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Pennsylvania License Plate Images

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

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News and postings from 2016

Merry Christmas

Posting 12/25/2016

Here's the latest reported high Conserve Wild Resources - Otter plate.  These plates are part of the Special Fund series and have been around since 2000 when they replaced the Owl plates. Currently the series is on their fourth iteration of alpha-numeric layouts.



This In God We Trust vanity plate was recently spotted by Arthur Levine.  This is considered an optional plate.  The cost of the plate is $20, but if you want the plate personalized it will cost you and additional $100.



It's been a while since anything related to the older Antique Motorcycle plates was posted.  This style plate has not been issued since about May of 2013.  The far left plate image was provided by Clayton Moore some time ago, and it is a Format 7 plate.  The format numbering is an arbitrary numbering system I've developed to categorize and group plates with similar layouts and alpha-numeric patterns.  The center plate photo was taken a few years ago also and represents a Format 8 plate.  What's strange about this group is that the they appear to start at AA0 and only run into the L series, but no plates from M thru Z.  The final plate is a Format 9 plate just received from Charlie Metz.  It reads P zero T, and not POT.  Note the larger numeric characters. 


Very little is known about this early PA Chiropractic Society sample plate, but appears to have been an approved first generation organizational plate.  It is unknown if this organization is associated with the PA Chiropractic Association, which has a current plate.  There are several other special organization plate programs that got as far as being approved and sample plates being produced, but for one reason or another the program never fully got off the ground.  Knights Templar, Rajah Temple, Special Olympics, and the Terri Lokoff Foundation to name a few.  There are others.


Here's a very nice 1969 U.S. Senate #1 plate on the '65-'70 base.  Fellow ALPCA member David Sampugnaro is auctioning this plate on eBay and gave me the OK to use the image.  There are only two senators from each state which means plates would have been USS-1 and USS-2; however, there may have been the option of a second vehicle registered thereby using 1-USS and 2-USS.  This is not confirmed.  This was the 1965 base and there was an early 1965 run with US-1 and likely US-2 being issued and later replaced with the version seen here.


Is this an Official Plate or could it actually be a 1926 Governor's plate?  According to the eBay seller, ultrararecollectables, who gave me permission to use the image, it was used by Governor Gifford Pinchot, and the plate was a gift from the Governor to his grandfather who was the caretaker of Grey Towers in Milford, PA at the time. His father received the plate when he passed and the current owner in turn when he passed. There is no further provenance available at this time.  Grey Towers in Milford, PA was the home of Gov. Pinchot.  No plates this far back in history have been documented with the word Governor, so it is entirely possible that the earliest plates, with a legend, used the term Official prior to the use of the word Governor.  Pinchot served as Governor from 1923 to '27 and from 1931 to '35. There is much we still don't know about early PA Governors' plates.  For now this plate will be cross listed with Governor plates and with Official plates.


This nice 1925 Tractor plate is courtesy of Clayton Moore.  Clayton cleaned up the plate and made it very displayable.  The plate uses the 'E' prefix to identify it as a Tractor plate and measures 6" by 12".  It is believed that E+1, E+2 or E+3 digit plates measure 6" by 10".



This is a 1936 Tractor sample plate.  This plate follows the same general format that came into use in 1934.  With this formatting gone are the 'E' and 'TE' prefixes having been replaced with legend Tractor across the top.  Serial numbers started at 1 and went into the 4-digit series.  This sample  plate belongs to John Willard.


Next plate is what I believe is a 1938 Tractor Dealer sample on the far left.  So why the PX instead of the expected TX prefix?  Well the '38 Tractor sample on the near left, which is not a new posting, but is shown for comparison, uses a PA prefix.  So I'm guessing the same P is for Pennsylvania while the X is for Dealer.  The PX Tractor Dealer is from John Willard, while the PA Tractor sample was thanks to Paul Bagnarol.


The last plate in this week's lineup is this 1939 Dealer sample. While it is marked 39 Dealer, the colors are reversed.  This dealer is from John Willard's collection.




Posting 12/18/2016

A quick note of apology and correction.  In my postings of 12/11, I inadvertently gave credit for two older trailer plates to John Willard and the credit should have gone to Clayton Moore.  I corrected it as soon as I realized it.  Sorry.


 •  In Plate News, Vehicle Registration Stickers or Validation Stickers will no longer be issued after 12/31/2016.  The legislation to repeal the elimination of stickers failed to pass.  Also as of 12/31/2016, many vehicle types will be eligible for a 2-year registration renewal, but don't look for a sticker. 

But wait, there's more, Pennsylvania is coming out with a slightly redesigned plate.  By the middle of 2017, once the supply of the current plate stock runs out, PennDOT says they will begin issuing these. They look similar in design to the current plate but the sticker well where validation stickers were placed has been removed and the outline of a Pennsylvania map has been put it its place.


This new plate type has been on our radar for about two months but now we have a prototype image to go with the name — Friendship Fire Company of Bressler.   They are located in Swatara Township, Dauphin County, and by the way have 8 plates on the road.



Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Constables is a new organizational plate on the horizon.  This organization is headquartered in Harrisburg.  The plate will be in the image gallery with Fire, EMS and Police plates.  No plates are in use yet.



Brendan Sherry sherry snapped the first image of one of the new style University of Pittsburgh plates.  Not only that, but it's a vanity.  Click on the link above and see Pitt plates all the way back to the first generation, yellow on blue, Pitt Bicentennial plates.



One final 1962 Trailer plate from the '58 to '64 issue.  A nice example with a '62 sticker and a higher serial number.  Number are known to exceed 400-000.  This plate was from John Willard.



The next group plates consists of a group of rare 1935 sample plates from John Willard.

This is a 1935 Consular Sample plate.  According to a 1935 BMV document, plate serial numbers from 10 to 100 were authorized.  With a maximum of 90 plates being issued, there can't be many of these still around.  I have no images of an actual '35 Consular plates so this will certainly help.  My thanks again to John Willard for allowing me to photograph so many of his plates.


The next sample is a 1935 Legislative plate.  I'm under the belief that these were used by members of both the PA House and Senate.  It is unknown if any further distinction was made.  The authorized range was 1 to 400.  The plate gallery also shows plate 113.  After 1935 many types of 'special' plates were eliminated, although many of them returned years later.  My thanks to John Willard.


This 1935 National Guard is the next sample.  A run of 1 to 1000 was authorized.  These plate, according to the design specs, were to measure 5⅞" by 11⅞" which for simplicity I'm going to call 6" by 12".  My thanks again to John Willard.



This 1935 Official plate is also part of this group of samples. Plates were authorized from 1 to 1600.  So how can 4 digits be squeezed between the two keystones, and still fit on a 12-inch plate?  They can't, 4-digit numbers result in the removal of the right-hand keystone.  This is also a John Willard plate.


Final plate for this week is this 1935 Tractor sample.  Plates were authorized from 1 to 4699.  While this plate lacked the large keystones flanking the serial number, it did have smaller ones on either side of the word TRACTOR.  Again this is a John Willard plate.




Posting 12/11/2016

Here is a pair of U.S. Army Veteran vanity plates.  The TOZ is from Jeff Lawson, and the OIIIO was provided by Ron Lunn.  Any guesses what these mean?



And another vanity on a U.S. Navy Veteran plate.  This photo was also provided by Jeff Lawson.




This is believed to be the current high Municipal Government plate.  These are used on just about any municipally-owned and county-owned vehicles, except motorcycles that have their own version.  These are considered permanent plates and have no expiration, in fact, some of the 1977 base, blue on white plates are still in use.  There was also a 1971 base that was replaced with the '77 base, click here to see all versions of this plate.


Here a first generation Gannon University plate.  These plates made their debut in 1997, but I had no luck in finding a plate or a picture.  I just discovered I had this image for the past 10 months sent to me by George Kunsman.  Sorry George.



This very nice 2-digit 1967 Motorcycle Dealer plate was provided by Clayton Moore.  These plates started at 1 and went to 4 digits.  Click the link above to also see the 3- and 4-digit configurations.  In 1967 was the first year for DLR.  Prior to 1967 MCD was used to designate a motorcycle dealer plate all the way back to 1934.  MCD came back into use with the 1999 plate reissue.


This week I have a number trailer plate pictures which will finish up all the images that I had pending.  That said, there are still a number of years for which I have no images, and of course there are many years for which different format variations could be added, and as always corrections are welcome.  Needed years still include: 1920, '22, '23, '24, '27, '28 and '32.

This 1930 Trailer plate is a nice example.  No identifying legend, just the 'T' prefix, now used in plate of the previous 'TT' prefix.  It is believed that the sequence ran from T1 to possibly as high as T9999.  This allowed for the plates to be 6" by 12".  This is a John Willard plate.



Next in the lineup is this 1931 Trailer plate, very similar size, legend and serial formatting to the plate above.  This is first image of a '31 Trailer plate on this website so the help from John Willard is much appreciated.



This 1933 Trailer also follows in the footsteps of the plate above with the exception of the plate legend moving back to the top of the plate.




Finally we're back to plates with the legend TRAILER.  This 1936 Trailer plate is from Clayton Moore.  This new format started in 1934 and continued thru 1937 where the state and the year are displayed in a stacked vertical arrangement along the sides.  The word TRAILER was along the bottom in 1934 and '35.


The 1937 Trailer plate, with the exception of the colors being reversed, is the same.  It should be noted that the serial numbers ran from 1 to 9999, then advanced to an alpha-numeric format such as A123.  Again thanks go out to Clayton Moore.



The final trailer plate comes from Clayton Moore.  By 1941 Trailer plates had taken on a new look again with the state map outline which started in '38.  Also, the serial format changed from a starting point of 1 to a starting point of 0001 with the use of 4 digits and leading zeros.  The alpha-numeric format as described above was still used.


When I took this 1932 plate photo I initially assumed this was another Trailer plate.  Now I am doubtful.  Truck plates also used a T prefix for certain weight classes.  And a certain weight class began at T10-000.  This plate appears more likely to be a Truck.  Currently I don't have an older truck plate section but am in the process of developing one to be added in early 2017.  Thanks to John Willard for this segue into truck plates.



