California license plates back in black from 60s

The state Department of Motor Vehicles is preparing to go retro when it brings back the old black background license plates for motorists.

The black plates with yellow lettering from the 1960s qualified this week to be sold after enough applications for the old-school plates were turned into the DMV. Now, owners of sporty Mustangs, classic Camaros or cute Nash Metropolitans won’t have to suffer the indignity of bearing today’s white plates.

For the black plate to be issued, a total of 7,500 applications had to be turned in. As of Friday, 7,549 applications had been approved.

The black plates cost $50 to pre-order. The fee gets a motorist either a personalized plate or a sequentially numbered and lettered plate.

The plates won’t be sent out immediately, since the ramp-up and production of the black plates could take a year.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles sponsored the bill in 2012 to create the legacy plate program.

“This is an easy way for the state to enable everyone from the backyard restorer, to the nostalgic, to the purchaser of a retro-styled automobile to add that extra bit of detail for those of us who appreciate the classic era of automobile design,” said Gatto in a press release.

Two other plates under consideration for re-minting -- the blue plates with yellow lettering from the 70s and yellow plates with black lettering from the 50s -- have not reached the 7,500 application level. Both of those classic plates have less than 2,000 applications approved.

Those plates have until January 2015 to make the 7,500 threshold.