Vintage Delaware License Plates Are Valued Status Symbols

Luxury Cars: In 2008, a Delaware license plate, tag "6" sold for a staggering $675,000. While that seems like a whopping amount for a license plate, it was estimated prior to the sale that the one-digit porcelain plate would fetch as much as $1 million. The license plates are coveted one-off collectibles and instantly recognized status symbols in the nation’s First State. It is indeed a state of mind obsession and a highly valued possession.

Delaware is the only state that permits private citizens to transfer state-issued license plates among each other. Delaware first issued tags in 1909. The porcelain plates were black with white lettering. It is the porcelain that makes the states' plates distinct. Other states stopped using porcelain in making license plates in the early 1920s. Delaware used porcelain for its plates until 1946. The last porcelain plate issued by the state was number "86999."

The $675,000 transaction is not the most expensive license tag sold. A buyer in Dubai paid approximately $14.2 million for the license plate number "1" in February 2008, according to report posted by Bloomberg News. However, the hunt for low-digit and special numbers is an ongoing cultural phenomenon in Delaware.

Expensive Delaware license plates currently for sale include "9755" and "2056" for $10,500 and $10,000, respectively, at, a website that buys, sells, and trades Delaware license plates. The current Delaware tag priced highest on the website is a two-digit trailer plate, "T3," at $15,900.

James Rothaar

As an independent contractor, James has written content for and other leading online luxury lifestyle magazines. Rothaar previously served as the senior-tenured staff writer for JustLuxe, having worked with the digital magazine since 2005. He resides in Jacksonville, Florida, and works as an independent marketing consultant and a freelance writer. James Rothaar has an MBA degree...(Read More)

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