Massachusetts car owners now have an opportunity to make any car an island car, regardless of where they live. After years of trying to show his island pride on his automobile, Robert Sarkisian, a local businessman and active community member, has received the approval needed to begin collecting applications for a specialty Nantucket Island license plate.
MassDOT will begin production of the specialty Nantucket Island plate as soon as 3,000 completed applications have been received. There is a $40 registration fee for the specialty plate in Massachusetts, of which $28 will be returned to island non-‐profit organizations. $12 covers the cost of manufacturing each plate.
The proceeds from the plates will benefit Nantucket Lighthouse School and other island non-profits that benefit children. This will be done through a donor-advised fund administered by the Community Foundation for Nantucket.
Sarkisian observes, “Nantucket, the Vineyard and the Cape have a common bond, yet each has its own distinct identity and sense of community. I have been determined to have a Nantucket License Plate ever since the idea first surfaced in 2005. What a great way to show island pride! The fact that it can now also benefit Nantucket non-profits that focus on children -‐ well, it just doesn’t get any better than that.”
There had been a prior effort in 2005 for an island plate, which fell short of the threshold number of applications needed for MassDOT to begin production of the plates.
Starting in earnest in 2010, Sarkisian looked into how some group or groups might pick up the ball. After checking with the Nantucket Police Charitable Association (the original license plate sponsor) and a few other non‐profit entities on the island, Sarkisian finally found a willing organization in the Nantucket Lighthouse School, where Sarkisian had previously served as Board Chairman, to commit to the significant time and financial requirements and take on the multi‐year project.
Sarkisian and David Lazarus worked on a sketch of a right whale imposed over an image of Nantucket as the logo for the plate. The concept went to Chris Ford at Creative Pilot in Boston who then turned it into finished artwork and, after multiple submissions and revisions, the Nantucket License Plate design was finally approved by MassDOT in December 2012.
Sarkisian notes, “The task of getting a specialty plate approved is an arduous process with many requirements. With all the dedication, determination, patience and persistence, it is the hope of the Nantucket License Plate Committee that the program will be as successful as the Cape and Islands plate, so everyone with an affinity for Nantucket can show their love of the island in a new, fun way…and a meaningful and recurring funding source can benefit multiple worthy organizations right here on Nantucket.”
Visit www.nantucketlicenseplate.org to learn more and fill out an application online or print an application.