ALPCA small crestWelcome to PA PL8S / PA PLATES Weekly Magazine

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

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

ALPCA #4376

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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.

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8/1/2021 Posting

Pennsylvania seems to have quite a few organizational plates where the number of plates in use is relatively small.  The result is that many such plates are seldom seen.  This low number Commonwealth Constables Association was spotted by Nick Tsilakis, and is one I've never seen despite searching.  These plates hit the street in 2016.

 


Here is a new high Appalachian Trail Conservancy plate.  This great image is thanks to John Clark.  This plate type dates back to 2014, and has been seen with the map outline at least as far back as A/T00334 in March of this year.  The Appalachian Trail travels nearly 230 miles in Pennsylvania.  Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia also offer such plates. 

 


Here is a new high Mercedes Benz Club of America plate thanks to Bruce Bufalini.  This one also has the map outline.  The previous high was 00039M/B from back in 2014, so we know for certain that the 2014 plate didn't have the map.

 


Another great image from John Clark is this Pennsylvania Resources Council plate.  It is also a new high.  This anti-litterbug plate type dates back to 2011.  While this plate is a new high, it still has the sticker well.

 

 


This is a personalized Combat Action Ribbon plate spotted by Matt Ciecka.  The CG-11 may refer to the USS Chicago, and the plate frame refers to a retired Navy Chief.  The Combat Action series of plates dates back to 2011.  

 

 


This Korean Defense Services Medal is another new high.  The photo is thanks to Brandon Sowers.  The plate type dates back to 2010.  My guess is that this plate is intended to take the place of the Korean War Veteran which is no longer in inventory.

 


The two far left photos are from a street shot of the first serial-numbered U.S. Air Force Active Duty plate spotted.  The A/D suffix differentiates this plate from the U.S. Air Force Veteran plate which uses A/F.  Thanks to Preston Turner for the photo.  The other plate is a personalized plate of the same type.  This photo is from Brendan Sherry.  The C-17A likely refers to the C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft.

 


Here is a link to the Vanity Page where this and an assortment of personalized plates are posted.  This plate and most of the vanities are thanks to Arthur Levine.

 

 

 

 


Wow! At first glance do you know what these are?  They are AMAZING low-number 1915 Motorcycle plates — only the second year of state-issued motorcycle plates!  I have always held to the belief that 1914 and 1915 used the letter 'O' as the leading character on such plates, which is believed to be the case with these plates.  Such plates were originally believed to measure 4½" by 6", however these plates are actually 4½" by 5½".  The O5 plate photo is from John Willard, while the O88 is thanks to Tim Gierschick.

 


This 1952 Passenger plate photo was provided by Eric Tanner and establishes a new high.  This series started at D000A and extended to the plate shown here.  1952 passenger plates were made in two sizes, with early and mid-year plates measuring 6" x 11", and later plates like the one shown here measuring 6" x 10¼".

 


7/25/2021 Posting

These 4-H Youth Program plates made their debut back in 2005. Since that time, only 38 plates have been issued with this plate photo from John Clark being the current high. The map outline was first seen on a prototype in 2017, so it is likely that additional plates have been issued with this feature.

 


These Gettysburg 1863 / PA Monuments plates date back to 2014, yet this new high from John Clark still shows the sticker well.  A look at a late 2014 inventory sheet indicates that 4000 plates were produced.  So it could be a long while before the map outline appears.  As a Special Fund plate, proceeds from this plate go directly to the Veteran Trust Fund and will support the cleaning, repair and restoration of the Pennsylvania monuments by the Gettysburg National Military Park.

 


This Honoring Our Veterans plate is a new high, and also part of the Special Fund series.  This plate also benefits the Veterans Trust Fund.  Credit for the photo goes to Matt Ciecka.

 

 


This Cetronia Ambulance Corps plate is actually on the low side, likely dating back to 2007 when the program was launched. The current registered high is 10039C/A. It is not known if these plates are still being issued. The photo is thanks to Bruce Bufalini.

 


Here is a link to the Vanity Page where this and an assortment of personalized plates are posted.  This plate and most of the vanities are thanks to Arthur Levine.

 

 

 

 


This is a State Representative plate from the 190th House District spotted recently by Jordan Irazabal. The plate is configured with the HR-keystone symbol in the suffix position. This is an indication the HR190 is also registered.

 

 


This is a very low number House of Representatives / Legislator plate from the 1971 to '76 Bicentennial plate era.  It's hard to see, but 71 is lightly etched into the upper left sticker well.  The HR symbol could be in the prefix position as well as the suffix position, to allow registration of two vehicles.  The number represents the legislative district.  This is a Worthpoint image.

 


This State Representative Sample plate was produced during the 1984 to 1999 era.  Some sample plates at the time were similar to this but had three zeros, and were likely made later during the same time period.  This is a Worthpoint image.

