On Saturday September 24, I attended an
ALPCA license plate meet near Nazareth, PA, set up by Dale Bernecker.
I had an opportunity to take well over 100 images from John Willard's
license plate collection. It will take me a while to process all the
images but look for Commercial Motorcycle, Motorcycle Dealer, Motorbike,
Dealer, including a '54 Transit Dealer, Motorboat Dealer, Tractor Dealer,
Suburban, early samples, early vanities, Trailer, Bus, Z series Truck,
Commonwealth Constables Association now has, or soon will have, 9 plates
in use. These plates were approved at the end of 2015. Since these
plates are law enforcement related, they have been grouped with Fire, Police and
EMS organizations. They are headquartered in Steelton, PA, which is just
south of Harrisburg.
plate on the far left is not a high, it's not even a good
picture, but this Fire
Fighter plate is within a few number of the current high of FF38686 as
recorded by Tom Perri. These are
supposedly available as vanities which I'd like to see, since generally
organizational vanities on the visitPA base use a flat screened logo and name.
PennDOT now calls these as Volunteer Fire Fighter plates, and shows the near
left prototype image which appears to be a screened.
Brendan Sherry snapped these two
West Virginia University plates. The far left plate is a low
number, on the www base with WVU Alumni Association as the legend, while the
newer plate is on the visitPA base and closer to the current high of W/V01653
according to Tom Perri.
This is a new high NASCAR 14 Tony
Stewart plate. The picture was taken by
Bruce Bufalini. I'm not a NASACAR fan per se, but have always been a
NASCAR plate enthusiast. To this day there are still about 15 variations
of NASCAR plates with no photos. Most of these are where only 1 or 2
plates were issued but about 20 NASCAR 5 Terry Labonte plates were issued and
never been photographed. An then there are 8 or 9 plates that were never
Added this Apportioned Bus sample
plate image to the bus gallery. In the early years of this plate, the
number of plates issued was only into the hundreds, but in later years the
number seems to have increased considerably with the current reported high of
BN-03831, while the actual issued high is around BN-03980. After BN-03999
is reached, the series is expected to jump ahead to BN-04200. Why the jump
in numbers? Will they then be on the visitPA base?
100 year old 1916 Motorcycle
plate and registration document were up for grabs on eBay by bigdon45 who gave
me the OK to use the pictures. The two-digit plate is rare enough, and
quite a bit more so with the owner's card. The plate measures 4½" high by
6" in length. The colors are black on orange. Click the link above
to also view a 3-digit, 4-digit and 5-digit plate for 1916. There were
some 21-thousand plates issued that year.
I thought this Suburban plate would be my
last to display. It shows the characteristic
in the fifth position. Then John Willard provided me with the opportunity
to photograph Suburban plates from the runs that were still needed. With
the three plates below, the gallery now has a plate from each of the eight
Suburban combinations. The last plate shown below with the Q4C-280 is the
highest number known at the end of the Suburban series. This particular
run would have started at Q0A-000, with A being the final character to advance,
and in this case advancing to C.
I will show some additional Suburban Press
Photographer plates sometime in the future.
Here's the first image of a Ducks Unlimited
plate now on the visitPA base. The image was provided by Dale Bernecker.
This latest edition hit the streets in early 2016 with the sequence starting at
This first image of a Kuhl Hose Company plate
image is brought to you courtesy of Tom Perri
and Jordan Irazabal. A
very special thank you to these gentlemen for their efforts in photographing
this plate. It's home would be Erie County. About 20 of these plates
have been issued so far, and they have been on the road since around March of
also photographed this vanity edition of a Gold Star Family
plate. A plate to be displayed with great pride and at the same
time tremendous sadness. Up to four characters are allowed. This is
the first vanity I've seen, and is among the nearly 660 standard issue Gold Star
Family plates issued so far. These plates have been available since late
While on the subject of vanity veterans'
plates, Chuck Harrington, snapped this plate picture of a Combat Wounded
Veteran / Purple Heart plate. This plate allows up to 5 characters
Here's another Combat Wounded
Veteran / Purple Heart plate. This is the current high, and the first
plate photographed above P/H10000. The image is courtesy of Tom Perri
link to see older Purple Heart plates, the first generation of which
dates back to 1986 when the plates were originally yellow on blue.
Lock Haven plates are sending mixed signals.
