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News and postings from 2009
The plate on the
near left (P/H/S0037)
is the standard
Pearl Harbor Survivor plate, while the plate on the far left is somewhat
of a mystery. This is the first Pearl Harbor Survivor plate I have seen
with a 3-digit serial number. Is this a special reserve issue?
PennDOT has done this with other veteran types. Is it a courtesy plate, an
error plate? The P/H/S140
image was provided by Michael Wiener. Posted 12/31.
Here's one you don't
see every day — an ATV
Class 2 plate. It's also the first Class 2 plate I've seen that
did not have X as the final character. This would suggest that the Class 2
plates use 0000X to 0000Z, then possibly 000X0, etc.
Class 2 ATVs are motorized off-highway vehicles, which travel on three or
more inflatable tires and have a width which exceeds 50 inches or a dry
weight which exceeds 800 pounds.
Class 1 ATVs are far
more common. (The image quality is kind of poor. It required using a
flash due to the very poor lighting.) Posted 12/30.
On the Plate History Page, a
minor update to
House Car/Motor Home data. Posted 12/30.
Neither of these
images are new to this website. These are posted here because I have
finally completed the plate history on this plate type, or so I think.
These two images show the only 2 variations of this plate type I am aware of.
This plate type came along at the same time as the
Towing plate, but unlike that plate, the Repossessor seems to not have
nearly as many formatting variations. This is likely due to the relatively
low numbers of this this type produced.
As always if anyone
has a different Repo plate, or image, or more information, it would be
The Plate Lookup
pull-down menu (on the homepage) is now fully operational. With this website
having been divided into more than 20 different pages of images a few months
back, it could be difficult finding a particular plate. Hopefully the
feature above will facilitate the locating of plates. I have tried to test
all the links, so hopefully they are working properly, but if anyone finds a
broken link, or if I have missed a plate, please let me know. It should be
mentioned that not all of the Special Event, Front Plates, and Mystery/Oddball
plates are listed above. As always, images, suggestions and corrections
are welcome. Posted 12/26.
Here is a new image
of a 58 base 5-digit School
Bus plate with a 63 sticker for the
Plate History Page. The
first run of the 58 base with 4-digit numbers had the tab slot to the left of
the year, while the 5-digit plate shown here does not. I do not know if
all of the 4-digit plates have the tab hole and none of the 5-digit plates have
it, or if the change occurred at some other point. For now I'm going to
list the change with the start of the 5-digit plates. Posted 12/19.
Also added this 58 base School Bus
sample image from Pauli Bagnarol to the
Plate History Page. Posted 12/19.
At the suggestion of
Chuck Harrington, all the Governor related plates have been placed on one page.
The Governors' Plates Page now
also contains all the
Inaugural plates and
Conference plates. Chuck also sent along images of this
Governor's Inauguration plate, and this
1980 Republican Governors' Conference plate. Posted 12/17.
Added this image of
a low number
Association of Realtors plate provided by Eric Conner. Posted
Also added this
image of a low number
Marshall College plate provided by Eric Conner. Posted 12/17.
Added this image of
a Version 8 School Bus
plate to the Plate History
page. To my knowledge all the type variations have now been depicted
in the School Bus section of the plate history page. Posted 12/14.
Added this image of
a prototype of a new plate for
Fire Company #1. The use of the leading 2 is because the Civil Air
Patrol has the first block of ten-thousand numbers using the C/P suffix, while
Cathedral Preparatory School has the next group with a leading 1. Posted
Also added this
image of a prototype of a new plate for
Grove Fire Company. Similar to the above plate, West Grove is the
second organization to use the W/G suffix, the first being Willow Grove
Volunteer Fire Company. Posted 12/14.
Anyone see anything wrong with this plate?
Besides the obvious expired sticker on an obsolete plate, this is an
8-character vanity plate! Pennsylvania only allows up to 7 number
and/or letters, plus a dash which does not count as a character.
Apparently somehow this plate slipped thru the system. The photo was
provided by Ned Flynn. This plate was likely recalled at a later date.
This is not the only 8-character vanity
produced. Somewhere in the late 1999 to 2000 range, I spotted a plate with
HUMPBACK. This was on the www base and was seen several times in traffic.
Unfortunately at the time I did not carry a camera with me. Anyone ever
see one of these, or have such an image or plate in their collection?
First image of an
13 plate. This picture was taken in the dark and was provided by
Nick Tsilakis. Posted 12/9.
This is not the
first Fire Fighter
vanity plate posted on this site, but it is the first showing a dash
separator. There are currently six of these vanity plate images on this
site ranging from FF7 up to FF plus four characters. The FF is a part of
the registration number. This was provided by Nick Tsilakis. Posted
Ceravola sends this
first image of the new veterans plates, this one being the
U.S. Army Veteran.
Unlike the prototype image, the actual plate uses "1" as a numerical prefix
AIDS Resource Alliance uses 00000A/R.
What is unknown is whether this was the first general issue plate, and if there
is a reserve group of plates with numbers beginning at 10001A/R.
This practice was done with Veteran plates and several others — the first 99
were held in reserve. My efforts to get an explanation of this in the past
have been futile. Posted 12/6.
PA Plate Trivia:
What types of PA plates are still issued with the state outline border? Answer
below. Posted 12/6.
image of a
Dealer-Multi Purpose plate. For a better understanding of this
plate type, click on this link to a
PennDOT Fact Sheet. This is also the current
observed high for this plate type. This plate type had a starting point of
MP3000D when they were released on the www base. The characters MP and D
are static, non-advancing characters. Posted 12/1.
Updated the '66
Business plate with this new image on the
Plate History page. Posted 12/1.
'76-stickered image of a Version 11
Business plate on the Plate
History page. Posted 12/1.
a bit of a mystery plate. Eric Conner suggest it's likely a
prototype (with reversed colors from the actual '65 base), or possibly
the rear plate to the 1964...a plate used a year before passenger plates were
changed to the same format with the exception of the colors. The image was
provided by John
Willard. Posted 12/1.
Governors Plate Page now has
quite a few plate images. Click link to view page. There are now
about 39 images representing 27 years of Governors' and Lieutenant Governors'
plates. The plate image to the left was taken from a photo provided by
John Willard. This is not the only
1934 Governor's plate
shown. The other image from Eric Conner shows evidence of a large, metal
coat of arms attached to the plate, while this plate does not.
Eric Conner is doing
a research project on PA Governors' plates and finding that not much information
exists. Photographic evidence of Governors' cars with plates visible is
virtually non-existent. There is evidence from a
newspaper article that the
first Governor's plate was issued in 1912. There are some years for which
two distinctly different plates have survived. The belief is that one was
used on the front, while the other was used on the rear. And, there are
long gaps where nothing is known of Governors' plates, such as 1920 to 1929.
If anyone has any information that would be helpful in the project, please let
me know and I'll put you in touch with Eric. Posted 11/27.
1944 Governor's plate
is one of two 1944 plates shown on the Governors Plate Page, with the only real
difference being slight variations in color. Some of that could be
attributable to ageing, storage and handling, lighting, camera variations and
settings, etc., as well as variations in paint batches at the time of
manufacture. Posted 11/27.
This is an updated
image of this very low number
plate. There is some question about the actual age of this plate since the
hole spacing appears to be that of a more recent vintage plate. The image
was provided by Michael Wiener and the
plate may have been produced as a courtesy. Despite the uncertain pedigree
of the plate I will continue to list it as a Format 1 plate, at least until
additional examples emerge. For whatever reason very low numbered Antique
Motorcycle plates are exceedingly rare. In any case — very nice plate!
This Format 2
plate image was also provided by
Salvage Yard plate on
the visitPA base today. The previous image had a frame around it.
PennDOT Introduces Branch of Service Veteran License Plates
Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Honorably discharged veterans of the United
States Armed Forces have a new way to proudly display their service as PennDOT
today announced the availability of a new series of military license plates
honoring veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
given day, members of our armed forces are serving around the globe
protecting our freedom," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E.
"PennDOT is pleased to announce this new series of military plates
recognizing their sacrifices in service to our nation."
plates feature the standard Pennsylvania license plate colors of blue,
white and yellow along with the applicable branch of service emblem or
logo on the left side of the plate. Pennsylvania is printed at the top
of the plate, with the name of the applicable branch of service at the
one of these plates, honorably discharged veterans must complete and
mail Form MV-150, Application for U.S. Military Veteran Registration
Plate, to PennDOT and include a certified copy of their DD-214, along
with a $20 fee.