 


These are believed to be US Senator plates with 68 and 69 validation stickers on the 1965 to 1970 base.  While PA only has two U.S. Senators, the Archives reports that plates with serial numbers as high as 10 may have been allowed.  These are Worthpoint photos.

 


This 1916 low-number Tractor plate was recently acquired by Tim Gierschick.  Tim is the première collector of PA tractor plates.  This plate measures 6 inches by 13 inches.  Up till now, E+1 and E+2 digit plates were listed as 6 inches by 11 inches.  With this plate measuring 13 inches, the question still remains, what size are E+1 digit plates?  There is a good chance we may never know.

 


This pair of 3-digit Motorboat License plates are from 1950 and 1951.  Plates at the time ranged from 1 to 5 digits in length.  The dimensions were the same as Motorcycle plates of the time measuring 4½" by 8".  These are also Worthpoint images.

 


7/18/2021 Posting

New highs reported for Passenger: LTA-2610 and Truck: ZTC-3873 from Bruce Bufalini, was unable to photograph.

 


Here is a Dealer Vanity plate with a unique number.  Dealer plates are eligible to be personalized.  Here is also a link to the Vanity Page where the un-cropped photo is also posted.  There is (or was) a Chevrolet 21 dealership in Hellertown near Bethlehem.  Don't know if there could be a connection to this plate.  This photo is thanks to Matt Ciecka.

 

 

 


Not one seen every day — this Quality Deer Management Association plate was recently spotted by Rob Baran.  These date back to 2015.  This is also a new high.  According to vanity check, the current registered high is 00098Q/D. Rob thought this plate did not have a sticker well, but could not be certain.

 


I've always considered the far left Temple University Official plates to be unique.  Such plates have been in use since about 1987. This one, courtesy of Bill Young, looks like it has been around almost that long.  When PA sadly abandoned these legacy designs in favor of the visitPA and map outline format, new plates were forthcoming for Temple as well at Penn State, Pitt and Lincoln Universities, but so far none have been spotted.  At the present time, a record check indicates that plates from T0500U to T0505U are in use, and likely on this new base.

 


Was still in need of several first generation plates including Lebanon Valley College plate photo.  Jeff Lesher provided this photo of this perfect low-number pair, one with a 2-97 validation sticker and one without.

Plates still needed include first generation, yellow on blue photos of the following plates: 

St. Francis College
Wilkes University Alumni
West Point Alumni (sample only)

 


Here are a few more first generation organizational plates, this one being U.S. Air Force Reserve thanks to Brandon Sowers.  This plate appears to be unused, and the serial number suggests that the plate may be above the issued high.  What does this mean?  Likely means that more plates were produced than were needed, and the plate found its way into the hands of plate collectors.

 


The next gem is this U.S. Marine Reserve plate, again thanks to Brandon Sowers.  This plate also appears to be unused, and the serial number also suggests that it may be above the issued high.  What does this mean?  Like above more plates were produced than were needed.

 


The final one of these first generation plates is this U.S. Navy Reserve courtesy of Brandon Sowers.  This plate also appears to be unused, however, it does fall within the issued series of numbers.

 

 


These 1933 and 1934 Passenger plates are good examples where one of the letter Hs is inverted while the other is correct.  When in doubt, do one each way, at least it's 50% correct.  My sense tells me that the first H is inverted on both plates.  The 1933 HH plate photo is from John Anshant, while the 1934 plate photo is thanks to Ed Levine.  Neither plate is a new posting.

 


Here is another pair of 1933 Passenger plates.  Again we have the letter H in both serial numbers, and again the 870H5 appears to be inverted, while the H1057 appears normal.  Minor errors but noticeable.  Thanks to Eric Tanner pointing this out.  The 870H5 plate is from Worthpoint, while the H1057 is thanks to John Willard and has been previously posted.

 


Here is another example of minor errors with plate dies.  These are also 1933 Passenger plates with the first example having the letter U properly spaced in the center, while the second example shows the letter U aligned with the bottom margin.  Both of these plate photos are from Worthpoint.

 


7/11/2021 Posting

For the next several weeks, possibly longer, my computer time will be limited. 

As a result, web-postings will be shortened.  Too much happening.

 


This Korean War Veteran plate is almost at the end of its run.  The plate type dates back to 1993 but was never changed to the graphic base, instead the Korean Defense Service Medal became available in 2010.  This plate reads K/V02963, with a Jan-2020 warehouse inventory extending only to K/V02999, plates were only issued as high as K/V02987.  The Feb-2021 inventory shows no plates remaining.

 

 


A few vanities of the week.  This plate is thanks to Bill Young.  Click this link to the Vanity Page for additional images.

 

 

 


Recently Brandon Sowers posted these very nice images of first generation college plates.  On the far left is a Dickinson College tag.  The tag is a great example, even though the number suggests that it may have been above the issued high.  Next plate is an Edinboro University tag.  The final plate is a Gannon University plate.  This plate may also have been slightly above the issued high.

 


Here's another beauty, this one being a National Greyhound Adoption Program.  This plate program dates back to 1997, and is also thanks to Brandon Sowers.

