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Pennsylvania License Plate Images

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

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The photos on this website, whether provided by me or other contributors, are intended for use solely on this website, and may not be otherwise used without permission.

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Posting 5/24/2015

For those who regularly visit this site, I need to reduce the size of the weekly updates dues to other demands on my time.  No, my wife is not pregnant.


This Support Your Zoo vanity plate was provided by Ryan Battin.  As mentioned a few weeks ago, these have also been showing up on more organizational plates types as well as Veteran, and Classic tags.  Personalizing the plate adds $100 to the cost of most plate types.


These Permanent Trailer plates show a change in the alpha-numeric formatting.  The plate on the far left is approaching the end of the Z series.  The PT-0000A formatting has been in place and progressing since these plates were reissued in April of 2001.  Now that the series has been exhausted, the near left plate shows a new alpha-numeric format with PT-000A0.  The older plate image came from Tom Perri and the newer picture was recently spotted by Bill Stephens.


It appears that Northampton Fire Department has, or soon will have, 10 organizational plates on the road.




What's up with the Lock Haven University plate numbering system?  This school has an enrollment of some 5,500 and yet has current plates with numbering in the tens, hundreds, thousands and 10-thousands.  The numbering is all over the place like someone was asleep at plate press, or maybe there is a more logical reason for this.  The L/H01000 was recently spotted by Ryan Battin.  The L/H10010 was from Tom Perri.


This week I had the pleasure of visiting and spending a few very enjoyable hours with fellow ALPCA member Arthur Levine and seeing his great collection.  Arthur has some great displays and he is an accomplished collector of many things besides plates.  We also managed a trade in which i got this Antique Historic Car plate.


Added this recently acquired 1954 Miscellaneous Dealer plate to my collection and also to the Dealer History Section. For '54 plates were all 6" x 10" in size and were also issued in New Car Dealer (A000A or A00A0) format, Used Car Dealer (B000A).  It is unknown when the C-series Transit Dealer plates were first issued.  


For 1977 Dealer plates once again have new dated base and for the first time since 1970 the colors switched back to dark blue on yellow.  The plate legend has also been reversed.  The far left plate is an A-series New Car Dealer from Clayton Moore, while the other plate is a B-series Used Car Dealer from


Also for 1977 is this C-series M.V. Business plate which is part of my collection and is being cross listed from the Motor Vehicle Business section.  Also, I recently acquired this D-series Tractor Dealer plate.  What I don't have is a plate or picture of an an E-series Trailer Dealer plate for '77.


The 1978 Dealer series is almost a carbon copy of the 77 plates with the exception of the year.  The New Car Dealer on the far left is from Chuck Sakryd, while the B-series Used car Dealer plate was provided by


These 1978 C- and D-series plates represent the M.V. Business and Tractor Dealer plates which again, are almost identical to the 1977 plates above.




Posting 5/17/2015

In Legislative News, the PA Senate has passed Senate Bill 284 authorizing “Honoring Our Veterans” Motorcycle License Plates.  The bill now moves to the State House.  If passed, there will be a Special Fund motorcycle plate similar to the "Honoring Our Veterans" plate currently available for passenger vehicles and trucks up to 14,000 lb.  A portion of the proceeds goes to the Veterans' Trust Fund.

Now, I'm wondering, if this bill passes, could it open the door to other graphic motorcycle plates in PA?


Here's another vertical Motorcycle plate from Ryan Battin.  At least for now the M and C are non-advancing characters making the 8K4 the portion of the serial number that advances.  The next plate in the series would be M8K5C, then M8K6C, etc.  Eventually after reaching M9K9C, the series will advance to M0L0C.  These plates have been around for about 14 months and are eligible to be personalized with up to 5 characters.





Here's a pair of personalized or vanity Classic Vehicle plates  These pictures were provided by Bruce Bufalini and were taken at a weekly car show.



Here are the first images of Bethlehem Township Volunteer Fire Company plates.  They have about 6 plates on the road.  The images were provided by Nick Santiago.



This pair of U.S. Navy Veteran plates was provided by Ryan Battin.  The plate on the far left was from June of 2013 while the near left plate is a new high for the series.  This plate type has been around since late 2009 and started at 10000N/A indicating that some 2000 plates have been issued since inception.


