Talk of the Town

by | Nov 9, 2022 | Around Town, Online Exclusives

The Town of Topsail Beach is lobbying for a specialty license plate to build civic pride.

The small town of Topsail Beach, population 466, is asking the North Carolina General Assembly to approve a specialty license plate to help the town improve recreational opportunities. It’s a small ask for politicians who routinely approve requests for schools, roads and other important services that serve North Carolinians, but it could be a large boost for the beach town.

The specialized license plate would be available to residents and anyone who loves family-oriented beach living in a town where “development takes a back seat to conservation and beautification.” The town’s 1,400 homes and three motels draw a seasonal population near 10,000 who frequent its restaurants, gift shops, fishing pier and beautiful beaches. Many walk the desolate end of the island where the Atlantic Ocean meets Banks Channel with views to historic Lee-Hutaff Island.

Like many legislative actions, this one will take time — up to a year for approval and another 180 days post-approval before license plates would be issued.

Topsail Beach NC License Plates

“The idea originated as a way to express pride in our Topsail Beach community,” says Cindy Avrette, a member of the town’s newly established Parks and Rec Committee. Other members are Sue Bankes, Pam Burnette, Bob Barnett and John Best.

“Our town’s logo, which we love, made designing a special plate easy,” Avrette adds. “The proceeds from the plates will be used to benefit the town’s continuing efforts to maintain and improve recreational opportunities at Topsail Beach.”

The plate will have the town’s distinctive teal and navy logo featuring a skull and crossbones flag on the left side and the initials TB on the right side separated by a combination of four numerals.

The odds on the license plate coming into being are growing daily. More than 125 orders have been received. Opportunities to order will be provided at the annual Autumn on Topsail event on October 15 and 16 and at the annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony held Thanksgiving weekend as well as online from the town’s website

A minimum of 300 plates must be ordered by February 1, 2023 to submit the application to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.

NCDMV submits the town’s request for the Topsail Beach specialty plate to the N.C. General Assembly. If the license plate is approved, the town will submit the list of purchasers and applications to the NCDMV. The NCDMV will issue new Town of Topsail Beach Specialty License Plate directly to each purchaser. If the town’s application is not approved, all fees paid will be refunded (minus credit card admin fees).

Want to Help Make Topsail Beach Plates Happen?
Residents, former residents, visitors, hopeful-to-be residents and fans of the town are asked to order a plate by February 1, 2023, to meet the initial order of 300 plates. For more information and to order,

About the author

Kate Carey

Kate Carey

A former Ohioan and Buckeyes football fan, Kate M Carey has her toes firmly placed in the sands of Topsail Island. Kate writes fiction about people and the strange things they do for love and essays on the politics of everyday life. Her work has appeared in Noctua, Indiana Voice, The Tishman Review, Panoply, Camel City Digest, Savannah Writers Anthology, and County Line Journal. A guest columnist for Women AdvaNCe, she and her husband, an Episcopal priest, moved to North Carolina in 2015 and have adult children living in Ohio and Florida.