 

 


This U.S. Coast Guard Reserve plate photo is one I've always needed.  These military reserve issues are not considered veterans' tags, rather they were established as organizational tags.  It is unknown how many of plates were issued, probably no more than a few hundred.  It was brought to my attention by Brandon Sowers from an eBay listing and now on Worthpoint.  If the current owner of this plate lets me know, I'll credit you.

 


These plates provide an enlargement of the 1933 Dealer series, including the addition of a previously unknown format.  Photos of the first three plates came from Jeff Lesher.  The 10"-shortie on the left shows a plate with the X in the first position, followed by a 12-inch X+4-digit plate, the next plate with the X in the second position, fills a needed plate photo gap.  The 58X1 from eBay user oldies_museum adds a previously unknown format.  A big thank you to Jeff Lesher and to oldies_museum.

 


Such a rare plate should probably be at the top of the page, but I try to keep the postings in a chronological order.  Anyway this is a well-preserved 1925 2-digit Passenger plate.  The plate belongs to John Willard, the photo is thanks to Tim Gierschick.  Tim has an amazing collection of 1906 to 1935 two-digit and one digit plates that I plan to showcase in the near future.

 


7/4/2021 Posting

Happy Independence Day


According to PennDOT Bulletin No. 21-11, based on Act 89 and the Consumer Price Index, effective July 1, basically every plate transaction will see a price increase.  For example, the "fee to personalize special issued registration plates adjusts from $108 to $112."  They use the term 'adjusts' rather than 'increases'.

 


This 41007-PA Official Use Passenger plate was thought to be the latest high in that series that was expected to progress to 41999-PA before switching to the graphic base.  But obviously the graphic base made its debut before it was expected.  Plate check indicates that only about 130 of 41000 to 41999 inventory have been issued.  Meanwhile, most plates from 42000P/A to 42082P/A have now been issued.  It will be interesting to see if both series are issued concurrently.  Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for the 41007 photo, and to Nick Tsilakis for the 42026 photo.

 


Here is a recent traffic photo and high number Flyers Wives Charities plate.  This plate type dates back to 2006.  During that period they have changed their legend from Flyers Wives Charities to Flyers Wives Charity and back again.  This plate has the map outline first seen at F/L01779.  Thanks to Matt Ciecka for the photo.

 


Here's a new high Vietnam Veterans of America photo with the map outline, thanks to Jaska Börner.  The previous high, V/N02668, did not have the map outline.  These plates date back to 1992 on the yellow on blue base, then were reissued on the www base in 2001, and finally to the graphic base in 2005.

 


This is not exactly a new high Special Mobile Equipment plate, but it is the highest 'D" plate spotted so far.  The "E" series so far does not appear to have the small keystone separator.  If more plates are spotted without the separator, the E-series will become a new format.

 


A few vanities of the week.  Click this link to the Vanity Page.

 

 

 

 


Here is a pair of 1933 PA Motorcycle plates from Jeff Lesher.  Apart from the one plate being all numeric and the other having an alpha-numeric format, the legend of 33 over PA has been shifted from left to right.  It should be noted that a somewhat similar shift took place with 1933 Motorbike plates, however, the Motorbike plates started out with the legend on the right then moved it to the left.

 


But wait, there's more!  This series of 1945 Motorcycle plates with alpha-numeric serial numbers shows the presence of the stacked M/C on the right of the first plate, but completely missing from the higher plates.  Credit for the photos goes to ebay user luv2wheels, Worthpoint and Jeff Lesher.  Thanks to Jeff for identifying this formatting difference.

 


This is a low number final generation Tractor plate.  This plate would have been issued in 1977 with the starting point being TR-10000.  These plates would have been issued through 1984, although this plate had 4-85 and 4-86 validation stickers.  It is believed that in 1984 or '85 these plates were replaced by two different types.  If the tractor was used for industrial purposes, it received a Special Mobile Equipment (SME) plate.  If the tractor was used for agriculture, it was issued an Implement of Husbandry (IMP) plate.  Since then, there has been a proliferation of SME plates and profound scarcity of IMP plates.  Thanks to Tim Gierschick for the photo.

 


You may recognize these as 1926 U-Weight Class Truck plates.  Only the far left image is new, the others were previously shown.  Sometimes a display is more meaningful when showing it with other size variations from the same class.  These measure 6 inches by 10 inches, 12 inches and 13 inches respectively.  There were also some 15 inch truck plates, but not in the U-Class.  The U-51 is a Worthpoint image.  If anyone owns this plate, let me know and I'll credit you.

 


This 1956 Y-Weight Class Truck plate is a new image of a previously displayed plate.  The previous photo was a lesser quality image from Worthpoint, and this one was spotted at a truck show in use as a YOM plate.  There were two Y-series serial progressions Y000A and Y00A0 in '56.  Still need a photo of the first variant.

 


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John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

ALPCA #4376

 

 

   
 

 
 

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