MV-150 is available on PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services Web site,
via the Military License Plates link under the Military
Personnel/Veterans Information Center. Additional information and images
of the new license plates are also available on this Web page.
contact: Craig Yetter, 717-705-1092
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
The plates include
U. S. Air Force Veteran
U. S. Army Veteran
U. S. Coast Guard Veteran
U. S. Marine Corps Veteran
U. S. Navy Veteran
Added this low
Collectible Vehicle plate image which was provided by
Michael Wiener. Posted 11/19.
I rescanned, at a
higher resolution, the original photograph of these
1958 Governor's plate
images provided by John Willard. As stated in the earlier post,
the far left plate may have been used as the front plate while the rear plate
has the # 1 serial number in the center. Posted 11/17.
sends this current
Passenger Vanity plate on the www base. Posted 11/17.
Added Versions 9, 10
and 11 to the School Bus
section of the Plate History
page. While these three plate do not currently have a historical
significance, they are the last three variations of school bus plates were
originally introduced back in 1956. Version 8 (SB prefix on yellow on blue
base) still needs to be added to the page. Posted 11/17.
Updated this Version
Vehicle Business plate. This was the last of this series of
plates, and is one of a few M.V. Business plates without an embossed date.
This version was released for 1979 and could be revalidated with stickers thru
'99 or 2000. In about 1984 this type was split into four groups, the
largest of which was Repair/Service Towing. The other three included
Salvage Yard, Transporter and Repossessor; however, some of the M.V. Business plates
continued to be revalidated until the plate changeover in 1999 or 2000.
Added what I'm
calling Version 4 of School
Bus in the Plate History
section. This plate was embossed with 64 and could be revalidated with
stickers thru '67. These plates were made in 4- and 5-digit formats.
No alpha characters were used. Posted 11/13.
And yet another
format variation on School
Vehicle plates . . . ! This is the 6th or 7th variation on this
plate type since the start of the www plates. Click the link above to see
a description of all variants. Still need an image of a plate in the
SV-19750 to SV-19899 range. Posted 11/12.
This Format 2
Ex-Prisoner of War
plate image was provided by Michael Wiener.
While the plate is not current based on the stickers, the plate format is still
in use. Today these plates are increasingly rare.
There may have
been a run of POW plates with the placement of PENNSYLVANIA
and PRISONER OF
WAR reversed — besides sample plates. In other words PRISONER OF WAR
is on the top and PENNSYLVANIA is on the bottom. If anyone has such a
plate or an image of such a plate, I'd appreciate hearing. Posted 11/12.
A new section has
been added, called
Historic Plate Documents.
If anyone has anything along this line (PA only) that you would be willing to
share, I am looking for other similar material to include. Posted 11/11.
1958 Governor's plate
images were taken from a photo provided by John Willard. The far
left plate may have been used as the front plate
while the rear plate has the # 1 serial number in the center. Posted 11/11.
First image of the
new Penn State
University plate. This image came courtesy of Clayton Moore.
This plate was purchase very shortly after the plate introduction and already
the number is at 177. Penn State also has the
Alumni Association plate, and the
Pennsylvania College of Technology plate. Posted 11/9.
Also added this
Junction Gang NASCAR plate. Victory Junction is the parent agency
that sponsors all the PA NASCAR plates. Posted 11/7.
not-so-official Farm Use plate on the road today. Some farm trucks use
made up plates to indicate that the vehicle actually has a Farm Vehicle
Exemption. If you click on this
Farm Vehicle Registration Exemption link you can see several examples of
other plates as well as the actual stickers that are applied to the side of the
vehicle near the driver's door. Since the official sticker is small and
placed in an inconspicuous place, many farm trucks use some type of plate to
indicate that they have a farm exemption. Without any plate they invite
curious police officers to question the apparent lack of some type of
credential. Posted 11/4.
Added what I believe
is a 77 base School Bus
with a July 82 sticker. It appears that the 77 blue on yellow base was the
start of SB series. Somewhere I saw it suggested that the SA stood for
School Activities and SB stood for School Bus. I don't think this is
valid. Posted 11/3.
School Bus sample on
with 71 lightly stamped or etched in the upper left sticker well. There
was no 71 School Bus base. At the time the 68 base was used until the 72
base came out. It is not uncommon to find sample or prototype plates that
don't correspond to what was actually produced. Posted 11/3.
Added a pair of
sample images of
Permanent Trailer plates to the Plate History page. Over the years
PA produced samples of almost every type of plate. It's unfortunate that
this venue for obtaining plates has been discontinued. Posted 11/3.
plate. Click the link for additional information and more images.
The image was provided by Jordan
Irazabal. Posted 10/30.
Inauguration plates are from 1983, '87 and '91. The plates are not
new to this website, but the owner, Eric Conner, provided nicer images.
School Bus plates have been added to the Plate History page. The
far left plate being a 1968 base with a '71 validation sticker, and the other
plate is a 72 base with a 73 sticker. At first glance the plates may not
look all that different, but the older plate still retains the vestiges of the
state map outline, while on the other plate the map has been replaced with an
embossed border. Posted 10/28.
Lima Fire Company
has been added to the growing list of fire agencies with specialty plates.
LF seems to be a popular suffix. The use of the 2 in the numerical prefix
position can be explained. 00000"L/F" is assigned to The Mario Lemieux
Foundation; 10000"L/F" is assigned to the Limerick Fire Company; 20000"L/F" is
now assigned to the Lima Fire Company; 30000"L/F" is assigned to the Linglestown
Fire Co. #1; and 40000"L/F" is assigned to the Lansdowne Fire Company.
See the Plate Coding page for more.
Bus is wearing a plate that should
have been replaced back in 2000.
My best guess
on the continued use of the old base is that when PA did re-plate, it was on a
number-for-number basis. So the new plates had the same number as the old
plates. It is possible that some bus owners just left the old plates in place
since the number didn't change. Those numbers at the time were within the
range of BA-10000 and BA-47999. The replacements while sporting the same
number, were minus the dash separator, BA10000 and BA47999.
Beginning at BA-48000 the dashes were again reinstated.
These images were
provided by Bruce Bufalini.
These images were
provided by Bruce Bufalini.
(Click link to go to Bruce's website.) This
Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran plate is unique in that it is from the
group of plates'. That means standard issue plates of this type started at
00100I/F, and as you can see this is plate number 2 in a series that supposedly began at
100. So how do some get plates with special low numbers? I asked a
member of our PA Legislature (Dick
who was seen getting his picture taken with one of
these low numbered plates. He did not answer me. I have asked
PennDOT a similar question and I was provided with a bunch of stonewalling
and doubletalk, but no answer. So much for transparency in government, so
much for right to know. Posted 10/25.
Updated my very poor
image of a
National MS Society plate with this one. I got the image from a
reference website where the image was attributed to Tiger Joe Sallmen.
When I asked Tiger Joe about using the image he said he didn't recall taking the
image, but go ahead and use it. So if it would happen to be someone else's
image, let me know. Posted 10/25.
While we're at it,
let's add another Governor's plate. This
1936 Governor's plate
was taken from a photo provided by John Willard. This seems to be part of
a pair of plates for that year. This plate was likely the front plate
while the rear plate has the # 1 serial number in the center. Click the
text link above to see both plates. Posted 10/25.
Spotted this nice
PA Choose Life
plate. Plate is not far from the current posted high of 00746C/L.
Here are images of
two different greyhound organizational plates. The plate on the far left
Home Greyhounds, and the other is
National Greyhound Adoption Program, which is also the current
I wouldn't normally
post such a poor image, but
AMVETS plates are
pretty rare. Posted 10/24.
Added this '58
School Bus plate.
This is version 3 of the series. These were issued in 4-digit and 5-digit
formats. Posted 10/22.
1963 Inauguration plate from Eric Conner on far left, and updated this
Inaugural, also fro Eric. Posted 10/22.
Inaugural were also updated with new images. These plate images
are from Eric Conner. Posted 10/22.
Continuing with the
M.V. Business plates, this '76 plate on the far left, with a sticker has
been added. For some reason for '75 & '76, the plates were issued without
a date stamp, and instead used validation stickers. So a plate issued in
'75 could be revalidated in '76. The next plate is a '77 — back to a date
year stamp. This image was provided by
Tim O'connor. Posted 10/21.
