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    Bids for low-number Cape and Islands license plates reach almost $13,000

    How much would you pay for the license plate of your dreams?

    For low-number Cape and Islands plates, people are bidding as high as $12,760, as of Thursday afternoon.

    The plates up for auction, numbered one through 999, are part of the “IC” series and have never before been issued.


    If you want a number that’s special to you, or if you think having a single digit on your license plate will make your beat-up car look classier, act fast, because bidding for the plates ends Friday at 5 p.m.

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    Bids on single and double-digit numbers are in the thousands, but if your lucky number happens to be in the triple digits, you could be sporting it on your license plate for less than $200.

    The auction is in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of the specialty Cape and Islands license plates, said Wendy Northcross, chief executive of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

    Northcross said the Cape and Islands plate is especially popular because of its design, which features Eastham’s Nauset Lighthouse.

    Although seemingly simple, it’s the state’s most popular specialty plate, with more than 42,000 on the road since they were introduced in 1996.


    “Some people tell us, ‘Oh, we just love the lighthouse,’ ” Northcross said.

    Jay Coburn, the executive director of the Cape Cod Community Development Partnership, attributed the popularity of the plates to vacationers’ affinity for the Cape.

    “Half of the second homes in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are on Cape Cod, so we have a huge population of part-timers here . . . and it’s a really important part of their lives,” he said.

    Whether you want the plate to show your love for the Cape or to spruce up your ride, the money you bid will be used for good.

    “All the proceeds go to economic development or tourist promotion” on the Cape and Islands, Northcross said.


    Proceeds will fund upkeep of visitor centers, business counseling services, loans to small businesses, and affordable housing projects.

    The winner of each plate will be notified automatically as soon as bidding closes Friday.

    Alyssa Meyers can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ameyers_.