Here is another photo of one of PennDOT's
digital license plates that are part of a test. The photo
was provided by Bill Ceravola, who describes the colors as being not as
bright. Check out the previous posting from 7/7/19 for additional
information on this pilot project. With the ability of a digital
plate system to store and track information, it may be a plus for law
enforcement. It also raises a big red flag for many motorists who
don't want their every move tracked by big brother. Are you aware
that the state already markets your driver information to many
While we're on the subject, here is another
metallic, not digital, PennDOT
Official Use plate. It has the T (for Transportation) in
the prefix position and the P/A in the suffix position indicating that
it is for use on a passenger vehicle. It is also a new high.
This is part of the same numeric series as the digital plate above.
this plate type dates back to 2005, the
PA State Nurses Association announced a facelift in 2015 which
was recently seen for the first time on the far left plate. We
don't know exactly when this revision hit the street. The plate
does not appear to have a sticker well. Thanks to Jaska Börner for
the plate photo. The R/N00121 plate is shown for comparison, and
was photographed by
Tom Perri in 2013.
This pair of
Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix plate photos was recently snapped
by John Fedorchak. It's always nice to have a photo of the number 1 plate in
a series, and G/P00292 plate is one number off the current high.
Here is another 'first of its kind'
plate photo. This is a U.S. Army
- Active Duty plate, note the A/D suffix. The are also
Veteran plates with an A/R suffix. For each branch of service
there are both Active Duty and Veteran plates. One big
difference is the number of plates issued. For the U.S. Army -
Active Duty there are only about 43 plates in use, whereas the U.S. Army
Veteran has some 4,500. Thanks to Nick Tsilakis for sharing this
This is a first generation Repair /
Service Towing plate distinguished from the next edition by the
flat screened legend at the top of the plate. What this plate does
is narrow down the the transition point to the next variation which had
the top legend embossed and the state name using the "You've
got a friend" font for
change is now believed to be between RS-02000 and RS-02300. Thanks
to Clayton Moore for the use of the plate photo.
pair of 1937 Format 8
Passenger plate which includes AA10 to ZZ999 As can be
seen here, the 4-character plates are shorties measuring 6-inches by
10-inches, and the 5-character version is 6-inches by 12-inches.
Thanks to Alpca 754 Neale for the short plate, and to Frank and Ryan
Vonderhey for the full size plate.
Here is a pair of 1931 mystery
plates. They do not fit the Passenger serial progressions of 1931.
They are believed likely to be an early run of Truck plates that
continued to follow the 1930 format prior to the decision to use the R
through Z weight classes for 1931. Click the link above to see
additional explanation from
Eric Tanner, and a
previous photo from Rick
This is a 1951 U-Weight Class Truck.
For that year there were four U-Class serial progressions including U000A,
U00A0, U0A00 and U00AA, with this plate being part of the first group.
The photo display now shoes 3 of the 4 groups. The plates measured
6 inches by 11 inches. Thanks to Frank and Ryan Vonderhey for the
use of the photo.
kind of speak for themselves, but if not, the group consists of a 1972,
1974 and 1979 unused
validation stickers, likely for passenger car use. They measure 1½ inches wide and 1 inch high. Thanks to
Tom Firth for the photos.
in February of this year, a new prototype Pennsylvania State
University (Official) plate was announced. Now thanks to Bruce Bufalini
we have the first actual plate photo on the far left. With this in
mind I visited my local campus and got the center image. By
comparison, the plate on the near left was the highest number spotted on
the previous base. Credit for that plate goes to
These hot off the press
Distracted Driving Awareness plate photo was provided by
Barefoot Jaime. The plate numbers may suggest that these are the
121st and 122nd plates issued since their late February 2019 debut.
Actually the series began at D/A00101 making these the 21st and 22nd
plates issued since that time. It also appears that only three
Distracted Driving Awareness Motorcycle plates have been issued
so far. By comparison, since late 2013 only
about 90 serial-numbered
Teen Driver plates have been issued.
Here's the lowest number Share The Road
plate spotted so far. It was provided by Arthur Levine. This
is a Special Fund
plate with proceeds maintaining PennDOT's central office position of
Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator and funding highway bicycle signage.
