No you're not seeing double, and this is not
Press Photographer plates are one of only a couple plates issued in
pairs in PA. This is also the first Press Photographer plates photographed on the visitPA base, and it's also
the current high. Thanks to Ryan Battin for
There was a report several years ago of a Press Photographer
on the visitPA base. That particular plate may have been a remake.
So far it has not been photographed.
are the first images of a Moravian College
plate on the visitPA base. The new symbol is the Moravian Star. It
appears that many, but not all, of the earlier plates have been replaced. With the transition
to the graphic base, this plate type is now eligible to be personalized.
This perfect image of a University of
Pittsburgh plate was provided by Tom Perri. It's also a new
high. Be sure to visit Ton's website to see all the latest in PA highs.
This plate type is eligible to be personalized as well.
Here's a prototype image of the new Appalachian Trail Conservancyplate. While this plate was authorized by legislative action, it will
still be considered an organizational plate. The plate application and
information are available on
their website. The cost is $50.00, and the plate can be
personalized for an additional fee. It appears that the the purchase of a
plate does not require membership .
These vertical Motorcycle
plates have been out for several months but this is the first I've actually seen
on the road. It appears that this was the 102nd plate made. Starting
point was M0A0C, with the A being the last character to advance, and M & C are
non-advancing characters, at least for now.
On the far left is an unusual sample that was submitted by Jerry McCoy. On the
near left is a more typical sample from the era. It is not known where the
unusual sample falls on the timeline, while the AAA-0000 format began in 1991.
This beautiful and rare 1915 Trailer
plate picture was photographed by ALPCA member Stephen Tuday at the recent ALPCA
Convention. The plate is owned by PA collector Jake Eckenrode. This
plate is a significant
piece in the history of PA's trailer plates. There are only three
plates known to exist. One of the other plates is T83.
I am starting to add more political plates.
If you recall, political plates up to 1935 were all branded as Legislative.
Then all such plates were discontinued until 1957. With this rebirth in
'57 the plates at first did not have distinctive markings or labels, but used HR
for State House of Representatives and PA for State Senator. They would
later be labeled as Legislator along with the HR identifier, and Senator along
with the PA identifier.
If anyone has plates or images of State
Representative, State Senator, U.S. Congress or U.S. Senate plates, any pictures would
be most welcome.
of July 17, the following changes took place to the laws regulating vehicle
registration or license plates?
Personal or vanity registration plates are
now allowed on cars, trucks up to 14,000 lb., motorcycles (including vertical), trailers and motor
Special organization plates may now be used on
cars, trucks up 14,000 lb., trailers and motor home, but not motorcycles.
• Any registration plate covered under
Chapter 13 of the Vehicle Code can now be personalized for $100 + the regular
registration fee; however, Person with Disability plates and Disabled or
Severely Disabled Veteran Plates are now $50 to personalize. This opens
the door to a large number of types including all 11 dealer types, 28 veteran
types, 19 misc. plates, 4 special fund plates, and most but not all of the
special organization plates. The organizations not eligible are those that have
not transitioned to the newer graphic style. There is also a weight limitation
of 14,000 lb. for personalized plates regardless of the vehicle type.
• Appalachian Trail Conservancy special
organization plates are now available.
A little more on special organization plates. Since
the current fee to register most of these plates is $11, the cost to personalize
the plates will add $100 to make the total $111. The 2-letter, and in some
cases 3-letter (NRA Foundation) prefixes and suffixes will continue to be used.
To personalize the plate up to 5 letters and / or numbers can be used, in
addition a dash or a space can be used but not both. Go to PennDOT's
page to see if the combination you want is available.
This low-number Combat Wounded
Veteran / Purple Heart plate was provided by Nick
Tsilakis. The low number plates are not
nearly as common today as the plates in the 7, 8 or 9 thousand range.
From my basement stash, this Kutztown University
sample plate on the far left was a test plate made up in
preparation for the changeover to the www base. It used the same font in
the legend as the yellow on blue base, whereas the sample on the near left is an
accurate reflection of production plates on the www base. Around 2005
Kutztown switched to the color graphic format.
plate on the far left was a test plate made up in preparation for the changeover
to the www base. It used the same font in the legend as the yellow on blue
base, whereas the sample on the near left is an accurate image of production plates on the www base. Lock Haven also
switched to the color graphic base first seen in early 2010.
