OCEAN CITY – Drivers looking to showcase their love of Ocean City to every car on the road now have an official way to do it.
Ocean City joined the growing trend of personalized vanity plates this week, as the City Council unanimously approved a vintage OC logo to be made available to all Maryland drivers that was designed by the town’s advertising agency MGH.
Ocean City residents and visitors voted on the winning logo from a choice of three on the town’s website in an online contest that ran from Sept. 9-Oct. 10. Over 7,000 votes were cast, and the overwhelming winner with over 3,000 of those votes was the vintage Ocean City logo, that many will recognize from the downtown water tower.
According to Donna Abbott, public relations director for the town of Ocean City, “MGH recommended that we use an existing town logo rather than design one especially for the vanity plates.”
The winning logo features a colorful 3-inch-by-3-inch Ocean City logo on the left side of the plate and places the name “Ocean City, Maryland” on the bottom of the plate as well as placing the letters “OC” into the number scheme of the plate itself.
The council voted unanimously to make the plate available to anyone that has a Maryland driver’s license in efforts to continue to promote the town in a cost effective way.
Mayor Rick Meehan praised the idea, saying, “From a feel good standpoint, this is a great thing. Many people call Ocean City their home, second home, or just their favorite place to visit, and I think this vintage design is a perfect fit for expressing the nostalgia that a lot of people feel for Ocean City.”
The MVA charges a $25 processing fee for vanity plates, and the town has added a $10 processing fee for the new OC vanity plates, and those wanting to acquire one of the plates are instructed to go to City Hall and register for one through the City Clerk.
According to Abbott, the city’s web designer, Bill Funkhouser, implemented a “one vote per computer” to eliminate the possibility of “ballot stuffing” for the online poll, which makes the turnout for the one month online contest very impressive, a fact that Abbott attributed to Meehan’s efforts during his Baltimore media blitz, which took place in September at the same time as the poll was launched.
Other designs that didn’t make the cut for the vanity plate included the Ocean City flag, the current “OC” logo used by the tourism department, and one tongue-in-cheek design featuring the Mayor’s headshot.