ALPCA small crestWelcome to PA PL8S / PA PLATES Weekly Magazine

Supporting the hobby, conducting research, preserving & promoting the history of Pennsylvania License Plates

John McDevitt and Jordan Irazabal


                                    Home  |  About this site  |  Contact John  Contact Jordan


The photos on this website, whether provided by me or other contributors, are intended for use solely on this website, and may not be otherwise used without permission.

This is a reference-only website, no plate sales.

What's new in the last 30 days?

٠ Click thumbnail images to enlarge ٠ Click links to go to plate galleries


  P A   H i g h s   P a g e 

  N e e d e d   I m a g e s

  Antique, Classic, etc.

  Bus, Limo, Taxi, etc.

  Dealer & MV Business

  Miscellaneous & Passenger

  Official Plates

  Political Plates

  Veterans Plates

  College, University, etc.

  Fire, EMS & Police

  Fraternal, Non-Profit, etc.


  Special Fund Plates

  Pending/Proposed Plates

  Mystery, Oddball, DCNR, etc

  Vanity Plates

  Plate Codes


  Front Plates

  Old Registration Records

  Old Plates in use

  Plate History, Governor

  Plate History, A to F

  Plate History, G to M

  Plate History, N to Z

  Passenger History, up thru 1936

  Passenger History, 1937 to present

  Plate History, Special Org.

  Plate History, Truck

  Special Event Plates


  Group Displays (old & new)

  Historic docs & misc references



  Validation Stickers (old & new)

  Vehicle Code (Registration)


  2022 Archives

  2021 Archives

  Older Archives

11/20/2022 Posting

John Clark sends in this new high number for the Lion Member plate type. What's most notable is that the high was last updated in February 2013! Click here to see current highs for all plate types.


Mike Alfonse sends in this picture of a personalized Children's Hospital of Philadelphia plate. The plate is $28 but it will cost you another $112 for a personalized version.


This new high number for the Organ Donors Save Lives plate type comes from John Clark. The map outline in place of the sticker well started at around 01800.


John Clark shares this image of a recently-issued Implement of Husbandry plate. Implement of Husbandry plates are registered to farm equipment that typically stays on the farm; trucks and other equipment that is used outside of the farm should receive a Commercial Implement of Husbandry plate. This is not a new high number, but a few numbers in the 7000 series have been observed, but none in the 1600 series.


Richard Than sends in this picture of a personalized Dealer plate. These are rare to spot in the wild! There is an additional $112 fee to personalize a Dealer plate!



This is a new observed high number for the Limousine series, spotted by Jordan Irazabal. This series has always advanced quite slowly, starting at LM-10000 in 1990 and advancing only about 21,500 numbers in the last 32 years, or about 672 new registrations per year.



It appears that people are now making their own license plates. Thanks to Doug Bernart for sending this one in.







Here's a Vanity plate that will give you a good laugh... or at least a smirk!







11/13/2022 Posting

Just wanted to mention that November 12 marked the 20th Anniversary of this website. A sincere "thank you" to everyone who has sent in photos, documents, and legislative updates.

Jordan Irazabal is now the point person for this website. I will still be involved but please make sure to email him too if you are emailing me. John McDevitt at jmcd1 -at- and Jordan Irazabal at jordan.irazabal -at-, or post them to Keystone State Plates on Facebook.

Legislative News - PA will soon have a Protect Pollinators plate, thanks to legislation introduced by State Senator Carolyn Comitta and State Representative Kristine Howard. Plates will cost $38 in addition to the normal registration cost, with $25 of the fee going directly to the habitat program fund. "Sales of the specialty license plate will support a new program to support the migration of pollinators by creating native grass and perennial wildflower-filled habitats along our state highways." Link to Daily Local News article.


Legislative News - PA will soon have a Blue Star Family plate, as well as a Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan plate. The Blue Star Family plate will cost $23 additional to the normal registration fee and will be issued to any family member (spouse, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, stepmother, stepfather, stepson, stepdaughter, mother or father through adoption, foster mother or father in loco parentis, son and daughter by adoption, half-brother, half-sister, grandfather and grandmother) of a person who is an active-duty military service member, including those in the reserve or National Guard. The Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan plate will cost $20. Link to The News-Item article.


