Best Plate of 2021: Delaware

By Gus Oliver (#8407), Best Plate Award Coordinator

The winner of the 2021 Best Plate Award is Delaware’s “Support Pollinators” design. This plate costs an additional fee of $50, of which $35 goes toward raising funds for pollinator habitat creation and conservation. Delaware’s primary pollinators are bees. Coincidentally, last year’s winner honored another pollinator, the monarch butterfly. These are the first two insect-themed Best Plate Award winners.

Many members reported positive reviews of this plate from their wives. It certainly scores well on legibility. Others commented that it was a nice contrast to Delaware’s long standing general issue of gold on dark blue. Scott Zillmer (#11753) commented, “This plate has maximum legibility with all messages clearly readable and a good size. The artwork is realistic and beautiful yet constrained at the edges to not interfere with the registration. The message is perfectly in tune with the artwork.” ALPCA President Cyndi McCabe (#8000) stated, “Congratulations to the State of Delaware for winning ALPCA’s 2021 Best Plate Award for their colorful and highly legible specialty plate, featuring native wildflower and pollinator species.”

This year represents Delaware’s second win. Their first victory was in 2008 for the “Century of License Plates” plate.

Michigan’s “Water-Winter Wonderland” plate took the initial lead as I tallied votes, but each day Delaware gained more of an edge, quickly surpassing Michigan until it appeared inevitable that it would be the winner. It was almost a three-way tie for second place with Michigan scoring two points ahead of Ohio, which was only three points ahead of Florida.

I received a number of comments on what a good lineup of entries we had this year. I must agree, but without your nominations we would have no contest at all. I especially appreciated this comment from Ron Barsotti (#6903): “All the plates are good looking, legible and tight. Probably the best I have seen in the last couple of years.”

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote and/or nominate a plate, and also to the board for entrusting me with this responsibility for over eleven years. It can be time consuming, but also rewarding when I receive so many “thank you” comments on the ballots and emails.


  1. Delaware (648 points)
  2. Michigan (435 points)
  3. Ohio (433 points)
  4. Florida (430 points)
  5. Maine (367 points)
  6. Nebraska (319 points)
  7. Montana (284 points)
  8. Oregon (268 points)
  9. Minnesota (265 points)
  10. South Dakota (261 points)
  11. Virginia (249 points)
  12. West Virginia (214 points)
  13. Iowa (173 points)
  14. Wisconsin (65 points)