Maryland’s Protect the Chesapeake License Plate Selected Best Plate of 2018

MDOT MVA & Chesapeake Bay Trust Recognized for Creative Partnership Supporting the Environment

News Release, Maryland Department of Transportation, MVA

Glen Burnie, MD (June 11, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust were honored today by the Automobile License Plate Collector’s Association (ALPCA) with its Best Plate of 2018 Award for the new Protect the Chesapeake license plate design. The award recognizes how license plates serve an important role in identifying vehicles, and also provide a colorful snapshot of state geography and culture. 

“MDOT MVA is honored to receive this award for this unique license plate design,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “Today’s recognition is a great example of how creativity, collaboration and hard work can create positive benefits for both people and the environment.”

The 2018 Protect the Chesapeake license plate was unveiled in October and can be purchased through MDOT MVA and the Bay Trust websites. The award-winning design was the culmination of a process that engaged Maryland-based artists and incorporated input from thousands of Marylanders, resulting in more than 250 potential designs. TM Designs, a Frederick-based design firm and member of the Maryland State Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, created the winning design. More than 30,000 of the plates have been sold, with proceeds benefiting the Chesapeake Bay Trust as it works to restore Maryland’s shorelines, provide environmental education for students and fund the beautification of local rivers and streams.

“The Chesapeake Bay Trust is proud to have the Chesapeake Bay Plate honored by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association,” said Jana Davis, executive director of the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Trust. “The process to create the final product was truly a partnership of many, and we accept this award in recognition of the input and effort of MDOT MVA, TM Designs, the Maryland Correctional Enterprises, law enforcement agencies and many other partners.”

“Congratulations to Maryland for winning ALPCA’s 2018 Best Plate Award for the redesigned Protect the Chesapeake license plate, which features the iconic blue crab and Chesapeake Bay Bridge,” said ALPCA President Cyndi McCabe. “The visually appealing and highly legible embossed plate surpassed plates from 10 states, two Canadian provinces and Japan to become the top vote-getter among our membership.”

The Automobile License Plate Collectors Association is the largest license plate collector’s organization in the world, with 2,849 members from 50 states and 19 countries. Founded in 1954, the organization is dedicated to the promotion of license plate collecting and the exchange of information and plates.

Funds raised through the sale of the Chesapeake Bay Plate help the Chesapeake Bay Trust provide about 400 grants per year to schools, faith-based organizations, civic associations, homeowners associations, watershed groups, environmental organizations and others. For more information on the Bay Trust, go to

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