This is a new high number for the Commercial subset of the Official plate type. The Commercial subset can be seen on snow plows and other heavy machinery owned by PennDOT, but sometimes they make their way onto an ordinary pickup truck. Click here to see current highs for all plate types.


This is the Pre-Owned variety of the recently-replated Dealer series. It's still unknown which types will be replated but this site will document them as best as possible! It's also a new high number. Thanks to Richard Than for snapping this picture. Click here to see current highs for all plate types.


This Motorcycle Vanity plate was captured by Bill Stephens. In my experience, it's fairly uncommon to see a vanity/personalized version of a Motorcycle plate.



11/6/2022 Posting

This "We The People" tag is not a plate display as much as it is a reminder to vote. 

This website has always avoided taking on political issues, but felt that this election is particularly important.

This plate is the property of John McDevitt.

Just wanted to mention that November 12 will mark the 20th Anniversary of this website.


This beautiful pair of well preserved U.S. Armed Forces Retired plates is thanks to Devan Ciemiewicz.  Note the American flag with the wording STILL SERVING above and below the flag.  This plate type dates back to 1990, with the original plates then replaced on a number-for-number basis in October of 2001.  The original series, prior to replacement, ended at D/D03534.  Later plates issued after replacement started at D/D04001 to a high of D/D04599.  I was informed in 2006 that the Tobyhanna Army Depot has opted to no longer support this plate due to the financial burden it caused.  These plates are also displayed individually at above link.


On the far left is a sample Veteran plate thanks to Devan Ciemiewicz.  As you may know, sample plates are no longer sold by PennDOT, but somehow a few of them manage to find their way to collectors.  The other plate is an issued Veteran plate also thanks to Devan.


This is a new high U.S. Military Airborne Units plate thanks to John Clark.  These plates date back to 2013, and so far, except for vanity plates, still have the sticker well.



Missed getting this new high Passenger plate posted last week.  The image is thanks to Bruce Bufalini.




This Conserve Wild Resources - Otter is another new high thanks to John Clark.  This is part of the Special Fund plate series.



See this personalized Motorcycle plate, as well as this week's display of vanity plates.






What the heck is this?  This plate image has been placed in with the oddball plates section.  The photo was provided by Donald Lewis and was mounted on a partially de-badged 3rd generation facelift Mitsubishi Outlander and was seen in lower Bucks County, PA. The car had a matching flag sticker on its rear glass. This is not a state or government issued plate, and it likely belongs to a Sovereign Citizen.


This is a 1933 Format 4 Passenger plate in what appears to be fine original condition.  That serial format ran from 00A to 99Z99.  So 6 by 10 inch shorty plates were used for 3 and 4 character tags while 5 character plates were 6 by 12 inches.  Note that the alpha character "L" is smaller than the numeric characters which would eliminate any confusion about the first character being the letter "O" on a Bus plate.  Thanks to Tom Pollok for the image.


This is a beautifully refinished 1940 R-Weight Class Truck plate.  The serial formats consisted of R000A, R00A0 and R0A00, with all plates being 5 characters, and measuring 6 inches by 12 inches.  Thanks to Brandon Sowers for the photo.



10/30/2022 Posting

Sometimes the plate alone doesn't tell the story.  And so it is with this Historic Military Vehicle plate and whatever type of vehicle it's mounted on.  Can someone identify it?  This plate is also a new high.  Looks like it would make quite the off-road vehicle.  Thank you to Jim Moini for sharing these photos.  Check Jim's amazing NJ Plates website:

We're still waiting and watching for a Historic Military Motorcycle.  Plate check shows none issued yet.


This is a new high Let Freedom Ring - Motorcycle plate thanks to John Fedorchak.  The series low is F/R0051, so only 8 serial numbered motorcycle size plates have been issued so far.  I noticed an inconsistency with how these plates were listed.  Originally they were grouped with Specialty Registration Plates, then sometime later they became part of the Special Fund Plate group.  The fee is $52, or $112 for a vanity.


Here's another Pennsylvania State University Official high plate thanks to Brayden Harnish.  This series started at A4700P.



