New Mexico's Chile License Plate Wins for the Second Time Since 2011

On March 21, 2018, the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association (ALPCA) announced that the state of New Mexico had won the title of America’s Best License Plate Award for 2017 for the “Chile Capital of the World” license plate.

Since its introduction in July 2017, the plate has been issued over 140,000 times according to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). Nathan Van Dam, a junior at Eastern New Mexico University majoring in business management, said, “I think it’s a beautiful plate and the award is very well deserving! Green chile is one of my most favorite things to eat, and it’s our state’s pride and joy. It’s really cool how we get to show off to the world just what New Mexico is known for.”

While 17 license plates were nominated, including the second place winner of Hawaii, about half of the ALPCA judges chose the New Mexico plate as one of their 3 picks. The win marks the second time the state of New Mexico has taken the title, winning previously in 2011 for their turquoise centennial plate. “It is my pleasure to announce that the state of New Mexico’s new ‘Chile Capitol of the World’ standard license plate is the winner of this year’s Best Plate Award,” said ALPCA president, Cyndi McCabe. “The plate is simply stunning, with its unusual black background and embossed yellow letters and numbers accented by colorful red and green chile peppers.”

Gov. Susana Martinez was excited to receive the award on behalf of New Mexico. “Chile plays a significant role in our state’s culture and is one of our greatest treasures…this license plate lets the world know that New Mexico is without a doubt the Chile Capital of the World.”

For more information on how to obtain a “Chile Capital of the World” license plate as well as possible fees, visit

More News