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, 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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REFERENCE


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ARCHIVED HOME PAGES


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9/12/2021 Posting

Here is a new high number U.S. Air Force Veteran plate.  This plate series dates back to 2009, with the starting point of 20011A/F.  These plates have used the map outline at least as far back as 22932A/F.  Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for the photo.

 


The following highs, without pictures, have also been reported by Bruce Bufalini.

U.S. Army (Active Duty), 00068A/D

Dealer, K65-253K

Emergency Vehicle, EV-72821

Passenger: LTV-7657

Truck, ZTG-3217

 


#1 plates are always special.  Here is a photo of the number one In God We Trust plate thanks to Brandon Sowers.  These plates date back to 2014.  This is actually the only low number plate documented so far.  From the start this plate type appeared to be using 2-tiered system where standard issue plates started at G/T00130, and the low number plates were held in reserve.  There are currently only about a dozen or so plates between G/T00001 and G/T00129.  I have inquired in the past about this practice, and found out that transparency in government does not apply.

 


Speaking of #1 plates, here's the first Eagle Scout plate issued.  Back on 8/22 we had the first photo of such a plate.  These plates date back to 2019, and as of 9/10, there were only 25 serial numbered plates in use.  Thanks to Stephen Noll for the photo.

 

 


Here is a link to the Vanity Page where an assortment of personalized plates are posted each week.  This week's plates are from Bill Ceravola, Howard Kelly and Arthur Levine.

 


This is a Format 6 Antique Motorcycle plate.  These white on purple plates were issued between 1967 and 2013.  While this style is no longer being issued, these are still in use and common at motorcycle events.   Format 6 indicates that there have been several variations of legend placement, hole spacing, serial formatting, etc. prior to this plate.  This photo is thanks to Matt Ciecka.

 


This is a Classic Motorcycle plate.  This plate type dates back to 1994 but are much rarer than the Antique Motorcycle plate.  This, like the plate above measures, 4½ inches by 8 inches, and is still a valid format, although newer plates follow the family of plates format.  This photo is also thanks to Matt Ciecka.

 


This is one of Pennsylvania's rarest plates.  How many have actually seen one of these on the road, or in the field?  This is a low number Implement of Husbandry plate thanks to Bryan Hummel.  Like the SME plate below, these plates date back to 1984.  The highest known plate on this base is IMP-2167.  Today there seems to be fewer such plates in use.  For calendar year 2020 there were only 175 such plates registered.  By comparison for 2020, there were only 57 Commercial Implement of Husbandry vehicles registered.  Fewer plates, but easier to spot on the road.

 


This is the lowest number Special Mobile Equipment plate I've seen, but I have the starting point listed as SME-0000.  Anyone have a lower number?  These plates date back to about 1984, and were intended to replace Tractor plates.  When Tractor plates were discontinued, they were replaced either by Implement of Husbandry (IMP) or Special Mobile Equipment (SME) plates, depending on their use.  Thanks to Bryan Hummel for this photo.

 


Here is a very nice 1914 Tractor plate that was recently acquired by Jeff Hinkle.  1914 was the first year for tractor plates.  These plates were white on black porcelain-coated steel, and issued in pairs for 1914 and '15 only.  The plate shown here measures 6 inches by 12 inches; however, 6-inch by 8-, 10- and 14-inch sizes were also issued depending on the number of characters.  The series high is at least E1066.

 


This plate may not look like anything out of the ordinary, but it's actually a 1930 Weight Class V Truck plate.  PA began using the R through Z weight class system in 1924, but for some reason abandoned that system in favor of a 2-letter suffix system to designate weight classes.  This system made truck plates in general hard to identify.  The V class was allocated to use 00PA to 999PZ.  Many thanks to Jeff Lesher for the use of this image.

 


This 1946 Z-Weight Class Truck plate is much easier to identify.  Still the scarcity of Z-class makes it a tough plate to collect.  All truck plates that year were made up of 5 characters, and measured 6 inches by 11 inches.  Following the war they were still issued as singles.  This plate is also thanks to Jeff Lesher.  Jeff has kindly provided quite a few tough older plates, which I will feature over the next several weeks.

