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.
This is a reference only website, no plate sales..
What's new in the last 30 days?
Click thumbnail images to enlarge ٠ Click links to
go to plate galleries
Here is a pair of U.S. Army Veteran
vanity plates. The TOZ is from Jeff Lawson, and the OIIIO was provided
by Ron Lunn. Any guesses what these mean?
And another vanity on a U.S. Navy Veteran
plate. This photo was also provided by Jeff Lawson.
This is believed to be the current high
plate. These are used on just about any municipally-owned and
county-owned vehicles, except
that have their own version. These are considered permanent plates and
have no expiration, in fact, some of the 1977 base, blue on white plates are
still in use. There was also a 1971 base that was replaced with the
'77 base, click here
to see all versions of this plate.
Here a first generation Gannon University
plate. These plates made their debut in 1997, but I had no luck in
finding a plate or a picture. I just discovered I had this image for
the past 10 months sent to me by George Kunsman. Sorry George.
This very nice 2-digit 1967 Motorcycle Dealer
plate was provided by Clayton Moore. These plates started at 1 and
went to 4 digits. Click the link above to also see the 3- and 4-digit
configurations. In 1967 was the first year for DLR. Prior to
1967 MCD was used to designate a motorcycle dealer plate all the way back to
1934. MCD came back into use with the 1999 plate reissue.
This week I have a number trailer plate
pictures which will finish up all the images that I had pending. That
said, there are still a number of years for which I have no images, and of
course there are many years for which different format variations could
be added, and as always corrections are welcome. Needed years still
include: 1920, '22, '23, '24, '27, '28 and '32.
This 1930 Trailer plate
is a nice example. No identifying legend, just the 'T' prefix, now
used in plate of the previous 'TT' prefix. It is believed that the
sequence ran from T1 to possibly as high as T9999. This allowed for
the plates to be 6" by 12". This is a John Willard plate.
Next in the lineup is this 1931 Trailer plate,
very similar size, legend and serial formatting to the plate above.
This is first image of a '31 Trailer plate on this website so the help from
John Willard is much appreciated.
This 1933 Trailer also
follows in the footsteps of the plate above with the exception of the plate
legend moving back to the top of the plate.
Finally we're back to plates with the
legend TRAILER. This 1936 Trailer plate
is from John Willard. This new format started in 1934 and continued
thru 1937 where the state and the year are displayed in a stacked vertical
arrangement along the sides. The word TRAILER was along the bottom in
1934 and '35.
The 1937 Trailer plate,
with the exception of the colors being reversed, is the same. It
should be noted that the serial numbers ran from 1 to 9999, then advanced to
an alpha-numeric format such as A123. Again thanks go out to John
The final trailer plate comes from
Clayton Moore. By
1941 Trailer plates had taken on a new look again with the state map
outline which started in '38. Also, the serial format changed from a
starting point of 1 to a starting point of 0001 with the use of 4 digits and
leading zeros. The alpha-numeric format as described above was still
When I took this 1932 plate photo I
initially assumed this was another Trailer plate. Now I am doubtful. Truck
plates also used a T prefix for certain weight classes. And a certain
weight class began at T10-000. This plate
appears more likely to be a Truck. Currently I don't have an older
truck plate section but am in the process of developing one to be added in early
2017. Thanks to John Willard for this segue into truck plates.
Here's a recently issued Teen Driver plate.
Thanks to Jerry McCoy for the very nice picture. These have been
around since 2013 and yet the 64 plate shown here is the current high.
A while back vehicle owners who use a device on the rear of
the vehicle for carrying a wheelchair or personal assistive device were
authorized to be issued two plates since the assistive device and carrier may
block visibility of the vehicle mounted plate. This Disabled Veteran
plate is part of this series and uses the DV-79000 number series which
separates it from the single plates series which is currently in the
DV-36000 series. The two plate option is also available on
Disabled Veteran and
Person with Disability registrations. Thanks to Nick Tsilakis for
sharing this find.
This is the final installment of
Motorbike plates from John Willard, however, this does not suggest that
Motorboat plates are finished. Many plates from the early 1920s until
the early 1930s are still needed.
