The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce announced today the kick-off of the organization’s initiative to create a special Cape Ann License Plate. Following months of preliminary planning work, including the creation of a Cape Ann License Plate task force and consultations with the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), the Chamber is now moving into the design and public outreach phase of the license plate drive.

From now through October 15 the Chamber is reaching out to the Cape Ann community at large, inviting the submission of design ideas to create a distinctive and compelling image for Cape Ann’s special license plate. 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.

All proceeds from the special Cape Ann license plate will be used for the sole purpose of marketing and promoting Cape Ann and the Cape Ann communities of Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport. ‘There is tremendous support and enthusiasm among the Chamber’s Board of Directors for this initiative, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to raise a significant and sustained new source of funding to support Cape Ann tourism,’ said Chamber C.E.O. Robert Heidt.

The RMV contracts with 3M to assist in the design and manufacture of special license plates, and 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 detailed here. The RMV advises: ‘When it comes to the design of license plates, Simple is Better!’

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 will win a prize of $1,000, while the two runners up will receive prizes of $250 each. (Please note that prizes will be awarded upon issuance of the first Cape Ann license plates.)

‘With so many creative Cape Ann people putting their artistic and design talents into this initiative, the new Cape Ann license plate is certain to become a top seller, not only locally but across the state,’ said Chamber President Ed Collard.

The Massachusetts special license plate program is authorized and guided by the provisions of section 2F of Chapter 90 of the Massachusetts General Laws. Under the law, once the Cape Ann license plate design has been selected and approved, the Chamber must collect at least 1,500 applications (together with the $40 special plate fee with each application) before manufacture and distribution of the special Cape Ann can begin. The application fees will be held in escrow until the 1,500 threshold is reached.

For further information contact Peter Webber at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce at