This is a personalized Classic Vehicle
plate with one thing missing. And that would be the required "C" as part
of the registration number. PennDOT's own application form, MV-11, states
that a pre-printed letter configuration of “C” will precede your personalized
configuration on your registration plate and cannot be changed. This is
not the first plate without the required "C". That said, thanks to Noel
Torchio for the photo.
check out this week's display of
Vanity Plates, many of which are
thanks to Tee Adams such as the one shown here.
Here is a new high Municipal Government
plate from Bill Young. These plates on the graphic base started at
MG-9000J. The next series will be MG-0000M, followed by MG-0000N.
This is a pair of 1946 and 1947 Motorized Bicycle
or Motorbike plates for short. This plate series ran from 1920 to 1949.
The 1946 plate is a new high. Thanks to Brandon Sowers for the images.
Many early (1920 to 1932) MB plate photos are still needed. In 1977 a new
issue came out called Moped or
Motorized Pedalcycle, a modern-day equivalent to the early Motorbike.
Here is a 100-year old Tractor plate
thanks to Tim Gierschick. In 1921 there were two serial formats, E1 to
E999, without a dash, and E1-000 to E4-163 or above. All Tractor plates
that year measured 6 inches by 16 inches regardless of the number of characters.
I believe Tim is also planning to refinish this plate.
This very nice 1952 Tractor plate
represents a new series high. The initial series started at 0001 and ran
to 9999, then the alpha-numeric series started at A000 and extended at least as
high as the plate shown here. This plate measures 6 inches by 11 inches
and is thanks to Tim Gierschick.
This is a 1939 Y-Weight Class Truck
plate. This picture came from a group shot of plates that Jeff Lesher was
getting ready to take to Hershey. Unfortunately, I was unable to make the
trek to Hershey. The Y class, as you may know, is a heavy weight single
(rear) axle class, one step below the Z Class. Plate measures 6 inches by
Here is a 1941 Y-Weight Class Truck
plate. It came from the same Jeff Lesher group shot mentioned above.
1941 was the first year for the plate expiration date to be shown on the top
border of the plate. It read "EXP. 3-31-42". Again Plate measures 6
inches by 12 inches.
is a 1955 W-Weight Class Truck
plate. This class is one weight group lighter than the Y-class. '55
was the last year for the narrow 10¼ inches plates. The following year
plates became standardized at 6 inches by 12 inches. Thanks to Jeff Lesher
for the plate photo.
These great images came from Jeff Lesher,
and are part of the 1964 to
'67 3-Axle Truck Series. This means trucks
with 2-rear axles and 1 front axle. The 3-axle truck series ran from the
RZ, for the lightest class, to the heaviest ZZ-series. Check back next
week for a couple more plates.
Throughout the summer we have seen these Antique Vehicle plates
advance well into the E series. As previously described, and with most of PA's plates, numbers advance first, then the letter in the 4th position, then
the 3rd spot and finally the letter in the 1st position. It appears that
E2SV is the current registered high.
This is a personalized Penn Alumni plate from
Bruce Bufalini. The second
character appears to be the letter "O", not a zero, based on its smaller size.
This is the first Penn Alumni vanity spotted with the map outline. I've
said this before, but the use of a plate frame that completely covers up the
name of the organization doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
Also check out the Vanity Plates page for additional personalized plates.
Here's a low number South Newton Twp
Vol Fire Co plate photographed by Bill Ceravola. This plate
program dates back to 2009, with an issued high of 00012S/A.
South Newton is located in Walnut Bottom, which is part of Cumberland County in
south central PA.
This is a
Format 2A Washington & Jefferson College plate. When the first
generation yellow on blue plates were replaced, they were reissued on a number
for number basis on the www base, the series ended at W/J00673.
Then when new first time plates were issued on the www base, the series skipped
ahead to W/J01200. Click the link to see
more. Thanks to Rob Baran for the plate photo.
While looking through some old plate-related
items, I came across a full page display of motorcycle plates on pegboard.
I'm fairly certain the source was Jake Eckenrode. Unfortunately, my photo
was low resolution. Anyway, I will add some of these images such as this 1918 3-digit Motorcycle
plate shown here. The color was white on black and measured 4½" by 6".
Next up is this 1921 3-digit Motorcycle
plate, similar story to the plate above. This dark blue on orange steel
plate also measures 4½ inches by 6 which to my knowledge are almost the smallest
state-issued plate size, although 2 and 3 digit 1915 and possibly 1914 MC plates
measured 4½ inches by 5½.
1934 alpha-numeric Motorcycle
plate photos came from another slightly better snapshot, also likely belonging
to Jake Eckenrode at the time. Serial numbers progressed from 1 to 9999,
then A to A999, etc. to C95, or maybe higher. These dark blue on yellow
plates measured 4½ inches by 8 inches.
This is a 1951 Z-Weight Class Truck
plate. This plate represent the heaviest weight class single (rear) axle
truck. This plate is also the series high; previous high was listed as
Z315H. This plate measures 6 inches by 11 inches, and was the final year
for pairs. Thanks to Jeff Lesher for the photo.
Next up is this 1953 Y-Weight Class Truck
plate. This plate represents the first of two Y-class serial progressions.
This first being Y000A, as shown here, and the other being Y00A0. 1953 saw the reduction in
plate size from 6" by 11 to 6" by 10¼", and plates were issued as singles.
Thanks to Jeff Lesher for the photo.
The final truck plate for this week is this
1956 Y-Weight Class.
This plate represents the first of two Y-class serial progressions. This
one being Y000A, and the other being Y00A0. 1956 was a year of transition, not
only did the plate size become standardized at 6 inches by 12 inches, there were
also three map bases and three die sets used. There was also a shift to
6-character plates near the end of the R-series. These 6-character plates
were a preview of what the 1957 truck plates would look like. Click
the link to read and see more. Another thank you to Jeff Lesher for the
Here is the latest high Person
with Disability Motorcycle plate thanks to
Bruce Bufalini. Unlike the
Person with Disability plate for passenger vehicles, the PD on Motorcycle plates
is not part of the registration number. The larger embossed P is part of
the number but is a static, non-advancing character. The current
registered high is P15Y which raises the question of what happens after reaching
P99Z. My guess is P0A0.
This is a personalized Eagle Scout
plate that was recently spotted by Jordan Irazabal.
This plate type only dates back to 2019, with this being the first personalized
spotted. At the present time 25 serial numbered plates have been issued.
Also check out the Vanity Plates page for more personalized plates.
This is a new high
Friendship Hook, Ladder, Hose & Ambulance plate
which was spotted by Mike Alfonse. The plate appears that it had a
validation sticker at one time. Plate check indicates that the registered
high is 10014F/F. The organization is
located in Royersford, PA.
This is an Amateur Radio test
plate recently acquired by Matt Ciecka. The unpainted legend suggests a
test plate. Click to enlarge the first image and note the use of the
security hologram with the word VALID diagonally across the letters B and C.
I've only ever once before seen an Amateur Radio sample plate, and that was on a yellow
on blue base.
Here is a first generation Drexel
University Alumni plate recently spotted by Bill Young. This plate
was probably issued in the mid-90s but is still going strong. Vanity check
shows that the registration number is current, which likely suggests that the
replacement plate with the same number was never mounted on the vehicle.
Those of us with an interest in license
plates are known to seek out the resources of Automotive Museums. I was
contacted by Mark Johansson who has put together an interactive map of the U.S.
showing the locations of all auto museums with addresses, phone number, and
website if available. Mark's website also contains other resources
including a large number of driving sample tests, as well as road signs,
if you’re looking to brush up on rules of the road. His website is
For future reference it will be linked on this site on the
page called Historic Documents Page, under
This is a Format 3, 1935 Dealer
plate. 1935 saw a return to the use of the letter "X" to designate a
Dealer plate. For that year there were three serial progressions, Format 1
from X1 to X9999, then Format 2 from 0X to 9X999, and Format 3 from 00X to
52X88. Each succeeding progression shifted the "X" one space to the
right. Plates with 4 or fewer characters measured 6" by 10" like the one
shown here, while 5-character plates were 6" by 12". Thanks to Brandon
Sowers for the use of this photo.
A while back Rob Baran provided the far left
1936 V-Weight Class Truck
plate. Then just recently sent the photo of the near left plate.
These are sequential plates being one number apart. He got these two as a
pair, and is planning to do some refinishing or restoring. The V480C is
also the highest known in V-weight class.
Here is a pair of 1948 Y- and Z-Weight Class Truck
plates. These represent the heaviest weight class single (rear) axle
trucks. The Y-Class plate is also the series high. These plates
measured 6 inches by 11 inches, and were issued in pairs. Thanks to Jeff
Lesher for sharing these plate photos.
This is a 1949 Z-Weight Class Truck
plate. As mentioned above, this is the heaviest weight class single
(rear) axle truck plate. This plate is also a new high. These plates
measured 6 inches by 11 inches, and were issued in pairs. Thanks to Jeff Lesher for sharing so many photos of plates from his collection.
The far left Amateur Radio plate
photo was taken back in May of 2009, the near left plate was taken this past
weekend. The -1 and -2 are not part of the call sign but allow two
vehicles to be registered using the same call sign.
Here is another
Antique Vehicle high.
This current series uses the most confusing serial progression. As
previously described, and with most of PA's plates, numbers advance first, then the letter in the 4th position, then
the 3rd spot and finally the letter in the 1st position.
Here is a new high Marine Corps League
plate recently spotted by
Bruce Bufalini. Bruce notes that
this plate clearly does not have the sticker box. That feature was still
present on the previous high of M/L02882.
Vanity check shows the current issued high at M/L02918.
Preston Turner reports seeing one of the new
Motorcycle plates in use on a Pittsburgh Police bike. The serial
number was M/G30G. He was unable to get a
photo. Records show that the previous style of plate, which was white on
blue with the embossed map outline border, ended at MG99E. The suffix
F series was skipped, now the G-series runs from M/G05G
The far left Limerick Fire Company
plate photo shows the highest number spotted before the plate received a new
logo and name — now Limerick Fire Department. According to their
2018 the Linfield Volunteer Fire Company merged with the Limerick Fire Company. Its name was changed to the Limerick Fire Department and the county station
number changed from 54 to 51 resulting in a new logo.
The far left photo is courtesy Tom Perri,
center and right-hand photos courtesy of Mike Alfonse.
Here is a link to the Vanity Pagewherean
assortment of personalized plates are posted each week. This week's plates
include the plate shown here from Jim McDevitt. This is believed to be a
vanity with the addition of the state coat of arms hat badge by the owner.
Other plates on the Vanity Page are from Bill Ceravola and Arthur Levine.
Here is a 1930 Format 5 Passenger
plate. Format 5 consisted of the serial progression of 000A to 999Z9.
So both 4 and 5 character plates were issued. Then realized that I needed a
4-character plate. This 6-inch by 10-inch shortie came from Worthpoint.
Still need images of 1930 Passenger with 0AA and 1AA0 serial formats.
1932 Format 3 Passenger shortie
is thanks to Jeff Lesher. This series went from 0A to 9Z999. So the
series started with 2-character plates and extended to 5 characters. 2, 4
and 5-character plates were 6 inches by 10 inches, and 5-character plates were
6 inches by 12 inches.
Like the 1921 Class 7 Truck plate displayed
last week, this 1922 is also a Class
7 or Class F Truck plate. This was a continuation of the weight
designation system used between 1920 and 1923 where weight classes were
identified by the first digit of the plate serial number. Classes ranged
from 1 to 7 (or AA through F), and plate size was 6" by 16". Thanks to
Jeff Lesher for this photo.
