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He Can't Resist Photographing Local License Plates. Here's Why.

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Some folks collect coins or baseball cards or postage stamps. Jordan Irazabal covets photos of low-numbered Delaware license plates.

“I’ve been told that it’s a weird hobby,” he says.

Since December 2007, the Wilmington legal assistant has spent countless hours trying to find and photograph the 1,000 lowest numbers on three types of plates: numeric, commercial and pleasure commercial. He posts the photos at TheDelaware3000.org and invites people to help him complete his task.

Irazabal snapped his first tag photo while attending UD.

“I was driving to class and there was an SUV in front of me with a dealer number—D7,” he says. “I thought that was pretty neat, so I took a picture of it.”

The hobby came to life in 2008, when plate No. 6 went on the market.

“That made headlines all over the country because it sold for something like $675,000,” Irazabal says. “That’s more than most people’s homes.”

He’s been hot on the trail of low-digit tags—a First State status symbol for decades—ever since. Irazabal cruises what he considers hotbed locations.

“They’re always in the wealthy areas like Greenville,” he says. “Or in the capital area and then the beaches because there’s a lot of money and people come from all over the state.”

Part of the attraction is uncovering the history of the tags, many of which have been passed down from generation to generation.

“Every one of these tags has a story,” Irazabal says. “Some are longer than others. It must be in the hundreds, if not thousands of hours that I’ve spent driving around and just talking to people.”

He recalls a low-digit commercial plate that he spied on a car in Oak Orchard near Millsboro. The owner told him it belonged to his great-great grandfather, who had it on a farm truck.

“Now it’s on a Mercedes SUV, which is kind of funny,” Irazabal says.

He admits that there’s a possibility that some of the numbers on his most wanted list may not even be issued anymore. Still, he feels he can complete his mission.

“Oh, I’ll get it,” he says. “It might take a while, but I’ll get it. I’m the most resourceful person I know.”

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