I'm not going to try to explain this but there are currently three different
numbering sequences on current Lock Haven
University color graphic plates. Lock Haven is not a large facility would not
have plates in the thousands. The center plate is from Ryan Battin, while
the near left picture came from
This Permanent Trailer
Bruce Bufalini is the new high. Plates with the alpha character in the
next to the last position were first seen in May of 2015. This was after
plates with the letter in the final position exhausted all the available
combinations. The first Permanent Trailer plates date back to 1997 on the
yellow on blue base. Click this link to
see the older plates.
Here's the latest School Bus high from
Brendan Sherry. Click this link to see the
complete run of School Bus plates from 1956 until the present.
At least the bolt holes are still there.
This very early www base Passenger plate was likely issued in April of
2000. The plate is not beat up, but it has been subjected to a lot of
weathering and other hardships. The law that would have required the
replacement of plates every 10 years was repealed in 2008. I'm sure this
plate would qualify as illegible and would be eligible for a free replacement.
Steve Ondik spotted this.
Here's another sad specimen. This
Conserve Wild Resources - Owl plate was also provided by Steve Ondik. On
this plate the graphic portion has held up much better than the numbers.
I'm guessing that this would qualify for a replacement, but not sure if a
standard plate would be provided or if a Conserve Wild Resources - Otter plate
would be offered. Anyone know?
This week's Suburban plate features
a plate with the Q in the 4th position. I have one more Suburban plate for
next week — 681-4Q9. Does anyone have any Suburban plates from the
following groups they would be willing to share, 0Q00 to 9Q999, 000Q to 999-Q99,
000-00Q to 999-99Q, and Q0A-000 to Q3B-054?
Before posting photos this week I want to say
thank you to the network of friends and fellow license plate enthusiasts who
regularly share photos from their daily travels, special events and dedicated
plate photo missions. Without your help and generosity, this website would
not be what it is today. I have also been inundated with computer
networking issues on one of my jobs resulting in a short display of plates this
This Combat Action Medal
was recently photographed by
Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.
This is the first image of such a plate on this website. Great find as there may only be
1 or 2 of these plates in use in addition to the plate shown below.
This Combat Action Medal
vanity plate likely refers to a
C-130 Hercules, a military aircraft that has seen a lot of uses over a lot of
years — mid-1950s till today. Thanks to Tom Perri
for sharing the image.
Spotted this U.S. Army Veteran
vanity plate recently. The M60A-series was the US main battle tank from
1960 until 1997. Nice plate, like to know the story behind it.
This nice Veteran plate was provided
by Brendan Sherry. These plates have been around since 2005 and are one of
the plates issued in two tiers representing a reserve group and a general issue
group. The current reported high is 02400U/S according to Tom Perri.
Here's the weekly addition to the slate of
This is one of the 5 character plates that does not have
the keystone separator as seen on 6 character plates. It appears to be part
of the 00Q0 to 99Q-999 run. I acquired a couple more of these plates for
display over the next couple weeks.
They're here! Kyle Kuser
snapped this first image of this newly released
Share the Road plate, which is part of the
Special Fund series. On the surface it would appear that plate sales
are off to a good start. Not so quick. Plate sales started at
B/K00106, and currently run to B/K00180. It's not unusual for certain plate
be issued in two tiers. In other words the public gets plates from the
second tier, while another group of lower number plates are held in reserve for
a select group of favored individuals. Efforts to get an explanation of
this practice in the past have been met with blatant stonewalling.
This under-100 Lehigh University
Alumniplate image was
provided by Steve Ondik. Lehigh switched over to the visitPA graphic base
about 10 years ago. The plate shown here would be one originally issued on
the yellow on blue base, then later reissued on
the www base. Click the link to
see more images and details. The current high is 02255L/U.
This West Catholic
High School is from Jaska Börner, and comes from the series of plates
issued since the re-plating in 2001, and shows a jump in plate numbers
leaving a block of numbers skipped. This group started at W/C01000 and the
plate pictured here is close to the current high of W/C01058.
I couldn't get a straight-on shot of this
plate so I did my best with PhotoShop. It is a new high number Street Rod plate.
So far it does not appear that there are plans to revamp this plate as has been
done with Antique Vehicle
and Classic Vehicle
plates. This also means no vanities available. These plates have
their origin back in 1982 with a starting point of 0001S/R.
