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

John McDevitt and Jordan Irazabal


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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.

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

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8/7/2022 Posting

A new feature has been added called Needed Images to help identify the growing number of plate types without photos.  This website is dedicated to photo-documenting as many plate types and variations as possible.  Any help with pictures of any of the listed plate types, would be much appreciated.  Many are new issues or logo updates.  Also included are a number of low-issue NASCAR plates, and several extinct or nearly extinct types from the 1980s and 90s.


This beauty is a personalized Honoring Our Women Veterans plate.  The photo is thanks to Drew Steitz (aka Drewski) who got it for a family member to help honor another family member.



Here is the #1 82nd Airborne Division Association plate.  The photo was snapped by Ben Vaughn in Pittsburgh.  This plate type has been on the street since 2007.  The most recent observed high was 00290A/B, which was in June of 2019.


Zach Taylor posted this Conserve Wild Resources - Otter plate photo at the end of May, which I missed.  When these plates switched to the small graphic, the series started at R/C00001 which was back in November of 2017.  At present the registered high is around R/C05562.


While this AH-series Apportioned Truck is not a new high, it is a picture perfect image of an unspoiled plate.  Thanks to Jim Moini for the photograph.  Jim maintains an excellent website featuring New Jersey, Apportioned, Mexican and Corporate Fleet Plates.  Check it out.


These Person with Disability Motorcycle plates were posted by Clayton Moore.  They are actually standard Motorcycle plates with a sticker.  It is unknown when the Person with Disability stickers were first issued, but likely in the late 1990s.  Anyone know for sure? 

The use of a standard Motorcycle plate + a sticker was replaced in 2007 with Person with Disability Motorcycle plate as shown below.  See Person with Disability, Motorcycle History page for more images.  It may be worth mentioning that a Veteran Motorcycle plate with a Person with Disability sticker, shown below, makes it a Severely Disabled Veteran Motorcycle plate.





► Click this Vanity Page link to see additional personalized plates of the week.






Here is a group of 1967 New Car Dealer plates.  What I recall about such plates is that the plates were actually surplus 1966 plates that were never issued, and rather than discard them, they received '67 stickers.  Dealer plates at the time were issued annually and were not revalidated with stickers.  This practice of re-dating plates also took place with some 1968 and 1969 plates.  The group photo is also posted under Group Displays.  Thanks to Clayton Moore for sharing the display.



Ben Vaughn shares an interesting newspaper article sighting vehicle registration records for 1914.  The article indicates that there were 1,167 Tractors registered that year and 116 Trailers.  Click the article to enlarge.  Ben also provided a photo of a 1914 Tractor plate.  This white on black porcelain plate measures 6 inches by 12 inches and would have been issued as part of a pair.






7/31/2022 Posting

Here is a recent photo of a Linglestown Fire Co. #1 plate from Zachary Bent.  Note that this plate has the map outline, the previous high, 30056L/F, did not.  This plate program dates back to 2008.



We don't have a photo yet, but Bruce Bufalini recently spotted Legion of Merit plate number 10052L/M but was not able to get a photo.  Record check suggests that plates from 10001 to 10054 are in use.  The medal is awarded for: Exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.


It's worth mentioning that Nick Tsilakis spotted a motorcycle version of the International Association of Firefighters but could not get a photo.  The plate he saw was P/F0010.  Record check shows that 41 plates are in use.  I don't even have a prototype plate image, so I did a R2K request to PennDOT on Tuesday and received nothing than an acknowledgement so far.


This is part of what I have categorized as a Format 6 Antique Motorcycle Plate.  That group ran from 0A to 99Z.  The wide bolt hole spacing indicates that this is not one of the earliest groups of Antique Motorcycle plates.  This plate is still valid.  Possibly someone can narrow down the time period.  The plate was photographed by John Fedorchak, but had been previously spotted by Preston Turner who was unable to get a picture.




Didn't get any vanities posted last week, so here are a few.  The far left is an eye-catching U.S. Marine Corps Veteran vanity.  Next is a personalized Antique Vehicle plate showing the letter "I" and numeral 1 next to each other.  This photo is thanks to Bill Stephens.  Unlike most PA plates, the letter "I" has been used as part of the serial progression on Antique Vehicle Format 11 plates and Motorcycle plates.

  ► Click this Vanity Page link to see additional personalized plates of the week.


Added this low number International Association of Firefighters to the Organizational Plate History page.  Also added this high number plate which is a new high for the Archives.  This plate program dates back to 1993.  Both images are from Worthpoint.


Finally succeeded in finding a West Point Alumni Sample plate.  For whatever reason these seem to be very scarce.  The West Point plate program dates back to 1987.  This nice image came from Worthpoint.



