New Martha’s Vineyard specialty license plate unveiled

The Registry of Motor Vehicles will not produce the plates until there are 1,500 preorders.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles approved this design.

Following an extensive selection and design process, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has approved Martha’s Vineyard specialty license plates that will benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Service, the Island’s social service umbrella agency.

The winning license plate design was created by seasonal Island resident and frequent MV Times contributor Gwyn McAllister. It features a scene all Islanders would recognize – a ferry on the sea, with a gull hovering above.

“There are so many iconic images of the Island, but I was looking for something that was representative of the Vineyard as a whole,” said Ms. McAllister, a freelance journalist and copywriter who splits her time between Oak Bluffs and New York City.  “The Steamship is a common denominator and a part of just about everyone’s Vineyard experience. Every car here came on the ferry at some point so I thought it was an appropriate symbol for a license plate.”

Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) launched the campaign last year and received dozens of compelling designs. A panel of judges representing all the Island’s towns picked the winner based on several criteria, including the design’s creativity and its qualities when viewed on a license plate.

The RMV approval means that motorists can now pre-order the specialty license plate through and via paper application. Before the plates can be produced, 1,500 pre-orders need to be collected along with a $40 special plate fee. The fees will be held in escrow until the 1,500 threshold is reached. Once that number is achieved, it will take approximately six months for the plates to reach the registry branches.

Of the $40 initial registration fee, $12 goes to cover the state’s production cost of the plate and $28 returns to MVCS and other Island non-profits. There is an additional one-time $20 swap fee charged by the state when applicants pick up their plate at their local RMV. When motorists renew their special plates every two years, that entire $40 tax-deductible fee will benefit Martha’s Vineyard non-profits.

MVCS serves as the principal non-profit sponsor of its license plate initiative. Revenue generated from the license plate will be used for funding its vital programs and a range of support services for individuals and families all over the Island, according to a press release. In keeping with the agency’s community-minded spirit, MVCS has committed to donating a portion of net proceeds to other Island non-profits that benefit youth and elders.

To register for your special Martha’s Vineyard license plate or for more information visit Email with any questions.