PHOENIX – “Flagstaff, Arizona, don’t forget Winona… Kingman…” Arizona figures prominently in the lyrics to the iconic pop song celebrating the highway known as the “Mother Road.” Now Arizona gets even more attention because the new Route 66 specialty license plate has been named the Best New License Plate in the U.S.
The honor, which will be formally recognized at a 1:30 p.m. ceremony Thursday, May 25, at the northwest corner of Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in Phoenix, comes from the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association (ALPCA).
ALPCA has given the award since 1970. ALPCA members worldwide vote based on the overall attractiveness of the plate design and its legibility as a tool for public safety and law enforcement. This is the third time for Arizona to win this award. The general issue plate introduced in 1996 and the Centennial plate introduced in 2011 also received Best Plate Awards.
ALPCA’s President Cyndi McCabe stated, “I’m delighted to announce that the state of Arizona is this year’s recipient of ALPCA’s Best Plate Award for their historic Route 66 specialty license plate. The plate’s visually appealing retro design particularly resonated with our members for its tribute to the legendary Mother Road.”
The Route 66 plate was introduced in late 2016 and has been a strong seller among specialty plates. As of the end of April, more than 3,000 had been sold, and more than $51,000 had been raised to support preservation efforts for the highway that crosses iconic northern Arizona landscapes and historic communities.
Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division Director Eric Jorgensen said, “Route 66 carried more than cars, it carried peoples’ lives and millions of their stories. Even though its use as a major highway ended long ago, its ability to be an inspiration endures. We’re honored to be part of the effort to preserve this historic roadway by offering this award-winning plate.”