This is a photo of a personalized U.S. Navy
(Active Duty) taken by Nick Tsilakis. It's also the first
personalized plate spotted, and only the second plate of this type seen
so far. There are about 42 serial-numbered plates issued so far,
with this plate series dating back to 2009.
This is the first plate in the Passenger K-series. No KAA plates
were issued as vowels in the second position are no longer used. This
plate was spotted by Tom Perri.
This number was likely issued with
the first round of Temple
University Alumni plates back in 1987, then reissued at least
one more time on the www base. Now the plate is showing the latest
features which would have resulted from a remake of the original number.
Thanks to Noel Torchio for the photo.
the far left is a personalized Fraternal
Order of Police plate with a unique USA-1 number. It looks to me
that this plate has the map outline. Thanks to Jeff Lawson for
sharing this photo. On the near left is a first
generation FOP plate with lots of stickers attesting to it's
age. This image came from Devan Ciemiewicz. These date back to
This pair of American Legion
(link to history page) plate photos came from Devan Ciemiewicz.
The American Legion plate program dates back to 1984. The far left
plate is the highest number I've seen on that base. The near left
plate is an usual sample since it has only 4 zeros instead of the more
common 5. It also uses the "You've
got a friend" font for
Pennsylvania. Link to
These 1913 Passenger plates were
produced using the technology of the day, and were intended to last 1
year, yet here they are 106 years later looking almost like new. The 309
plate belonged to John Willard and John Anshant and measured 6 inches by
10 inches. The 1447 plate belongs to Tim Gierschick and measured 6
inches by 12 inches.
Here is a 1939 S-Weight Class Truck plate.
S-Class trucks used four serial progressions including S000A, S00A0,
S0A00 and S00AA, with this plate being part of the second group.
This plate measures 6 inches by 12 inches.
Thanks again to Drewski for the use of the photo.
this spell the beginning of the end of the license plate hobby as we now
know it? This is an electronic digital display PennDOT
Official Use plate. The photo and information below were received
from Bill Ceravola. PennDOT is starting a new pilot project for
the use of digital license plates that allows a license plate’s status to
change in real-time. PennDOT has rolled out these registration
plates on several types of PennDOT vehicles to include dump trucks,
foreman crew cabs, and passenger vehicles in PennDOT’s District 8
(Dauphin County) and District 1 (Erie County); as well as on passenger
vehicles and trucks used by PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services.
See a related article from the
Here is the first image
on this website of a
Camp Papillon Animal Shelter
Tom Perri noted that this
organization has a prototype image on their website; however, that image
showed a very strange numeric starting point of 22000. With that
in mind, I visited the facility in Stroudsburg and got a photo of what
is believed to be a more likely starting point of 30000C/P.
It was also confirmed that plates are now available and several are
already in use.
Here are a couple new highs recently
spotted by Bruce Bufalini.
These are both traffic shots with the far left being a Passenger plate
and the near left being a Truck. For
a comprehensive listing of PA highs, check Tom Perri's PA Plates (www.paplates.com),
not to be confused with the current website PAPL8S,
The simple explanation of this Gettysburg
College plate is that it is a remake of a an earlier plate.
The actual high is G/C3200 or above.
The earlier plate would have been on the www base with embossed logo and
legend. This is also the first plate spotted without the sticker
well. It may also be worth mentioning that Gettysburg plates were
always 4 digits in length thus giving them a distinct look. They
originally started at G/C2001.
Thanks to Nick Tsilakis for the photo.
the far left is a personalized version of a U.S. Army
Veteran plate. Such plates are allowed with up to 5
characters, or a space or a dash (but not both) which can take the place of
one of the characters. On the near left is a new high serial
number plate. This photo was captured by Bruce Bufalini.
This plate type was introduced in 2009 starting at 10001A/R.
This is a 1935
Legislative plate photo provided by Eric Conner. It was
part of a pair. The early Legislative plates were issued between
1928 and 1935, after which they were discontinued until 1957. The
authorized range of numbers is believed to be 1 to 400.
Over and under, or side by side,
either way these low-number 1934 plates would make a desirable addition
to anyone's collection. They are part of the first group of Format 1 Passenger
plates that ran from 1 to 9999, and measured 6 inches by 10 inches. The
second group were 5-digit plates which used the 6 inch by 12 inch base.
