Starting July 8, the newest crop of low-numbered Massachusetts license plates will be on the auction block when Cape Cod and Islands plates numbered 1 through 999 finally become available. 

The Cape and Islands plates, which have been in circulation since 1995, carry imagery of Nauset Light in Eastham, along with the cliffs of Siasconset in Nantucket and Gay Head on the Vineyard.

The Cape and Islands plates have continually been the highest selling specialty license plate in the state of Massachusetts, raising more than $13 million dollars for Cape and Islands-based nonprofit organizations over the years.

An effort in recent years to create a Martha’s Vineyard license plate foundered on a lack of sufficient interest.

Dukes County budgeted $100,000 in license plate revenue from sales of the specialty plate for the current fiscal year and has budgeted $100,000 for the coming fiscal year.

Bidding for plates 1 through 999 will begin on July 8 and continue through August 1, 2008. All bids will be taken on-line at Proceeds from the auction will promote tourism and economic development.