 


On the far left is a group of Township Supervisor front plates.  Most are dated between 1966 and 1969.  Photo source is unknown.  The next photo is a Township Commissioner front plate.  This plate was recently acquired by Bob Connison.  I do have a page featuring this and other official and semi-official plates.

 

 


9/5/2021 Posting

This is a very rare Air Force Cross plate.  The award denotes the second highest Air Force decoration for extreme heroism in combat. As of 8/30/21 only plates 2, 5, 6 & 7 have been issued.  Plate 00002A/C was previously spotted by Tom Perri with a 6-16 validation sticker.  This latest plate has the map outline.

 


Here is a new high Bronze Star plate.  The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement or service, or meritorious achievement or service in a combat zone.  There is also a Bronze Star for Valor plate.  Thanks to Jaska Börner for the photo.

 


Here is another new Antique Vehicle high.  This was spotted at the Wheels of Time car show in Macungie.  As 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 first position.

 


I don't get it — why spend $ to purchase an organizational plate, then cover up the name of the organization with a plate frame?!.  That aside, it's a new high Mario Lemieux Foundation plate, also featuring the updated logo.  Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for the photo.

 


Here is a new high Pennsylvania Coal Alliance, Inc. plate.  The photo is thanks to John Clark.  There was an earlier plate back in February, 50150P/C that may have not had the sticker well.  The plate shown here for certain has no sticker well.

 


Here is an updated image of a Rose Tree Fire Company No. 1.  The previous image was not as sharp.  So far the high spotted was 00011R/T, and the highest registered is 00014R/T.  Their plate program dates back to 2016.  Thanks to Jordan Irazabal for the photo.

 


This is a new high University of Delaware plate, reading U/D00626.  This plate type dates back to 2001, so there were never plates on the yellow on blue base.  It started out on the www base and has remained there since.  Thanks to Rob Baran for the photo.

 

 


Here is a link to the Vanity Page where these and an assortment of personalized plates are posted each week.

 

 

 

 

 


The far left 1934 Passenger plate photo came from Jeff Hinkle about 4 years ago.  Jeff never owned the pair.  The near left plate was recently found by Scott Leitheiser at a flea market.  What is the likelihood that this pair of 87-year-old plates would have a virtual reunion.  These were part of a series that ran from A to Z999 on 6" by 10" plates as shown here, then from A1000 to Z9999 on 12-inch plates. 

 


This is a 1927 Z-Weight Class Truck plate.  For 1927 the Z-class was the heaviest truck class.  The plate shown here is thanks to Rob Baran, and is considered the series high.  The series would have run from Z-1 to the plate shown here.  Sizes were 6 inches by 10 inches for plates with up to 4 characters, and 6" by 13" as shown here.  There was also a 6" by 15" plates, although the Z-class did not extend to 6 characters, and would not have needed the 15" size.

 


8/29/2021 Posting

Here is a pair of McDonald Volunteer Fire Company plates.  Both plates were photographed by Brendan Sherry; however, the 19 plate is more recent.  Vanity check indicates that 59 serial- numbered plates have been issued.  McDonald is a borough in Allegheny and Washington Counties in western PA.

 


Here is the latest high Penn State Alumni Association license plate thanks to Jaska Börner.  I happened to look at Penn State's web page dealing with such plates and they are not accepting applications at the present because PennDOT is not fully operational.  Were they ever?  

 

 


This Disabled Veteran plate is part of the 2-plate series for vehicles that have equipment on the rear of the vehicle for carrying a wheelchair or personal assistive device.  Such vehicles are authorized to be issued two plates since the assistive device and carrier may block visibility of the vehicle mounted plate.  This series started at DV-79000.  The current high in this series is DV-79047.

 


This is a new high number Emergency Vehicle plate which is part of the low number series where a registration fee is required.  This group includes the 30- to 37-thousand plate group.  The high number group, which is by far the larger, includes the 50- to 72-thousand series.  The 50 to 72 group is also exempt from registration fees.  Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for this photo.