Posting 12/4/2016

Here's a recently issued Teen Driver plate.  Thanks to Jerry McCoy for the very nice picture.  These have been around since 2013 and yet the 64 plate shown here is the current high.



A while back vehicle owners who use a device on the rear of the vehicle for carrying a wheelchair or personal assistive device were authorized to be issued two plates since the assistive device and carrier may block visibility of the vehicle mounted plate.  This Disabled Veteran plate is part of this series and uses the DV-79000 number series which separates it from the single plates series which is currently in the DV-36000 series.  The two plate option is also available on Severely Disabled Veteran and Person with Disability registrations.  Thanks to Nick Tsilakis for sharing this find.



This is the final installment of Motorbike plates from John Willard, however, this does not suggest that Motorboat plates are finished.  Many plates from the early 1920s until the early 1930s are still needed.

We start with this nice 1945 Motorbike plate.  These plates started at #1 and one source indicates that likely some 2000 plates were issued; however, toward the end of WWII it appears that plate sales rose steadily.  All motorbike plates shown here today are 4½" by 8" in size.



Next plate in line is this 1946 Motorbike.  For 1946 the formatting remains the same except for color which follows the same scheme as passenger plates.  For '46 some 4000 plates are believed to have been issued.



And so on with 1947 Motorbike plates.  This '47 plate is one of more than eleven-thousand plates issued.  This of course would mean that upon reaching 9999, the series shifted to A000.   And again this series of photos is thanks to John Willard.



Here's what looks like a high number compared to the other plates shown.  Actually this 1948 Motorbike plate is one of at least 17,000 plates based the F97 and the G643 plates shown on the gallery page.  Quite an increase — but in the post war years Motorbikes were inexpensive to purchase and economical to operate.


This 1949 Motorbike plate represents the final year of production of such plates.  After 1949 Motorbikes would have been issued a motorcycle plate.  It might be worth mentioning that in 1977 PA introduced Moped plates.  A Moped, in my opinion, is a modern-day term for a Motorbike, complete with pedals.  

More kudos to John Willard for his generosity and efforts to gather up and bring so many plates to a meet to be photographed.


We shift focus to older Trailer plates beginning with this 1921 Trailer. Trailer plates date back to 1914 and up to 1923 all use the word trailer in their legend and have a T prefix.  The broad spacing of the plate legend forces the plate to be wide.  While it may not be totally accurate, the pixel count shows this plate to measure 6 by 15.65 inches.  Again thanks to John Willard.


In 1924 Trailer plates changed to a TT prefix as the T was now reserved for a truck weight class.  Also the legend TRAILER was dropped. The 1925 Trailer plate shown here also uses the TT prefix and has no TRAILER legend. The dimensions appear to be 6 by 15 inches.  This series may have started at TT1, if so the plates were likely 6 by 12 inches.  The original colors were dark blue over yellow.  Thank you John Willard.


Next in line is this 1926 Trailer plate.  The TT series ran through 1929, then switched back to the single T again.  Also up through 1926, the letters were the same height as the numbers after which they were smaller.  Thank you John Willard for the opportunity to photograph this plate.



Posting 11/27/2016

More Emergency Vehicle vanities are coming to the forefront.  Those seen so far have had no keystone and no dash, now this plate has one of each.  Steve Noll passes along this Sellersville Fire Department's Utility 27 plate.



This vanity version of the Conserve Wild Resources - Otter plate is the first personalized version of this plate photographed on the road.  This scaled down graphic 'family of plates' version was designed to facilitate vanity plates.  This plate was spotted by long time contributor Nick Tsilakis.



This Press Photographer plate picture was snapped by Jaska Börner and is considered the current high number.  These plates are always issued in pairs; however, not every user mounts the front plate.  Only one validation sticker is issued.  One distinctive feature of these plates is the absence of any kind of identifying plate legend — you might expect the words PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER to be used in place of visitPA.


This 7 digit all zeros Passenger vanity was sent by someone named Tom who wished to remain anonymous.  He said PennDOT warned him of possible problems with such a plate as police often use 7 zeros when a plate number is unknown.  He received the plate on a Friday and on Monday he received notices of 16 overdue parking tickets.


This is a 1939 Motorbike plate, not to be confused with Motorboat which used MBL as the identifier at the time, and did not use MB until 1955.  A quick refresher — Motorbike plates were issued from 1920 until 1949, while Mororboat plates were issued from 1931 to 1963.  This low number plate is from from John Willard.


Next in the sequence is this 1940 Motorbike plate also from John Willard.  Except for the reversal of colors, the '39 plate and the '40 are formatted alike.



Next in line is this pair of 1942 Motorbike plates with 3-digit and 4-digit formats.  Click the link to also see a 2-digit plate.  Note that in 1942 plates began to display the expiration date in the upper center of the map border.  Again thanks to John Willard for the opportunity to photograph so many plates.


The final MB plate this week is this 1944 Motorbike plate, also courtesy of John Willard.  This series started at 1 and is known to go at least as high as 1844.  Unfortunately we don't have good registration numbers on many plate types.



