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

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

ALPCA #4376

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 2/28/2021 Posting

This is the latest high U.S. Army Veteran plate, thanks to Tom Perri.  This plate type dates back to 2009 with the starting point being 10001A/R.  So over 5000 serial-numbered plates have been issued and quite a few personalized plates as well.  There is also a U.S. Army (Active Duty) plate which is still quite rare.  And don't forget the U.S. Army Reserve plate which is classified as an organizational plate rather than a veteran plate.

 


Here is a Veteran plate which is also a new high.  This plate is from Preston Turner via Tom Perri's PAPlates.com website.  These plates date back to 2005.  The sticker well was removed at least as far back as 02876.  So far the map outline has not been spotted.  Plates above 03200U/S may have the map.

 


Here is a pair of Fraternal Order of Police plates.  These are both at the high end of the run, but we can't exactly figure out the last two digits of the higher numbered plate.  It is my understanding that this is the second most popular organizational plate behind the Penn State Alumni Association.  The 22156 image is from Preston Turner via Tom Perri's webpage.  The 224?? is also thanks to Tom Perri.

 


Here is a personalized Ringing Hill Fire Company plate.  The photo is thanks to Mike Alfonse.  This plate type has been around since 2009.  The current high is 00031R/H but has not been updated in a while.  As for plate frames, I have a soft spot for firefighters but not so much for frames, regardless of what they say.

 


Here is a 1952 2-digit (MBL) Motorboat plate and a 1960 2-digit (MB) plate.  These were motorcycle size 4½" by 8" plates issued in pairs.  Starting in 1955 the plate used the map outline.  Serial sequencing started at 1 and went to 5 digits.  Both of these photos came from Worthpoint.

 


Here is a display of 1955 Motorboat plates.  Only the 402 plate has been added making a complete display of 1 to 5-digit plates.  The 402 came from Worthpoint.  All of the others have been previously posted.  Click the link above to see the credit for the other four plates.

 


This is a 1944 Format 2 Motorcycle plate.  It's the first '44 MC image documented using the alpha-numeric serial format.  This plate was listed on eBay a while back and the plate owner Baywood58 gave me the OK to use the photo.  This plate is the standard 4½" by 8" used at the time.

 


Here is a previously unknown 1953 Passenger plate serial format.  The previous final format was D000A to P999Z.  Then Eric Tanner spotted the plate shown here on eBay.  This plate is part of the sequence of D00A0 to D88B0 or higher.  I agree with Eric that this was likely a very late '53 issue.  Thanks to eBay user wjtpa for the use of the photo.

 


This is believed to be a 1928 Z-Class Truck plate on a 1924 Ahrens Fox fire truck belonging to the Royersford Fire Co.  The photo is thanks to Mike Alfonse.  The truck appears to have solid rubber tires.  Although the year is not legible on the photos, it was established by a process of elimination.  This plate also appears to be a new high with the previous high being Z1-979.  I always enjoy a plate or photo with some kind of historical context.

 

 


Next up is this 1934 T-Weight Class Truck plate.  For that year there were three T-class serial progressions, T000A, T00A0, T0A00 with this plate part of the last group.  1934 with the word TRUCK, was the first year since 1923 to have an identifying legend.  Also, since truck plates were now limited to 5 characters, more serial formats were necessary in the R, S and T classes.  This plate is thanks to Worthpoint.

 


 2/21/2021 Posting

Looks like the Emergency Medical Services plate received an update.  The update has a new flat screened color logo as well as the plate legend.  The map outline has also been added.  This change likely occurred at E/M07000 according to an inventory report.  The E/M0974 is a Bruce Bufalini plate via PAPlates, while the new plate is thanks to Justin Chobirko.

 


This is the latest high School Vehicle plate.  These have had the map outline since SV-26800 spotted in late 2017.  SV plates have gone through numerous formatting variations over the years.  The series was launched in 1993 on the yellow on blue base.  Thanks to Preston Turner for the photo.