 


Here's another Official Use plate from the 41000-PA series as they move closer to the 42000P/A on the 'family of plates' base.  A previous post on 7/4/21 indicated that plates in both the 41000 and 42000 series are being issued concurrently.  If there is some logical basis for this, I fail to see it.  Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for this photo.  Keep a watch for additional plates.

 

 


Here is a link to the Vanity Page where these and an assortment of personalized plates are posted each week.

The plates shown here, left to right, are courtesy of Bill Ceravola and Arthur Levine.

 

 

 

 

 


Pennsylvania began issuing plates for disabled or handicapped persons in 1966.  Those early plates used the prefix HP as the identifier.  The HP was also used in the suffix position.  Eventually the HP and wheelchair symbol was replaced by PD for Person with Disability.  I'm guessing this was in the mid-90s.  Anyone know for sure?  The far left plates shown here would have been part of the earliest PD series starting at PD00000 and extending to at least PD31769 before the re-plating process began in 1999.  The low number plate is thanks to Tim Gierschick, and high number is from Worthpoint. 

 


These very unusual plates are 1927 Motorbike or Motor Bicycle tags.  These beauties were recently acquired by John Willard.  Part of what makes these plates so unique, besides the low numbers, is how few were issued.  The number issued is really not known but likely only in the hundreds.  Between 1920 and 1933 very few plates have survived.  Also, in the years up thru 1933 the letter O was used on Motorbike plates as a prefix to differentiate between them and Motorcycle plates.  At least up through 1927, the letter O and the number 0 were the same size which makes such plates appear to be all numeric.

 


This posting follows a recent FaceBook discussion.  Almost all 1956 Truck plates were 5 characters in length; however, toward the end of production, there was a run of 6 character R-class plates.  Some might use the term overflow plates.  In order to accommodate the additional character, 1957 6-character dies were used.  Not to confuse the matter, but there were also '57 5-character dies used on some later '56 truck plates also.  The 3797 plate above is from Worthpoint, and the 4379 is from Clayton Moore.  This plate also appears to be a new high.

 


8/22/2021 Posting

Here is the first photo-documentation of an Eagle Scout plate.  Plate availability check shows that 25 plates have been issued so far.  This plate type was added in November of 2019.  Plates have been on the street since February of 2020.  Thanks to Nick Tsilakis for sharing the image.

 

 

 


This Retired Legislator plate was recently spotted by Jaska Börner.  This plate type dates back to at least 2004, and so far all such plates spotted have been on the www base.  The number, in this case 002, is believed to correspond to the legislative district which would be 2.  There are also Retired Senator plates, which are quite rare. 

The section of the Vehicle Code, 1339, dealing with Legislative Plates, also authorizes plates for retired members of the U.S. Congress.  I have never seen or heard of such a plate, or would one of the types mentioned above be issued?  I would think a more appropriate legend would be Retired U.S. Congress or Senate.

 


Here's a cool Classic Vehicle plate.  Yes, it's a vanity.  The letter C in the first position is required.  The next four characters are zeros (0) as they are larger than the alpha characters.  The photo is thanks to Matt Ciecka.

 

 


This is a new Motorcycle high which was recently spotted by Jaska Börner.  This plate is part of the 0AA00 series which was first spotted in mid-2015 and has now progressed to the VF series.  Vanity check shows that registration numbers have advanced into the VW series at the present.

 


This is a Wild Resources Conservation plate featuring the Otter.   It is part of the Special Fund plate group.  The plate shown here is also a new high thanks to Nick Tsilakis.  There is quite a bit of history to this plate which started out as the Owl plate in 1993, and was also the first Special Fund plate.

 


Here is a new high Temple University Alumni plate thanks to Matt Ciecka.  The Temple plate program dates back to 1987 on the yellow on blue base.  A few even got made with the "You've Got a Friend in Pennsylvania" passenger legend.

 

 


Here is a link to the Vanity Page where these and an assortment of personalized plates are posted each week.  The Penn State Alumni Association plate will be cross-listed with the college organizational plate page.

