Here's a very recent issue Goshen Fire Company
plate from Ryan Battin. It has the map outline, but plates with higher
numbers do not. The original plate began peeling, and
was then replaced with this plate having the same number. Click the link above to see
additional Goshen plates. The current issued high is 20068G/F.
far left Dealer
plate photo was taken by
Bruce Bufalini. It's not
a new high, but it is the highest plate spotted before the addition of the map
outline. The plate with the map outline was previously posted and came
from Jordan Irazabal. The change
took place at K51-500K. Both plates are also listed in the Dealer
It's not a thing of beauty but this Permanent Trailer
plate does move the needle forward on the progression of the serial number.
The letter K on this plate is always the last character to advance, while the
numerical sequences, 550 8, advances with each plate. The PT prefix does
not advance. Thanks to
Bruce Bufalini for this photo.
This plate is also listed in the
These are 1928 Format 3 Dealer
plates, with the 'X' indicating the plate type. The serial number also
establishes this pair as the series high, or at least until a higher plate
surfaces. These plates measure 6 inches by 15 inches. Click the link
above to see 6-inch by 10-inch and 6-inch by 13-inch plates with shorter serial
numbers. Thanks to Clayton Moore for the use of the plate photos.
This is a 1945 Format 1 Dealer
plate. That group includes the series X100 to X9999, so both 4- and
5-character plates were issued. There was also a series with the 'X' in
the second position. All such plates measured 6 inches by 11 inches.
Thanks to Clayton Moore for the use of the plate photo.
Here we have a pair of low-numbered 1931 and 1932
Legislative plates. Early legislative plates were issued from 1928
up through 1935. Except for 1928 and early '29 plates they all shared a
similar appearance to those shown here. They were issued in pairs and were
6" by 12" in size. The source of the 1931 photo is unknown. The 1932
plate photo is thanks to John Anshant.
Last week I added a few older Motorboat Licenses (MBL)
Plates. Here are a few more starting with this 1947, 5⅛-inch by
11-inch white on blue plate. 1- to 4-digit plates that year were smaller
by 9½-inch. Next is the low-number 1950 red on white
4½-inch by 8-inch plate, and finally the 1952 blue on yellow
plate of the same size. These plates are all thanks to Fred Schmidt.
These were part of a group of low-number
1950s plates posted by Jeff Lesher. At the time, plates with fewer than 4
characters were considered non-standard issue. Previously I posted a 1954,
#102 and '55, #426. According to Jeff, 102 may have been used by Auditor
General Charles Smith. While these plates are being listed in the Passenger series, they are also
being listed with
State Officials & Dignitaries.
Can you identify this plate? If not,
it's a 1919 1-star weight class
truck plate. The 'C' was part of every truck plate that year, the
47 being the lowest serial number I've seen. Note the single star on the
right side designating this as the lightest weight class. Classes extended
to 5 stars. Much thanks to John Willard for sharing this plate.
may see rust, yes it's rusty, but it is a great 1929 W-Weight Class Truck
plate. The W series that year would have started at W-1 and extended at
least as high as the plate seen here. This plate measures 6" by 15" while
6" by 10" and 6" by 13" were used for shorter serial numbers. Thanks to
Tim Gierschick for this barn find.
years ago the state embarked on a program to allow departments within state
government to design Official Use plates with their own logo. To my
PennDOT and the PA Turnpike
have opted to do this. In both cases there is one serial format for
passenger vehicles and another for commercial types. There is also a
version of the plate for
state owned vehicles that do not belong to one of the departments
mentioned above, which uses a state coat of arms.
like each week we get a lower number Korean War Veteran
plate. This latest plate is thanks to Matt Ciecka.
Now the challenge — are there still any under 100 plates out there or in
This is a personalized version of a
Delaware County Fallen Firefighter & EMS Memorial Committee.
That's a long title to put on a plate so a couple of the words have been
abbreviated. Personalizing the plate allows for 1 to 5 characters plus the
D/C suffix. The FOP emblem was added by the owner. Thanks to John
Anshant for the photo.
Here is the first image of a Mount Aloysius
College plate. This facility had plates on the road as of February
2018, but so far there are only 4 serial-numbered plates issued. There
could also be personalized plates. One might wonder why a 4-year college
can only market 4 plates while small volunteer fire companies may have 40 to 60
plates on the road.
Here's a new high University of
Scranton plate that was recently photographed by Jaska Börner.