We shift gears a little and move to a 1939 Motorboat Dealer plate.  These plates were a little odd in terms of size since they fall between motorcycle and standard size.  This plate measures 5⅛" by 9½".  In general Motorboat and Motorboat Dealer plates are similar with the dealer plates having an X prefix.  The Motorboat section of this website has at least one plate for each year issued; unfortunately the same can't be said for Motorboat Dealer plates, with many years still needed.  Thanks to John Willard allowing me to photograph this plate.


John Willard dug out a number of older Trailer plates to help fill in some of the gaps.  We're starting with this 1917 Trailer plate.  The colors are white on brown, that's the easy part, plate size is another matter.  According to the pixel count, the plate measures about 6" by 15½", but that size is not a listed for that year. the closest size is 6" by 16".  So I will try reaching out to John.  As for the number issued, that's another mystery since tractors and trailers were counted together, but some 4-thousand plates were issued between the two types.


Next is this 1918 Trailer plate from John Willard.  This fills another gap in trailer plates.  These plates were white on black and while there were different plate widths in 1918, I can't say how many trailer plate sizes were used.  This plate appears to be 6" by 13½".




Posting 11/20/2016

Rescue Hose Company No. 1 of Greencastle, Franklin County, now has, or soon will have, some 32 plates in use.  No photo available yet.




On the far left is a nice example of a traditional Street Rod plate.  These have been around since 1982.  And on the near left is PennDOT's new prototype 'family of plates' replacement — really, I'm not making this up.  Apparently this 'family of plates' thing is some kind of initiative to make every plate type look like every other.  Also the redundant use of Pennsylvania and PA, and Street Rod is a bit much.  The only redeeming feature is that the plate can now be personalized.  By the way the old plates can still be used.  The image of the older plate is from Tom Perri.


Spotted this nice Penn State Alumni Association vanity plate in a hospital parking lot.  Penn State Alumni plates are now available in ten other states, as far away as Texas.



Here's proof that the Fire Fighter plate has finally gone flat, or partially so.  Click the image for a larger view.  It appears that after the fully embossed plates reached FF38699, the series switched to flat screening of the Maltese Cross and the words FIRE FIGHTER.  In my not-so-humble opinion, the switch to a flat screened logo was a perfect opportunity to make the cross resemble the more traditional fire service Maltese Cross instead of electrons spinning around a nucleus. This change will facilitate vanity plates which are now allowed.  This plate image was provided by Daniel Imperial.


Here's a new high number Pennsylvania Hunting Heritage plate.  These plates cost $56, with part of fee being used by the Game Commission to help fund conservation initiatives.  These plates went into use in late June of 2015.



Limousine plates set a new high mark.  Bill Stephens shares this photo that he snapped recently.  Limousine plates started at LM-20000 on the www base, then went to the visitPA base at LM-27000, and now have broken 30000.



This number 1, 1939 Motorcycle Dealer plate is a unique find.  John Willard shared this and the '38 and '40 number 1 motorcycle dealer plates.  Wonder how many dealer plates were issued at the time.  For 1935, the closest year for which I have records, 200 such plates were authorized.



John Willard also provided this 1940 Motorcycle Dealer plate.  This is the first 1940 motorcycle dealer plate shown on this website, so it helps to fill in a gap.  At this point I still need MCD plates from the following years: 1926, '43 tab, '45 and '46.  The MCD identifier came into use in 1934 and continued thru 1966 after which DLR was used until the www base was issued in 1999 when MCD came back.


As mentioned last week I got pictures of the two years for which I had no Tractor photos.  The pictures are from Jake Eckenrode with some help from Tim Gierschick.  This 1927 Tractor plate is a low number and a shorty measuring 6" by 10".   This size was likely used for E+1, 2 or 3 digits, and a 6" by 13" size for E+4 digit plates.


This 1932 Tractor plate fills the other year for which there were no pictures.  As mentioned last week the TE prefix was used from 1927 up thru 1933.  This plate shown hers is 6" by 15".  It is unknown if plates with fewer numeric characters were shorter.  Again thanks to Jake Eckenrode with some help from Tim Gierschick for the picture.  There is now at least one, and up to four images, of every year that tractor plates were issued.  This is not to say the project is finished, there are more formatting and size variations.


Keeping with last comment above, here is a leading zero 1941 Tractor plate.  At the time all tractor plates were 4 digit, starting at 0001 to possibly 9999.  It is unknown if the series advanced into the A000 series.  Thanks to Tim Gierschick for this tractor plate images.



The last tractor plate for this week is this 1944 Tractor, another plate with a leading zero.  Like the '41 above all plates were 4 character.  It is unknown when it came into use, but an alpha-numeric format such as A123 was used after the all-numeric high of 9999 was reached.  Again many thanks to Tim Gierschick for this and so many tractor plate images.



Posting 11/13/2016

                         Veterans Day 11/11/16










This Medal of Honor plate is not new.  It's a cameo appearance to honor our military veterans.  The plate was issued to Gino J. Merli for his heroic efforts in World War II.  The Veteran plate was issued to Ned Flynn.


