NJ.