This was a tough night time shot but clearly displays the map outline. The
previous high was U/S11371 without the map. This plate program dates back
to 1995 with a starting point of U/S10000.
Here is the most recent high
Action for Animals Humane Society from Preston Turner. A few days
Bruce Bufalini spotted
but was unable to get a picture. He did note that the plate he saw had the
map outline. So somewhere between 54 and 69 the map was added. The
current issued high is 10070H/S.
is a 1932 Passenger
plate, or at least the AA0 format would suggest. On the other hand, the
US2 combination might also suggest political significance such as U. S. Senate.
In later years US1 and US2 were used for PA's two U.S. Senators. In
any case, it's an eye-catching plate. The plate measures 6 inches by 10
inches and is thanks to John Anshant.
of possible political plates, here's another plate that raises similar
questions. The USC prefix could mean U. S. Congress, 6th congressional
district, or it could be a vanity plate from someone who attended the University
of Southern California. Other known congressional plates at the time used
the prefix MC to designate Member of Congress on the liberty bell base. In
either case, I'm going to cross list it under 1971 to '76 Passenger
S. Congress. You decide. The plate photo is thanks to
This is a rare 1954 Transit Dealer
plate. The history of such plates is very sketchy. We don't know the
meaning of Transit Dealer. We also don't know the starting year for
certain, but the final series of 1951 passenger started at D000A, apparently
leaving the A000A, B000A and C000A for the dealer series. A 1952 sample,
C123A is known to exist. For 1954 we have the plate shown here which was
from the Bill Krellner collection and C339A from John Willard.
This is a non-standard issue 1956 Passenger plate, which
means a plate with fewer than 4 characters. Plates with other 3 character
combinations may have existed; however, this is the only one known to exist.
Such plates were more plentiful during the 1953 to '55 period. Or could
this plate have been issued to a state official? Thanks to Jeff Lesher for
the photo of this rare plate.
After posting a couple 1952 U-Weight Class Truck
plates on 1/3, Rob Baran sent this photo of a plate with a serial format that
had not been previously listed here. Up till now only U000A, U00A0 and
U0A00 were listed; now with this plate, U00AA has been added. Always happy
for updates and corrections.
Motorboat License (MBL) plates were first
issued in 1931 and continued through 1963. During this time period a
variety of plate sizes and color combinations were used. Fred Schmidt
recently posted a group photo and has kindly allowed me to use his plate
pictures. There were already photos from this period on this site but
these photos show plates having more or fewer characters than those previously
posted. The plates shown here all measure 6 inches by 12 inches and employ
a beveled edge, which is unlike motor vehicle plates. Plates were issued
Here's the latest high Antique Vehicle plate
from Preston Turner. These are certainly less common in the middle of winter.
The way I understand the serial progression of these plates is that the starting
point for the current series was A0AA, then the number is always first to
advance, next the letter in the 4th position, followed by the letter in the 3rd
position. The letter in the first position is always the last to advance.
This Korean War Veteran
is not a low number but is the lowest on this site. Very few such plates
are issued today, but are still available. This plate has never been
updated. A related plate would be the
Defense Service Medal. Thanks to Jeff
Lawson for the photo.
This Vietnam War Veteran
plate is the lowest number I've seen. The Vietnam conflict went on for
may years and left scars on the nation and on those who served. The war
ended in 1975 but new plates are still being issued, however, I'm sure the number are
declining. These plates date back to 1999, with highs today over 11000.
Thanks to Jeff Lawson for the photo.
The far left State Senator
photo was taken back in 2012. The near left photo was taken recently by
Jeff Lawson. Aside from the difference in spacing, the 2012 plate was on the www
base, while the current plate is on the visitPA base. Have not seen any
political plates with the map outline yet.
first glance these may appear to be unrelated plate types; however, the 183J is
an early 1929 Judiciary plate, while the 132 is a later
Early plates followed formatting similar to 1928 plates. There was a change in
the design of the Judiciary plates part way thru the year and likely all of the
early-issue plates were replaced with the plates bearing the JUDICIARY legend.