Lots of dealer plates this week beginning with this 1967 Used Car Dealer from Clayton Moore on the far left.  The companion to this is the '67 Motor Vehicle Business plate which I am cross listing from the section on MV Business plates.  I think putting all of the dealer types together for each year shows a more complete picture, so eventually I'll add Tractor Dealer, although very littlie is known about many years.  For now I have no plans to cross list Motorcycle or Moped Dealer plates.  Still need a '67 New Car Dealer picture.


For 1968 we have almost the same scenario as above with a Used Car Dealer plate from Clayton Moore on the far left, and the corresponding Motor Vehicle Business plate cross posted from my own collection.  Again still needed is a '68 New Car Dealer image.


This 1969 M.V. Business and Tractor Dealer plates are being cross listed with the 1969 Dealer series.  Unfortunately at this point I don't have an images of 1969 New or Used Car Dealer plates.  Additional Tractor Dealer plates will be added later.



We move ahead to 1973 Dealer series with a New Car Dealer plate on the far left and a Used Car Dealer on the near left.  Thanks to for these plate images.



Clayton Moore provided this pair of A-series New Car Dealer plates from 1975 and '76.  For 1975 dealer plates were undated, instead using stickers for that year and for '76. provided the B-series Used Car Dealer plate.


The C series M.V. Business and E-series Trailer Dealer for '75 and '76 are being cross listed to help fill out the series.  Missing from the group is a D-series Tractor Dealer which would be a nice addition.

PLEASE NOTE: Parts of the of the dealer history section are a bit chaotic, as I have been undecided about what to include.  Hope to get it straight eventually.



Posting 5/10/2015

Here's the latest Moped high number plate courtesy of Ryan Battin.  This current series started at BA000 back in April of 2000 on the www base, then switched to the visitPA base when the series hit BN000 around August or September of 2007.  With all of the additional plate types that are now eligible to be personalized (vanity plate), it seems odd that Moped plates do not qualify; however, Moped Dealer plates do qualify.  For more on Moped plate history, click this link.


Like the Moped plate above, Special Mobile Equipment plates are out there but you certainly don't see them every day.  This plate type, now in the B series transitioned to the visitPA base around August of 2013 after reaching SME-999Z on the www base.   These are seen on cranes, backhoes, well drillers, street sweepers and some other construction equipment, but not on farm equipment.


Here's a new high Apportioned Bus plate from Eric Conner.  The plate has taken a big leap forward from the previous high of BN-02585, and yet it still has not made the switch to the visitPA base as has every other bus, limo, mass transit, and taxi type.  The reason for this is that they made a huge initial run of these plates that will probably last a couple more years.

While on the subject of Apportioned Bus plates, I am desperately seeking information, pictures, plates of the original, BL series Apportioned Bus blue on yellow base.  It appears very possible that none of the original series plates exist in the hobby today.  


This Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation plate is the latest high, and was provided by Arthur Levine.  In case you were wondering, Pennsylvania does have an elk herd.  Most are in Elk County and some of the surrounding areas.



As I start this week's assortment of older Dealer plates, it has become increasingly clear that this section will never be complete in terms of photos, and it is very doubtful that there will ever be a full description of every Dealer format for every year.  This is a group effort with help from a number of individuals without which there would be no Dealer History section.  I don't wish to sound pessimistic, in fact I am very enthusiastic.


The first plate to be featured this week is this 1948 New Car Dl'r plate from Clayton Moore.  This plate series would have begun at A000A, with the final alpha character advancing last, and the first character does not advance.  The plate before this one would have been A999C.  There were also Used Car Dl'r plates formatted as B000A.  The existence of a C-series Transit Dealer plate in 1948 is unconfirmed.  A 1948 X-series was posted last week.


Next in the lineup is this 1953 New Car Dl'r plate.  Except for the colors being reversed, the '53 plate is very similar to the '48 plate above.  It seems that at the time there were plenty of new car dealers, but comparatively few used car dealers, thus the relative scarcity of Used Car Dealer plates.  It is believed that the '48 plates measured 6" by 11", while the '53 plates were slightly shorter at 6" by 10".  This plate may have been on eBay some years ago.


As we move ahead to 1956, full-sized plates were standardized at 6" by 12".  Again the plates were 5-characters with the first letter indicating the dealer type, except for the X-dealer series where the X is not limited to the first position.  Note in this 1956 New Car Dl'r plate the second alpha character is in position 4.  This is because the first series after reaching A999Z, then progressed to A00A0.