 


In a previous posting I had asked for a Severely Disabled Veteran plate in the 80000 series.  Bob Connison stepped up and kindly provided this low number D/V plate showing a 5-87 sticker suggesting the plate was issued in 1986, which is believed to be the first year for plates with the wheelchair symbol.  He also provided a picture of the reverse showing the purple color as seen on Antique Historic plates.

 


Here's another Severely Disabled Veteran plate, this one is a new high. This plate is D/V98410; however, vanity check shows DV98758 as being the issued high.  Not sure what the plan is after hitting D/V98999 since the D/V99000 series is reserved for vehicles qualifying for two plates as a result of having a device on the rear of the vehicle for carrying a wheelchair or personal assistive device.  Thanks to Tom Perri for the image.

 


Here is a recent photo of an Expeditionary Forces Veteran plate.  This is the first plate spotted with the map outline.  It is also the current high.  This plate type had its start in 1995 and has always used a 4-digit serial number, although there are a few vanities out there.  Thanks to Mike Alfonse for sharing the photo.

 


This is a miniature 1957 Press Photographer keychain tag.  Jerry McCoy saw the recent posting of Press Photographer plates and passed along this photo of a rare PP keychain tag of the type that the Disabled American Veterans used to send out as a fund raiser.  (There are no plans to begin posting these DAV tags.)

 


This photo I should have posted last week along with the Press Photographer display of the 58 base PP230 plates.  This is a larger photo showing the 61, 62 and 63 validation stickers.  Compare these stickers with those below.  Thanks to John Anshant for the photo.

 


 

 

 

Starting on the far left is a pair of PP87 plates with 64 PA0000 stickers.  Next is another pair of PP87 plates on the '65 base with stickers from 66 to 70.  Unfortunately it appears that the 68 sticker faded out.  Beginning with the 66 sticker, all of the sticker serial numbers begin with PP.  1970 plates were naturals with 71 etched into the upper left sticker well.  I don't know how far the PP stickers were used, but as of 75, it appears that passenger stickers were used.  Thanks to John Anshant for the great photos.

 


The far left is a 1960, blue on white, 4-digit Motorboat plate is from Fred Schmidt.  The next is a 1962, white on purple, 5-digit Motorboat plate.   The third is a 1963, white on red, 5-digit Motorboat plate.  These last two are from the Bill Krellner collection.  1963 was the final year for Motorboat plates.

Concerning Motorboat Dealer tags, there are many years for which I have no photos, if anyone can help.  Needed are 37, 38, 40 through 45, 51 through 53, 57, 61 and 62.  Thanks.

 


It may not be a thing of beauty, but it does represent the first of three 1934 S-Weight Class Truck plate progressions.  These include S000A shown here, and S00A0 and S0A00.  All 5-character 1936 truck plates measured 6 inches by 12 inches.  There were some R and S overflow plates with 6 characters measuring 6 inches by 15 inches.   Thanks to Worthpoint for the image.

 


Next up are these 1939 S-Weight Class and a T-Weight Class Truck plates.  Like the S-class plate above, the one shown here also represents the first of four serial progressions.  These include S000A, S00A0, S0A00 and S00AA.  The T-class is the second of three progressions including T000A, T00A0, T0A00.  All 1939 truck plates were 5-character and measured 6 inches by 12 inches.  Thanks to Worthpoint for the images.  Check back next week for some additional U-class plates.

 


The final Truck plate this week is this 1945 V-Weight Class Truck tag.  Thanks to Rob Baran for providing this image.  The use of the Y in the serial progression makes me wonder how far the series actually progressed and if any plates were made in the V00A0 series, which would have been next if V999Z were surpassed.  We may never know.  All 1945 truck plates were 5-character and measured 6 inches by 11 inches.

 


 2/14/2021 Posting

In Legislative News House Bill 334 has been reintroduced.  The bill, if passed, would require PennDot to issue registration expiration stickers on Pennsylvania registration plates.  PennDot has lost considerable revenue due to registrations not being renewed.  A previous legislative effort did not pass.

