Craving a Low Digit Tag? DMV Announces Limited Release of Five Digit Plates

A limited number of 5-digit porcelain (like this one) and stainless steel black plates will be available for purchase starting on July 9th

Delaware drivers coveting the prestige of a low-digit license plate are in luck: the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be making a limited number of 5-digit tags available to the public next month.

DMV is rolling out the offering on Tuesday, July 9th, and the plates will be available on a first-come, first serve basis. All transactions must be completed in person. 


The classic, blue-and-gold aluminum plates will be available at no cost, with the ‘upscale’ black-and-white porcelain, or black-and-white stainless-steel reproduction plates (manufactured by the Delaware Historic Plate Company) for sale at $115 plus an additional $5 for the registration sticker.

DMV says “hundreds” of five-digit tags will be available as a result of previous owners leaving the state, passing away or failing to update their registrations.

Shelley Koon, a spokesperson with DMV, says the release black-and-white low-digit tags always generates a lot of interest. “Oh yes, we get a really big line, and it’s actually kind of fun because people are really excited.”

This marks the first time in 50 years that Delaware residents can obtain a stainless-steel tag for legal registration. The stainless-steel tags have a black background, DELAWARE embossed at the top, with white reflective sheeting on stainless steel riveted numbers.

This stainless steel plate, with only 4 numbers, shows what license plates using this new material would look like.

Koon says the numbers on the porcelain plates appear as bright white and more like silver on the stainless-steel plates. She adds, “You can’t dig through the plates to find a number you might like — you get the next one on the list.”

The plates will be available at the Delaware City, Dover, Wilmington and Georgetown DMV locations.

License plate numbers cannot be reserved in advance (over the phone or by email). The promotion will run only as long as plate supplies last, which DMV says can take a few days to a few weeks. 

So what are 5-digit black-and-white tags worth on the open market? Delaware Tag Traders is showing 5-digit tags for sale on their Facebook page ranging between $750 and $1.000. And provides this summary of values:

Price ranges that some of the tags have sold for:

    Single Digit:        $500,000 +
    Two Digit:            $50,000 – $300,000+
    Three Digit:         $25,000 – $100,000+
    Four Digit:           $2,500 – $20,000
    Five Digit:            $50 – $2,000

Important details to know if you wish to switch an existing license plate number to a five-digit plate:

    • Customers will be giving up their current license plate number registered to their vehicle.
    • Customers must pay applicable transfer fees.
    • Customers possessing title to their vehicles must bring their driver’s license, vehicle title, vehicle mileage, and insurance information in order to complete the plate change process.
    • Customers needing to obtain their title from their lien holder will need to go to the nearest DMV office and put a five-digit plate on hold. They must obtain an “MV35 form” from DMV and send it to their lienholder to obtain the title. The title will be mailed to DMV, who will contact the customer when it arrives. At that time, the five-digit plate can be put on the vehicle.

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