We start with this nice 1945 Motorbike
plate. These plates started at #1 and one source indicates that likely
some 2000 plates were issued; however, toward the end of WWII it appears
that plate sales rose steadily. All motorbike plates shown here today
are 4½" by 8" in size.
Next plate in line is this 1946 Motorbike.
For 1946 the formatting remains the same except for color which follows the
same scheme as passenger plates. For '46 some 4000 plates are believed
to have been issued.
And so on with 1947 Motorbike
plates. This '47 plate is one of more than eleven-thousand plates
issued. This of course would mean that upon reaching 9999, the series
shifted to A000. And again this series of photos is thanks to
Here's what looks like a high number
compared to the other plates shown. Actually this 1948 Motorbike plate
is one of at least 17,000 plates based the F97 and the G643 plates shown on
the gallery page. Quite an increase — but in the post war years
Motorbikes were inexpensive to purchase and economical to operate.
This 1949 Motorbike plate
represents the final year of production of such plates. After 1949
Motorbikes would have been issued a motorcycle plate. It might be
worth mentioning that in 1977 PA introduced Moped plates. A
Moped, in my opinion, is a
modern-day term for a Motorbike, complete with pedals.
More kudos to John Willard for his
generosity and efforts to gather up and bring so many plates to a meet to be
We shift focus to older Trailer plates
beginning with this 1921
Trailer. Trailer plates date back to 1914 and up to 1923 all use the
word trailer in their legend and have a T prefix. The broad spacing of
the plate legend forces the plate to be wide. While it may not be
totally accurate, the pixel count shows this plate to measure 6 by 15.65
inches. Again thanks to John Willard.
In 1924 Trailer plates changed to a TT
prefix as the T was now reserved for a truck weight class. Also the
legend TRAILER was dropped. The 1925 Trailer plate
shown here also uses the TT prefix and has no TRAILER legend. The dimensions
appear to be 6 by 15 inches. This series may have started at TT1, if
so the plates were likely 6 by 12 inches. The original colors were dark blue over
yellow. Thank you John Willard.
Next in line is this 1926 Trailer plate.
The TT series ran through 1929, then switched back to the single T again.
Also up through 1926, the letters were the same height as the numbers after
which they were smaller. Thank you John Willard for the opportunity to
photograph this plate.
More Emergency Vehicle
vanities are coming to the forefront. Those seen so far have had no
keystone and no dash, now this plate has one of each. Steve Noll
passes along this Sellersville Fire Department's Utility 27 plate.
This vanity version of the
Conserve Wild Resources - Otter plate is the first personalized
version of this plate photographed on the road. This scaled down
graphic 'family of plates' version was designed to facilitate vanity plates.
This plate was spotted by long time contributor Nick Tsilakis.
This Press Photographer
plate picture was snapped by Jaska Börner and is considered the current high
number. These plates are always issued in pairs; however, not every
user mounts the front plate. Only one validation sticker is issued.
One distinctive feature of these plates is the absence of any kind of
identifying plate legend — you might expect the words
to be used in place of visitPA.
This 7 digit all zeros
Passenger vanity was sent
by someone named Tom who wished to remain anonymous. He said PennDOT
warned him of possible problems with such a plate as police often use 7
zeros when a plate number is unknown. He received the plate on a
Friday and on Monday he received notices of 16 overdue parking tickets.
This is a 1939 Motorbike
plate, not to be confused with Motorboat which used MBL as the identifier at
the time, and did not use MB until 1955. A quick refresher — Motorbike
plates were issued from 1920 until 1949, while Mororboat plates were issued
from 1931 to 1963. This low number plate is from from John Willard.
Next in the sequence is this 1940 Motorbike plate
also from John Willard. Except for the reversal of colors, the '39
plate and the '40 are formatted alike.
Next in line is this pair of 1942
Motorbike plates with 3-digit and 4-digit formats. Click the
link to also see a 2-digit plate. Note that in 1942 plates
began to display the expiration date in the upper center of the map border.