Business, on the far left, with a date year stamp, and a '79 and later,
without a date stamp, have been added. It is my belief that this '79 and
later was issued until sometime around 1984, at that point new M.V. Business
series plates were split into four groups, the largest of which was
Repair/Service Towing. The other three included Salvage Yard, Transporter
and Repossessor; however, some of the existing M.V. Business plates continued to
be revalidated until the plate changeover in 1999, thus the '93/'94 validation
stickers seen above With the addition of these two plates, this (to my
knowledge) completes the run of M.V. Business plates beginning in 1966, and
brings the total to 14 versions or variations of this plate type. Posted
interesting trio of
1930 Governors' plates. The image on the far left may have come
from an auction website, so the current plate ownership is unknown, however,
comparing it to the center left image of another 1930 plate (from Eric Conner)
shows that the colors on the raised loaf section are reversed. Also, if
one looks closely at the far left image (zoomed & rotated) there is what appears
to be John Fisher's signature, the Governor in 1930. The third plate.
without the loaf and coat of arms, came from a photo provided by John Willard.
Could this have been the front plate while the others were used on the rear?
School Bus has been
started as new category on the Plate
History page, thanks to some images from Clayton Moore. Here are the
first two years of this plate type with more to come. Posted 10/20.
Added these images
of 1973 and 1974
Business plates. So far there are nine different years of this
plate type posted on the Plate History
page, plus one year with two variations. More of this series to come.
photo contribution from Chuck Harrington is this
Lieutenant Governor's plate with a 66 sticker. Click the link to
see more information and another variation of the 65 base Lieutenant Governor's
This image is
also from Chuck. While this may not be a Governor's plate
in the traditional sense, since there is no # 1 or Governor marking on the
plate, Chuck Harrington says that on
special occasions, Governor Bob Casey would put this on the front of the
Governor’s limo. Although this photo may not show it, this plate is unique.
Instead of the glass beaded reflectorized yellow paint used on standard
issue and state made booster plates at that time period, this plate has gold
leaf paint on the embossed areas. An impressive plate when seen in person.
Casey served from January 1987 to January 1995. Posted 10/17.
provided this image of a
plate on a 65 base with a 69 sticker. This plate completes the Foreign
Consul run consisting of '58, '65, '71 and '77 bases. Click the link to
read more about these plates. Posted 10/14.
Recently I spotted a
plate on the web in the DV-18000 range. The plate helped establish that
plates in that range are a continuation of what I refer to as Format 2. I
am trying to establish at what point plates switched to Format 3. One of
the goals of this website is to identify variations within plate types, and
determine at which serial number each change takes place. If anyone
has a disabled plate in their collection between DV-19000 and DV-22000, please
contact me. Posted 10/14.
The plate on the far
left is an updated (better) image of the
Governor's plate on the
'77 base, while the other image, which is new, has the remnants of a
sticker in the upper left corner. Eric Conner, who has provided the
images, suggests that the far left image was the front plate, while the rear
plate had the validation sticker. It's unfortunate that someone (not Eric)
chose to remove the sticker. Posted 10/11.
1932 are updated
(better) images of Governors' plates from Eric Conner. Posted 10/11.
1952 are updated
(better) images of Governors' plates from Eric Conner. Posted 10/11.
1964 are updated
(better) images of Governors' plates from Eric Conner. Posted 10/11.
These 1969 and 1972
Vehicle (M.V.) Business plates have been added to the plate history page bringing
the total M.V. Business images to 8 with more to come. Posted 10/10.
A new section on
Vehicle (M.V.) Business plates has been started on the History Page.
As of now, 6 images are posted with more to come. Posted 10/7.
The section on
Mass Transit plates
has been completed, but I may update some of the images. Posted 10/7.
This pair of
1945 Governor's plates
is a new addition, and shows some variation between the two. The left
plate may have been rear plate with the other being on the front. Anyone
have a picture of the Governor's car back then? Or any historical image of
a PA Governor's car? It would add quite a bit to the plate history to see
the actual vehicle with plates. The images were provided by Eric Conner.
1932 Governor's plate
is a new addition, provided by Eric Conner. Click the link to see another
variation of a 1932 Governor's plate. Posted 10/6.
1936 are updated
(better) images of Governors' plates from Eric Conner. Posted 10/6.
Same with this
1949 which are
also updated (better) images of Governors' plates from Eric Conner. Posted
plate image was provided by Eric Conner. This is the first decent image
without a frame blocking the plate legend. The numbers appear to
correspond to legislative districts. There also a Retired Senator plate
which just came out earlier this year. The vehicle code actually provides
for "retired member of the
Pennsylvania or United States Senate or House of Representatives, as
that plates could be issued to those who held U.S. Congressional or Senatorial
seats. There are plates for current members, but I'm not aware of plates
for those retired. Posted 10/4.
Plate Sticker Page, a lot of
changes and corrections have been made; however, much work remains. Some
of the needed images I probably have in my collection, while other I may need
assistance with. Images and corrections are always welcome. Posted
These two image are
of the same
Vanity plate. Originally I had this number registered to my car
with # 30 on the www base, then later on the visitPA base, and now on a
For what it's worth,
this is the lowest number PA motorcycle plate I have seen on a current base.
Stroudsburg University plate on the far left uses a different bottom tag
legend font than the other sample and production plate. This plate appears
to be a test sample to determine which font would be used during production.
This is the first
image of a
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology plate. Image
provided by Nick Tsilakis. Posted 10/1.
about this Motor Home plate other than it's the current reported high.
Antique Motorcycle plates, I
recently updated the serial number data of where the plates changed from Format
3 to Format 4. Click link for details. This type of data may be
meaningless trivia to many plate enthusiasts, and even some hardcore collectors,
but I believe it is a worthwhile effort to preserve the detailed history of the
plate type. Posted 9/30.
provided these images of the
1931 Governor's plate
and 1939 Governor's
plate. These two plates have the raised loaf area, but never had a
coat of arms, while the two plates below do have them. Click the links to
see additional Governors' plates. Posted 9/29.
Jake also sent this
pair of images of the
1947 Governor's plate and
1948 Governor's plate.
Validation Sticker Page is up and
running. A number of stickers and the 1943 tab still need to be added, but
the page currently has images from 1958 to 2014. Thanks to Glenn
Pomygalski for the majority of images. Posted 9/29.
Added this image of
a WHYY sample
plate. Posted 9/29.
plate is as far down the Z series as I have seen. Some of the remaining Z
plate stock (Format 2) is probably still in dealerships and tag services.
So it is very possible that the ZZZ plates will eventually make it to the
street, or they may already have. My lovely wife can be seen in the far
left photo enjoying Bike Week in Ocean City, Md. Posted 9/25.
Here's the current
reported high on the new (Format 3)
series. Seen on 9/19 at Bike Week in Ocean City, Md. Posted 9/25.
Added this image of
Association of Realtors plate. Posted 9/25.
Here's a 2-character
and a 3-digit Passenger Vanity, both spotted recently. The 329 image was
provided by Eric Conner. Posted 9/25.
first glance this may look like any other cycle plate, but for some reason it
has a letter / number combination from the www series, yet it's on a visitPA
base. VisitPA plates did not start until the PAA00 series. Not sure
what the real story is here, but I'm calling it a
Motorcycle Vanity that may have been made using an earlier number, in
other words a re-make. Posted 9/21.
Somehow a few of these older
Trailer plates continue to
survive. This plate should have been replaced around May of 2000.
Moped plate on this homemade
motorized pedacycle (moped). A little more on this plate type — the
current plate series began on the www base with the starting point being BA000
on April 16, 2000. The changeover to the visitPA base started with the BN
series and was first seen in September of 2007. After almost 9½
years, the series has only advanced to BV, or possibly a little beyond.
When you consider that not all letter combinations are used, i.e., BI, BO, BQ,
this suggests that there aren't that many registered mopeds. Actually per
PennDOT statistics there were 3,267 mopeds compared to 390 thousand motorcycles
registered in 2008. Still looking for a Moped Dealer plate image.
1912 Governor's plate
was provided by Eric Tanner, while Eric Conner did the legwork to get this
image. The story goes that while vacationing in New England in 1912,
then Governor Tener gave this plate to a young boy who asked for it. The
governor gave it away because he said "I have an extra." Eventually
this plate went from collector to collector but has not been in PA since
1912. [Sounds like there could have been more than one of these plates
produced!] Posted 9/11.
Clayton Moore shares with us that the
Isle Partnership plate is available as a sample — if you're willing to
plunk down $39.50, the same price as an actual plate. Posted 9/11.
Jordan Irazabal sends this image of a low number
Wives Charities plate. Click on Jordan's link to visit his amazing
Delaware plates website. Posted 9/6.
provides this first image of a
NASCAR 91 Bill
Elliott plate. This plate was only available for the 2004 and 2005
racing season, but it has taken this long to get an image. There are still
quite a few NASCAR plate types for which I have no image — if anyone can help.