The same situation as above for this pair of
samples. The plate on the far left was a test. It was decided to use
the SMALL CAPS
arrangement on the near left. Moravian just recently switched to the
graphic layout on the visitPA base
same situation exists with these St. Vincent Alumni
samples. The test plate is on the far left and the one on the near left
reflects the current issue. This organization has not yet switched to the visitPA base.
Back in April it was announced that this
plate type was being redesigned in favor of the now standard 'family of plates'
layouts. Evidently this has not happened yet as Ryan Battin provided this
recently issued Collectible Vehicle plate.
Here's the first image of a '47 Trailer
plate. The alpha character (letter V) in the third position shows that
this was the 4th of 5 formatting variations to be seen that year. This
plate measures approximately 6" by 11", while the '53 plate below measures 6" x
Here a '53 Trailer
plate showing the letter in the first position indicating that this was the 2nd
of 6 formatting variations to be used that year. The formatting of the '47
and '53 plates is very
similar but there is a difference in the font used for the legend.
on last week's posting. This is not a diplomatic plate. From
information received from Ned Flynn, there was a family in the
Stroudsburg area some years ago that had an affinity for New York City theatre.
They purchased vanity tags with DPL in an effort to appear as diplomats hoping
they might receive favorable parking, and other considerations. It is still unknown how the use of
the keystone separator and a dash came about, possibly some kind of favor.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: The
Governor did sign Senate Bill 1187on July 2. The bill will become Act 109. This was not reported until after my July 6th posting. It will
authorize the following new plates: • Combat Infantry Badge registration plate
• "In God We Trust" registration plate • Pennsylvania Monuments registration
plate with the wording "Gettysburg 1863" • Pennsylvania Hunting Heritage
registration plate. The law will also changes the period of registration for
Vintage (YOM) plates from 1906 to 1976, was 1975. The fee for organizational
plates will increase to $25.00, the current fee has dropped to $11.00.
This very nice 1931 2-digit Legislative plate image was provided by Michael
Wiener. It is not known how many of these plates were issued; however, for
1935 four hundred plates were authorized.
After 1935, Legislative plates were gone from the scene until 1957.
With the appearance of the '57 version,
the plates were divided into two categories. The plate pictured here with
the HR prefix for House of Representatives, while State
Senator plates began to use PA as their identifier. The source of this
image is unknown.
Here's a '65 House of Representatives
plate. Note the plate is undated and a sticker may have been expected.
The HR prefix is now followed by a dash separator then a 1-, 2- or 3-digit
number. This image was provided by Eric Conner.
Here's another piece of history from Clayton
Moore. This is the third example of a '48 Motorbike
plate in the image gallery showing different serial number formatting.
This is a bit of a mystery plate. John Anshant provided the picture.
I'm not aware of a Diplomatic series in PA but that could explain the DPL.
Also, the use of the keystone separator and a dash is very strange.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: As of today, the
Governor has not signed Senate Bill 1187. The bill was presented for his signature
on June 30.
In other plate news, according to the
provisions of Act 23, the new
Appalachian Trail Conservancy registration plate should be available on July 17.
The plate is to show an image of a hiker and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
logo and distinctive coloring. No image yet. Even though this plate
came about as a result of legislative action it will be considered an
Here's the latest Passenger high from Grant MacKenzie.
Here's a NASCAR 17 Matt Kenseth plate from Brendan Sherry. About 57 of
these plates were issued with this plate being 2 from the end. One of the
main goals of this website has been to capture as many current or recent issues
plate types as possible. Unfortunately there are still about 17 NASCAR
varieties that have never been photo-documented. All of these have had
only limited numbers issued, in some cases only 1, 2 or 3 being issued, which makes
spotting such plates very unlikely. It may be a little late in the game,
but I'd like to appeal to all PA plate watchers to help photograph some of these rare
specimens before it is too late.
A few years ago I posted the picture of the '75
Commercial Dealer plate believing is was some kind
of mock up or test plate that never went into production. Then this week
Clayton Moore shared the image on the far left. It may be a picture of a
picture so the image quality is not great, but it does show another example of
this plate type. Note the plate on the far left has the year, 74,
embossed, while the other plate has two sticker wells and a 75 sticker.