Again thanks to John Willard for the opportunity to photograph so many
The final MB plate this week is this 1944 Motorbike
plate, also courtesy of John Willard. This series started at 1 and is
known to go at least as high as 1844. Unfortunately we don't have good
registration numbers on many plate types.
We shift gears a little and move to a
1939 Motorboat Dealer plate. These plates were a little odd in terms
of size since they fall between motorcycle and standard size. This
plate measures 5⅛" by 9½". In general Motorboat and
Motorboat Dealer plates are similar with the dealer plates having an X
prefix. The Motorboat section of this website has at least one plate
for each year issued; unfortunately the same can't be said for Motorboat
Dealer plates, with many years still needed. Thanks to John Willard
allowing me to photograph this plate.
John Willard dug out a number of older
Trailer plates to help fill in some of the gaps. We're starting with
this 1917 Trailer
plate. The colors are white on brown, that's the easy part, plate size
is another matter. According to the pixel count, the plate measures
about 6" by 15½", but that size is not a listed for that year. the closest
size is 6" by 16". So I will try reaching out to John. As for
the number issued, that's another mystery since tractors and trailers were
counted together, but some 4-thousand plates were issued between the two
Next is this 1918 Trailer plate from
John Willard. This fills another gap in trailer plates. These
plates were white on black and while there were different plate widths in
1918, I can't say how many trailer plate sizes were used. This plate
appears to be 6" by 13½".
Rescue Hose Company
No. 1 of Greencastle,
Franklin County, now has, or soon
will have, some 32 plates in use. No photo available yet.
On the far left is a nice example of a
traditional Street Rod
plate. These have been around since 1982. And on the near left is
PennDOT's new prototype 'family of plates' replacement — really, I'm not making
this up. Apparently this 'family of plates' thing is some kind of
to make every plate type look like every other. Also the redundant use of
Pennsylvania and PA, and Street Rod is a bit much. The only redeeming
feature is that the plate can now be personalized. By the way the old
plates can still be used. The image of the older plate is from Tom Perri.
Spotted this nice Penn State
Alumni Association vanity plate in a hospital parking lot. Penn
State Alumni plates are now available in ten other states, as far away as Texas.
Here's proof that the Fire Fighter plate has
finally gone flat, or partially so. Click the image for a larger view.
It appears that after the fully embossed plates reached FF38699, the series
switched to flat screening of the Maltese Cross and the words FIRE FIGHTER.
In my not-so-humble opinion, the switch to a flat screened logo was a perfect
opportunity to make the cross resemble the more traditional fire service Maltese
Cross instead of electrons spinning around a nucleus. This change will
facilitate vanity plates which are now allowed. This plate image was
provided by Daniel Imperial.
Here's a new high number
Pennsylvania Hunting Heritage plate. These plates cost $56, with
part of fee being used by the Game Commission to help fund conservation
initiatives. These plates went into use in late June of 2015.
Limousine plates set a new
high mark. Bill Stephens shares this photo that he snapped recently.
Limousine plates started at LM-20000 on the www base, then went to the visitPA
base at LM-27000, and now have broken 30000.
This number 1, 1939 Motorcycle Dealer
plate is a unique find. John Willard shared this and the '38 and '40
number 1 motorcycle dealer plates. Wonder how many dealer plates were
issued at the time. For 1935, the closest year for which I have records,
200 such plates were authorized.
John Willard also provided this 1940 Motorcycle Dealer
plate. This is the first 1940 motorcycle dealer plate shown on this
website, so it helps to fill in a gap. At this point I still need MCD plates from the following years: 1926, '43 tab, '45 and '46. The MCD
identifier came into use in 1934 and continued thru 1966 after which DLR was
used until the www base was issued in 1999 when MCD came back.
As mentioned last week I got pictures of the
two years for which I had no Tractor photos. The pictures are from Jake
Eckenrode with some help from Tim Gierschick. This 1927 Tractor plate
is a low number and a shorty measuring 6" by 10". This size was
likely used for E+1, 2 or 3 digits, and a 6" by 13" size for E+4 digit plates.
