Mainers can now add a World Acadian Congress commemorative plate to their vehicles. It's the first commemorative plate to be produced by the State of Maine since the U.S. celebrated its bicentennial in 1976.

The bilingual plates honor the World Acadian Congress, which is a huge event held every five years in a region of the world inhabited by Acadians. Acadians are the descendants of 17th century French colonists who settled in Acadia, which included what is now known as the maritime provinces. Quebec, and parts of Maine.

The Congress draws more than 50 thousand visitors from 44 different countries and has an economic impact that exceeds 50 million dollars. The new plates sport both English and French, and can be fitted over a vehicle’s front plate until they expire in December 2015. They do not contain numbers or letters and cannot be used in place of legally issued plates. The existing registration plate on the back of the vehicle must remain on and visible.

The Maine Credit Union League partnered with the State of Maine and World Acadian Congress to make the license plates available for sale at participating Credit Unions around the state. For a list of locations where you can buy the plates, log onto the Maine Credit Union League's website.