Vanity plate charity raises thousands of dollars for local organizations

These low numbered license plates were auctioned off to raise money for the Cape and Islands. — Courtesy Pam Shapiro

The Cape and Islands license plate celebrated its 20th anniversary with a five-day online auction of low-numbered plates that ended on Friday, August 18. According to a press release, the Cape and Islands License Plate Marking Committee sold 746 “sought-after” plates and collected $386,500 from 1,232 bidders.

Proceeds from the sales will go to preserving and protecting the Cape and Islands, fund job creation, provide business assistance, fund visitor services, and support workforce training programs.

“We are very excited with the outcome of this charitable online auction,” said Wendy Northcross, chairman of the Cape & Islands License Plate Committee. “Many of the bidders selected numbers with special significance to them. Others selected number combinations representing their anniversaries or birthdays, and several bidders purchased the plate as a gift for a loved one. Interestingly enough, the low number that saw the most bidding action was IC Plate No. 722.”

Introduced in 1996, the Cape and Islands license plate has remained the most successful specialty license plate in Massachusetts, with over 42,000 plates on the road. The well-known plate has generated more than $23 million since its inception, and plate sales have benefited more than 200 different local organizations.

The plate features Eastham’s Nauset Lighthouse, along with the cliffs of Siasconset on Nantucket and Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard.

To donate to or learn more about the Cape and Islands License Plate, visit