Home > /bestplate/

ALPCA's Best Plate of 2020

It's time to vote for your favorite new plate. The deadline is March 3, 2021.

Ontario Alabama Arizona Delaware Kansas New York Oklahoma Pennsylvania Washington

Vote For Your Favorite New Plate

By Gus Oliver #8407, Best Plate Award Coordinator

We have a nice lineup of plates for the Best Plate Award, particularly considering the problems resulting from COVID-19 such as the temporary shut-down of many DMVs and prison tag plants. License plates were nominated from 11 jurisdictions to compete for the award of the best new license plate of 2020. However, one of the nominations was the 2021 Inaugural plate which was ineligible as it was not issued in 2020, nor is it a truly issued plate. Another was not included as it first came out in 2018 and the latest revision was in 2019. (This is a good example of why you should be sure to nominate your favorite plate while it is still eligible.) A Japanese plate was also nominated but unfortunately just one day after the deadline. Eight of the nine qualified plates are from the United States and one is from Canada. Surely everyone can find at least one plate they like.

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. Sometimes I am questioned by members about why a plate was accepted, as they felt it was not attractive and/or not legible. However, opinions vary. We have accepted all nominations in good faith and want to let you choose from all of them with no attempt to impose any of our opinions. After all, this is YOUR contest. I just administer it. We want your participation to be a positive experience and something you will want to do every year.

Of the plates nominated, the New York and Ontario plates are the only general issues. Optional plates on the ballot are the Alabama Space Plate (Dare to Explore), Arizona Share the Road, Delaware Environmental (redesign), Kansas Windmill (vanity), Oklahoma Monarch Butterfly (Nature Conservatory), Pennsylvania Let Freedom Ring and Washington Apple Commission plates.

In the past, two of our winners were later redesigned as the result of poor legibility from a distance although the plates looked great up close. To avoid a similar situation in the future, I would suggest that you view these plates as shown in the magazine from across the room to get a more realistic perspective of how the plates might appear in real circumstances. Also, keep in mind that some plate photos do not accurately represent the true visibility, so if you think a plate looks too dark or otherwise not well qualified, you might also look online for other examples. This would apply to not only the legibility but the attractiveness as well.

A few of the nominations lacked quality photos of actually-issued plates. Rather than excluding any plates, we have used the best images 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.

Enclosed with this issue is a Best Plate Award ballot with the instructions. Please vote for your first, second and third choices. Your first choice will receive 5 points, your second choice 3 points and your third choice 1 point. The plate with the most points wins. Feel free to vote for only one or two plates if you choose. Vote either by email OR by returning the paper ballot, but not both. To vote by email, please list your first, second and third choices in that order, along with your name and ALPCA number, to Or you can fill out the ballot, scan or take a picture of it, and email it to If you vote both ways, neither of your votes will be counted. Feel free to comment on any or all of them, as I enjoy sharing as many of your comments as possible in the article with the results. Due to time constraints, I will however not be able to reply. I would suggest that international members vote by email to avoid missing the deadline due to postal delays. YOUR VOTE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AS SEVERAL PAST CONTESTS HAVE BEEN CLOSE ENOUGH THAT ONE VOTE COULD HAVE CHANGED THE WINNER.

I would like to thank the following members for participating, either by nominating a plate and/or supplying a photo or other information: Fred Agree #2951, Tom Allen #1765, Scott Broady #2979, Ed Burr #8359, Ned Flynn #2083, Joe Hurd #1925, John Kelly #3883, Marcus Payne #12011, Mike Sells #6464, Alex Truncale #13316, Jon Upton #7135, Royce Williams #10181 and Clark Wothe #6191. Many of these members were first-time participants so I want to especially thank each of you. If you contributed in any way and I omitted your name, please let me know and it will be included in the announcement 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 is March 3, 2021, 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 the ALPCA website. I thank you in advance for your participation!

Last updated: Saturday, 06-Feb-2021 20:07:40 UTC

Home | About ALPCA | Members area | Meets | FAQs | Payments | News | Links | Gallery | Hall of Fame | Changes | Site Status | Contact Us

Copyright © 1997-2021, ALPCA Inc.