Not a good picture, but considering the effort to get it, I'm happy.  These Hearing Impaired plates have always been extremely scarce.  This is not plate 3,114 issued, but rather it's the 114th or 115th, since the starting point was reported to be HE-03000.  There was talk at one time of eliminating this plate type, but are still available.  So far this plate type has not been seen on the visitPA base.  The good news is that they are also available as a vanity plate.



During the September photo shoot with John Willard, he showed me this 1957 Foreign Consul plate.  I expressed surprise, not being aware that such plates existed in 1957.  I thought 1958 was the first year for such plates following their discontinuation in 1935.  1957 Foreign Consul plates are not listed in the ALPCA Archives, also the passenger series shows the use of two letters followed by 2 or 3 digits.  Can anyone offer more insight into this plate?


John Willard was also kind enough to bring out some older motorcycle dealer plates beginning with this 1936 Motorcycle Dealer number 142.  All such plates were either 1, 2 or 3 digits.  This 3-digit plate joins a 2-digit plate '36 MCD plate previously posted.



The next plate in this series from John Willard is this 2-digit 1937 Motorcycle Dealer.  This plate joins a 3-digit '37 MCD plate previously posted in the plate gallery.  Except for the reversal of colors, the '36 and '37 plates are formatted alike.



Someone had the foresight way back when to hold on to this #1 1938 Motorcycle Dealer plate.  For 1938 there was one major change and that was the use of the map outline.  It was first used on passenger plates in '37, and then was used across the board in '38.  The map has disappeared from most plates but is still issued on Municipal Motorcycle and possibly Collectible Motorcycle plates.  It is no longer issued, but still in use on some Antique Motorcycle and Classic Motorcycle plates.


Are these Press Photographer or Suburban plates?  Yes, they are both.  I guess technically they are Suburban plates with Press Photographer serial numbers.  They would have been used on station wagons owned by press photographers during the period of 1960 to '63.  Another thank you to John Willard doe the opportunity to photograph his plates.


Which do you prefer, the natural state, or the restored state?  Both nice plates whatever your preference.  Personally I like both of these 98 year old gems from Tim Gierschick.  It is unknown how many of these 1918 Tractor plates were issued since Tractors and Trailers were lumped together at the time; however, the combination of both types was some 4,300 plates.  These E+3 digit plates are believed to measure 6" by 13½, while the E+4 digit plates are believed to be 6" by 16".


The E prefix is the giveaway that this is a Tractor plate.  Click the image open to better see the 1924 plate.  The 'E' was used on the first tractor plates in 1914 up thru 1927.  After that 'TE' was used for several years.  This plate measure 6" x 12" for the E+4 character format, while 6" x 10" bases were used for plates with fewer characters.  Thanks to Tim Gierschick for this photo.


This 1931 Tractor was also provided by Tim Gierschick.  The TE prefix became the identifier of tractor plates from 1927 up thru 1933.  TE stood for traction engine — an early term used for tractors.  This series likely ran from TE-1 to at least TE3-066.  This plate measures 6" by 15".  Click the image for a larger view.


This nice 1933 Tractor plate also came from Tim Gierschick.  This plate measures 6" by 15" and is the final year for the TE prefix.  Beginning in 1934 all such plates had tractor as part of the legend.

*** Check back next week for 1927 and '32 tractor plate photos that will fill the empty spots for those years. ***  



Posting 11/6/2016

Starting in 2017, it is my hope to begin adding sections covering older passenger and older truck plates. 

Such pages have been conspicuously absent except for current and recent plates.  Help will be needed.


Eric Conner snapped this personalized version of a Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association plate.  These plates have been around since 2013, with about 2 dozen plates on the road.



Not exactly the Teen Driver vanity plate that would come to my mind, especially on a Dodge Viper, but hey, I like it.  The owner of the plate gave me permission to use the image, but apparently wishes to remain anonymous.



Back to dealer plates.  For 1965 plate colors were reversed; and now the plates were undated.  This beautiful specimen shown here would have been the 8th or 9th New Car Dealer plate off the press for that year with the series starting at A00-00A or A00-01A.  Thanks to John Willard for opportunity to photograph this plate.


Moving to 1967 we have what is probably the first M.V. (Motor Vehicle) Business plate off the line for that year.  Not sure if there may have been an all-zeros plate.  This plate is another beauty from John Willard.



I may need some help here.  These are both 1967 Dealer bases with '68 stickers, therefore I'm listing them as '68 Dealer plates, but PA did not revalidate '67 Dealer plates, instead they issued new Dealer plates for '68.  I have seen this same anomaly on M.V. Business plates during the '67, '68 and '69 period.  The most logical explanation is that these were left over plates that were made valid with newer stickers.  These plate photos are courtesy of John Willard.


In this case a '66 New Car Dealer plate with a '69 sticker placed over the embossed date, thus making it a '69 New Car Dealer plate.  In addition it appears that more than 1 sticker has been applied.