This then established the format for such plates thru 1935. The 183J plate
is a great addition and is thanks to John Anshant, the 132 plate posted
previously, was thanks to Jake Eckenrode. A similar redesign was seen with
Legislative plates at
This remarkable pair of 1924 plates
represents the first year of Official Use plates,
intended for use on state owned vehicles. A newspaper article from
12/27/1923 from the Wilkes-Barre Record passed on to me by Eric Tanner, indicated
that for 1924 plates with an S-suffix would designate state-owned
vehicles. Plate 1-S would be for the Governor, plate 11-S shown here,
would be for the Secretary of Agriculture. Thanks to Jeff Lesher for the
photo of this unique pair.
Thanks to Jeff Lesher we have this 1925 Official Use
plate, still with a low number. Without any legend indicating the plate
type, it's easy to see that such plates were not easily recognized, and ended up
in a box of non-descript plates. This plate and the '24 plate above are
definitely not truck S-class overflow plates. This is the first image of a
1925 Official plate and fills an important gap. Anyone have another?
Baran recently pointed out a difference in fonts used on '58 Truck plates.
(See 1958 Truck below.) I also noticed that for 1957 Truck plates there were
two different fonts used. The center plate could be described as having a
serif R and B, while the far left plate has a sans-serif R and the Z-Class plate
has a sans-serif B. The serif plates appear to be less common. I'm not
going to attempt to determine serial ranges. The far left plate was
previously posted from Bob Connison. The center plate is from Worthpoint,
and the Z-Class plate was previously posted from John Willard.
Sans Serif R
This section on 1958 Truck plates is
similar to the 1957 piece above. As described above, Rob Baran noticed a
difference in the letters R and U on some plates. The stacked R weight
class plates show the sans-serif R on the upper plate and the serif R below.
I'm not sure how to describe the U class plates other than the U in the upper
plate has a flatter bottom than the U on the lower plate. Again, no attempt
will be made to determine the serial ranges of these variations. The upper
left R image is from Rob Baran, the lower left, previously posted, was from Chuck Sakryd,
the upper U-plate, previously posted, was from Jerry McCoy, the lower U-plate is from Rob Baran.
Happy New Year and happy plate hunting
May 2021 be a better year for all of
Here is a new high Honoring Our
Veterans plate. This plate still has the sticker well, but a check
of a 2020 BMV report shows that a new batch of plates will begin at 03200H/V.
So it is likely that either the sticker well will be removed, or the map outline
will have been added. Thanks to Brendan Sherry for the photo.
I wouldn't have thought that getting
a good low number close-up of the AH-Prefix Apportioned
Truck plate would be so challenging.
This required a through-the-fence zoom shot, but worth the effort.
Just for fun this pictorial progression is
being displayed showing a condensed history of Apportioned Truck
plates. As the prefixes progressed starting with AA, AB, etc., there were
no AC prefix plates. This may have resulted from the AC prefix being held
in reserve for use by Allegheny College whose plate program dates at least back
1982, AA prefix
1984, AB prefix
Late 1990s, AD prefix
2000 www base, AE
2007, visitPA, AF
2012, AG Prefix, AG
Early 2018, AG prefix,
Later 2018, AG prefix, map
2020, AH prefix
Here is a very unusual single letter 1931 Passenger plate.
Single letter plates were actually part of a larger series of A to Z9999.
I would guess that such plates were also likely early vanities, even though they
were part of a larger group of plates. This is a Jeff Lesher plate.
This is a 1933 Format 7 Passenger
plate. Format 7 included AA to ZZ & AA1 to ZZ99 and were 10-inch
plates. Many of these 2-letter plates were likely early vanities The
plate shown here is thanks to John Anshant, and he notes that one H is inverted.
Which H is it?
Last week we featured several 3-character
non-standard issue, and 4 digit standard issue plates. This week we have
several more very low number 4-digit Passenger plates from 1951 and 1952. The first
series of standard issue plates started at 1001 and extended to 99999.
Thanks much to Jeff Lesher for posting a group of these plates. More next
These 1942 Trailer
plates were added to replace earlier photos of lesser quality. 1942 saw
the use of 3 serial progressions, Format 1 - 0001 to 9999, Format 2 - A000 to
Z999, and Format 3 - 0A00 to 9Z99. 0010 photo came from Drewski, the other
is from Worthpoint.
Next up is this 1945 Format 1 Trailer
plate. Trailer plates for 1945 used 4 serial progressions including 0001
to 9999, A000 to Z999, 0A00 to 9Z99, and 00A0 to 99Z9. All plates were 4
characters and measured 6 inches by 11 inches. The plate shown here is
This is a 1942 S-Weight Class truck plate
with a '43 tab attached. 1942 had 4 S-class serial progressions, S000A,
S00A0, S0A00, S00AA. With the addition of the plate shown here,
there are now photos of three of the four S-class progressions. These
plates were 6" by 12". Thanks to Jeff Hinkle for the use of the photo.