Stokes II provides these
Passenger Vanity plates. The far lest plate, a newer edition on
the visitPA base. The other older plate is on the www base.
are now marketing a new plate to help support the cause.
Link to plate info. The '1' prefix is because
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
has the first block of 10,000 numbers beginning with 00000A/F
format. Posted 8/31.
This is the observed current high on the
Street Rod series. Plate was seen
at the Wheels of Time Rod & Custom Jamboree in Macungie, PA. Nice
show, beautiful weather, great cars and lots of mud. Posted 8/31.
Another one of these
Fire Fighter vanity
images has found its way here, thanks to Nick Tsilakis. Posted 8/28.
Added this one-of-a-kind
Commission Chairman front plate. The image is courtesy of Joseph
O'Keefe. Posted 8/28.
Jefferson University joins the ever-growing list of colleges and
universities with a new plate. Posted 8/28.
Here's a very nice
image of a
Christian Homeschool Association of PA plate, courtesy of Nick Tsilakis
(Correction, I had first listed Bruce Bufalini as the provider of this image.)
It's also the first image of this type and a nice low number. Posted 8/25.
Here is a pair of
Washington & Jefferson College plate images also provided by Bruce Bufalini.
Actually Bruce provided the far left image and I used a little computer wizardry
to straighten it. He took the picture across lanes in traffic.
Anyway, it's the first W&J College plate image on the new base. Posted
PA State Society Daughters of the American Revolution will soon have
their own specialty plate. I do believe that this is the longest legend
ever placed on a PA tag. Posted 8/25.
passes along this
Grouse Society plate image. Posted 8/23.
Cedar Crest College
is one of the latest to be putting together a plate program. The reason
for the leading 1 is because Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School is also
using the C/C suffix, but they have the first block of ten
thousand numbers. Posted 8/23.
Here's three images
of brand new 3-digit
Vanities on the visitPA base. These were provided by Grant
MacKenzie. Posted 8/22.
Here's one of those
elusive Fire Fighter
Vanity plates. This is the only special organization plate that
was ever made in a vanity version. Click the link above to read the full
account. Bruce Bufalini caught this one on the fly, and hopes to
eventually get a better shot. Posted 8/22.
The number of
specialty plate types continues to grow as the organization,
Transition, Inc., is now offering one.
UPDATE - this
Municipal Motorcycle plate type was added to the
Plate History Page on 8/19.
Chuck Harrington points out that the plate did not actually come out until '74
or '75 even though it is a '71 base. In addition he reports that the 000MG
format was never used on the '71 base. Posted 8/21.
More and more
out-of-state colleges and universities are getting PA specialty plates, this one
University Alumni Association. Posted 8/20
One of the links on this page was labeled
but was pointed at the wrong page. It should now work properly.
uncommon find — a Municipal Motorcycle plate on the '71 base, also courtesy of Harry
Nowak. This earliest series of Municipal Motorcycle plates is not even
mentioned in the ALPCA archives. This
plate also completes the run of all five variations of this plate. What
still remains unknown is whether this plate was produced on this base in the
000MG format, as it was in the subsequent base. Posted 8/19.
1914 Governor's plate
and Governor's Chauffer's license images were provided courtesy of Harry Nowak.
The plate would have been originally used by Governor John K. Tener.
much better image of an
Cancer Society plate than the 8/11 photo. Posted 8/15.
First image of a
Villanova University license plate. Unfortunately the lighting was
all wrong for this shot since it was in a parking garage. Yeah well, you take
what you can get. These plates have been out for a while and I have seen
them before but couldn't get an image. Posted 8/12.
First image of an
Cancer Society plate. Posted 8/11.
This is also the
first image of a
Society plate. The images are pretty poor, but were taken across
several lanes of traffic using zoom and both vehicles were moving.
Actually this is one image with the smaller version being cropped and skewed in
an attempt to square it up. Posted 8/11.
A contributor to
this site sent this
SPECIAL MOBILE EQUIPMENT image which is nicer than the one previously
posted from my collection. I also added the 'data' to the
Plate History page for this plate
type, or at least what data I had. There may be an additional variation of
the earliest version of this plate (use link above) which may exist with the
standard PENNSYLVANIA font in place of the "You've
got a friend"
font. I do need some help with this plate type. Also, the plate
highs page reports that this type has been spotted on the visitPA base. So
far no images. Posted 8/10.
research it appears that
plates on the www base were first issued on 9/1/1999, and starting serial number
was 7000 or more correctly MCD7000, since the small plate legend at the bottom
of the plate is actually a prefix. This plate is the lowest one I've seen
on this base.
What seems a little
strange is that the number series, beginning at 7000, seems to be a continuation
of the previous M/C Dealer plates, but the previous series used DLR as the
prefix. Posted 8/9.
Finally got a decent
image of the new format (Format 3)
plate without the plate being half covered by frames, reflectors and dealer
advertisements. It's also the lowest number spotted so far. This
series started with 0000A, most likely back in June. Posted 8/9.
If you think you've
Inaugural county political chairmen's plates before, you probably have. This time the protective
sheeting was removed to improve the image quality. Both images are from Chuck Harrington. Posted 8/7.
as above, again these
Inaugurals are courtesy of Chuck Harrington, and are the more typical
inaugural format. Posted 8/7.
This trio of plates
is also part of the
Inaugurals but comes from Eric Conner. Collectively the 53 to 57
series from both contributors makes a nice mini-run of plates. I think the
apparent difference in color between this group and the one above it is the
result of lighting conditions, camera variations, etc. Posted 8/7.
University will be adding a new plate, this one apparently not related
to the Alumni Association. Posted 8/7.
addition to the Plate History
page. This was the last version of the
plate to be issued, and is the only one bearing the legend FOREIGN CONSUL,
although the very early plates in 1920s and 30s used CONSULAR. This is on
the '77 base and was used until 1984 or 85. (These plates were eventually
replaced by U.S. Dept. of State diplomatic plates.) It is not an easy
plate to find making the image, which was provided by Chuck Harrington, much
appreciated. Still needed is an FC plate on the 65 base to complete this
run. Posted 8/5.
Harrington has provided images of these two very nice Governor's plates.
The 1949 plate
would have been used by Governor James H. Duff. Interestingly I have
another image of a 49 Governor plate without the coat of arms. Both can be
seen on the Governor's page along with an explanation. The other plate
image above, with a very similar format except for the reversed colors, is a
1963 plate which would have been used by Governor William Scranton.
A very welcome
addition to the Plate History page is nice specimen of an
plate, also from Chuck Harrington. These plates are quite rare and were
issued only to the Volkswagen car plant in New Stanton, PA, in the late 70s and
80s, until the operation ceased. Read the full description of these plate
at the link above. Posted 8/4.
Sticker shock or
KINKEE-ness, or whatever adjective applies to this
plate, seen recently at a car show. Posted 8/3.
This image shows the
current high number on this
plate. I was not able to get a straight on shot of this plate, but this is
adequate to see the number. Posted 8/3.
Here is another
image of the new
plate format. This is only the second one I've seen. The first image
was posted on 7/12. This series has replaced the old AAA00 format, which
had been in use since April of 2000, finally reached the end of the sequence at
ZZZ99, at which point this new format was released. This new format is
0000A, the alpha character being the last to advance. It should be noted
that while this new series is out, not all dealers and tag services have
exhausted their older series tags yet. Posted 8/3.
These are the first
Grove Volunteer Fire Company #1 plates. Posted 8/2.
traveling on PA Route 22, I spotted a
plate with what appeared to be an odd (high) number. The plate read K/U10479
and was on the visitPA base. Unfortunately I was unable to snap an image.
The plate on the left is just for reference but is the highest I have seen.
The plate highs
page does not list Kutztown. Kutztown is not a large university, and
the likelihood that their plate numbers have exceeded 10000 seems highly
doubtful. My guess is that the first two dies got reversed when the plate
was being produced and the plate should have been K/U01479
instead of K/U10479. Posted 8/2.
Have completed the
Repair / Service
Towing section of the Plate
History page. A total of seven type
variation have been identified and described. Could there be more?
additions, corrections and images are welcome. Posted 7/31.
another Governor's plate, this one from 1946. Used by Governor Edward Martin,
although the plate may have been used very briefly by John C. Bell, Jr. Martin resigned
in early January 1947, prior to the expiration of his term. Bell, then Lt.
Governor, took over and may have used this plate until his term expired on
January 21. Then newly elected Governor James Duff took the reins and could have used the plate from
January 21 until the plate expired on March 31, 1947. So much for historical
conjecture. This addition brings the number of Governors' and Lt.