On 10/2 we posted a new high Carnegie Mellon University plate C/M00129, and today we have another new high from Bruce Sakson.  It should also be noted that in February of 2015, this plate type was discontinued, so there will not be any with the map outline, and plate check shows the highest plate issued to be C/M00396.


This is the first and only photograph of a personalized Mount St. Mary's University plate.  These plates date back to 2010.  Thanks to Mike Alfonse for the photo.



See this personalized Passenger plate as well as this week's display of vanity plates.






What's wrong with this Truck plate?  Danny Schell spotted this plate and noted that the expected TRUCK legend was missing and visitPA was in its place.  This does not indicate a change, but more likely an error.  He saw a second one of these so likely there was a short run of them.


Here's another Truck plate, this one represents a new high thanks to Bruce Bufalini.

It may be worth mentioning that this plate and the Truck plate above are listed in both the Truck History section and the current Truck plate section.


These photos are of the same 1935 #1 Tractor plate.  The far left photo was from 2018 and a previous owner, the partially restored plate is from Tim Gierschick the new owner, who says that soon the plate will be fully restored. 


This is a 1916 2-Star Truck plate that was re-branded or reclassified from a 1-Star.  The plate, as it was issued, did not have the aluminum band along the left border.  Originally the plate had a single star embossed into the steel, then when it was reclassified to a heavier weight class, the 2-Star aluminum band was attached.


These are new high 1925 Truck plates and the first photo of a Z-Weight Class Truck plate.  That year used the R through Z weight classification system.  This series would have run from U-1 and Z-1 to the plates shown here or higher.  The plate sizes were 6" by 15" and 6" by 12" respectively.  The images came from a Roan Inc. Auctioneers & Appraisers catalog for an auction that took place on 10/22.  It is not known who the successful buyer was, but if the new owner is identified, I will gladly credit the person.


This 1927 U-Weight Class Truck plate also represents a new high.  Like the plates above, this image came from a Roan Inc. Auctioneers & Appraisers catalog for an auction that took place on 10/22.  This series would have run from Z-1 to the plate shown here or higher.  The plate sizes were 6" by 15".  It is not known who the successful buyer was, but if the new owner is identified, I will gladly credit the person.


10/23/2022 Posting

This week we have the first image of the new graphic format Repair Towing plate thanks to Richard Than.  Last week we posted the first image of the new graphic format Pre-Owned Dealer plate.  This week's plate has a graphic of what may be a tow truck along with the expected redundant use of REPAIR TOWING.  Note the serial format changed from RT-20000 to 10000R/T.  More graphic format plates are expected with New Dealer, Salvage Yard, Transporter, Repossessor, Multipurpose Dealer, Farm Equipment Dealer, Watercraft Trailer Dealer and likely Trailer Dealer.  Challenging — keep those cameras handy.


Here is the first image of an issued APSCUF plate.  There are only 2 serial numbered plates in use so far.  The photo was provided by the organization through Jordan's efforts.  In case you were wondering, APSCUF stands for Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.



This is a new high Philadelphia Folksong Society plate thanks to Mike Alfonse.  This plate type has been around since 2007.  According to plate check this is the highest serial-numbered plate issued.



This is a current Bus plate photographed by Mike Alfonse.  It is hard to see but believed to still retain the sticker well, which is thought to have been removed at BA-80900, based on a warehouse inventory report.  The current Bus series high is BA-86713.



Here is a new upper tier Emergency Vehicle high.  Upper tier plates are issued to agencies that are fee-exempt or permanent.  The lower tier, currently in the EV-37000 series, are issued to agencies that are required to pay a registration fee.  The photo was posted by Paramedic John Ryan to a web page then passed on by Bill Young.


This perfect image of a Trailer plate is thanks to Vern Kreckel.  The plate also represents a new series high.




The plate on this Oldsmobile reads A00A, and was the first of the redesigned Antique Vehicle plates issued in early 2005.  These plates were to take the place of white on purple PA Antique Historic Car series.  Credit for the image goes to Jeff Lesher.  According to Steve Moskowitz who is, or was, the holder of plate A00A, the graphic is a 1920 Oldsmobile Model 37 Roadster.


See this personalized Passenger plate as well as this week's display of vanity plates.






This vehicle is using a 1977 base Farm Truck plate.  The validation stickers are long since expired.  The starting point on these plates was FM-10000.