Thank to Clayton Moore for the use of the photo. Wonder if there
single digit plates out there?
is another interesting pair. On the far left is a 1947 Format 5 Passenger
plate. The near left plate is a similar looking 1953 Format 5 Passenger
That group covered the serial progression of 000A to 999Z, with all
plates being 4 characters, but here's the difference. The 1947
measures 6 inches by 11 inches, while the '53 is slightly shorter at 6"
x 10¼". Thanks to Jeopardyboy1 for this plate. There was
also a 1946 edition of
the 191A plate which I posted previously.
For various reasons older truck
plates are more of a challenge to collect, and so far this is the only
1927 S-Weight Class Truck
for which I have a photo. Plate size varied between 6" by 10" for
1 to 4 characters, 6" by 13" for 5 characters (as shown here), and 6" by
15" for 6 characters. PA didn't start using the word TRUCK on
plates until 1934. Thanks to eBay user Tiedup for the use of this
Happy Birthday America
Last week plate AG-85688 was posted
as a new Apportioned Truck
high, and this week we have a new high that's 1,500
numbers higher. This is not to suggest that such plates are being
issued at that rate. Vanity check shows a high of AG-88099.
Thanks to Preston Turner for the plate image.
This is a new high number Disabled Veteran
plate. Note that the 5-digit serial number is the only embossed
feature. The tag legend and the DV- are screened, however, the
plate still retains the sticker well. I frequently make the comment
that I'm pleased that these plate have retained their original color
scheme, and have not joined the family of plates look.
This plate represents the highest plate
spotted on the LiveFreeRideAlive
Motorcycle base which ran from 7600L to 7599T. These
plates were supposedly released
in March of 2010, and were part of a 60,000 plate run. The "Live Free Ride Alive" motorcycle registration plate
therefore was a limited edition plate. This theme was to encourage motorcycle
safety. Thanks to Bruce Bufalini
for this photograph.
Here's the latest reported high Motorcycle
plate. As is the practice in PA, the numerical digits advance
first, then the second letter advances, in this case the T, and finally
the K. Thank you to Bruce Bufalini
for this photograph.
It's not a new high, but it's the
first Classic Vehicle
plate I've seen in the 45000 series. Tom Perri's
PA Plates site lists C45745 as
the current high. This plate was spotted at the West End Car Show
in Gilbert, Monroe County.
This was part of a run of Official Use
plates that used the word Commercial in place of Official Use, and is
actually the high number observed. While these are considered
error plates, they were used on trucks or commercial type vehicles owned
by the State of PA. The run is believed to have begun at PA-1500A
and ended between PA-2700A and PA-2900A. Before and after this
group the plates were correctly marked Official Use. Thanks to
Charles Sweitzer for the use of the photo.
Here is a personalized Bucknell
University plate. It's also the first image showing the
map outline. This does not necessarily indicate that serial
numbered plates, now in the B/U21700
series, also share the this feature. Bucknell plates date back to
Here is a pair of
Delaware Valley Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America vanity
plates. I think this plate has the distinction of having the
longest organization name of any PA plate with 54 characters and spaces.
The characters is so compressed between bolt holes that it is hard to read.
Click the link above to see other examples. The next longest
legend is PA State Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
Thanks to Jeff Lawson for the photos.
Here is a 1972 State
Senator plate courtesy of Devan Ciemiewicz. This would
have been from the same time period, 1971 to 1976, that the Bicentennial
plates were issued. The number represents the senatorial district.
Plates could also be issued with number preceding the PA to allow for
two vehicles to be registered.
Here are a few recent additions to
Tim Gierschick's tractor plates. These include plates from 1939,
1944 and 1968. Tractor plates date back to 1914 with
many of the early
plates being a challenge to collect. The 1977 to '83 base was the
last run of PA tractor plates.
This is a 1940 Format 9 Passenger
plate. Format 9 includes the serial progression running from 1AA00 to 9ZZ99.
All plates in this progression measure 6 inches by 12 inches, although
some 4-character formats are 6 inches by 10 inches. This photo is
thanks to Frank and Ryan Vonderhey.
Next up is this 1941 R-Weight Class Truck
plate. R-Class trucks used three serial progressions including R000A, R00A0
and R0A00, with this plate being part of the third group. The
addition of this plate photo completes the R-Class display. Thanks
again to Frank and Ryan Vonderhey for the use of the photo.