Governors' plate images to 17. Posted 7/29.
sample image of the
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy on the far left shows a different tag
legend font. It uses Title Case while production plates, as seen in
the center and right images, use
It is not
believed that any production plates use the Title Case formatting, so it
will not be listed as a different format. Posted 7/26.
Added image of
Pennsylvania Game Commission front plate. Posted 7/26.
Pennsylvania State Police
plate on the far left would look appropriate on the
front of a PSP cruiser, but as nice as it is, it's not an official plate.
It was created as a courtesy or novelty plate by a fellow ALPCAn who specializes
in police plates. While the plate may not be official, I did add it to my
Official Front Plates page for lack of a better place for it. The other
older PSP plate I
did have in my collection at one time, but I do not know the history of it.
Governor's plate — this one from 1934. This plate apparently had a
metal coat of arms on the plate at one time, unfortunately now missing.
The plate was used by Governor Gifford Pinchot. This and many of the other
Governors' plate images were provided by Eric Conner. Eric is working on
the history of PA Governors' plates. If anyone has any plates, pictures or
history, please let me know and I'll put you in touch with Eric. I
certainly think the preservation of the license plate history of our Governors
is a worthwhile project, not only for the plate hobby, but for the preservation
of this archival data. Posted 7/21.
Plates, Images, History Needed
Just as Eric is trying to do above, I am
trying to find plates or images and information on some other plate types before
they disappear. It already appears that the yellow-on-blue
University official plates have all been destroyed with no surviving
plates, or even images to document their existence. This resulted from the
plate changeover in 1999.
Another group of plates that may also be in
danger of disappearing is the
(BL) series on the blue on yellow and
yellow-on-blue bases. Much of the above information was provided by Chuck
Harrington. Posted 7/21.
Added a Format 1
Street Rod sample
image. Posted 7/20.
Plate History Page is up and
running, nothing great, but it's a start. The page is very incomplete in a
couple of ways. In the lower part of the page, there are a number of plate
images with no descriptive text. This will be added as time permits.
There are also numerous plate types that I would like to show but for which I
have no plates in my collection or no images. If anyone has a complete or
near complete run of a particular type, I would consider adding it. As I
have stated previously I don't plan to do passenger, truck (commercial), trailer
or motorcycle. Others have already done this. This page will be an effort
to depict the history of some of the many plate types that have evolved over the
past 25 to 50 years or so.
— I just updated some data on
— A couple different images of
plates are needed;
— Additions, corrections and
suggestions are always welcome.
Thanks for looking. Posted 7/20.
Note the difference in formatting between
plates. The one on the far left if formatted incorrectly. The N/D
should always be in the suffix position. This is an error plate.
Philadelphia TV and radio station
WHYY will soon have
its own specialty plate. Posted 7/19.
Added this very nice pair of
Governor's Inauguration plate images. These images are courtesy of
Chuck Harrington. Posted 7/17.
The above pair are generally viewed as
typical inaugural plates, however, there were also some county-based
Governor's Inauguration plates as seen on the left. These two
represent Cameron County and Philadelphia County. (Philadelphia County and
City are the same.) The Cameron County plate appears to have hand-painted
legend and is on a different (older) base, while the Philadelphia County plate
has screened top and bottom legend. These images are courtesy of Chuck
Harrington. Posted 7/17.
Here is a
Inaugural without the normal numbers, instead just wearing the state
abbreviation. This images is courtesy of Chuck Harrington. Posted 7/17.
Every once in a while one of these unusual
special organization / vanity
plates shows up. This image came from
Jordan Irazabal. I have seen only about 4 of these on the www base and
unfortunately all but one have had frames. All of these plates have a history
which goes back to 1983. The Fire Fighter vanity was only available for a short
time when PA first started to produce special organizational plates.
It was quickly discontinued; however, those who had them were allowed to keep
them and those few remaining were eventually reissued on the www
base. I have not seen any on the visitPA base and don't expect to.
Click the link here or above to go to Jordan's amazing
Eric Conner provides this image of the # 1
College plate. Posted 7/13.
First image of the new
plate format. The old AAA00 format,
which had been in use since April of 2000, finally hit the end of the sequence
at ZZZ99, at which point a new format was needed. This is the first image
of the new format which is 0000A, the alpha character being the last to advance.
My guess is that these came out in June. Posted 7/12.
is the first
Person with Disability plate to
be issued. The PD and wheelchair
symbol, which are flat screened, are not part of the registration number.
The embossed P is part of the number, but is a static, non-advancing
character. I should have taken a better shot of the bike. The
operator, in a wheelchair, controls the bike from the sidecar.
Motorcycle Person with
plate format is also
the reason that the P00A series was skipped on the
Antique Vehicle plate
series. This was pointed out by Nick
Tsilakis. Posted 7/12.
This is the current high on the
School Vehicle type.
U.S. Women's Open Golf Tournament PA Temporary plate images. These
plate were seen on Lexus corporate sponsor vehicles. The event is being held at the Saucon Valley Country Club,
Bethlehem, PA. All the plates had Lexus corporate frames which conceal the
word EXPIRES and the date 7/13/09 at the bottom. Getting the pictures was
easy, getting a plate, well, that's a different story. Posted 7/10.
Added this 2-digit
University Campus Use plate.
This plate type is used on university-owned vehicles that are not used on public
roadways. This includes small campus vehicles (ATVs, UTVs, tractors,
Cushmans, etc.) that are used off road around the campus for identification
purposes. Posted 7/10.
Here's one I have not seen before — a
Photographer. From all the information I had, these plates started
at PP00 or PP10. The ALPCA archives makes no mention of single digit
plates. Sol Bress provided these two images.
In a similar vein, back on 6/18, I posted an image of
an Air Force
Reserve plate A/F0001, when the standard issue plates began at A/F1000.
And I've yet to hear an explanation of the 3-digit Otter plates.
Interesting stuff out there. That, plus the great contributions from
the PA plate spotters, is what makes doing this
website enjoyable. Posted 7/9.
Updated this newer format
Alumni Association plate. The previous image had a frame around
it. Posted 7/9.
plates have been removed from the official section of current plate pages and
moved to the plate history page. These were all (supposedly) replaced in
2007 with Emergency Vehicle plates. This type appears to be on a '68
base; however, in an Allentown Fire Department history book, a Fire
Department plate is pictured at a fire scene that was captioned as 1961.
Can this be? Posted 7/7.
Bufalini provided this image of a
Salvage Yard plate of
the visitPA base. These have been out for a while but this is the first
image of one. Posted 7/7.
Eric Getchell provided this nice image of
what is believed to be a
plate. If this plate was actually on a vehicle, which appears doubtful, it
would have been used by Governor William (Bill) Scranton. It is quite
likely that more than one plate was used. Posted 7/7.
Eric Conner some time ago sent me this nice
# 2 plate of the same vintage as the plate above. Was this a
Governor's plate? Eric Conner believes that this plate may
be a prototype in preparation for the Lt. Governor plate since there was a
space for Lt. Governor at the top, while the ALPCA
archives describes the '65 Lt. Governor's plate as the one shown.
image of this very unusual
PA Turnpike 50th
Anniversary special event plate on the far left. This event was
from 1990. The sample plate image is from Paul Bagnarol Posted 7/1.
Knights of Columbus
give their plate a colorful makeover. Posted 7/1.
A pair of beautiful commemorative,
motorcycle size plates from the
2009 ALPCA Convention recently held in Erie PA. The lighthouse plate
image was provided by Chuck Harrington. ALPCA is the
Automobile License Plate Collectors Association. Posted 6/30.
Another pair of plates from the
2009 ALPCA Convention.
The far left plate is another commemorative plate, this one being full size.
The other is a porcelain plate made in the likeness of early PA porcelain
plates. A number of these plates were given out as first prizes for
outstanding plate displays. The '55' denotes the 55th annual convention of
ALPCA. Posted 6/30.
You can form your own opinions about this
plate but it is sporting current and recent stickers. Posted 6/30.
Updated the Format 1, 4-Digit
Antique Historic Car
plate. Posted 6/30.
Ned Flynn has solved the mystery of
the PA State Senator
51 plate. Since PA has 50 senatorial districts, and the numbers on the
plates represent the districts, how does a plate above 50 come about? The
over-50 plates are
for retired senators - before the retired senator plates came out which was
earlier this year. The image
was provided by Nick Tsilakis.
Added this image of a
1951 Governor plate, courtesy of
Ned Flynn. This plate would have been used by Governor John S. Fine
I have added the names of governors who used the dozen or so governors' plates
listed in the
Governors Plates Section. Posted 6/27.
Captured these two 'first time' images of
Friends of Drake Well
Inc. plates. Posted 6/27.