 

 

 

 


On the far left is a pair of 1911 Passenger plates with a porcelain finish.  I use the term 'passenger' loosely because at the time the only other plate type issued was Dealer.  This plate pair is also at or near the high end of the series for that year.  This pair of plates is also part of the beveled-edge series which included plates above 31000.  The other plate is an example of a plate in the 30-thousand series which is just before the switch to the beveled edge.  These plates all measure 6 inches by 14 inches.  The plate pair is a Worthpoint image, the single plate image is thanks to Jordan Irazabal.  

 


Here are two sequential pairs of 1926 Passenger plates.  The serial sequence went from single digit to 6 digit plates.  Once the series hit 4 digits as shown here, a dash separator was placed before the final group of 3 digits.  These plates measure 6 inches by 12 inches, although several other sizes were used depending on the number of characters in the serial number.  Thanks to Mike Alfonse for the use of the photo.

 

 


Here is pair of 1934 Passenger plates.  These were part of Format 1 which included the serial sequence of 1 to 9999 on 6 by 10-inch plates, and 10000 to 99999 on 6 by 12-inch plates as shown here.  After this initial series was exhausted, a variety of alpha numeric combinations were issued.  Click the link for more details.  This plate pair belongs to John Anshant.

 

 

 

 


8/15/2021 Posting

Bruce Bufalini dug out the plate photo on the near left and noticed that it helps to narrow the point at which the Oldsmobile Roadster graphic was removed and replaced with the redundant Antique Vehicle legend.  At some point later in the FJ, FK series, or the start of the FL series the change occurred.  The 4FJ6 plate was thanks to Ryan Battin.  Can anyone narrow the gap further?

 


This Antique Motorcycle plate is not exactly a new high, but it is the highest plate spotted in the 01000 to 09999 series.  This series has already moved into the next format, that being 000A0, which was first seen in May of this year.  This plate was spotted at Das Awkscht Fescht in Macungie this past weekend.

 


Number 1 and low numbered plates have a certain inherent appeal, and so it is with this Malvern Fire Company plate.  Thanks to John Clark for the photo.  The Malvern plate program dates back to 2008.  Vanity check indicates only 11 serial numbered plates have been issued.

 


This is a recent photo of a Rose Tree Fire Company No. 1.  They serve Upper Providence Township, near Media.  Plate check shows that they have 14 serial numbered plates registered.  So far the high spotted was 00009R/T, and all still have stickers.  Their plate program dates back to 2016.  Thanks to Will Stephens for the photo.

 


Here is a prefect image of a very low number Korean Defense Service Medal plate thanks to John Clark.  These plates date back to 2010.  The current high on this series is 00199K/D.  The small quantity issued plus a relative high inventory, may result in plates with the map outline never being issued.

 


This is a personalized U.S. Coast Guard Veteran plate.  This plate appears to be without the sticker well.  The USCG Veteran plate series dates back to 2009.  The photo is thanks to Brendan Sherry.

 

 


The photo of this unique serial number plate was taken by Jordan Irazabal in early July.  It appears that this white on blue passenger series Official Use series has finally transitioned to the graphic base at 42000P/A.

 

 


Here is a link to the Vanity Page where this and an assortment of personalized plates are posted. 

This Choose Life vanity, courtesy of Arthur Levine, will be cross listed on the organizational plate page. 

Several other vanities are thanks to Arthur Levine and Bill Ceravola.

 

 

 


It sure ain't pretty, but it's much closer to the 1908 Passenger high of 25148 as listed by Eric Tanner.  Most early porcelain plates between 1906 and 1909 with the plate legend across the top of the plate, measured 6½ inches high.  This is a Worthpoint image.

 

 


This is a much nicer 1909 Passenger and may be a new series high.  It also tells a story that about 10,000 more vehicles were registered in 1909 than the previous year.  Like the plate above this plate, this plate also measures 6½ by 10½ inches.  This is also a Worthpoint image.

 

 


Well, it's a 1909 Passenger plate, but what's with the leading zeros?  After conferring with Eric Tanner and Jordan Irazabal, the consensus is that the plate was repainted, and in doing so, at least the first number was repainted as a zero (0).  It's likely that the original number could have been a 3 which would have been easier to cover.  This is also a Worthpoint image.

 


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Images and photos are always welcome.  Please send to:

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

ALPCA #4376

 

 

   
 

 
 

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