Fossil museum’s Megalodon license plates now in production

Published 5:00 pm Monday, February 5, 2024

All across the southeast, drivers can take a small piece of Aurora with them wherever they go. The Aurora Fossil Museum (AFM) announced on Friday, Feb. 2 that motorists can apply for and purchase license plates with the museum’s Megalodon tooth logo. 

Cynthia Crane, executive director of AFM, said it’s “fintastic” to see the license plates on vehicles when she’s driving around town, or in the selfies people send posing with the plates.  “It’s just wonderful to see these plates actually be on the vehicles,” Crane said. 

Four years ago, during the COVID pandemic, Crane resurrected a project to create a custom license plate that had been dormant since 2011. In 2020, the General Assembly approved the license plate; however, 500 paid pre-orders were needed to make it a reality. 

The pre-orders would show Department of Motor Vehicles officials that there is enough interest in having an AFM-specific license plate and that it will encourage education in scientific topics statewide.  

“The museum has grown- its grown its visitors, its grown its reach and we thought maybe it would happen with the popularity of the museum,” Crane said in explaining why the project was re-launched in August of 2020. 

The 500 license plates came with a $30 price tag totaling $15,000. Contributing to the purchase of the plates were; the museum’s board of directors who used money from a savings account connected to the museum, an anonymous supporter and others. 

Per an earlier report from the Daily News, “All but $10 of the added cost for these license plates will be donated to the Aurora Fossil Museum. The price for the special plate, with no customization, will be $30 more than the normal cost of registering or renewing a typical North Carolina license plate. For those who want to customize the four letters or numbers on their plate, the cost will be $60 more than that of a typical state plate. The museum will receive a check from the state every three months, which will represent all the $20 and $50 donations that result from the purchase of those unique license plates.” 

Most of the money used to purchase the license plates will be recouped from the donations, Crane said. The anonymous supporter and other donors covered the cost of money the museum wouldn’t get back which was around $5,000. 

Now in production, anyone who may want an AFM license plate can click here (https://files.constantcontact.com/06bdba0b601/15baf8ff-09e4-4c5d-86e1-a2c2a7d33895.pdf) to download a form and send to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.