 


In Legislative News House Bill 478 would allow the DCNR registration of Off-Highway Motorcycles (OHM) such as dirt bikes and trail bikes. Such registrations would provide legal access to trails on public lands similar to ATVs and Snowmobiles. Revenues generated from OHM registrations would be used for trail development and maintenance.  Bill would provide for a registration plate and a dealer registration plate.

 


This is the earliest (lowest number) Disabled Veteran plate I've seen.  My understanding is that these plates date back to 1982 and started at DV-0000; however, research of the legislation behind these plates several years ago was confusing.  Also see DV plates below.  This image came from Worthpoint.

 


While this plate appears to just be a higher plate in the same series as the above plate, the validation sticker dates and much higher serial number would indicate that this plate had to be part of a different series.  I believe this over-40,000 series was the beginning of the Severely Disabled Veteran distinction prior to the use of the wheelchair symbol and the 80-thousand number series.  See the D/V plate below.  Other thoughts?

 


Based on the premise above, this plate would be part of the Severely Disabled Veteran series after the series was given a new number block starting at D/V80000 plus the wheelchair symbol.  This series is believed to date back to 1986.  This image is thanks to Clayton Moore.  Anyone have a plate or photo in 80000 or 81000 series?

 


This is a new high U.S. Marine Corps Veteran plate.  These plates date back to late 2009 with the starting point of 10000M/C.  This photo is thanks to Bruce Bufalini.  It may be worth mentioning that there is also a U.S. Marine Corps (Active Duty) plate that came about in 2017.  Don't forget that there was an early organizational plate called U.S. Marine Reserve which actually made its debut in 1987 on the yellow on blue base.

 


Tracking plate changes from sticker well, to no sticker well, to map outline, while it's a fun part of the hobby, it's also a pain in the butt.  Anyway, this Children's Hospital of Philadelphia plate is the highest with sticker that I have, while 00522C/H has also been documented with the sticker well.  Lowest number spotted without the sticker well is 00547C/H.  Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for the image.

 


Mike Alfonse recently snapped the photo showing a new Limerick Fire Company high number plate.  The photo also shows that the organization changed their logo.  The lower number plate is from Tom Perri's PAPlates.com website showing the old logo.  That plate still has the sticker well.  The new plate has the map outline.

 


These three Motorboat Licenses are thanks to Fred Schmidt.  The far left is a 1953, white on green 3-digit plate.  Later '53 plates used fiberboard.  The center plate is a 1956 5-character, also white on green, now with the state map outline and MBL shortened to MB, not to be confused with Motorbike.  The final plate is a 1958 white on red tag.  These were issued in pairs and measured 4½" by 8".  Motorboat plates were sequential starting at 1, my goal is to show 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5-digit plates where possible.

 


 

Here are three early Press Photographer plates and registration cards.  John Anshant recently posted these photos noting that they had belonged to a Philadelphia newspaper reporter who passed away in 1993.  John indicates that this "establishes with some certainty the advent of the use of PP for press plates".  We also know that on February 10, 1956, Governor George Leader signed the Press Photograph License Plate Bill. This enabled the issuing of Press Photograph License Plates beginning in 1956.  There were earlier PP plates dating to the late '40s but these were not official.  The plates shown here include a 1956, '57 and a '58 revalidated until 1963.  To my knowledge plates were always issued in pairs, and the plates never used a Press Photographer legend.  Next week I will post some additional PP-related material.

 


This is a 1941 U-Weight Class Truck plate.  For that year there were three U-weight class serial progressions including U000A, U00A0, U0A00, with the plate shown here being part of the first group.  All plates measured 6 inches by 12 inches.  This photo is a Worthpoint image.

 

 


Concerning Truck Plates, for each year I have tried to identify each weight class where a photo is still needed.  Any help would be very much appreciated.

 


 2/7/2021 Posting

It was just a matter of time until someone decided to give their Audi that Euro-plate look, complete with their PennDOT Passenger registration number.  The registration number on this plate is a valid listing; however, I certainly wouldn't press my luck on the street with this plate.  There are companies that market such plates.  Thanks to John Anshant for posting this photo.

