Automotive

Historic Vehicle Plates - my interpretation

[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2009
835 posts
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705

Historic Vehicle Plates - my interpretation

so the act says:
(OREG 628)

"historic vehicle" means, a motor vehicle that,

(a) is at least 30 years old,

(b) is operated on a highway in parades, for purposes of exhibition, tours or similar functions organized by a properly constituted automobile club or for purposes of repair, testing or demonstration for sale,

(c) is substantially unchanged or unmodified from the original manufacturers product, and

(d) does not have attached to it year-of-manufacture plates


That describes my vehicle pretty well so I think it fits. it's a 1973. I drive it to exhibit it. I don't know whether the tours or shows are by "properly constituted" clubs, but testing is certainly a part of every single outing. I'm the mechanic on this car. It's all original except for consumables,and had one repaint.

Now.... part b) above doesn't say ONLY. I read that those are the things that define the car as historic and that is the main function of my car. But, I also just go on the odd solo drive or drive to my buddies house. I don't see anywhere the act says that it can't be used for other reasons. The spirit of the section suggests it shouldn't be a daily driver or commuter or work vehicle etc. in my interpretation.

This section is vague but that's my interpretation. I googled and found a couple of "alert status red" type articles saying they'll imprison you at Alcatraz if you aren't at a parade. nahh
15 replies
Sr. Member
Feb 17, 2004
528 posts
189 upvotes
I've resisted getting historic plates for my NSX because of the way the rules are written. My car is a garage queen and I mostly only use it to cruise around town or the occasional cars & coffee tour. This doesn't appear to apply to the rules and I'm confident Historic plates late at night are a sure fire way to get pulled over by police.

I see no other benefit of Historic plates besides saving on the yearly registration.
Member
May 14, 2012
384 posts
76 upvotes
PICKERING
I was told specifically that b) is meant to be the only uses and that the "properly constituted" basically can exclude almost anything (e.g. a cars and coffee wouldn't count). This was at Service Ontario.

I've read about the police cracking down and fining. I decided to go with full plates and pay the additional $70 per year in fees. I believe the fine is $170 if you are stopped.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2009
835 posts
81 upvotes
705
I was just browsing pics of previous years rotary and other local car shows. In the pics, I'd estimate maybe 80% of the cars have historic plates. Many quite modified. Mine is not.

It's certainly a weird offering by the MTO, or maybe some disconnect between the MTO and the HTA.
It's like they just want the challenges.

I can't imagine there's ONE example of proper use of this plate if you were to add the word ONLY at the beginning of part b), and yet they sell thousands of 'em. So again, I think most folks reading part b) are mentally inserting the word ONLY when it ain't there.

Maybe it's purposely worded vague so they can use it to pull muscle cars over to just harass 'em. lol.
Last edited by hystat on May 4th, 2021 3:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
6838 posts
3811 upvotes
Mississauga
My dad had historic plates on his 1972 Buick GS but got rid of them because of the restrictions. He ended up finding YOM plates and got them activated again. No more worries about Sunday afternoon drives and cars and coffee meets.
Deal Addict
Jun 14, 2008
3492 posts
2262 upvotes
Montreal
(b) is operated on a highway in parades, for purposes of exhibition, tours or similar functions organized by a properly constituted automobile club or for purposes of repair, testing or demonstration for sale,

This is the key isn't it? You don't have exhibit anything for the plate, test drive is fine.
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
4399 posts
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GTA
Using it to go to your buddy's is using it as a daily driver/commuter, which goes against the spirit of the law as you've already identified. Let alone the exact wording of the regulation. It gives the ways a historic vehicle can be operated. Those are it. It doesn't need to say "only".
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2009
835 posts
81 upvotes
705
derass wrote: Using it to go to your buddy's is using it as a daily driver/commuter, which goes against the spirit of the law as you've already identified. Let alone the exact wording of the regulation. It gives the ways a historic vehicle can be operated. Those are it. It doesn't need to say "only".
no, it doesn't give "the ways" in which a historic vehicle can be operated, it gives "some ways" to aid in the definition.

