Authentic YOM Plates


It’s emails like this that make me smile. Thinking back, I really had no big vision for I was working in San Francisco, CA at a design agency. Many late nights pushing pixels for things I didn’t believe in; I’d be thinking about my own ’67 Beetle restoration and working with my hands. The idea of “maybe I should create a site to share my own story” happened organically. Anyway.. Thank you. -E


Just wanted to say hello and say that your efforts to honor and revere the 1967 Beetle is much appreciated. To that end, I thought I would share this with the rest of our 1967 Beetle brothers and sisters out there. My first Bug was in 1964.

The short story: I recently scored what I consider to be The Holy Grail of personalized license plates, in my case – 1967 BUG These were obtained through the recently activated California DMV “Legacy” program. They cost $50 for the initial order, then a $40 annual retention fee, plus annual registration, my total: $120 (my original annual registration was only $18) Took about six months to get plates and I had to pick them up at my local DMV as I was required to turn in my old White plates. Even the DMV lady was really Jazzed when she saw them. I asked her for the original DMV envelope which she was about to toss. The “Legacy” program is separate and different from the DMV “YOM” (Year of Manufacture) program which allows a corresponding year of old and non-registered plates to be re-assigned. Jerry

The longer story

A little over a year ago the California State Legislature finally passed the California “Legacy” license plate series program, which gave the DMV the go ahead to issue special sequential and custom personalized license plates from/for three important base plate issue time periods in California beginning with the: 1) 1956 to 1962 series of Yellow field with 6 black characters, steel plate. 2) Then the 1963 to 1969 series, Black field with 6 yellow characters, steel plate (some very late plates were aluminum). 3) Last of the three was the 1970 to 1980 series Blue field with 6 yellow characters, aluminum plates.

The “Legacy” program came to fruition through the long-time and tireless efforts of many dedicated car collectors and car clubs, including The Alfa Romeo Association of America, of which I am also a member.

The California DMV based their “Legacy” production offering on how many pre-orders they received for a given series to make start-up production practical. Their minimum number was 7500 pre-orders The only series reaching this requirement was the 1963 to 1969 Black plate series, debatably the most important period of the three. So, this means that a collector can now have a brand new set of correct era, reissue California license plates in either standard sequential or custom layout for their Muscle Cars and other Customs. The “Legacy” series Black plates look exactly the same as the original 1963-1969 base plates, but utilize reflective black paint and are missing the “63” year stamped in the indent recess for the year and month sticker.

I, of course, originally wanted the personalized plate version that read: 1967 BUG, sort of the Holy Grail of Beetle plates, but in checking on-line discovered it wasn’t available because it was already registered in the “Vanity” white personalized plate program from some years earlier. So, I opted for “1967 VW”, which was available according to the DMV database online. But, when I went to pay for it online, I could not complete my credit card transaction because the site was having technical problems, not uncommon for them. Being after hours, I called the DMV in Sacramento the next morning and was transferred to the Specialized Plate section, “Legacy” series program.

(You’ll like this)

I spoke with a very nice lady and explained the problem, and in checking her database she indeed confirmed that plate “1967 VW” was available and the DMV website had been having problems for several days. I asked if I could then reserve the plate over the phone with her and she said I could if I mailed my completed application and $50 fee to her attention, she would hold it for me for a few days until payment arrived. I thanked her and mentioned in passing that what I had really originally wanted was “1967 BUG”, but explained the DMV website said it was unavailable. She said, let me check my database on that one, too. Wooa! She said it’s coming back as “available”. I politely contradicted her because I had just checked it online. She said well, sometimes online isn’t as up to date as our main database, so she checked again and confirmed it had indeed been recently surrendered by the owner of the “Vanity” series plate holder and was available. WOW! An angel chorus soared in my head as I told her that’s the one I wanted.

It took about six months for the plates to finally arrive and they were perfect. I had ordered them with a half space between 1967 and BUG. They are impressive to drivers in general, but a jaw dropper to other Bug owners. They look sooo much better then boring white plates and just so totally fit the feel and look of the car. I can’t park the car anywhere without someone leaving their business card or a note offering to buy it.

Three rules I have with this car: 1) I never park it next to another car. 2) I never park it out of my sight. 3) I always use the kill switch. The only way you could truly appreciate this is if you’d ever had your 67 Beetle stolen, stripped and damaged, like I have -Twice! which is another story, but hope you enjoy this one!


