Welcome to Delaware: Home of the $410,000 License Plate

License plates serve a purpose: to officially identify the registration of a motor vehicle. Some states include artwork on their plates — oranges in Florida, a peach in Georgia — or slogans, like “Land of Lincoln” in Illinois, or “Live Free or Die” in New Hampshire. In Delaware, however, license plates can be investments. In 2018, a license plate hit the block an an auction house, with the winning bid coming in at $410,000 — yes, nearly half a million dollars — for license plate No. 20. You have to wonder if the plate had some sort of tie to a celebrity to be worth that much, but it didn’t. It actually came from the estate of a woman who passed away, and though she was wealthy, she wasn’t a celebrity. Of course, anybody who has a tag like that is inherently a celebrity in the state of Delaware. That’s because in Delaware, it’s not so much the plate that’s worth the money, but the number that’s on it. The governor has No. 1, the lieutenant governor has No. 2, and the secretary of state has No. 3. In the 1940s and 1950s, license plates were traded as political favors, but the practice of trading and selling them has become more commonplace with time. As time has gone on, plates have increased in value. For example, in 1958 No. 20 tag was worth $5,000, compared to a value of $410,000 in 2018. Not just anyone can buy these plates, though. You have to be a Delaware resident with a Delaware driver's license. If you’re still shocked at the $410,000 price tag, that’s not the highest bid that’s been seen. A few years back, the No. 6 tag went for $675,000.