ALPCA Chesapeake Region

The regional chapter of the Automobile License Plate Collectors' Association in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. 

About us and what we do

License plate collecting

The most pleasurable hobby there is... — Dr. Cecil George, ALPCA co-founder

Almost ever since there have been license plates, there have been license plate collectors.  Until the mid-20th century, most U.S. states and Canadian provinces issued new plates annually, and many motorists saved their old plates and hung them up in their garages and barns.  A few even started trading some of their old plates with people in other states, provinces, and countries to develop more varied collections. 

U.S. Forces in Japan

Collecting license plates is very much like collecting stamps, or coins, or baseball cards, or comic books.  It's just not as well-known of a hobby.  Today, plate collecting is both harder and easier than it was decades ago.  Harder, because plates aren't replaced annually any more; easier because of the internet. 

License plate collecting can fit any budget, and there are countless ways to specialize in collecting specific types or categories of plates.  Or, if you prefer, there's no reason why you can't just collect whatever comes along, or whatever catches your eye, without limiting yourself to any particular kind of plate.  Everyone does it differently, and that's part of what makes this hobby appealing. 


The Automobile License Plate Collectors' Association, or ALPCA, was founded in 1954 by Cecil George, a Massachusetts psychologist, and Asa Colby, a postmaster in New Hampshire.  Today, ALPCA is the world's largest and most respected license plate collectors' organization, with approximately 3,000 members from all walks of life, who live in all 50 U.S. states, throughout Canada, and in many other countries around the world. 

1954 Pennsylvania passenger

The premier ALPCA event is the annual convention, which is held over four days every June or July at varying locations around the United States.  A convention attracts many hundreds of ALPCA members, who bring probably millions of license plates of all ages and descriptions to display, trade, and sell.  Smaller ALPCA events, called regional meets, are held throughout North America nearly year-round. 

ALPCA members receive a top-notch bi-monthly magazine that's chock-full of license plate photos and stories, access to ALPCA's invaluable online archives, and instant respect and fellowship with other like-minded people. 

If you're not already a member, why not join ALPCA today, and get in on the fun? 

The ALPCA Chesapeake Region

Maryland 'Treasure the Chesapeake' sample

The Chesapeake Region is the regional chapter of ALPCA serving Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.  We're ALPCA members first, and we've formed this group in order to hold regional ALPCA plate meets (and hopefully other activities as well) on a regular basis within our geographic territory. 

The region was re-activated in the spring of 2010, after 11 years of being dormant.  We're working on recording the history of ALPCA regional meets and independent meets held within our territory.  It's very rough at this point, and we need some "old-timers" to help fill in the blanks.  Read what we've got so far. 

We believe in keeping things simple, and so there's no separate club to join or dues to pay in order to be a part of the ALPCA Chesapeake Region.  You don't even have to live in our territory, although it helps.  If you're already an ALPCA member, just come out to one of our events and prepare to enjoy yourself! 

Bylaws for the ALPCA Chesapeake Region were ratified by the membership at the region business meeting held on August 9, 2014 in Mount Airy, Md.  Read, download, or print the region bylaws. 

Our current officers, directors, and key committee chairs are as follows: 

Elected Board of Directors:  (all terms end Aug. 31, 2024)

  • Board Chairman – Jack Hollingsworth, ALPCA #11331
  • President and Director – Rick Kretschmer, ALPCA #9652
  • Director – Tom Smith, ALPCA #1328
  • Director – Ed Burr, ALPCA #8359
  • Director – Christopher Jackson, ALPCA #10844

Appointed positions:

  • Vice President of Events – (position vacant)  Learn more.
  • Vice President of Communications – Larry Haake, ALPCA #12770
  • Treasurer – Tom Smith, ALPCA #1328
  • Newsletter editor – Larry Haake, ALPCA #12770
  • Web site adminstrator – Rick Kretschmer, ALPCA #9652 (help wanted)  Learn more.

We also have other positions that we're in the process of trying to fill.  Learn more.