Here's an all-numeric 1954 Tractor plate that I had forgotten to post earlier.  This series ran from 0001 to 9999 then A000 with the alpha character advancing last.  The owner of this plate is Tim Gierschick.



I am also thankful to John Willard for allowing me to photograph several Tractor Dealer plates.  I should point out that I have certain dealer types listed as a stand alone category such as Tractor Dealer and M.V. Business, and also show those types cross-listed with the main dealer groupings.  Not really sure the best way to display them.  Anyway here is a 1964 Tractor Dealer plate — not the first one displayed but a nice addition.  The TX prefix was the indicator that this was a Tractor Dealer.


Next in the lineup is this undated 1965 Tractor Dealer plate.  Except for the colors being reversed and the absence of the 2-digit year, the plates are similar to the '64 plate above.  Again my thanks to John Willard.



On the far left again we have a '67 validation sticker on a '66 Tractor Dealer plate.  I'm displaying it as a '67 Tractor Dealer.  This is also a John Willard plate.  As previously reported, this practice has been seen with other Dealer and M.V. Business plates from 1966 to 1969.  And again the same question, were these left over plates?  The true 1967 plate shown above is not new, but is being shown for comparison.  Note that PA is missing from the legend and PENNSYLVANIA has been placed in the top border on the true '67.  Also after 1965 the word TRACTOR has been replaced with the word DEALER.  Also the small keystone separator has been moved from the center of the serial number to immediately after the TX.  This is a Jeff Lesher plate.


Next is a 1969 Tractor Dealer.  The formatting remains the same as the true '67 and '68 Tractor Dealer plates except for the 4-digit year.  This plate is the highest serial number I've seen.  The actual high is unknown.  This is also a John Willard plate.



This 1970 Tractor Dealer plate is the final plate in this series and the last of the plates with the TX prefix.  The use of the TX prefix actually dates back to 1916, the first year for Tractor Dealer plates.  While Tractor Dealer plates continued into the 1970s, a completely different format was used with no obvious reference to tractors.



Posting 10/30/2016

Nick Tsilakis spotted this, first of its kind, Combat Action Ribbon.  There are now about 60 of these plates in use.  The series has been on the street almost two years.  You may recall that there are also plates for Combat Action Badge, Combat Action Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Combat Medical Badge.


Certainly not one you see every day, especially the vanity version of an Arizona State University plate.  Thanks to Jordan Irazabal for the image.  Please have been in use since September of 2015.



Here's another vanity — Pa District Kiwanis International.  Kiwanis plates have been around for about a year and a half.  There are about 13 of the standard issue plates in use, unknown how many vanities.



Here's a remake of an older issue Emergency Vehicle plate, now reborn as a vanity.  The owner, Nick Santiago, requested the plate with a dash separator which was clearly omitted even though it is permitted.  However, the form used to order the plate indicates ". . . one hyphen or space is permitted as part of the FIVE available spaces for personalization."  So it appears that a dash and up to 4 characters is permitted, or no dash (or space) and up to 5 characters.



In general I view the license plate frame as the scourge of the plate photographer.  My comments are no reflection on the nice photo of the new high Farm Truck from John Fedorchak.  The D suffix signaled the switch to the visitPA base and were first seen around October of 2014.



Here's a nicely repainted 1922 Dealer plate from eBay user securityautoparts.  All Dealer plates that year are believed to be 6" x 16" because of the configuration of the plate legend.  I'd like to see the X1 serial number on a 16 inch plate.  There were almost 15-thousand dealer plates issued in 1922, it is not known if this figure includes Motorcycle Dealers.


I've always held to the belief that early 1958 plates had tab slots and later plates did not.  A look at these '58 New Car Dealer plates shown here suggests that such a premise may not always hold true.  The plates shown above I believe to be in order of production from earliest to latest based on the progression of the serial numbers with the suffix character being last to advance.  The A77-30A has no tab slot, the A19-92B has the tab slot, the A96-74B has no slot, A05-15C has the slot, and the A31-48D has the slot.  So much for consistency, or am I going about this all wrong?  The A suffix plate photo came from Make at Pl8source, the B and C suffix plates are from John Willard and the last plate is an old posting from Jeff Francis.


Continuation of the above discussion, but in these 1958 Used Car Dealer plates the two early plates on the far left have tab slots, while the later plate on the near left has no slot.  The far left plate is from Clayton Moore and was previously posted.  The other two plates are from John Willard's collection and are new.

As for the X prefix Miscellaneous Dealer, I'm not able to find a picture with the tab slot.


Here's a mint condition 1962 Transit Dealer plate.  These could be revalidated in 1963.  These plates are quite rare.  The earliest one known to exist is 1954; however, there is reason to believe their origin could be as early as 1946 or as late as 1952.  Beginning in 1966, plates that were formatted as C00-00A received the legend MV Business or Motor Vehicle Business.  Thanks to John Willard for the opportunity to photograph so many of his plates.


Here's a 1947 Motorboat Dealer plate.  The X is indicative of a dealer and the serial number can range from 1 to 3 characters.  The color is white on dark blue.  These plates measure 5⅛" by 11", a size between motorcycle and standard issue plates.  Thanks for Clayton Moore for the use of the photo.



