According to American Collector Insurance, one of the highly regarded Classic car insurers, the three classifications are defined by the following:
Vintage Cars: Manufactured between 1919 and 1930. Cars restored to their original manufacturer specification constitute as vintage.
Antique Cars: Manufactured over 45 years ago. Originals and restored cars that conform to the original manufacturer specifications classify as Antique.
Classic Cars: Manufactured over 20 years ago.
If your vehicle meets these qualifications, you can apply for a Historical Status with your local government. The official qualifications vary state by state. In general, a vehicle needs to be above a certain age and cannot be driven for general transportation, only for maintenance and automotive shows or events of that nature. If granted, you’ll be provided a special license plate decorated with a Historical Status decal indicating the vehicles registration.
Having your car registered with the state as a historical vehicle can appreciate the value as it legitimizes the distinction. There are also financial benefits to the historical registration such as reduced insurance costs and a one-time registration for life of the vehicle.
If you have a historical vehicle and are interested getting it registered, check online for your state’s registration qualifications.