GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

August 31, 2013

Cape Ann could get license plate

Proceeds would be used to promote area

By Marjorie Nesin
Staff Writer

---- — Those who stick Cape Ann and “Glosta” decals to their car windows will soon find a new way to sport their island pride, with a Cape Ann specialty license plate scheduled to join the mix of specialty plates the state offers through its Registry of Motor Vehicles.

The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, leading the effort to get Cape Ann residents and fans a plate, has formed a Cape Ann License Plate task force and is reaching out to local artists and anyone with a plate idea for design submissions.

The license plate design competition is open to all who love and treasure Cape Ann, including residents and visitors, professional and amateur artists and graphic designers, the young and the young at heart, according to the chamber’s senior vice president, Peter Webber.

“We’re going to be reaching out in particular to our Cape Ann arts organizations and people in our cultural districts, but we’re also reaching out to our universities in the area and our high schools,” Webber said. “We want to encourage everyone to be a part of this.

The chamber is inviting the submission of design ideas to create a “distinctive and compelling image” for Cape Ann’s special license plate until Oct. 15.

All proceeds from the special Cape Ann license plate will be used to market and promote Cape Ann’s communities — Gloucester, Essex, Manchester and Rockport.

The first time a supporter purchases the plate, $12 of the $40 specialty plate fee goes to the Registry of Motor Vehicles for its work on manufacturing the plate. But, every following year that the vehicle owner renews the specialty plate, the full $40 comes back to the Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber plans to then use that money to promote Cape Ann.

The RMV contracts with 3M to assist in the design and manufacture of special license plates. Designs are contained on reflective sheeting on the aluminum plates. All Cape Ann license plate design submissions must conform to the design specifications and restrictions.

The Cape Ann License Plate task force will review all design submissions and choose three finalists, whose designs will be submitted to the community for a final round of public input.

The winning designer wins $1,000, and two runners-up each receive $250. Prizes will be awarded upon issuance of the first Cape Ann license plates.

Once the design is finalized, the Chamber will need to prove to the state that at least 1,500 people are interested in purchasing a Cape Ann specialty plate, in order for the Registry of Motor Vehicles to pay the upfront manufacturing costs.

“Our core market is people who live and work here on Cape Ann, but we certainly are going to be reaching out too and hope people who make their second home here or just love to visit the area may support us by buying a Cape Ann license plate,” Webber said.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3451, or mnesin@gloucestertimes.com.