The next plate in this series is this 1958 Used Car Dl'r.  The years from 1956 thru '58 were transition years.  First the standardization of the plate size in '56, then the change from 5 to 6 characters in 1957, and finally the addition the keystone separator and the start of multi-year plates in '58.  This '58 base with '59 sticker Used Car Dl'r plate image came from Clayton Moore.  Also note the tab slot on this plate, missing on later issues of the '58 base.


The next Dealer plate release was the '62 base which was renewable thru 1963 and included this '62 New Car Dl'r plate with a '63 sticker.  The remainder of the series included Used Car Dl'r (B prefix), C-series (Transit) Dealer, and X-series (Miscellaneous) Dealer plates.  This image was provided courtesy of Clayton Moore.


I just added this 1965 Transit Dealer plate to my collection.  The photo completes the '65 run of 'A', 'B', 'C' and "X" Dealer plates.  At this point the TX Tractor Dealer and Motorcycle Dealer series are not included, but are listed elsewhere.




Posting 5/3/2015

Bruce Bufalini captured this first image of a University of Pittsburgh plate in a personalized or vanity format.  In recent months these have been showing up on more organizational plates types as well as Veteran, and Classic tags.  Nice, but a little pricey, as it tacks on an additional $100 to the cost of the plate for most types.


The St. Charles Borromeo Seminary plate appears to an active type with some half-dozen plates in use or will be soon.




Which is the correct Lehigh University sample plate?  Note the plate on the left has the L/U identifier on the right side while the other sample has it on the left.  Also the legend font is different on the two plates.  The correct version is the one the far left, and as confirmed by the plate below.  Back before the transition to the www plates, there were a number of test plates made as samples, and some of these have found their way into collections.  The yellow on blue version is shown for comparison.  That image was provided by George Kunsman.





Back in late 2006 Lehigh University moved forward into the graphic plate arena with this upgrade.  The plate on the near left, while not a particularly good image, is the current high.  The plate on the far left would indicate that some lower numbered plates on the www base were reissued on the visitPA base.


As we continue to add to the Dealer plate history section, we begin this week with a 1948 Dealer plate as identified by DEALER on the plate legend and the characteristic 'X' in the serial number.  The X could at least be in the first or second position, and all plates are believed to be five characters.  There were also A-prefix NEW CAR DL'R and B-prefix USED CAR DL'R plates at the time.  The A and B Dealer plates are believed to have come into use in 1946.  The picture was provided by Clayton Moore.


The next plate this week is this 1949 New Car Dealer plate, also from Clayton.  This plate has the distinguishing 'A' as the first character of a New Car Dealer plate to identify it as such.  The 'A' did not advance but the final letter did advance but was the last character to do so.  There were also 'B' series Used Car Dealer plates.  I guess there weren't many used car dealers at the time since the plates are pretty rare.  Of course the 'X' series dealer plate was also part of the mix.


This 1950 New Car Dealer plate has a lot in common with the '49 plate above.  The final 'L' on both plates is just a coincidence.  This plate was courtesy of Chuck Sakryd.  Again there would also have been a 'B' series Used Car Dealer plate and an 'X' series Dealer plate.



Here's a '51 NEW CAR DL'R.  This plate is similar to the plates above and likewise would have had a 'B' series Used Car Dealer companion.  At some point in time as the number of dealer plates increased, the second alpha character after reaching A999Z, likely advanced to A00A0.  It is unknown when this took place.  Also at some unknown point in time besides the A and B-prefix plates, there was a C-series dealer plate such as C001A.  This was at a later date referred to as a Transit Dealer while the X-series dealer plates were called Miscellaneous Dealers.  Anyone have more insight or knowledge on this?


We're going to jump ahead to this 1970 New Car Dealer plate from Vern Kreckel.  In 1957 all dealer plates went to 6 characters, and in 1966 the legend NEW CAR DL'R and USED CAR DL'R was shortened to just DEALER, however, the A and B prefixes still meant new and used.  This was from Hauck Chrysler Plymouth in Ridgway PA, which is in beautiful Elk County, PA. This dealer also sold Ford in the late 70s until it closed for business in 1980.  For some this may have no meaning but for others this tells the storey behind the plate. 