They didn't get much lower than this — considering the fact that the 1949 Passenger plate series started at 1001.  This initial series eventually went to 99999 before extending into numerous alpha-numeric formats.  These plates measured 6 inches by 11 inches and were issued in pairs.  Thanks to Tim Gierschick for the photo.


Much like the plate above, this 1950 Passenger plate was part of the initial all-numeric series running from 1001 to 99999.  These plates measured 6 inches by 11 inches and were still issued in pairs.  Thanks to Tim Gierschick for the photo.


7/24/2022 Posting

Sorry, this update didn't get posted until 7/25.

Here is a new Passenger high recently spotted by John Fedorchak.





The Hearing Impaired is one of PA's rarest plates.  Do not let the 3281 serial number suggest that over 3000 plates have been issued.  The series actually started at HE-03000 on the www base.  They originally dated back to 1987 on the yellow on blue base.  Thanks to Richard Than for this photo.


It's been 12+ years since PA issued NASCAR plates, yet they are still renewable, and there are still several plate types that have never been photographed.  The 2005 racing season NASCAR 99 plates of Carl Edwards is one such plate.  There were logo color differences for 2005, 2006 and 2009, yet so far no plates have been photographed with the green 2005 logo, except samples.  The plate shown here with the 2006 colors helps establish that the group ran from N/9/90109, or lower, to N/9/90113.  Many thanks to Richard Than for this photo.  Does anyone in the hobby collect these?


Here is a new high Official Use Truck plate and was provided by Richard Than.  This plate would have been used on a state-owned vehicle, but not one used by PennDOT, State Police or Turnpike, as those agencies have plates with their own logos.


What do we have here?  Yes, it's a Person with Disability plate, and was provided by Richard Than.  My first thought is that  it was part of the double plate series starting at 98000PD, but plate check shows that plates only up to 98161PD have been issued so far.  It also appears that no plates in the 99000PD series have been issued, except for the one shown here.  Therefore, I am of the opinion that this is a vanity plate.


It ain't pretty, but it's a needed piece to complete photo displays of the 1945 U-Weight Class truck series.  The U-series consisted of U000A, U00A0, U0A00 and U00AA.  Plate measures 6" by 11".  This image is from Worthpoint, a service to which I have a subscription.


And they're not getting any nicer, but again it's a needed piece to complete photo displays of the 1947 Y-Weight Class truck series.  There was only a single Y-series, Y000A.  Plate measures 6" by 11".  Again this image is from Worthpoint.


For 1951 R-Weight Class trucks there were 6 serial progressions, including R000A, R00A0, R0A00, R00AA, R0AA0 and R0A0A.  This plate fills the remaining photo gap.  Plate measures 6" by 11".  Again, this image is from Worthpoint.  '51 was the last year for plates to be issued in pairs.  This image is from Worthpoint.


This 1954 S-Weight Class truck fills the remaining photo gap.  S-class plates consisted of S000A, S00A0, S0A00, S00AA, S0AA0, with all plates measuring 6" x 10".  These plates were issued as singles.    This image is from Worthpoint.


7/17/2022 Posting

My apologies, Bill Stephens spotted this new Passenger high back on July 8, so I'm a little behind.  It has, however, been posted to the High Page, thanks to Jordan.



Here is a new high Permanent Trailer I spotted in my travels.  It was a windshield shot with the truck moving.




Here is a new high Temporary Intransit cardboard plate.  The photo was snapped by Jordan.




This is a new high Truck plate recently spotted on the fly by Nick Tsilakis.  After exhausting this series at ZVZ-9999, the next series will be ZWA-0000.



Here is one from Bill Ceravola added to this week's Vanity Page.






It appears that from the earliest state issued plates there was always those who sought low number plates, especially those with political connections.  Just look at the 1912 registration records for the first 100+ plates; it kind of reads like a who's who in PA at the time.  Eventually the demand for such plates went beyond the political arena and was made available to the average driver.  An application form was developed for 1965 Special Registration Plates spelling out the process.  Thank you to John Willard for a copy of the form.


Click the photo to the left to enlarge this pair of low number 1914 and 1915 Passenger plates, or click on the photos below to see them individually.  The photo of these 100+ year old plates is thanks to John Willard.  The 1914 is white on black, while the '15 is white on sky blue.  Both are 6" by 10" and were manufactured by Brilliant Manufacturing Co.   

of Philadelphia.  




These are 1929 W-Weight Class Truck plates that were recently spotted by Tim Gierschick at Renningers.  These W-Class plates measure 6" by 15", with a documented high of W8-646.  Anyone have a Y, X or ZZ-Class?


