DNREC's surf tag sale taps into Delaware's low-digit obsession

DNREC's surf tag sale taps into Delaware's low-digit obsession
Photo by Stephen Hocking / Unsplash

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has announced it will auction low-digit surf fishing plates starting Monday, Nov. 22, at 9 a.m., at www.usgovbid.com.

Delaware has a bit of a mania about low digit tags, with regular vehicle license plates sometimes fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The surfing tags don't go for that much, but the department said it has raised more than $500,000 since 2015 by auctioning off the tags, which support Delaware State Parks.

The year the low-digit auction for the surf tags launched, No. 2 brought in $20,500, Delaware Online reported. One bidder bought seven of them, the Cape Gazette reported.

It's not clear exactly what benefit a low number conveys, aside from the proud knowledge that you are a funder of Delaware's state parks system, but at least winners will have a surf tag. Even the ones that aren't low-digit have sold out very quickly in the past. The 17,000 annual tags sold out this year by early March, news outlets reported, and the last 1,000 of those sold out in an hour after DNREC reminded people that there was a limited supply.

You don't actually need a surf tag to go surf fishing in Delaware, although you need a fishing license, but the tag allows people to drive their vehicles onto the beach.  

Between Nov. 22 and Dec. 9, bidders will have the option to bid on 15 tags including tags 26, 54, 132, 211, 301, 454 and on nine “choice” categories, ranging from tags 51 to 9999, the department said in a news release. The highest bidder in each choice category can choose a number, if not already sold, within that category.

The minimum bid for a low-digit surf fishing plate is $250. Surf-fishing tags numbered 1 through 200 are limited to vehicles registered in Delaware.

For more information, visit www.destateparks.com/LowDigitTags or www.usgovbid.com.

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