Updated this Format 3
School Vehicle plate with a
better image. These are used on van type school vehicles, not on buses.
This format was the first group of plates of this type on the visitPA base.
Since that time several other plate variations have been identified.
South Newton Twp.
Vol. Fire Co. will be getting its own specialty plate. This is another
in the ever growing list of PA fire departments/companies with plates.
NASCAR 99 Carl Edwards
plate is brand new and was ordered as soon as the 2009 NASCAR order form came
out. So I am guessing that it may be the first off the line. What
does seem a little strange is the 1101 number. If you look at the image
gallery for the NASCAR 99 Carl Edwards plate, you will see that there were three
(3) different '99' plates over the years due to different sponsors.
Unfortunately I only have prototype images of the first two (2) versions, and
sometimes the production plate differ from the prototypes. So
based on number progressions with other NASCAR plates, this is my assessment of
For the 2005 racing season, N/9/90100
series was used (actual image needed);
For the 2006 racing season, N/9/91000
series was used (actual image needed);
For the 2009 racing season, N/9/91100
series will be used;
No plates of this type were offered during
the 2007 & 2008 seasons.
Images of these missing formats are most
welcome. Posted 6/20.
Here's another plate that raises questions.
Obviously it's a State Senator
plate, however, it was always my understanding that since PA had 50 senators,
each one could register two (2) vehicles with senatorial plates just by
reversing the placement of the PA with the senatorial district number. In
other words plates from PA1 to PA50 and 1PA to 50PA could be issued. So
what is the story behind PA51?
this be a third plate for someone who already has two, or a replacement for a
lost plate? I don't think PennDOT will do a plate for plate replacement for a
lost or stolen plate, so they might issue one with a new number, which would
have to be out of range.
This interesting image was provided by Nick
Tsilakis. Posted 6/19.
Here are two
York College samples with
very different formatting. The far left plate has the Y/C
designator in the prefix position while the other plate has it in the suffix
position. The plate on the near left with the Y/C in
the suffix location is the correct format. Posted 6/19.
Note the unusually low serial number of the
U.S. Air Force
Reserve plate. When you consider the fact that the standard series
started at A/F1000, it is a departure form the normal
format. So what's the deal? In 2000, when the yellow-on-blue series
was replaced, those with A/F0001 through A/F0010
had the option of keeping the same number on the new plates, while all others
got new plates starting at A/F1000. This opportunity
was available to all other low number military reserve plate holders at the
time, including National Guard.
This interesting image was provided by
Jordan Irazabal. Posted 6/18.
Steve Ondik took these two images of
Antique Vehicle plates.
Note that some plate holders have placed an image of their own vehicle over the
original graphic on the plate. The plate on the far left is also the new
current high. In PA the use of the letters O and Q in the first position
(or anywhere else) would have been skipped. Posted 6/18.
NASCAR N00 Victory
Junction plate was provided by Nick Tsilakis. My previous image
had a shadow. This plate represents the Victory Junction Gang Camp, the
sponsor of the NASCAR plate series in PA. Posted 6/14.
See any difference between these
West Catholic High
School sample plates? The plate legend font on the far left plate
uses Title Case, while the near left plate uses
Also the legend line is at the bolt hole level on the one, and above on the
other. I don't believe any production plates used the Title Case font, so
I won't list these differences as type variations. Posted 6/14.
PA now issues a
Retired Senator plate.
The formatting is 000R/S with Retired Senator along the
bottom. No image available. This will be a companion plate to the
plate. This is the first new plate outside of veterans groups, PD
Motorcycle and specialty plates that I am aware of in long time. Posted
Keystone State Games 1988
plate image to the Special Events
page. Posted 6/10.
Also added another 1988
Governor Conference plate image. Posted 6/10.
And what image collection would ever be
complete without a front plate from the
PA Fish Commission?
It's been a while since I've added anything
to the Special Event
page. This picture was actually taken back in February but haven't gotten
around to posting it. Kind of self evident but it's a
1967 PA Governor's
Inauguration plate. Posted 6/8.
Also added these two
PA State Official front plates.
See anything wrong with this
of America plate? Now compare it to the one below. At first
glance it may look like any other until you compare it to a normal plate.
I'd call it an error plate. (The T/P prefix belongs
in the suffix position.) Posted 6/3.
Recently I've added and/or upgraded a bunch
of sample and prototype images. Also I'm adding the 'first year of issue'
for each plate type where I have that data.
There is also a project afoot to add a
totally new page to this website focusing on plate history. The new page
will be an effort to depict the history of some of the plate types that have
evolved over the past 25 to 50 years. Watch for more on this. Posted
These image are from
Jordan Irazabal. It's not that unusual to see a
Repair Towing plate on a
passenger vehicle, and certainly legal. What is unusual is that this is
the current reported high for this type. Any of the Miscellaneous Motor
Vehicle Business plate, including
Salvage Yard, Repossessor and
Transporter can be used like this.
This Truck plate is a little unusual that
it's on what looks like a School Bus. This image is also from
Jordan Irazabal. Posted 6/1.
Jeff Burton NASCAR 31
image on the far left was provided by Lee Merrick. The image on the near
left is after a photo shop facelift. (I regularly straighten, skew images
and adjust brightness, but I don't ordinarily alter an image. This image
was altered to remove the tow ball, but the finished product is a valid
representation of the actual plate. Just don't look too close!)
This plate is also is the first NASCAR plate that I have seen where the series
did not start at 0100 or 1000. If one looks at the NASCAR plate history,
the Jeff Burton NASCAR
31 plate was issues for the 2005 and 2006 racing seasons, while there
was also a Robby Gordon
NASCAR31 plate for 2004. See image below. What appears to
have happened is the 2004 plates used N/3/10100,
so a new plate for 2005 meant a new format was required to avoid duplication of
numbers. Instead of the later-issued plates having higher numbers, the
series went back to N/3/10000.
First image of a
Reading Buccaneers, Inc.
plate with the frame completely obscuring the state name and half of the
organization name. I actually caught this at a traffic light with a
telephoto lens. Posted 5/28.
nearly 10 years of Pennsylvania using the AAA00 format on its
plates both on the www and visitPA bases, they have recently, or are about to
hit the ZZZ99 point and switch to a new format, that being 0000A. The plates
will continue on the visitPA style base. No image yet.
This is the first image of a
Boy Scouts of America
plate on this website. The image was provided by Nick Tsilakis.
And yet another DARE
plate image. This one being the second one produces after the change to
the current style. The image was provided by Nick Tsilakis. Posted
Updated image of this Format
(Drug Abuse Resistance Education) plate. This was the last format
(D/A0A00 to D/A9B99 ) before the switch to the now familiar DARE plate on the
visitPA base. Posted 5/23.
. . and while we're on the subject of
plates Paul Sanfran provided this image of a very low number plate. Posted
far left is the first image of a
Temple University Alumni
on the visitPA base with flat screened color graphic and prefix. This
image was provided by Nick Tsilakis. The other image, for comparison, is
on the www base. Posted 5/20.
image represents the high number for this plate type. The black is very
glossy on these plates making it almost impossible to get a good image without a
reflection. This was taken on a cloudy day. This plate type is
seldom seen on the street. It is more common at car shows, however, even
there is is not nearly as common as
Classic plates. The
counterpart is so rare that I have never seen one. Posted 5/20.
The plate on the far left is the
current high on this Antique
Vehicle plate type. See
LicensePlates.cc website for Pennsylvania highs.
The plates on the far left and center show that the characters spacing has been
shifted to the right on these recent plates, while the earlier plate shows the
characters are centered between the graphic and right border. The early
plate image was provided by Jeff Lesher.
Captured this nice clean image of an
plate. Posted 5/19.
This is the current reported high
Classis Car plate. See
LicensePlates.cc website for Pennsylvania highs.
On the application form for a Special
Registration Plate, it states: If an owner desires a second
Amateur Radio plate, it will
be issued with the call sign plus a hyphen and the number two (-2). Then
what does a plate with -1 indicate?. I have seen plates with -2, in fact
there are images of these on this site, and I have heard of plates with -3, but
never with -1. Spotted this today at a car show in Wind Gap PA today.
The town lived up to its name and with a temperature of 52° and overcast sky,
most car owners were sitting in their vehicles. Posted 5/17.
This is not the first time an image of this
Conserve Wild Resources - Otter plate has been shown. These images
are from Jordan Irazabal and the
previous images were provided by Nick Tsilakis in 2006 and 2008. Normal
formatting of this plate type is R over C always followed by four (4)
characters. I have asked for an
explanation of this format from PennDOT, and was told that to answer my question
violate record confidentiality. I insisted that I did not want or need to know
who owned such a plate, just an explanation of the unusual formatting. The
question went unanswered. So much for government transparency, and
Right-to-Know. Posted 5/17.