As long as I have another car that I commute in and use frequently, it's obvious that this isn't my daily
Deal Addict
Apr 30, 2009
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GTA
Is all this to save $102 on yearly registration (southern Ontario), or are there other benefits, like insurance savings?
$102 is pretty small compared to the annual cost of caring and feeding a toy/fun/hobby car.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2009
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705
yep, it's to save $102 a year
Deal Addict
Sep 4, 2006
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Ottawa
I use YoM plates on both my 1965s. I've had classic cars for 25 years, and would never put historic plates on.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
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Toronto
hystat wrote: no, it doesn't give "the ways" in which a historic vehicle can be operated, it gives "some ways" to aid in the definition.

As long as I have another car that I commute in and use frequently, it's obvious that this isn't my daily
But some of the ways don't make sense unless "only" is in there (in the reader's mind), in my opinion.

You wouldn't get historic plates on an older vehicle solely to test it, repair it or allow a buyer to test drive it, so the only realistic reason those are there is to form a complete list, to allow for instances where your parade car needs to be taken in to a mechanic for example. Clearly repairing, testing and selling are not exclusive to historic cars, so there would be no reason to say those things if it was just a list of examples that make a car historic rather than a complete list of all allowable activities.
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Sep 9, 2012
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Oakville, ON
hystat wrote: no, it doesn't give "the ways" in which a historic vehicle can be operated, it gives "some ways" to aid in the definition.

As long as I have another car that I commute in and use frequently, it's obvious that this isn't my daily
Since you’re convinced you’re correct just go for it.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2009
835 posts
81 upvotes
705
Manatus wrote: But some of the ways don't make sense unless "only" is in there (in the reader's mind), in my opinion.

You wouldn't get historic plates on an older vehicle solely to test it, repair it or allow a buyer to test drive it, so the only realistic reason those are there is to form a complete list, to allow for instances where your parade car needs to be taken in to a mechanic for example. Clearly repairing, testing and selling are not exclusive to historic cars, so there would be no reason to say those things if it was just a list of examples that make a car historic rather than a complete list of all allowable activities.
Your take is reminiscent of the old "flashing your hi-beams to warn of a speed trap" thing. Where for decades people and police misinterpreted the act and were scared of flashing their lights, and because they couldn't see a big upside for themselves, they just let people get speeding tickets and some got a ticket for flashing. Then it was challenged in court and poof. Every time someone flashes their lights I praise the dude that stood up for his interpretation of the law. Erring on the side of caution is fine, I'm just throwing my interpretation into the ring and appreciate yours.

I personally doubt the province invented a special plate for the five or maybe ten vehicles in the entire province that participate in the parades that would actually fit the commonly interpreted take. Again, they sell thousands of these plates and there ain't that many parades going on. I'm not sure there's even one "properly constituted" club as described in the act. In my town the parade vehicles are usually tractors that require no plates. The law is certainly vague and therefore each person should interpret it to the best of their ability.
Sr. Member
Feb 17, 2004
528 posts
189 upvotes
hystat wrote: I personally doubt the province invented a special plate for the five or maybe ten vehicles in the entire province that participate in the parades that would actually fit the commonly interpreted take. Again, they sell thousands of these plates and there ain't that many parades going on. I'm not sure there's even one "properly constituted" club as described in the act.
In Ontario there are (normally not in COVID) 100's if not 1000's of car shows and parades going on in the summer. I've been to many and there are dozens of cars with Historic plates in each. I suspect there are 1000's if not 10,000's of cars that meet the historic plate criteria.

That being said, you can get "historic plates" and be fine with occasional use. I just don't think they're worth the hassle with police pulling you over, or worse MTO doing a safety check (they will pull your plates and tow your car). If you plan to drive at night be prepared to be pulled over each time.

I have a buddy that runs historic plates and he keeps a print-out/listing of each car show in the area. Each time (many times) the police pull him over he shows them the exhibition he's driving to. Not worth the $ savings for that amount of work.
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Feb 14, 2008
277 posts
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Scarborough
mrweather wrote: My dad had historic plates on his 1972 Buick GS but got rid of them because of the restrictions. He ended up finding YOM plates and got them activated again. No more worries about Sunday afternoon drives and cars and coffee meets.
jayoldschool wrote: I use YoM plates on both my 1965s. I've had classic cars for 25 years, and would never put historic plates on.
I did the same with my classic car. I have YOM plates on them, not a fan of the historic plates due to the restrictions.

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