This is consistent with other dealer tags of that era. Can someone shed
some light on these plates?
The Commercial Motorcycle plate is one of PA's rarest and
most collectible plates. The plates date back at least as far as 1938;
however the ALPCA Archives suggests they may go back to 1931. This is one
of those mysteries that make this hobby interesting. The '46 image on the
far left was from Clayton Moore and source of the '48 image is unknown.
This '48 Motorbike
plate shows the use of the alpha-numeric serial number which was used after all
of the 4-digit all numeric combinations were used. Image source unknown.
Here's the oldest known PA Trailer plate to
exist. I saw this
1914 Trailer plate at John Nowak's several years ago. 1914 is
believed to be the first year for Trailer plates. They were white on black
porcelain as were other plates of that year.
Here's an all-numeric image of a '37 Trailer plate from
Previously posted was a picture of an
The final plate of the week is this
all-numeric '51 Trailer
with a leading zero. The earliest plates in the series for 1951 started at
0001. Eventually after using all the 4-character all-numeric and
alpha-numeric combinations, a 5-digit version was released.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:Senate Bill 1187, has now been passed by both houses, and as of
6/28 has been sent to Rules and Executive Nominations. I am fully
expecting to see this legislation signed into law by the Governor in the next
few days. It would authorize the following new plates and other changes.
Combat Action Badge, Combat Infantryman
Badge, Combat Action Ribbon, Combat Action Medal, Combat Medical Badge registration
plate. It is unknown if this is to be one plate or five.
"In God We Trust" registration
registration plate with the wording "Gettysburg 1863"
The bill would also changes the period of registration for vintage
(YOM) plates from 1906 to 1976.
It had been 1906 to
The fee for organizational plates will increase to $25.00.
The law would also raise the weight limit
for may plates from 10,000 to 14,000 lb.
This picture of a pair of newly minted
provided by Ryan Battin. They represent the newest highs. Municipal
plates are used by city, county and local governments and are permanent.
Here's another pair of newly minted Antique Vehicle and
Classic Vehicle plates,
also making them new highs.
Again the credit for these images goes to Ryan Battin.
Here's the latest high Classic Motorcycle
plate. As of the end of 2013 there were only 471 of these plates
registered. By comparison there were over 10,000 Antique Motorcycle plates
registered, and over 400 thousand Motorcycles. Surprisingly this plate
type has not yet been redesigned to give it that 'family of plates' look where
every plate looks like every other plate. This plate and the
Motorcycle appear to be the only remaining plate types to still use the state
map outline. Again thanks to Ryan Battin for the image.
It's not the highest, but it's one of the rarest
PA plates. As of the end of
2013 only 51 Commercial Implement of Husbandry plates were registered.
Both this website and the ALPCA Archives could use an image of this plate type
on the previous yellow-on-blue base. It is quite likely that none of the older
plates made it into anyone's collection or even photographed. This is a sad note for the hobby
and for the history of this plate type.
Telephone Pioneers of America represents one of those plate types
with a gap in the number sequence. After plate 00408T/P the number series jumped ahead
to 01600T/P. There are different theories as to the reason for this but
none confirmed as of yet. Click
this link to see a list of other plate
types with number sequence anomalies. Plate image courtesy of
This blue base Dealer-Farm
Equipment plate image was provided by fellow
ALPCA member John Anshant. This is the
only known surviving example of this first generation plate type. These rare
photos of extinct plates provides important photo-documentation and history.
Here's an image of a 1932 Motorcycle
plate. While it's not a great image, it does show the formatting.
There were some 11 thousand plates issued that year, so the 4-digit all numeric
formatting would have run out and the A000 formatting would have been used as it
was in 1931 as well.
This next image is a 1940 Motorcycle.
Note the use of the state map outline which first came into use in 1938 on
Motorcycle plates. Different sources have conflicting numbers of plates
issued that year ranging from 9100 to over 11,000 plates. The actual
number would dictate whether the alpha-numeric series was needed or not.
Finally this week is this 1952 Motorcycle.
The formatting is very similar to the 1940 plate above; however, this plate has
the 3-31-53 expiration date embossed along the top map border. The image
gallery already has images of 3- and 4-digit all numeric plates.