Here is a nice pair of Quality Deer
Management Association plate photos taken by
Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.
The plate on the far left is unique in that it is on a trailer.
Organizational plates are now permitted on trucks under 14-thousand GVW,
trailers and motor homes, but so far not on motorcycles.
Appalachian Trail Conservancy plate. These plates have been active
since late 2014 and by now some 250 plates have been issued. Thanks to
Steve Ondik for the image.
Here's a fairly low number Vietnam Vets plate. It's the only under 1500 image I have on the
www base. The plate was photographed by Steve Ondik. This
organization has had plates since 1988, with the current high above V/V04500.
This is a subject I should have posted long
ago. There was a change in
Motorcycle plate fonts (dies) a few years back. Ryan Battin sent me
several pictures (one shown here) showing the change and Steve Ondik recently
sent me other pictures showing this change. Click to enlarge the image and
compare the characters, especially the 2, 4 and F. The MC dies may also
have changed. It appears to me that
the change took place after the Live Free Ride Alive run changed back to the
standard visitPA base. This change was likely at plate 7500T. I have not seen this newer font used on
plates, but it appears to be used on later M/C vanities.
This is the second and last of my Suburban plates from my
collection, however, I'm in the process of getting a few more. There are
certainly many permutations and combinations of this extinct species of plates.
Here's the latest high
plate, well into the AG-series, which was first seen in May or June of 2012.
So, in a little over four years, almost 50-thousand plates have been issued.
If you are unfamiliar with PA plates there are also
Apportioned Bus plates which
are issued in much lower numbers, use a BN prefix and are still on the www base.
These plates are renewed annually always with a 5-YY (May - 2-digit year)
sticker. It is unknown if these stickers will also be eliminated in the
future. This image is thanks to
Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.
Here's the latest Farm Truck high.
These plates were first issued on the '77 blue on the yellow base.
They have always used the FM prefix, but since the plates were reissued on the
www base, an alpha suffix has been added. This series switched from the
www base to the visitPA base with the 'D' suffix. Click the
Farm Truck history link
to see the progression of plates since they were first introduced.
Here's a new high Flourtown Fire Company
plate. These have been on the road since 2008. They are located in
Springfield Township, Montgomery County.
This Clarion University plate was spotted by
Tom Perri and
While this plate is within the 'normal series' there is also a small run of
plates from C/U43045 to C/U43103 which were likely done as a result of
transposing the 03 in the series shown here and making it 30. Click the
Clarion link above to see plates from both series. This plate program
dates back to 2005.
Here's a new high Mercyhurst College
plate photo from Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri. Mercyhurst is located in
Erie, and now refers to itself as Mercyhurst University. There was an
indication a while back that Mercyhurst would be moving to the color graphic
base, but so far there is no evidence to support that. Thanks to Tom and
Jordan for their efforts in getting this picture.
This image of a
Philadelphia Union Foundation plate. The source of this plate is
unknown — if you sent me this image please let me know so I can credit you.
These plates have been on the street since 2013. Currently the reported
high is 10150U/F. The Philadelphia Union is professional soccer team,
while the Philadelphia Union Foundation, according to their website, "provides
opportunities for children through the power of relationships to offer
transformational change in the areas of education, community, health and
Here's a new high WHYY plate.
WHYY is a National Public Radio and TV station serving southeast PA, southern NJ
and Delaware. Their plate program's been around since 2009. The
image was provided by Colin M.
With cars shows as ubiquitous as they are in
summer, new highs are fairly common. The Antique Historic
plate series switched to a 0A00 format recently after the previous series ran
out of combinations upon reaching 9ZZ9. This is the new series high.
University Official plate is not a recent photograph, but it's being
added to show a 2-digit (38) plate along with 1 and 3-digit plates already
posted. Temple plates, like
Official plates, use the school colors, unlike the
University of Pittsburgh and
University which use standard PA plate colors. It appears to me that
many Temple-owned vehicles use standard issue plates in place of official tag,
thus the current reported high is only T0218U.
Continuing with Suburban plates, here is an
Amateur Radio Suburban
plate. I always considered the Amateur Radio Suburban and Press
Photographer Suburban kind of a hybrid plate, or maybe a plate that belongs in
two categories. It would be interesting to know haw many of each of these
were actually issued. I'm not aware of any other Suburban hybrid types.