Low-digit license plates sought for photo project

Jordan Irazabal shows off one of his prized discoveries of a No. 10 Delaware license plate. For the past 12 years, Mr. Irazabal has been working to photograph the 3,000 lowest active Delaware license plate numbers. He eventually wants to compile all of the photographs into a coffee table-style book. (Submitted photo)

DOVER — For the past 12 years, Jordan Irazabal has been working to photograph the 3,000 lowest active Delaware license plate numbers.

“I snapped my first tag photo while attending the University of Delaware,” Mr. Irazabal said. “I was driving to class and there was an SUV in front of me with a dealer number D7,” Mr. Irazabal said. “I thought it was pretty neat. I honestly did not think much of it.”

A few months later, in 2008, plate No. 6 went on the market and sold for a great deal of money, which sparked his interest and passion for the plates.

With only 96 tag numbers left to find, he’s hoping to get help from anyone and everywhere to finally complete his hobby, which is more than a decade in the making.

“Now that I only have 96 remaining, I am heavily relying on networking,” Mr. Irazabal said. “People who have low-number tags almost always know other people who have low-number tags, and most low-number holders are happy to help me by connecting me with whoever I need to be connected.

“The last 96 will take a long time, but I’d like to ask for everyone’s help to prove me wrong on that.

Mr. Irazabal, a Wilmington resident, said most of his sightings have come from people reaching out to him at his website TheDelaware3000.org.

“To date, 677 of the sightings on my website have come from others,” Mr. Irazabal said. “I receive multiple messages every day from people around the state, showing me tags they have spotted. Many people are into low-number tags, and I am pleased to give people a central place to share that interest.”

He said about 95 percent of the people he has encountered understands and appreciates his hobby, but sometimes he does run into people who feel the opposite way.

“So people understand that me taking a picture of their tag is just that, a picture of their tag,” Mr. Irazabal said.

“Unfortunately, I have run into a handful of people who aren’t interested in participating in my project, but I’d like to make one thing clear. Everything on my page is 100 percent anonymous. I simply want to take a picture of the tag so I can include it on this fun project.”

Mr. Irazabal said that’s one of the biggest challenges he continues to face.

“I think that most people who are not interested in participating think that, somehow, their identity will be compromised, but I am here to assure them that that is not the case,” Mr. Irazabal said.

“The two big challenges I face are finding the right people to network with to find the last 96 tags and convincing people that a picture of their tag is anonymous.”

But Mr. Irazabal said he gets satisfaction from constantly being on the hunt for each plate and networking and hearing stories about the tags.

“The parents of a friend of mine have tag 5656,” Mr. Irazabal said. “The tag belonged to my friend’s mother,, who got it from her father. Since she inherited that number, she and her husband have obtained C5656 and RV5656. About six months ago, I saw an online advertisement for PC5656, and helped them obtain that also. They now have 5656, C5656, PC5656, and RV5656.”

This is a list of license plate numbers still sought by Mr. Irazabal for his project. If anyone has any information on these plates, they are asked to visit www.TheDelaware3000.org.

He said that’s been one of the most enjoyable parts of his ongoing project.

“Meeting people and hearing their stories about how they got their tag, how long it’s been in their family, what they plan to do with it in their will, and so on. It’s very interesting.”

There’s no timetable on when Mr. Irazabal will find the remaining 96 plates, but once his journey his completed, he plans to publish his findings as a photo book.

“I think it would be a great addition to anyone’s coffee table, and a great conversation starter,” Mr. Irazabal said.

“As far as any other projects, I think I’ll retire from the photo-taking realm, but I plan to stay active in the hobby as a historian.”

Arshon Howard is a freelance writer living in Dover.

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