Antique Auto License Plates

 

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Tennessee    (TN)

State-shaped Antique

This unique plate was issued from about 1954 (#001) until 1958 (#1000 or higher).

1958 Antique

Standard 6 x 12" plates first appeared with the dated 1958 issue.  Number 3010 is also confirmed.

Undated Yellow on Black Antique

Similar to the '58, but without the date.  Presumably issed from ~1959 to 1961.  Numbers 10 and 2123 also confirmed.

Gold on White Antique

The ANT prefix was introduced in 1961 or 1962.  This style was apparently used until numbers reached 999.

Gold on Black undated "ANT" Antique, Type 1

The color change and the introduction of a number-letter serial format after the ANT prefix presumably happened around 1962 or 1963.

Gold on Black undated "ANT" Antique, Type 2

Here "TENN" has been shifted to the left, and the bolt slots have returned.

1964 Antique

For 1964, the plates were dated and the dies were changed.

Gold on Black undated "ANT" Antique, Type 3

Here's an undated example.  Number ANT-16H is also confirmed in this variation.  The exact sequence of the number-letter serials is unclear. 

Gold on Black undated "ANT" Antique, Type 4

This variation has "TENN" moved to the left.

Gold on Black undated "ANT" Antique, Type 5

The separator dash was dropped for the highest letters.  Note that "TENN" is centered again.  Also confirmed is # ANT99Z (the last of this fomat?).

1966 Antique

A six digit all-numeric format with leading zeros appeared in 1966.  Number 000-383 is also confirmed.

Gold on Black undated all-numeric Antique, Type 1

The "66" date was soon dropped.  Number 000-544 is also confirmed.

Gold on Black undated all-numeric Antique, Type 2

"TENN" has been centered.  Number 001-355 was issued in 1968.

Gold on Black undated all-numeric Antique, Type 3

In the early 1970s, "TENN" was moved to the top and enclosed in a state-shaped border.  All plates through this version are steel.

Gold on Black undated all-numeric Antique, Type 4

Identical layout as the previous plate, but made of aluminum.

 Blue on white undated Antique, Type 1

This nondescript dark blue on white design arrived on the scene around the late 1970s.

Blue on white undated Antique, Type 2

Similar to the plate above, but with different dies and without the raised, painted border.  Number 135-641 (issued 1982) is also confirmed.

Blue on White (1990 base) Antique

An "A" prefix was used on this aluminum plate.  In later years, the debossed "90" in the upper right was covered by a white sticker.  For 1992 and 1993, a dated "Antique" sticker was used.

Antique (Permanent)

For this version, the material was changed to steel and "PERM" was added.

Antique Auto (Permanent), Type 1

The design, legend and color scheme changed significantly with this issue.  Number 23044 is dated 2001 and is made of steel.

Antique Auto (Permanent), Type 2

A flat aluminum version (also dated 2001) followed.

Antique Auto (Permanent), Type 3

A different font for the numbers is seen in this variation (again dated 2001).

USAGE

To be eligible for an Antique Auto plate, a vehicle must be at least 25 years old with a non-modified engine and body.  The vehicle can be used for "participation in club activities, exhibits, tours, parades and similar uses; but, in no event shall the vehicle be used for general transportation."

LINKS

Tennessee Department of Revenue information about Antique plates

Tennessee legal code covering Antique Motor Vehicle registration

Online ALPCA Archives - Tennessee [requires member password]

OTHER SOURCES

ALPCA Newsletter, June 1994 issue, "Tennessee: The Volunteer State", pp 80-81, article by Roy A. Carson and John B. Northup.

Notes from Joe Sharp.

Notes from Jack Walker.

 

                       Site last updated 1-Dec-2016