These are 1945 S-Weight Class and U-Weight Class
truck plates. The S-Class used 3 serial progressions, so with the addition
of this plate there are photos of two of the three. The U-Class used 4
serial progressions. With the addition of this plate, there are photos of two
of the four. Both of these are Worthpoint images.
The final truck tags consist of these 1952 U-Weight Class plates.
The U-Class was made up of three serial progressions. With the addition of
these images, all three serial groups are represented. These plates measure
6 inches by 11 inches. The images came from Worthpoint.
This is a Korean War Veteran
plate. The series dates back to 1993, and at the time there would have
been a fair number of such veterans. The war took place between 1950 and
'53. The plate type is still valid but few if any are issued, and are
seldom spotted. This is the lowest number plate I have a photo of.
The picture is thanks to Devan Ciemiewicz. Today there is also the
Defense Service Medal plate, a late comer with fewer than 200 issued plates.
Here is a
pictorial display of 1931 aluminum license plates. Standard issue steel
plates for 1931 were painted yellow on dark blue. The plates shown here
show unpainted aluminum characters over a dark blue background.
The reverse shows the same unpainted aluminum. An attached
describes Governor Pinchot's 1931 Studebaker shown with this #1 plate. The article suggests that
the #1 PA license plate was a pre-production example, the first plate made of
aluminum. It doesn’t provide much info beyond that. Several
other aluminum1931 Passenger
plates were made including a possible early vanity — UA, and the #9
Official that has survived as a pair. This pair has the PENNA
and 1931 reversed from the steel plates. It is unclear if these
test plates or were issued plates. Photo credit #9 Official, Jeff Lesher; #1,
Clayton Moore; #3 Ned Flynn; #44, Jeff Lesher; UA, John
For obvious reasons finding one of these
3-character 1930 Format 4
Passenger plates was not easy. Format 4 consisted of 00A to 99Z99.
But thanks to Bob Connison, this image showed up in my inbox. Format 4
with 4 or 5 characters are much more plentiful. This plate is a 6 by
This is a
1944 Format 9 Passenger
plate. This plate was part of the final plate group which ran from 1AA0 to
4NB8. After starting at 1AA0, the actual progression ran to 1AA99, then 2AA0 to
2AA99, until ending at 4NB8. So with both 4 and 5 character plates, both 6" x 10"
and 6" x
11" plates were used. This is a Worthpoint image.
Here is a pair of 1946 Passenger tags
consisting of a low-number Format 1, and a 4-character Format 2 plate.
Format 1 consisted of 1001 to 99999, and the Format 2 plate consisted of A100 to
Z9999, but while both 4 and 5 character serial numbers were used, all 1946
plates were 6 inches by 11 inches.
The 1004 photo is thanks to John Willard, the other is a Worthpoint image.
These are 1947 Passenger plates.
They consist of a low-number Format 1, and a 4-character Format 3 plate.
Format 1 consisted of 1001 to 99999, and the Format 3 plate consisted
of 1A00 to 9Z999. Both series consist of 4- and 5-character tags; however,
all were 6 inches by 11 inches. The 1003 plate is thanks to Jeff Lesher,
the other is thanks to eBay user Tumbleweedtoys.
These 1954 Passenger plates
belong to a group of what I call Format 15, which consists of non-standard issue
plates. I don't know what the eligibility requirements were for such
plates, but feel fairly certain these weren't just randomly issues upon
registering a vehicle. Plates could consist of the following formats: 000,
A00, 0A0, 00A, AA0, 0AA, A0A. The 102 and 300 plates are thanks to Jeff
Lesher, while the 9E9 plate is from Ed Burr.
Next up are two non-standard issue 1955
Passenger plates. Like the '54 plates above, the same 3-character formats
were used. Also like the '54, all plates measured 6" x 10¼". The 426
is thanks to Jeff Lesher, and the 2GU is from Ed Burr.
Last week I mentioned that I hadn't seen a Commercial Sample from
the 1972 vintage, and this week thanks to Bob Cannison, we have a 1972-73
Commercial sample. Note the reverse imprint of the 72 date on the back of
Images and photos are always welcome.
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