Posting 10/23/2016

The Friendship Fire Company of Bressler is now on the Special Organization plate list page for checking availability of personalized plates; however, the plate is not listed on the Approved Special Organizations page.  It should be noted that there are many discrepancies, inconsistencies and gaps between these two pages that should be essentially identical.  Anyway the Friendship Fire Company of Bressler is located near Steelton, a suburb of Harrisburg.  No image available and no plates are in use yet.  Formatting is expected to be 00000F/B.


About 3½ years ago the Save Wild Animals - Tiger plate was discontinued.  Sadly it was replaced by this Support Your Zoo thing, but I'm not going to debate the merits of this plates, only to say that the plate here represents the lowest number spotted on the visitPA base.  For whatever reason only a handful of under-100 plates have been issued, as there is a two-tier system with this plate.


Here's the latest high Teen Driver plate.  The Teen Driver plate is considered an optional plate along with the In God We Trust plate.  There are nearly 9 million licensed drivers in PA and nearly 12 million registered vehicles and yet only about 60 Teen Driver license plates on the road.  And from the picture some are in use on driver training vehicles.  Thanks to Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri for the picture.


Here is a personalized version of an Emergency Vehicle plate.  The EV is required, the 48 in this case represents a fire and EMS station number, and the 71 is the officer's position within the organization.  It's the owner's radio identification number.  Such a plate should also be available with a dash or a space and up to 5 alpha-numeric characters.  The cost for a vanity is an extra $100.  The list of vehicles that qualify for EV plates is quite extensive, such as canteen support, certain PA Turnpike vehicles, Philadelphia Parking Authority, and personal vehicles for those occupying certain positions in emergency services, etc.


These Vietnam War Veteran plates have been added to the plate gallery just to show a 3-digit and low number 4-digit plate.  The VW01617 was photographed by Steve Ondik.  This plate type has been around since 1999, then it has moved to the color graphic base about 2 years ago which allows for vanities.  The current high is V/W10235.


Here's the first photo of a 1921 Trailer plate.  The plate was auctioned recently and the owners, Mike & Ruth Culbert, gave me permission to use it.  It appears likely that 1920, '21, '22 and '23 plates were formatted much the same with the T prefix, PENNA along the bottom left, TRAILER bottom center and the 4-digit year along the bottom right.  The color for 1921 was dark blue on yellow.  Some sources suggest that all the plates during the 4 years were 6" x 16", however, this plate clearly measures 6" x 15½.  Click open the image on the upper left.  I still need quite a few trailer plates between 1917 and 1933.


Clayton Moore posted this 1935 Trailer plate.  Despite the plate having endured an unsheltered life, it still retains most of its identifying features, and except for some rust and paint loss, it's not a bad plate.  The first series was 1 to 9999, then an alpha-numeric progression as seen here; however, most plates would have had three numeric characters.  Click the link above to see another alpha-numeric example.


This extremely nice original condition 1953 Motorcycle plate with a K13 serial number, was provided by Jeff Hinkle.  The first series was 1 to 9999, then an alpha-numeric progression as seen here; however, most plates would have had three numeric characters.  Click the link above to see other formatting variations.



This 1921 Dealer plate comes from Mike & Ruth Culbert.  It's a little hard to see but the serial is X1-774.  Like the '21 Trailer plate above this plate would be expected to be 6" x 16", however, from the photo this plate appears to measures 6" x 15½.  Click the link above to see an additional '21 Dealer plate.


This 1930 Dealer plate fills a gap, as this was the only year for which I didn't have a Dealer plate image.  Thanks to Mike from Pl8source who has it up for grabs on eBay.  The series ran from X1 to X9999, following that, there were other combinations of 2, 3, 4 and 5 character plates with the X in the second or third position.  Also plates with 4 characters or less were 6" x 10", whereas this, and other 5 character plates, measure 6" x 12".


The 1955 Used Car Dealer plate on the far left and the 1956 New Car Dealer plate on the near left are courtesy of John Willard.  Note the '55 plates is a 'shorty' at 6 x 10¼ inches, while the '56 plate is 6 x 12 inches, as plate dimensions became standardized in 1956.  Also for '56 there ware two font styles.  The wide font or die is shown here.  Click the 1956 link above and the one of Miscellaneous Dealer plates shows the narrower fonts, sometimes referred to as the '57 dies.  These were used later in the year.


For 1957 Dealer plates the base map has been stretched to allow more room for characters which are now up from 5 to 6, along with the narrow dies giving the plate a more modern appearance.  The use of 6 characters also made it unnecessary for the final alpha character to shift one space to the left as the combinations ran out. 



Posting 10/16/2016

I have many more plates that I was unable to post this week.  Note update to the Penn State Official plate from 10/9.


Here's a vanity rendition of an In God We Trust plate from Tom Perri.  With the personalized version after paying the additional $100, you get up to 5 characters plus the required G/T prefix.  These plates have been available just shy of two years.