If you didn't immediately recognize this tag as a Truck plate, you are probably not alone.  For 1930 Truck plates adopted a new, and somewhat cryptic 2-letter suffix method of displaying the weight class of the vehicle, abandoning the R through Z prefix classes.  This plate, for example, is a Class V with the serial formatting from 00PA to 999PZ.  Thanks to Clayton Moore for sharing the image, I also understand the plate's new home will be with Rob B.


But wait, there's more!  This 1931 Truck plate came off the same truck!  And again thanks to Clayton Moore for the photo.  It should be noted that in 1931 Truck plates went back to using the R through Z prefix to indicate the weight class.  This was after 1930 plates used a 2-letter suffix to identify truck weight classes as seen above.  This class would have started at V0A00.  This is believed to be the first plate of this class to be documented.


7/10/2022 Posting

Here's a street shot of a new high Arcadia University plate thanks to John Clark.  This plate type dates back to 2004.  It appears likely that AU plates will remain on the www base since plates in inventory go up to A/U00999.  Arcadia is located in Glenside, PA, and was formerly called Beaver College.


This low number St. Vincent Alumni plate was spotted by Bruce Bufalini.  This plate would have been part of a number-for-number replacement of the first generation yellow on blue plates.  It would have been issued on or around 7/25/2001 according to a record from the period, making it about 21 years on the road.  This plate program dates back to 1992.


This Organ Donors Save Lives plate is not a new high.  It is, however, a new high with a sticker well, at least on this website.  I should note that the PA Archives lists D/N01822, as the high with the sticker well, but no photo.  Thanks to John Clark for this photo.


This Pennsylvania Equine Council plate represents a new high.  These plates date back to 2012.  Thanks to John Clark for this photo.



Here's another new high North Penn Vol. Fire Co. plate.  The North Penn plate program dates back to 2010.  While this plate still has a sticker, a record check indicates that no higher serial numbered plates have been issued.  The photo was taken by Richard Than.





And one more high thanks to John Clark.  John is keeping us well supplied with highs including this Distracted Driving Awareness plate, which is part of the Special Fund series.  These plates only date back to 2019, and therefore, have always had the map outline.  There is also a Distracted Driving Awareness motorcycle plate available.


This WHYY plate is also a new high, again thanks to John Clark.  WHYY is a PBS / NPR TV and FM radio station operating in Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE.  Their plate program dates back to 2009.



Here is a street shot of a Vietnam War Veteran plate from John Clark.  It's the highest I have, but Jordan lists V/W11416, dated 2/24/2022 from an unknown source.  In any case, that's well over 11,000 plates issued since 1999.



Here is one final high for the week, this being a Mass Transit plate from Bill Young.




Some unusual plates on the Vanity Page this week, including #1 PA Choose Life, MUSIC Let Freedom Ring, and CWO Expeditionary Forces Veteran, among others.


Bill Koneski posted this 1977 keystone base which would have been issued at the end of the run, and about the time the yellow on blue 1984 friend base hit the street.  These plates were eligible to be revalidated up to 2000, thus the '88 & '89 stickers.  This plate has a serial number above the previous high number of GKY-744.  Could the final issued plate be higher still, maybe GKY-999 or GKZ-999? 


Could anyone guess that the photo of these two sequential 1940 Tractor plates came from Tim Gierschick?  In Tim's own words, "It took awhile, but I was finally able to bring these two sequential Pa. tractors (farm tractor) together.  I have had the 2576 for awhile."  These plates measure 6 inches by 12 inches and were issued as singles.  The series ran from 0001 to 8437 or above.




This is a 1944 Tractor plate, it's also a new high eclipsing the old high of 3952.  With 9503 being so close to the end of the 4-digit run, it wonders me, as a PA Dutchmen might say, if the series ever extended into the A000 series.  This 6-inch by 12-inch plate was a recent acquisition of Tim Gierschick's.


Next up is this low-number 1945 Tractor plate, also thanks to Tim.  The Tractor plate number series from 1937 through 1956 started at 0001 and went to 9999 if needed, then A000 etc., also if needed.  1945 plates measured 6 inches by 11 inches.



Here is another low-number plate, this being a 1949 Tractor.  Another thank you to Tim Gierschick.  Like the '45 plate above, this tag also measures 6 inches by 11 inches.



This is a 1918 1 Star Truck plate belonging to Donald Harman.  The single star represents the lightest of five truck weight classes.  All truck plates that year and the following year used a 'C' prefix.  The number C488, also represents the lowest documented plate, although it is believed that the series began at C1, etc.  Plate sizes varied by the number of characters in the serial number with this plate measuring 6" by 13".


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Images and photos are always welcome.  Please send to:

John McDevitt and Jordan Irazabal





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