Here's a '74 New Car Dealer plate also telling a storey of its place or origin.  On the reverse there is a dealer sticker from Rich Chevrolet Cadillac in Ridgway Pa, which is also in Elk County, PA. This dealer went out of business around 1984.



Last, but certainly not least, is this very nice, low number, 1942 Motorbike plate from Tim Gierschick.  No it's not a Motorboat plate.  They used MBL at the time, were slightly larger and used different colors.  We should all look so good at 73.




Posting 4/26/2015

Here's the first image of a Classic Vehicle plate in a personalized or vanity format.  The picture came from Ryan Battin.  According to form MV-11, for Classic registration plates, up to FIVE letters and/or numbers in combination are permitted.  The form goes on to say that a pre-printed, stacked letter configuration will appear on the personalized registration plate.  So either the plate was made incorrectly or the form was.  I'm sure that refers to the C prefix, in fact if you enter the combination shown here into the vanity check, the system shows that the plate would be C 94ZUK.


Here's the latest Going Home Greyhounds high plate from Brandon Sowers.  The plate helps to support the Going Home Greyhounds cause.




This Presque Isle Partnership plate represents another new high.  This specialty plate helps support the Presque Isle Lighthouse.  Presque Isle is a beautiful state park out in Lake Erie.  Where else can you go to see a lighthouse in Pennsylvania?



The NASCAR 3 Dale Earnhardt Legacy plate image on the far left was recently provided by Brandon Sowers, and with its black and white NASCAR graphic along the bottom of the plate, it is typical of the 5 or 6 images I have.  By contrast, the serial number on the near left is less than 30 plates apart, yet it has a colored NASCAR graphic.  Of the many NASCAR plates produced, the Dale Earnhardt Legacy plate is believed to be the only one to use the black and white graphic.


This is the first image of a 1987 base Amateur Radio plate.  While these may not have been all that hard to come by, there were four different plate variations of the yellow on blue base beginning in 1984.  First there was the "You've Got a Friend" base, then about 1987 the Keystone base as shown here, then in 1988 the "AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR" legend and finally in 1990 the the legend was shortened to "AMATEUR RADIO".  Click the link above to see them all.  This plate image was provided courtesy of eBay seller thisnthatnc14.


Here we have a 1934 Dealer plate.  For the first time since 1923 the word Dealer is back, but, the expected X is gone.  The plates were short at 6 by 10 inches and therefore limited to 4 characters.  With a 4-digit limit, it was necessary to use alpha-numeric combinations such as A123 to accommodate the needed number of dealer plates.  It is also known that Dealer plates with fewer than 4 characters were issued, such as A12.  The plate image was provided by Clayton Moore.


We jump ahead to this 1936 Dealer plate, also courtesy of Clayton Moore.  Immediately it is apparent that the plate is longer, now 6 by 12 inches, has 5 characters, and the X has returned.  At this point not much more is known about '36 Dealer plates; however, if they followed the same formatting as 1935 plates, there would have been 6 by 10 inch Dealer plates and the serial sequence would have been X1 to 99X9 on the shorter plates, and X1000 to 29X99 on the longer plates.  Hopefully in time some of these questions will be answered.


As I add more Dealer plates from the '70s and '80s I will cross-list some of the MV Business and Tractor Dealer plates that were previously posted in their own categories.  In this case these '71 MV Business and Tractor Dealer plates were added to the '71 New Car Dealer and Used car Dealer plates that were posted last week.

NOTE: The first year for Trailer Dealer or Utility Trailer Dealer plates, E00-000E format, is uncertain.  It could have been as early as 1971.  They are confirmed to exist by 1973.


Next up this week is this pair of '72 New Car Dealer and Used car Dealer plates, again with the 'A' series representing New Car Dealer and the 'B' series representing Used Car Dealer.  During this period Dealer plates were issued annually until 1975 when an undated plate was issued with a sticker.  That plate was then renewable in '76.  Following the 2-year plate, the series went back to an annual issue of dated plates in 1977.  The 'A' series plate is from Clayton Moore and the 'B' series plate came from Chuck Sakryd.


This 'C' series MV Business and 'D' series Tractor Dealer plates from 1972 are being cross-listed with the other '72 Dealer plates shown above.  The early history of Trailer Dealer or Utility Trailer Dealer plates (E00-000E) is not well documented. Any information would be welcome.



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Images and photos are always welcome.  Please send to:

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

ALPCA #4376