 

 


Here is a trio of Organ Donors Save Lives plates.  The far left image from Bruce Bufalini, D/N01822, has no sticker, but Bruce was unable to tell if it had a sticker well.  The center photo now shows the map outline.  We don't know when the map was added but likely somewhere between the left and center plate numbers.  The D/N01885 photo was my own photo, and the D/N01942 came from Preston Turner and is the current documented high.  Vanity check shows the registered high as D/N02060.

 

 


This was the first serial-numbered PA Society of Professional Engineers plates spotted.  Previously a personalized plate was posted.  The plate shown here came from Brendan Sherry and was on Tom Perri's PAPlates.com website.  As of now, only 8 serial numbered plates have been issued which helps explain why more plates have not been spotted.

 


The Prince Hall F&AM plate on the far left is the highest plate spotted, and was photographed recently by Jaska Börner.  Vanity check shows active plates as high as M/M01910, with some gaps. Anyone know if the graphic format, near left image, ever made its debut? The graphic prototype was revealed in 2015, but so far no plates have been spotted.

 


This is a 1937 Motorbike plate, not a Motorboat plate as that would use MBL as the identifier, although Motorboats used MB from '55 to '63.  Thanks to Tiger Joe for this photo.  Motorbike plates ran from 1920 until 1949 after which they were discontinued.  Motorbikes were sometimes referred to as Motor Bicycles or Bicycle Side Motors.  Today they are more commonly referred to as Mopeds, short for motorized pedal-cycle.  Moped plates were introduced in 1977.  The use of foot pedals and a crank, among other things, differentiated them from motorcycles.  Early plate history in the 1920s is very sketchy, if anyone has something to share, it would be appreciated. 

 


This 1927 2-digit Passenger plate deserves top-billing.  Tim Gierschick recently acquired this gem, which adds to his collection of 2-digit plates.  Tim says, "Now I only need a 1925, 1930 and 1932 to complete my 1906-1935 2 digit set."  Can anyone help?"

 

 


Here is a very nice 1922 Format 4 Passenger plate from Mike Alfonse.  Passenger plates that year ran from 1 to over 764-000 making this plate toward the higher end of the run.  This plate measures 6" by 16".  Plates with up to 3 digits were 6" by 10", 4-dight plates were 6" by 12", and 5-digits were 6" x 13½".  

 


This is a 1932 Format 3 Passenger plate.  Format 3 included 0A, 0A0, shown here, 0A00 and 0A000 serial formats.  Sizes would be 6 inches by 10 inches as shown here, and 6 inches by 12 inches for 5-character plates.  Thanks to Pl8source for the use of this plate photo.

 

 


This is a 1947 Format 4 Passenger plate. Format 4 included 10A0 to 99Z99, which included both 4 and 5 character serial numbers. All plates, regardless of the number of characters, measured 6 inches by 11 inches. This plate photo came from Worthpoint.

 

 


Starting on the far left is this 1939 Format 1 Trailer plate meaning it is part of 0001 to 9999 numerical sequence on a 6" by 12" base, center is a 1946 Format 4 Trailer being part of 00A0 to 99Z9 sequence on a 6" by 11" base, and finally a Format 3 1952 Trailer plate which is part of the 0A00 to 9Z99 sequence.  The left and right plate photos are from Worthpoint, the center photo is from the Bill Krellner collection.

 


Between 1924 and 1933 truck plates did not have any legend that identified them as such.  So it is with this 1933 V-Weight Class Truck plate.  All 1933 truck plates were 6 characters in length with the first character identifying the weight class from R to Z on 2-axle vehicles, and the first two letters identifying 3-axle truck classes with the letters RZ to ZZ.  All truck plates measured 6" by 15".  Thanks to Jeff Hinkle for this photo.

 


 1/31/2021 Posting

This personalized Person with Disability plate was photographed by John Anshant.  The owner of this vehicle introduced his handicapped daughter to John.  She is a big Beatles fan.  It's always nice when there is a story behind the plate.  Personalized PD plates are available with up to 5 characters.