Resources - Owl plate images were provided by
Jordan Irazabal. Posted 5/17.
This on-the-fly image of a
U.S. Air Force Reserve
plate was provided by Jordan Irazabal. We're not likely to ever see these
military reserve plates appear of the visitPA base. Apparently there were
enough of these made on the www base that the supply is not likely to run out.
As I mentioned in a previous post, if you
like low number and / or Delaware plates Jordan's website is a must see:
http://www.thedelaware3000.org Posted 5/13.
Received news from Ned Flynn today that the
Kiwanis International plate will not be coming out. Not enough
orders, and the Kiwanis office chose to cancel the project. Too bad — nice
plate. Posted 5/13.
Spotted this not-quite-current but
still-in-use Farm Truck
plate. The latest sticker is 10-96. It was on a truck that was being
used to support no-till corn planting. Don't know if the vehicle had a
which would have been located near the driver's door, and which would have made
it legal to operate on the street. Posted 5/11.
New sponsorship for 2009 for
NASCAR 9 Kasey Kahne
results in a updated look on far left. The near left format has been in
use from the 2004 to 2008 racing season. Note the newest format number
series starts at 1000. Posted 5/9.
Stewart has switched to
NASCAR 14 for
2009, far left image. The reason for the 1000 starting point is that there
was another NASCAR 14 driven by
(middle left) for the 2006 racing season. From 2004 to 2008 Tony Stewart
drove NASCAR 20.
NASCAR99 Carl Edwards
seems to hold the record for the most plate changes with the same number.
The 2009 plate is on the far left, while the middle left plate was for the 2006
racing season. The plate on the near left represents the 2005 racing
season. It is unknown if there was a number shift from the 2005 to the
2006 version, but for 2009 the plates start at 1000. Posted 5/9.
This is the first image of a
Reliance Hook and
Ladder Co. 1, and also the first plate. Great find, provided by Jordan
Irazabal. Jordan is a Delaware plate enthusiast and has an amazing website
on Delaware plates:
http://www.thedelaware3000.org Posted 5/6.
Both of these
plates are of the latest format — what I call Format 10. In fact, the
plate on the near left is the current high. The plate progression in this
series began with A0A, A1A and will end with Z9Z. The first alpha
character is the last character to advance. There is likely to be one more
series after this and that would be 0AA to 9ZZ. After that I don't think
there are any 3-digit combinations available. If anyone has any of the
older PA Antique Motorcycle plates in their collection, I am still in need of
images of certain formats, also data on the starting and stopping points for
certain groups. Posted 5/6.
This is the first
plate I've seen with a number above 1000. Posted 5/6.
Spotted this low numbered
plate. The significance of the number is unknown. It could be in
remembrance of the 343 FDNY firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11/01.
Triumphs Ltd. will have their own organizational plate soon.
As can bee seen from this plate image, the
alpha-numeric number series is about to run out. In fact this is the
current reported high for this type.
website for a listing of current PA plate high numbers.
It is not known, at least by me, what the new format will look like. They
should be on the street soon. Posted 5/3.
This is the first
Disability Motorcycle that I've captured without some kind of frame, or
other adornments which obstruct the view. Unfortunately this one is dirty. The PD and wheelchair
symbol which are flat screened are not part of the registration number.
The embossed P is part of the number but is a static, non-advancing
character. This plate type has been around for almost a
year-and-a-half. Posted 5/3.
Motorcycle Dealer plate
is the current reported high for this plate type. See the
website for a listing of current PA plate high numbers. This series began
when the older series on the www base ran out of numbers at MCD9999. This
series began with MCD000A. The alpha suffix character is the last to
advance. The current series was first seen in 6/06. Posted 5/3.
While this plate does not represent
anything unique in formatting or appearance, it is the current reported high for
the Disabled Veteran
series. There is also a
Veteran plate series with its most recent reported high of D/V90059.
LicensePlates.cc website for a listing of current PA
plate high numbers. Posted 5/3.
Millersburg Fire Company
will soon have its own specialty plate. The 2 prefix is because the
Malvern and Midway fire companies received the first two blocks of numbers with
the M/F suffix. Posted 5/3.
NASCAR PLATE UPDATE — Carl Edwards,
Kasey Khane and Tony Stewart all changed sponsors for 2009. Tony Stewart also
changed car NUMBERS from 20 to 14, so this is the most significant change to any
of these three. Information provided by Steve Ondik. So there will be
several plate changes. Images will be posted when available. Posted
NASCAR PLATE NEWS — For the 2009
racing season PA will be adding
Carl Edwards # 99 (N99)
back into the mix. Edwards had plates available for the 2005 and 2006
season. The plate's logo colors were different each year to reflect
different sponsorship for each of the years. There is a good chance this
will change again for 2009.
Kevin Harvick # 29 (N29),
Richard Petty Historic # 43 (43N) have been dropped from the list of
available plates. So, for 2009 there will be nine NASCAR plate types
available. Also the 'Tag Type' designation on the order form (MV-913 4-09)
for Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart have changed. I'm going to go out on a
limb and suggest a change in race teams or sponsorship will result in a revised
plate format for these two drivers. As a point of interest, since
the VICTORY JUNCTION / NASCAR plate program first began for the 2004 racing
season, there have been at least 51 different plate formats. 2009 may add
a few more. Posted 4/29.
image of the newly
of Notre Dame plate on the far left. Note the change in tag
legend from the older plate. This image was taken in traffic from about 15
feet thru a not-so-clean windshield. The plate frame does nothing for the
plate either. Posted 4/29.
After doing some additional research, I have come to the conclusion that PA is
in fact issuing two series of Official Use plates. This came to the
forefront after Bill Stephens provided the image on the near left (with the
alpha suffix), and then Eric
Butler made a case for the two concurrent formats. I do know for a fact
that PennDOT differentiates between those that are issued for Passenger (PennDOT
Type 33) vehicles and those that are issued for Commercial (PennDOT Type 23)
vehicles. The one difference is that the Passenger vehicles receive two
plates while the Commercial vehicles receive only one. The other
difference is the serial numbering of the plates. Passenger plates (far
left above) use the 00000-PA format, while Commercial vehicles had been using
the PA-00000 format until the number series ran out and are now using the
PA-0000A format (near left above). The history of the two formats is more
obscure, it is unknown to me if there were always two groups or formats;
however, it appears that there was a more noticeable difference when 00000-PA
series began which may have been in 1984 or later. This may have marked
the beginning of the Passenger series. Any help would be appreciated.
This conceptual rendering of an
Emergency Vehicle plate is
the final image from Mike Emody, again using the retro-map outline with the
current serial formatting. To compare with
current Emergency Vehicle
plates click the link. Posted 4/27.
Bill Stephens sent these images of a new
serial format on Official Use
plates. These were seen on a new PA Turnpike vacuum truck or suck truck.
This new format is a bit of a surprise, not the format itself, but the timing.
Pennsylvania had been issuing this plate type in the previous format in the
30000-PA series, and was nowhere near running out of numbers with almost 70,000
to go. The use of the alpha suffix was expected, but not until the
previous series was exhausted. So what caused the change? Or could
this be another example of plates being issued out of sequence? It has
happened before with the
Person with Disability plates where the format progression got ahead of
itself. Or just following the format of
plates that have already progressed to using an alpha suffix. Time will
tell. In the meantime, what is the high number on the 30000-PA series?
Eric Butler, a
contributor to this website, suggests that PA is now issuing two series of
Official Use plates. A passenger series which will continue to use the 30000-PA
series and a commercial series which will use the new PA-0000A series. I
think one of the differences may be that commercial plates are not issued in
pairs. Updated 4/23.
Tsilakis provides this first image of a
Linglestown Fire Co. #1 plate. As I've said in the past, there has
been a proliferation of fire and EMS related specialty plates in PA, and with
somewhere around 2500 fire companies, there is no end in sight. Posted
Here are several more images from Mike Emody.
They are conceptual renderings of PA
Dealer plates with the retro-map otline. Posted 4/21.
While this prototype plate type will
actually be produced and sold, it will not be marketed by PennDOT, but rather it will be available to ALPCA (Automobile
License Plate Collectors Association) members. ALPCA will be holding their
annual national convention in Erie Pennsylvania in June this year. It has
been quite a few years since it was held in PA. This type of plate will
not have official standing, in other words, it can not be used in place of a
regular PA plate. It is more of a
special event souvenir plate.