This is what I list as a Format 5, 1960 Suburban with validation through 64.  Format 5 progression ran from 0000Q to 999-9Q9.  Thanks to Amanda Pierson for this needed image.



This pair of Tractor plate photos is thanks to Tim Gierschick.  The far left 1951, S540, measures 6 inches by 11 inches, and is close to the high of S896.  The '53, R736, is a new high and measures 6 inches by 10 inches.  I have also added 1951 Tractor S896 from Worthpoint to the plate gallery page.


10/16/2022 Posting

Love it or hate it, here is the plate image of the month thanks to Matt Ciecka.  This is a new issue Pre-Owned Dealer plate.  A few weeks ago we reported that PA would replace all Dealer and Miscellaneous Motor Vehicle Business plates.  The new plates would have the addition of vehicle silhouettes, and not surprising is the redundant use of the word DEALER  At this point only limited info is available, but generic Dealer series will be split into New Vehicle Dealer and Pre-Owned Dealer.  Repair Towing will be using 10000RT, currently they use RT-12345.  Plate spotters watch for more.


The HH-prefix Motor Home plates that have been in use since 2006, have hit the end of the road after reaching HH-99999.  Actually not every plate in the HH-series has been registered yet, however the new series uses HJ as the new prefix has been launched.  This plate photo is thanks to Richard Than.


This Pearl Harbor Survivor plate is also a new high, thanks to Allen Minch.  The previous high was PHS0439, making the plate shown here a significant jump.  I don't think that increase is due to new plates being issued, but just that higher numbers had not been spotted.  After all the Pearl Harbor attack took place almost 81 years ago.  Today there aren't many plates still in use.


This is a new high Operation Iraqi Freedom plate photo thanks to Brandon Sowers.  This series dates back to 2005 with the series starting at 00001I/F, and adding the map outline at 05209I/F.



This is a new high U.S. Navy Veteran plate photo thanks to John Clark.  This series dates back to 2009 with the series starting at 10011N/A, and adding the map outline at 13232N/A.



This is a personalized Vietnam War Veteran plate thanks to John Clark.  This series dates back to 1999 on a previous design, then moved to the family of plates in 2014.




While this is not a new high for the Sons of the American Legion plate type, it is a high for plates with the sticker well.  Previously spotted plate 00067S/L does not have the sticker well.  This plate photo is thanks to John Clark.



This is a new high Deborah Grand OES-PHA plate from Mike Alfonse.  Not an often seen plate.  Plate check shows that the registered high is E/S20124.



This Fire Fighter plate is also a new high.  It was spotted by John Clark.  This latest iteration of the Fire Fighter plate started at FF38700 with the Maltese Cross and legend screened, but still retaining the sticker well.  The Fire Fighter is PA's oldest organizational plate dating back to 1983 on the blue on yellow base.


Here's a Philadelphia Fire Fighters' Union plate that at first glance could be a new high.  This series dates back to 2005 starting at P/F20001, with the series high being P/F21172.  So why a plate in the 23000 series?  It was discovered some time ago that there is a group of these plate with the number range of P/F23055 to P/F23115 which is outside the expected range, with the plate shown here being part of that group.  It is not known why this occurred.  Thank you to Richard Than for the image.


This is the highest National Police Defense Foundation plate with the sticker well, and for which I have a photo.  Plate 10104P/F has been previously documented but no photo.  This plate photo is thanks to John Clark.  There are later plates without the sticker well, with the map outline and personalized.


This Kings College Alumni plate represents another new high, and is another organizational plate still being issued on the www fade base.  Plates up to K/C20999 are in inventory.  After that who knows?  There is no mention of alumni plates on their website.  The photo is thanks to John Clark.



This is certainly the week for highs, including this University of Pittsburgh plate from Brayden Harnish.  Pitt plates date back to 1988 when they were labeled Pitt Bicentennial.



Villanova University Alumni Assoc. plates date back to 1987 on the yellow on blue base.  The series started at V/U00001 and ran to V/U01790.  When the original plates were replaced in 2001 with the www base, they were reissued on a number for number basis.  This well aged plate shown here is close to the high listed above.  Click the link above to see more Villanova plate history.  This plate photo is thanks to John Clark.