 

 


Nothing all that unique about this Severely Disabled Veteran plate, but what is unique is that it is part of dual plate series of D/V99000.  The D/V99000 series is for vehicle owners who have a carrier on the rear of the vehicle for holding a wheelchair or personal assistive device. They are authorized to be issued two plates since the assistive device and carrier may block visibility of the vehicle mounted plate.  Obviously the assistive device and the second plate were not on this vehicle at the time of the photo.  Thanks to Mike Alfonse for the photo. It may be worth mentioning that this 2-plate option is also available on Disabled Veteran in the DV-79000 series, and Person with Disability in the 98000PD series, and as PD vanities.

 

 


This eye-catching Antique Vehicle plate is a recent acquisition of Jeff Lesher.  This plate, with its 3-digit number, is a personalized plate.  All plates that are part of the standard serial progression contain 4 characters.   The earliest white on purple Antique plates from the late 1950s were all-numeric starting at 1 and progressing to 9999.  Later plates were all alpha-numeric.

 


No photos yet, but Preston Turner reports seeing a Keystone Elk Country Alliance vanity plate with K/EELK4U.  He was not able to get a photo.  Vanity check also shows that 13 serial numbered plates have now been issued.  If you are interested in a plate, go to their website, not to be confused with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

 


While on the subject of Antique plates, we have these two early Antique Motorcycle plates also from Jeff Lesher.  Antique M/C plates date back to 1967 and were initially planned to run from A0 to Z99.  While a couple all numerical plates are known to exist, they are believed to be samples or courtesy plates.  So the B0 is part of the first group from A0 to D99.  Starting at E0 the PENNA and MOTORCYCLE changed places.  Then the next group starting at G1, PENNA and MOTORCYCLE again flip-flopped bringing them back to what you see here.  In addition to the the alpha-numeric sequences, the original hole spacing was narrow as seen here.  Starting somewhere between the L and P-series the hole spacing was widened.  It appears that some early plate numbers may have been reissued on wide hole-spacing plates.

 


This beautiful white on black porcelain 1914 Format 6 Passenger plate combo is thanks to Jeff Hinkle.  Format 6 ran from 30000 to 99999, with this plates measuring 6" by 14".  The reverse of the plate shows Brilliant Mfg Co., 1035 Ridge Ave., Phila., PA as the manufacturer.  Brilliant produced the plates for PA from 1912 to 1916.  Click the link above to see additional plates and details.  For historians, Eric Taylor has an interesting article on this company.

 


These 1949 Passenger plates help to fill 4-character slots in Format 3 which ran from 1A00 to 9Z999, and Format 4 which included 10A0 to 99Z99.  All plates were 6-inches by 11-inches for both 4- and 5-character plates.  These photos came from Worthpoint, a service I subscribe to. 

There are still many Passenger plate formats for which I have no image.  These are identified as Image needed in the photo galleries.  Help with any of these is always much appreciated.

 


          -These are 1925, '26, '27 and '28 Trailer plates.  Trailer plates began using the TT prefix in 1924.  Previously a single T was used but in 1924 Truck plates began using R through Z, including T, to identify weight classes, so trailer plates changed to TT.  The 1925 above, still uses full size Ts, while the '26 plates part way through the year switched to the smaller Ts, as did all the later plates.  Plate highs are not firmly established but the '26 and '27 plates may establish new highs.  The '25 and high number '28 are thanks to Clayton Moore.  The other 3 plates were from Bill Krellner's collection.  (I had actually posted 3 of these in late December but never linked them to this home page.)

 


This is thought to be a U.S. Congress / Member of Congress plate from 1958.  While we don't have provenance to go along with the plate, it does follow the serial formatting at the time, except for the wide spacing between the characters.  Some plates had the MC in the prefix position to allow registration of 2 vehicles.  This is a Worthpoint image.

 


This is a first generation Villanova University Alumni Association plate.  These organizational plates date back to 1987.  The range of the 1st generation plates was from V/U00001 to V/U01790.  After the 2001 re-plating, plates were again redesigned in 2006, but not spotted until 2009, now with V/U in the suffix position.  Plate photo is from Worthpoint.

 


 

Images and photos are always welcome.  Please send to:

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

ALPCA #4376

 

 

 

 

   
 

 
 

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