Plymouth 400 License Plate Auction Kicks off April 19th

Low-numbered and historically significant plates up for bid
Rendering of the "Plymouth 400" license plate (Courtesy of Plymouth 400, Inc.)

Beginning this month, Massachusetts drivers will have the opportunity to secure a coveted low-numbered license plate while also supporting the 400th anniversary of one of the most historically significant moments in American history; the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony. Numbers 1 through 99 of the 2020 Anniversary License Plate will be open to the public for online bidding beginning Wednesday, April 19, 2017. In addition to the first ninety-nine low numbers, ten additional plates representing historically significant dates will also be up for auction. All items will be open to public bidding via MyPlymouthPlate.org.

Bidding will culminate at a live auction event at the New England Historic Genealogical Society headquarters in Boston on Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 6PM—10PM, during which all 109 plates will be put on the auction block and the highest bidders will walk away with the Commonwealth’s newest low-numbered plates. Space at the live auction is limited and tickets may be reserved beginning May 1st via MyPlymouthPlate.org. Online and telephone bidding will be available through J. James Auctioneers and Appraisers for those who cannot attend the event in person.

These specialty plates are available to Massachusetts registered private passenger vehicles and feature the Plymouth 400 logo; a blue image of the Mayflower ship with a Native person’s silhouette in front of it. All 2020 Commemorative plates begin with the letters “PL” for “Plymouth” or “Pilgrim Landing”. The full list of plates to be auctioned off are as follows:

  • Numbers 1 through 99
  • 1620, the year of the Mayflower voyage and founding of Plymouth Colony
  • 1621, the year of the first Harvest Feast, which is widely known as the First Thanksgiving
  • 1623, the year in which families were reunited and the Colony grew with the arrival of the ships Anne and Little James
  • 1627, the year in which the first census was recorded, and leaders allotted land to families and adult single men, resulting in new farmsteads outside of Plymouth and triggering the creation of new communities and townships
  • 1820, the 200th anniversary of Plymouth Colony, which inspired national attention to the Pilgrim story
  • 1824, the year Pilgrim Hall Museum opened; it is America’s oldest continuously-operating museum, which honors the Nation’s founding and preserves Plymouth Colony history
  • 1863, the year of Abraham Lincoln’s famous Thanksgiving Proclamation, which identified the Pilgrims as the forefathers of Thanksgiving
  • 1920, the year of the 300th anniversary of Plymouth Colony, which drew enormous crowds and a sitting president to the community
  • 1957, the year England gifted Mayflower II to America
  • 2020, the quadricentennial of the oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in America

The auction is a fundraiser for Plymouth 400, Inc., the nonprofit organization formed to lead the planning and execution of the events and programs commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and founding of Plymouth Colony; events that significantly shaped the building of America.
The 2020 Commemorative License Plates made their debut on Massachusetts-registered vehicles in November 2015, after a two-year campaign to secure the initial 1,500 plates required by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles in order to have the plates manufactured and distributed. The plates have since been popular, particularly on the South Shore and on Cape Cod; communities within those boundaries of the original Plymouth Colony.

In addition to the low-numbered and historically significant plates being auctioned off, 2020 Commemorative License Plates are available for general purchase through all Massachusetts RMV full-service branches or online at www.myplymouthplate.com. There is a $40 fee when purchasing the plate, and $28 of that fee goes directly to Plymouth 400; each time the plate is renewed, Plymouth 400 receives the full $40 fee.


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