This is a personalized Wisconsin Alumni Association plate, now showing the map outline. Another John Clark photograph.




We don't always think of low-numbered plates, such as these under-100 tags as vanities, but they are.  Thanks to Ryan B. for the photo.  Click the link to see this week's display of vanities.





10/9/2022 Posting

Here are two recent Passenger highs which were spotted by Matt Ciecka.




Here is a new high PA Choose Life plate thanks to Chris Wentzel.  It is also the first plate from that series with the map outline.  The previous high was 01388C/L which was without the sticker well.  This plate series dates back to 2007.



Another new high American Cancer Society plate thanks to Richard Than.  Like the plate above it is also the first series plate with the map outline.  The previous high was 00146C/S which was with the sticker well.  This plate series dates back to 2009.



This U.S. Marine Corps Veteran plate photo represents a new high.  Thank you to Bruce Bufalini.




Here is a new high U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the first one documented with the map outline.  The previous high was 00120A/X.  The photo was taken at a tough angle, but all of the important features were captured, thanks to Mike Alfonse.



It may be hard to believe, but plates on the www base are still being issued.  St. Vincent Alumni Association choose not to switch to the graphic base.  The warehouse report also shows that plates up to S/V01599 are still on inventory waiting to be sold.  Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for the photo.



Here is another new high, this one being an Official Use PennDOT Passenger Vehicle plate.  Truck or commercial vehicles use P/A0000T as the serial format.  This photo is thanks to Richard Than.



See this personalized Person with Disability plate as well as this week's display of personalized and vanity plates.






This is a very nice 1925 Bus plate thanks to Jeff Lesher.  The first character is the letter "O".  There was another class of Bus plates between 1926 and 1929 using the letter "H" as the identifying prefix.  Presumably the "O" stood for Omnibus, while the "H" stood for Hire, but these are a source of some confusion.


This is a low number 3-digit 1935 Passenger plate, and came from an old Clayton Moore post.  At that time, the initial series of plates ran from 1 to 99999 before using a number of alpha-numeric combination.  This plate and others up to 4 characters measured 6" by 10".


This is a 1920 Class 1 Commercial or Truck plate, with the original colors being white on dark blue.   From 1914 through 1919 PA used a system of 1 to 5 stars to designate truck classes, then for 1920 the system was expanded to 7 classes identified by the first digit in the plate serial number.  Plates like the one shown here with both a top and bottom legend were 7 inches high, while the width could vary depending on the number of characters in the serial number.  Click the link to see more variations.  Thanks to Clayton Moore for the photo.


Next is this pair of 1923 Commercial or Truck plates, with the colors being yellow on dark blue.  The same weight class numbering system was in use from 1920 through 1923, with classes starting at 1 for the lightest weight trucks and going to 7 for the heaviest.  The plate on the far left is considered the highest number Class 1, with the picture from Worthpoint.  The Class 6 is the first plate in that class that I have seen.  Credit for the plate goes to Clayton Moore, and it will be going to Rob Baran.


These rusty pieces of tin may not look like much, but if you are a PA plate collector you might recognize them as 1929 Z-Weight Class Truck plates.  In fact, they may be the only such plates known to exist from that year and class.  A great find!  This pair was picked up at Hershey by Tim Gierschick and will be headed to fellow-collector Rob Baran.


I may have said this before, but I know little to nothing about the boating world.  So pardon me if some of what I say sounds dumb.  Some time ago Eric Tanner alerted me to Pennsylvania plates called a Boat Dock Permit. We know that there were Motorboat (MBL & MB) plates and stickers, also Dept. of Forests & Waters watercraft plates, but how do Boat Dock Permits, which were also issued by the Dept. of Forests & Waters, fit in?  Is it a permit to have a boat dock on lakes or bodies of water under the Dept. of Forests & Waters, later by the Dept. of Environmental Resources?  Or was it a permit to dock a boat in such a place?  In any case here are two examples from Ian Emmett.  The far left is possibly a 74 Boat Dock Permit with a 77 sticker, next to that is a 1978 Boat Dock Permit with a 79 sticker.  Ian is working on getting some additional images.


Images and photos are always welcome. Please send to:

John McDevitt and/or Jordan Irazabal




Page Up