This 1932 Tractor plate
fills the other year for which there were no pictures. As mentioned last
week the TE prefix was used from 1927 up thru 1933. This plate shown hers
is 6" by 15". It is unknown if plates with fewer numeric characters were
shorter. Again thanks to Jake Eckenrode with some help from Tim Gierschick
for the picture. There is now at least one, and up to four images, of
every year that tractor plates were issued. This is not to say the project
is finished, there are more formatting and size variations.
Keeping with last comment above, here is a
leading zero 1941
Tractor plate. At the time all tractor plates were 4 digit,
starting at 0001 to possibly 9999. It is unknown if the series advanced
into the A000 series. Thanks to Tim Gierschick for this tractor plate images.
The last tractor plate for this week is this
1944 Tractor, another plate with a leading
zero. Like the '41 above all plates were 4 character. It is unknown
when it came into use, but an alpha-numeric format such as A123 was used after
the all-numeric high of 9999 was reached. Again many thanks to Tim Gierschick for this and so many
tractor plate images.
Veterans Day 11/11/16
This Medal of
Honor plate is not new. It's a cameo appearance to honor our
military veterans. The plate was issued to Gino J. Merli for his heroic
efforts in World War II. The Veteran plate was issued to Ned Flynn.
Not a good picture, but considering the
effort to get it, I'm happy. These Hearing Impaired
plates have always been extremely scarce. This is not plate 3,114 issued,
but rather it's the 114th or 115th, since the starting point was reported to be
HE-03000. There was talk at one time of eliminating this plate type, but
are still available. So far this plate type has not been seen on the visitPA base. The good news is that they are also available as a vanity
During the September photo shoot with John
Willard, he showed me this 1957 Foreign Consul
plate. I expressed surprise, not being aware that such plates existed in
1957. I thought 1958 was the first year for such plates following their
discontinuation in 1935. 1957 Foreign Consul plates are not listed in the
ALPCA Archives, also the passenger series shows the use of two letters followed
by 2 or 3 digits. Can anyone offer more insight into this plate?
John Willard was also kind enough to bring
out some older motorcycle dealer plates beginning with this 1936 Motorcycle Dealer
number 142. All such plates were either 1, 2 or 3 digits. This
3-digit plate joins a 2-digit plate '36 MCD plate previously posted.
The next plate in this series from John
Willard is this 2-digit 1937
Motorcycle Dealer. This plate joins a 3-digit '37 MCD plate
previously posted in the plate gallery. Except for the reversal of colors,
the '36 and '37 plates are formatted alike.
Are these Press Photographer
or Suburban plates?
Yes, they are both. I guess technically they are Suburban plates with
Press Photographer serial numbers. They would have been used on station
wagons owned by press photographers during the period of 1960 to '63.
Another thank you to John Willard doe the opportunity to photograph his plates.
Which do you prefer, the natural state, or
the restored state? Both nice plates whatever your preference.
Personally I like both of these 98 year old gems from Tim Gierschick. It
is unknown how many of these 1918 Tractor plates
were issued since Tractors and Trailers were lumped together at the time;
however, the combination of both types was some 4,300 plates. These E+3
digit plates are believed to measure 6" by 13½, while the E+4 digit plates are
believed to be 6" by 16".
The E prefix is the giveaway that this is a
Click the image open to better see the 1924 plate. The 'E' was used on the
first tractor plates in 1914 up thru 1927. After that 'TE' was used for
several years. This plate measure 6" x 12" for the E+4 character format,
while 6" x 10" bases were used for plates with fewer characters. Thanks to
Tim Gierschick for this photo.
This 1931 Tractor was
also provided by Tim Gierschick. The TE prefix became the identifier of
tractor plates from 1927 up thru 1933. TE stood for traction engine — an
early term used for tractors. This series likely ran from TE-1 to at least
TE3-066. This plate measures 6" by 15". Click the image for a larger
This nice 1933 Tractor plate
also came from Tim Gierschick. This plate measures 6" by 15" and is the
final year for the TE prefix. Beginning in 1934 all such plates had
tractor as part of the legend.
*** Check back next week for 1927 and '32
tractor plate photos that will fill the empty spots for those years. ***