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ALPCA's Best Plate of 2017

Vote Your Favorite Best New Plate

By Gus Oliver #8407, Best Plate Award Coordinator

us hi_volcanoes us id_general us il_general us nm_chili pepper us nv_great reno balloon race us ok_bison us sd_destiny us tn_dolly us tx_100 years us wa_steelhead us wi_cancer us wy_general ca bc_bear ca mt_basketball for life ca pe_antique au nsw_beach scene jp_2020 tokyo olympics

Wow!! I am excited to say that, for 2017, we have the best lineup of plates from which to choose. Twenty-one license plates were nominated from 17 jurisdictions to compete for the award of the best new license plate of 2017. Only one plate is allowed per jurisdiction to avoid confusion, so it was necessary to eliminate four plates. The nominees are from 12 U.S. states, 3 Canadian provinces, 1 Australian state and the Country of Japan.

As always, the criteria for this contest are both legibility and attractiveness. Even the most attractive plate fails to serve its basic purpose of identification if the plate number or name of the jurisdiction cannot be read. I would normally convene a committee reduce the number of plates to a more manageable group as well as eliminate some of the plates that are not particularly attractive and/or have legibility issues. However, they were all truly attractive and legible, so I felt it was best to let you choose from all of them. Be sure to read Charles Lotsof's companion article in which he has done an outstanding job of identifying characteristics which affect the legibility of a plate.

Of the plates nominated, the Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico Chili and Wyoming plates are general issues. However, for New Mexico there are 2 older designs still available at no extra charge for new registrations. An antique vehicle plate from Prince Edward Island in Canada was entered. This is the first time an antique vehicle plate has been nominated (see last issue for more on this plate). Optional plates on the ballot are: British Columbia Kermode Bear plate (1 of 3 new Park plates), Hawaii Volcanoes National Park plate (1 of 2 new Park plates), Manitoba Basketball for Life, Nevada Great Reno Balloon Race, the Oklahoma Bison (Pioneers of the Prairie) plate, South Dakota Dignity plate, Tennessee plate supporting Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, Texas plate dated 1917 to commemorate 100 years of license plates, Washington's Steelhead trout and Wisconsin Cancer Cure license plate. This group is rounded out with Australia's New South Wales Beach Scene license plate (different from last year's entry but part of the same series) and a plate from Japan to raise funds for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

When two or more optional plates are nominated from the same jurisdiction, only the more popular plate is eligible for entry. Plates that were eliminated are: British Columbia Purcell Mountains Park, Hawaii Haleakala National Parks, the newly designed Oklahoma Animal Friendly and the Washington Aviation plates.

In the past, two of our winners were later redesigned as the result of poor legibility from a distance. The plates looked fine up close. To avoid a similar situation in the future, I would suggest that you view these plates from across the room to get a more realistic perspective of how the plates would appear in actual circumstances. This would apply to not only the legibility but the attractiveness as well.

Several of the nominations lacked quality photos of actual plates. The images were improved as much as possible. Rather than excluding any plates, we have used the best we could find, or photos of samples. Although photos of real plates are preferred, I ask that you judge each plate on the contest criteria and not let your vote be affected by which plates are samples. The photos will also be posted on the ALPCA website along with a copy of this article.

This program is one of the few ways we can have a positive impact on DMV officials, so I encourage everyone to vote. The deadline for me to RECEIVE your ballot by regular mail or email to is March 3rd at midnight, CST. Due to publication deadlines, I regret that any ballots received after that date cannot be included in the official results. Once the results are tabulated and the winning jurisdiction has been notified, the results will be released on the announcement and discussion lists along with being posted on our website. I thank you in advance for your participation. Please take a few minutes and vote now

Thanks to the following members for nominating a plate and/or supplying a photo: George Balsamo, Danny Beard, Adriaan Bergink, Dale Brigger, Pierre Delacote, Keith Dickson, Alexander Gehr, Joe Hurd, John Kelly, Brent Kirchner, Steve Lebsack, Earnie MacAuley, Q. Brian Miller, Andrew Osborne, Ronald Pressler, Jack Roberts, Chuck Sakryd, "Tiger" Joe Sallmen, Renea Saxon, Mike Sells, Dan Steele, Cody Stoff, Wes Smitherman, Ken Stratton, Michael Wiener and David Wilkinson. If you contributed in any way and I omitted your name, please let me know and it will be included in the announcement article.

Last updated: Monday, 05-Feb-2018 15:47:29 UTC

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