The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) receives $20 annually for each North Carolina specialty A.T. plate purchased or renewed. Since the plate became available in 2005, North Carolina license plate holders have raised almost $1,200,000 for the ATC.
The first of the A.T. specialty plates, the North Carolina plate was made possible by the years of work contributed by New Bern, NC attorney and ATC member Clark Wright, who initiated this vision and worked tirelessly to bring it to fruition. Clark’s vision became reality with the help of hiker and State Senator Joe Sam Queen of Waynesville, NC, who sponsored the legislation which created the tag, and the invaluable information and assistance provided by Kay Hatcher of the Department of Motor Vehicles Specialty Tag Office in Raleigh, NC.
Apply for Your A.T. Plate
Apply for your plate through the North Carolina DMV website by ordering the “Friends of the Appalachian Trail” plate. In addition to the regular vehicle registration fee, a standard, numerical A.T. license plate costs $30. A personalized plate costs $60. The ATC receives $20 for each plate purchased or renewed, and the other $10 is spent by the state through the Special Registration Plate Account, which funds visitor centers and wildflower highway beautification projects.
As a thank you for purchasing your North Carolina A.T. specialty plate, you will be eligible for a free one-time annual ATC membership, which includes an ATC decal, patch and membership card, A.T. Journeys (a quarterly magazine of the ATC) and discounts at the Ultimate Appalachian Trail Store. Information on redeeming your membership will arrive in the mail with your license plate. If you are already an ATC member, you can use your free membership in the form of a gift membership for a friend or family member.
North Carolina A.T. License Plate Grant Program
Each year, the ATC uses funds from the sale of North Carolina A.T. license plates to provide grants to organizations and individuals who are working to help fulfill the ATC’s mission within the state of North Carolina and along its common border with Tennessee. Since 2006, $283,896 has been awarded to grant recipients working on a wide variety of A.T.-related projects. Click here for a year-by-year summary of previous grantees and projects that received funding.
The application period for 2017 North Carolina A.T. license plate grants has closed. Sign up for ATC's Southern Regional e-newsletter (delivered monthly to your inbox) here to ensure that you hear about this and other opportunities in the future!