Next up is this 1924 R-Weight Class Truck
plate. Starting in 1924 the more familiar truck weight classes of R
through Z came about. Most classes had R through Z in the prefix position;
however, after the R-class reached R99-999, the R was moved to the suffix
position and the count ran from 1-R to 2011-R. This plate measures 6" by
12". The plate shown here from Jeff Lesher is an example of an R-suffix
And finally this shortie 1927 R-Weight Class Truck plate
with a low serial number. This series ran from R-1 to R99-999, and the overflow group from 1-R to 84-44R. This plate measures 6" by 10",
there were also 6" by 13" and 6" by 15" plates depending on the number of
characters in the serial number. Thanks again to Jeff Lesher for this photo.
This Fire Fighter plate was
recently spotted by
Bruce Bufalini. While it is a
few plates shy of the current high of FF39006, it's the highest plate where the
sticker well can be verified. According to vanity check, the current
issued high is FF39160.
Here is a U.S.
Submarine Veterans Inc. vanity plate spotted by John Fedorchak.
This is an organizational plate, rather than a Veterans' plate. This plate
type dates back to 2006.
Here is an Antique Vehicle vanity
from a recent car show in Macungie. Antique Vehicle registrations have
seen quite a proliferation in recent years. For example, in 1999 there
were 78,681 vehicles registered, and as of the end of 2020 there were 209,425.
At the present, personalized registrations cost an additional $112. The
current serial high is E1HF.
Want more vanities? Here is a link to the Vanity Pagewherean
assortment of personalized plates are posted each week. This week's plates
are from Bill Ceravola and Arthur Levine.
Here is a new high Permanent Trailer plate
Börner. This was spotted on a horse
trailer. It's a little tough to see here, but this series has been using
the map outline since about
PT-500D0. Here's a
link to the history
of these plates that dates back to 1997.
Here is a group of the earliest known
Pennsylvania Sample images thanks to Jeff Lesher. These date from 1924, the first year for
samples, to 1930, the final year to use the 000 format. Beginning in 1931
the format changed to PA00. The other amazing find within this group is the
1925 Sample. I didn't know if we'd ever see one of these, or if they even
existed. Thanks to Jeff, now we know.
take a look at this photo. Looks like a 1943 Passenger Sample based on the
expiration date of 3-31-44, but in place
of the expected legend reading 1944 and PENNA, the word VICTORY appears. Click the image to
enlarge. This image is also thanks to Jeff Lesher who explains that this
plate is actually printed onto cardboard,
likely 3/16” and fully embossed.
Jeff explains that as rumor has it, and this goes back 40 plus years, there
were a few full size 1943 plates made for individuals that qualified to purchase
a “new to them” first car in 1943. Jeff only ever saw one - in a collection in Kutztown likely 45
- 50 years ago and it was yellow - but he never held it so can’t say if it was
cardboard or metal. This plate originally came out of Don Merrill’s
This is a 1921 Class 7 or Class F Truck
plate. This was the heaviest weight class plate for 1921, and was part of
a weight designation system used between 1920 and 1923 where weight classes were
identified by the first digit of the plate serial number. Classes ranged from 1 to 7,
and plate size was 6" by 16". Thanks to Jeff Lesher for this photo.
These are all 1925 truck plates. Many
thanks to Jeff Lesher for sharing so many photos of his plate collection.
Beginning in 1924 a new system to identify
truck weight classes was established. It consisted of eight (8) weight
classes from R to Z, skipping over the X which was reserved for Dealer plates.
The first letter in the plate serial numbers denoted the weight class as shown
here in the first two and last two plates. These plates measure 6 inches by 10 inches.
Such low numbered plates are very rare.
Each of the series started with the weight class letter followed by a serial
progression such as R-1 to R99-999. In addition, the R-class even had
overflow plates where the R was shown in the suffix position as seen in the
plates. Those plates measure 6 inches by 12 inches, and 6 by 13 inches
These photos show the front and reverse
sides of a 1943 Validation Tab
for a Y-weight class truck plate. These tabs measured 1⅞" by 2⅛", and were
made of steel. There is a serial number of up to 5 characters (for trucks)
made up of an alpha character and 4 digits,
with the alpha character corresponding to the weight class prefix.
Thanks to Clayton Moore for the photos.