Very kind regards to all my wonderful, Fellow 67′ Lovers, Jerry

I had to pick up the plates at our local DMV last Wednesday, and it was a soaring chorus of angel voices when the tech took them out of the envelope. I had them on the kitchen table for four days just enjoying them as I past by. I just put the stickers on them last night and will mount them today. The “1967 Volkswagen” license plate frame known as “Mr. Bubblehead” is also extremely rare, near impossible to find anymore and can sell for $200+ if you can find one. Back in the day, Volkswagen sued the frame maker, ending production early, making them quite rare. They could probably be reproduced now if the VW logo was removed.

Extremely rare local VW/Porsche logo dealer frame from the 1960s

Flash shows reflective black paint.

Italian style turn signal covers, rare vert Day/Night flip mirror, correct European style hinge mount outside mirrors, OYO running board trim, Hella H-2 headlights, SB-12 rings, correct 67 only hood handle, cigar lighter, Sapphire VI AM-FM mono one-year only radio, 1967 AA Club badge, on and on. This is an early 1967 vert as compared with the1967½ with roll tube rear channel.

I stopped counting my resto cost after $30k, and I did most of the work.

Local car show: Twin carb, 1776, W/Santana, Engle 100 cam, retained original 1500cc.

Just so you know: A convertible with a headliner, say like a Bug or Karmann Ghia, is correctly called a Cabriolet

Short-throw stick, German shift pattern knob, Australian beige horn button, correct 67 seat covers w/Burgundy velour inserts, correct front and rear seat belts, matching non-stock color steering wheel and dash handle.







Posted by Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I started Air-Cooled Artifacts (previously, and Lane Russell). I drive a '67 Beetle daily and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

  1. What an awesome story! Thank you for sharing with us Jerry. Beautiful car, along with a beautiful woman to match!

  2. Richard A. (Dick) Diaz February 5, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Wow! Great story! I started out applying for a Legacy Plate when they first were made available. But, about 1/2 way through my wait a set of YOM Plates became available and I opted for that program. Now, after reading this, I wish I would have known the Legacy Plate could be personalized because your story triggered some possibilities. Even though I cancelled my order I still did receive a call from an equally nice lady from the DMV giving me one more opportunity to obtain a Legacy Plate! She told me she noticed that I had a YOM Plate, but thought she would ask me just in case I changed my mind. When I thanked her for the call she said she was pretty sure I would stick with the YOM. Somewhere in the back of my mind I suspected she was a “Car Lady” and maybe even a Vintage VW Lady! I was thankful, like you were Jerry, that the stereotype DMV employee was broken by these two DMV employees! Maybe it was the same lady, but I would like to believe “positive customer contacts” are becoming contagious in the California DMV!

  3. I know the feeling, I once owned a personal plate, one only in the province of Ont. Canada. It cost $250.00 total. Is it the same in US. One only in California.Wow.Bob Ebert

  4. Our stock Lotus white 67 SNR was purchased new at Chick Iverson’s in New Port. Have a repro dealer frame. Enjoy the ice breaker “What year is it” from old VW owners and their VW story. Their are days you can’t help but feel like a celebrity. Tucson, Jeff

    1. Jeff,
      Funny! I ran into a few ’67 owners in Austin, TX before we moved. I’d act stupid, but then mention that I run this site. It seems other ’67 owners know about it. (Smile) It’s about as close to “celeb” status as I’ll get.. Fun!

  5. Interesting story. My ’67 was originally sold in California. It was registered through 1983 when I took it off the road. I recently got it running and went to get it licensed again. Because I had documentation showing that the plates were originally assigned to the car, I was able to retain my plates without going through the YOM program.

    1. Rick…I am happy to hear that your ’67 Beetle is now back on the road after being dormant for so long! Your experience with the car and license plates proves that good documentation is worth the effort! Thanks for your encouragement to the rest of us to keep records. I bet that your Beetle would enjoy having its Story told on Contact Eric and see how easy it will be to set-up and publish Your Story. jay salser

      1. Thanks Jay. I would love to share our story. I was thinking maybe in August of this year as it will be 40 years that I’ve owned her and (hopefully) there will be some coming full circle events that will be cool to share.

        1. Wonderful, Rick! When you are ready, just contact Eric and he will get the process started.We try to make it easy. There is the need for a few good resolution photos of your car and at least one of these should include a good photo of you. Maybe you have a photo of the car when it was new. Maybe you also have a photo of the Bug when it “when the garage doors were opened” after such a lengthy storage. Include some of the history of the car–how you came to own it, the years you drove it and why you stored it for so many years. And–it’s always exciting to hear how such a stored vehicle was revived and put back into service. Once you get started, I think that a lot of “lost” details will come to mind. In the meantime–stay tuned to jay

          1. Sounds good. I actually have a fair amount of documentation. The car has some history. One question for you though. In browsing the site, I notice that most of the cars are fairly stock. This one has been a traditional Cal-Look car since I bought it. If that doesn’t fit with the site, I understand.

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