The plate shown here represents the passenger type and was provided by Chuck
Harrington. There will also be motorcycle plates which depict the Flagship
Niagara under sail. Posted 4/19.
Don't run out to your closest tag service
and expect to walk out the door with one of these new plates. Mike Emody
has produced several conceptual images of interesting PA
passenger plates. The last
image, JBA-0000, allows enough space for the 7-character format currently in
use. He has employed the old map outline with some modern color schemes.
Look for more images from Mike in the future. Posted 4/16.
Mike reminds me that the plate design ideas
actually came from Bill Stephens. Updated 4/17.
This tricked out Pennsylvania State Police
drug and alcohol rolling billboard is quite an eye-catcher. I have seen
this a couple of times at car shows. Note the use of the generic
registration plate. Posted 4/6.
Motorcycle Dealer tag
recently. While these are not exactly rare, spotting one is not an every
day occurrence, unless of course you work in a dealership. It is my
understanding that that the MCD at the bottom of the plate is actually a prefix
to the registration number, making the registration MCD9775.
I have been trying for a number of years to
get an image of a Moped Dealer plate but so far no success. These plates
look much the same with a 4-digit number over MPD instead of MCD. I have
been to dozens of moped dealers trying to find a plate. The problem seems
to be that most dealers that sell mopeds also sell motorcycles and therefore
only have one type of dealer plate. A motorcycle dealer plate will cover
mopeds but not vice-versa. The plates do exist; I saw one at PennDOT
headquarters. Posted 4/6.
This is the first image of a
Civil Air Patrol plate,
and was provided by
Bill Ceravola. Posted 3/26.
Steve Ondik sends this image of a
remake of an
older passenger plate. This remake would have been for a plate issued
on the 91 base. These were yellow-on-blue with an AAA-0000 format.
A new plate to support the
American Cancer Society,
First image of a
Girl Scouts of the USA
plate. Posted 3/22.
Volunteer Ambulance Corps gets its own specialty plate. Posted 3/20.
Added image of
College of Technology sample. Posted 3/13.
Association as a new type of specialty plate. Posted 3/13.
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!
Spotted this shiny red Cadillac yesterday sporting a recent vintage PA
MUNICIPAL registration plate. Click the thumbnails to enlarge.
On March 1 the Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review did an interesting article called
Inmates' license to plate revised on license plate production in the PA
prison system. Thanks to Bruce
Bufalini for the tip on the article. After enjoying the article, I
noticed one of the pictures (far left image) had images of several sample
plates. What caught my attention was the plate in the lower right.
At first it looks like an Official
Use plate as used on Commonwealth owned vehicles, but the top plate legend
does not say OFFICIAL USE, instead the letters look like CO, such as
COMMONWEALTH OF. Note the standard Official Plate in the next image.
If so, I have never seen a plate with that legend on it. My guess is that
it's a sample, and does not reflect actual production plates. Click the
thumbnails to enlarge. Posted 3/5.
image of a University
of Pittsburgh restyled plate on far left with color logo, flat legend
and UP prefix, on visitPA base. This image was provided by Nick Tsilakis.
The other image is an older version, but still current, with the embossed logo
on the www base. It may be worth mentioning that the University of
Pittsburgh also has
plates for university-owned vehicles. Posted 2/27.
Proliferation of PA's Specialty Plates.
Over the past several years there has been quite an increase in the number of
Specialty Plate types. Just to cite some numbers, between the time when PA
first began to issue Special Organization plates back in 1984 until the time of
re-plating in 1999 the number of plate types had grown to about 77. From
that point till early 2005 the number increased to about 95 plate varieties.
Then in early 2005 the specialty plates started coming out with the colored
logos and flat screened plate legend. During 2005 about 33 additional
plates were added, with an additional 25 or so coming out in 06.
Approximately 27 were added each of the next two years, which bring us to 2009
with about a dozen being added so far bringing the total to 219.
Of course the above numbers lump all the
NASCAR plates together as one type, when in fact there have been at least 49
varieties of these Victory Junction plates offered over the years. At
present only 10 NASCAR varieties are available. Posted 2/22.
Alumni (Huntington, WV ) as a new specialty plate. Posted 2/22.
Added image of proposed
Mount St. Mary's
University plate. Posted 2/14.
Added image of
Reading Buccaneers, Inc.
sample plate. Posted 2/14.
Nick Tsilakis has provided this first
image of an
Ancient Order of Hibernians plate. Posted 2/13.
College of Technology has now gotten its own plate. This college
is the technical institution run by Penn State; thus their name appears in the
logo. The reason for the '1' prefix is that
Purdue University has the
series beginning with '0'. Posted 2/13.
In the ever growing lineup of fire and EMS
agencies, Pottsville Area
EMS unveils a new plate. Posted 2/13.
Fire Company will soon have its own specialty license plate. The
reason for the '1' prefix is that the
Malvern Fire Company has
the series beginning with '0'. Posted 2/8.
Members of the
Norwood Fire Company
will also be sporting new plates soon. Posted 2/8.
This is not the first time an older
Bus plate has been spotted with a
current validation sticker — in this case 7-09. Here the plate happens to
be on a school bus, and wearing the requisite coating of road salt. Most
school buses in PA use School Bus
plates but some are registered as buses. I believe this allows more
flexibility in how the bus company can use the vehicle. Posted 2/5.
Haven University gives its plate a facelift (far left) with a new color
logo and now on the visitPA base. Posted 2/5.
These 2013 and 2014 validation sticker
images were provided by
Vern Kreckel who sent them to Bruce Bufalini. These
stickers are used on trailers where there is an option to do a 1-year or 5-year
registration. Bruce is a fellow member of
ALPCA and a long time contributor and friend. He has several great web
pages, with his home page being
http://www.bufs-plates.com Posted 2/3.
Lansdowne Fire Company
will soon have their own specialty plate. Note the leading character is a
4. This is because the L/F suffix is in use on several other plate types,
namely The Mario Lemieux Foundation, and the Limerick Fire Company, and
Linglestown Fire Company. Posted 2/2.
Community Fire Co. also will be offering a specialty plate. With this
new plate type the leading character is 3 because the H/F suffix is in use on
several other plate types, namely Hampden Township Volunteer Fire Co.,
Hartsville Fire Company, and Holy Family University. Posted 2/2.
No Re-Plating for PA
On January 26, 2009 PennDOT announced
that a new law has taken effect that eliminates the mandate to replace plates
every 10 years. Plates will be replaced at no charge if the plate becomes
more about this. This proposal was previously
posted here back on November 13.
I recently obtained this unusual 2-character
plate. My research suggests that the first series of Antique Motorcycle
plates went from 1 to 999, although I've never seen a single-digit or
three-digit plate. The next series appears to go from A0 to D99 after
which the tag legends (PENNA and MOTORCYCLE) were reversed. More data is
needed to complete this research, so information and images are always welcome.
Friendship Hook, Ladder, Hose & Ambulance will have a plate available
for its members. The 00000"F/F" series is being used by
Flourtown Fire Company.
State University Alumni (Elizabeth City, North Carolina) will be
offering a specialty plate. Posted 1/25.
latest School Vehicle
plates (far left) are now coming thru with keystone separators. All
previous School Vehicle plates, from the first ones produced, well up into the
SV19000 series, never had any kind of separator. This latest image was
sent by Nick Tsilakis. Nick is an astute plate observer and believes that
plates just prior to the one shown, also had the keystone separator, but used a
narrow tag legend. The flip-flopping between narrow and wide tag legend
fonts has been common with this plate type and makes it one of the more
interesting types to watch. Posted 1/20.
Company prototype (far left) is new to the ever-growing list of
specialty plates. What is unusual about this plate type is that it shares
the same format 00000H/F as
Township Volunteer Fire Company, or at least the prototype does. If
this is an error, I suspect it will be corrected prior to the startup of actual
production. It should be noted that
Holy Family University
uses 20000H/F and the Harleysville Community Fire Company
(type not yet posted) uses 30000H/F.
produced by ALPCA member Mark Coolidge and his company, MVLS. These plates
will be produced for the 2009 ALPCA Convention, which will be held in Erie, PA
in June. They are not yet available. The left image
is a standard size passenger plate
and the other is a motorcycle plate. The images were provided by
Michael Liscio. If you are interested
in license plate collecting and you are not a member of ALPCA, ALPCA is the
organization for license plate enthusiasts. Click this
ALPCA link to see what the association
has to offer. Posted 1/15/2009.
Ringing Hill Fire
Company will be coming out with their own plate. Posted 1/15/2009.
Brookhaven Fire Co. No.
1 will also be offering a specialty plate. Posted 1/15/2009.
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