The final plate this week is a 1951 R-Weight Class Truck
plate. By 1951 the R-Class had jumped to six serial progressions
including R000A, R00A0, R0A00, R00AA, R0AA0, R0A0A of which this plate
is part of R00AA. With this plate the gallery now shows 4 of the
6 serial formats. Thanks again to Frank and Ryan Vonderhey for the
use of the photo.
In Plate News, it looks like
4 new organizational plates are in the mill. These include Camp
Papillon Animal Shelter, Citizen's Hose Fire Company, Edge Hill Fire
Company and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. More will be posted as
it becomes available.
Here is a recent Apportioned Truck
high provided by Jeff Lawson. These plates have been using the map outline
for about 12 months. During that period plates advanced from the 73000
series to the 85000 showing an increase of 12-thousand plates. The next
series would likely be AH-00000.
While the above plate and this plate share
the same Apportioned tag legend, this is an Apportioned Bus plate.
And while this type dates back to 1982, until recent years there were only a few
hundred such plates in use. In 1999 there were only 207 Apportioned Bus registrations, in
2009 there were 627 plates in use, and 2018 the number is up to 1548. No
Apportioned Bus plates are known to have survived from the previous base. Please let me
know if you have, or know of such a plate, or photo.
In spite of this being a www base Repossessor plate,
close examination suggests that it is a new plate. The number is also a
new high. Vanity check shows RE-06525 as the actual high. The plate
type dates back to 1984, with all plates being reissued in September of 1999 on
the www base and the series starting at RE-05000. So in a span of almost
20 years, some 1600 plates have been issued, included in that number are 421
carried over from earlier plates.
Here is the latest high Street Rod plate.
After many years of the legacy Street Rod plate depicting the open cab roadster,
it all changed to the visitPA base with its redundant verbiage. This
change dates back to late 2016 and early 2017, but so far plate retains the
These are the 'have nots' and the 'haves' of the
State Alumni Association plates. The far left plate, from
Irazabal, shows the highest plate spotted before the map was added.
The near left plate, from Tom Perri,
shows the lowest plate spotted with the map.
The Official Use
highs just keep on coming at least with this legacy base. This is part of
the series issued to passenger type vehicles, and normally in pairs. Thanks to Bruce Bufalini
for this photograph.
This very nice 1934 Consular
plate appears to have been professionally restored. The serial number
range is uncertain but likely from either 1 or 10 to 100. Unfortunately
there are not many examples from this early series which ran from 1929 to 1935.
Thanks to Clayton Moore fore the use of the photo.
As with Passenger plates, new undated plates
were issued in 1965, and so it was with Legislator or House of
Representatives plates, however, they were not initially identified as
legislative plates. See the far left plate. Only by recognizing the
HR prefix could the plate be identified. Then in 1966 the legislative plates
were redesigned with the HR encased in a keystone and the word Legislator
spelled out. The legend 'Pennsylvania', was now enclosed within the top border.
Thanks to Eric Conner for both images. The HR106 image is new.
This is a 1958 base
Member of Congress plate with a '63 validation sticker. The 25 is
believed to represent the congressional district. This plate is formatted
with the district number followed by MC. Click the link to see another
plate with the MC first, followed by the district number. This allowed the
owner to register two vehicles. Thanks to Eric Conner for the use of this
This is a 1971 to '76 base
U.S. Senate plate on the Bicentennial base. Since there are only
two senators in PA (and other states), collecting such plates is next to
impossible. During that same period there were two formats of
Congressional plates. The second format had the US stacked and did not
have the Liberty Bell. It is unknown but quite possible that U.S. Senate
plates followed suit. Thanks to Eric Conner for the use of this photo.
The final plate this week is the first
1946 Format 5 Passenger
plate on this site. This format encompasses the progression of 000A to 999Z, so all
plates were 4 characters. All plates that year, regardless of the number
of characters measure 6 inches by 11 inches. Thanks to eBay user
Jeopardyboy1 for the use of the plate photo.
Spotted this Powered Boat Registration on a
boat up for sale in front of someone's home. The 14 means it expired on
March 31, 2014, therefore, as a 2-year registration it would have been valid
during 2012, '13 and '14 up to the expiration. I'm describing this sticker as being
orange based on the color rotation and its appearance.