On the far left is an on-the-fly traffic shot from Bruce Bufalini showing the latest reported high University of Pittsburgh high.  And beside it is the soon-to-be next generation of Pitt plate.  Newly issued plates will get new numbers; to get an old number reissued it would be considered a vanity plate and would require the extra $100 fee.


Bruce Bufalini spotted this high number 82nd Airborne Division Association plate.  These plates have been around since 2007.




Here's a Bronze Star vanity plate sent to me by Arthur Levine.  Personalized editions of many of these newer veteran plates appear to be popular.




This 1954 Transit Dealer plate photo is of the earliest known plate of this type.  Thanks to John Willard for allowing me to photograph this plate.  Now the question still remains, how far back do these Transit Dealer plates go?  The A-series New Car Dealer and B-series Used Car Dealer plates were launched in 1946, but so far we have no evidence of when this C-series Transit plates began. Rick Kretschmer on his website, RicksPlates.com, reports seeing a 1952 test plate and suggests that they may date back to 1946.  Can anyone provide additional information?


I have quite a display of early Tractor plates this week, mostly from Tim Gierschick, one from John Willard, one from Clayton Moore and one from Dave Lincoln.  In some cases the small thumbnail images don't do justice to the plate, please click the thumbnails to see them in full size.  I've also tried to represent them as accurately as possible by maintaining the correct length to width aspect ratio.  We start with this 99 year old 1917 Tractor with a two-digit number.  The E stands for engine and does not advance.  The colors were white on brown and the plate measures 6" x 14".  Thanks Tim.


Next in the lineup is this bold red on black 1919 Tractor plate also from Tim Gierschick.  Yes, the colors are correct.  This particular plate measures 6" x 13½", however, there were also 6" x 16" plates for E+4 character plates and 6" x 10" for E+1 or 2 character plates.  Unfortunately we don't have good records on the number issued because at the time Tractors and Trailers were counted together.  Why would you do that!?  We know at least 2,300 Tractor plates and 1,100 Trailer plates were issued, total of both was reported to be 5,000.


This 1920 Tractor appears to be a repaint.  The white on black colors are correct.  Note the use of a space in the serial number.  When the number exceeded E 999, the next plate was E1-000 substituting a dash for the space.  Thanks again to Tim Gierschick.  The plate measures 6" x 16".


The next plate is this 1921 Tractor, also from Tim Gierschick.  This plate appears to be in nice original condition.  The colors are black on yellow.  This plate is in the 4,000 series and employs the dash (-) separator as described in the 1920 plate above.  The plate also measures 6" x 16".


Next is this 1923 Tractor plate.  This plate is very similar to the '21 plate above in size and formatting aside from the colors.  Again thanks Tim Gierschick for the use of the photo.



John Willard provided the opportunity to photograph this spectacular 1929 Tractor plate, although some might prefer the plate to be in its natural state.  Aside from that, note that for 1929 (actually beginning in 1928) the use of the TE in place of the E prefix for tractor plates.  The TE stood for traction engine.  The E as the first letter was now reserved for the alpha-numeric passenger car progression.  The plate measures 6" x 15".  CORRECTION 2/5/17, this plate is in its natural state, it was never painted.


Here's a 1930 Tractor plate from Clayton Moore.  This repainted plate shows the continuation of the TE prefix.  Click the link above to see another 1930 Tractor plate with fewer digits.  All of the '30 Tractor plates are believed to measure 6" x 15".



Here is a Dave Lincoln 1933 Tractor plate.  This is the final year for the TE prefix.  The '33 Tractor plates are all believed to measure 6" x 15".  After 1933 the TE was dropped and the word Tractor was added as the legend.

At this time Tractor plate images are needed for 1927 and 1932.  We've come a long way, thanks to those who have so generously helped.



Posting 10/9/2016

Penn State Official plates over the years.  These are issued to Penn State-owned vehicles.  I'm really not certain when these plates made their debut, but I believe they were on the streets by 1983 the mid-1980s, quite possibly earlier.  The earliest plate shown here appears to be on a '77 base with the upper left and right sticker wells, and the large open keystone.  Later plates had the sticker well in the lower left, and although seldom used, the A31-82A plate has a permanent sticker.  Note, only the A45-28P plate is a recent photo and represents the current high thanks to Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal.


Speaking of '77 base plates, here's a 1980s Plymouth Reliant with such a plate.  This was spotted over the past weekend in Ocean City, MD.  I'm thinking that this is probably not a YOM plate.  It does have a 17 validation sticker, and the registration number is valid.



Here's a VW Jetta with an Antique Vehicle plate, in fact it the newest high.





Minor update made to Disabled Veteran plate data, basically narrowing down the transition point when the use of two sticker wells (upper left and right) was changed to a single sticker well on the lower left.  Anyone have a DV plate in the 21000 series?


More plate history thanks to John Willard.  These Commercial Motorcycle plates from 1939 and 1948 were part of a 12 year series of plates.  Colors were the same as passenger plates.  In 1950 the Commercial Motorcycle registration was reduced from $5 to $4 eliminating the need for this plate type. Plate serial numbers ranged from 1 to under 1000.  Plate photos are still needed for a number of years.


Here's the first image of a 1921 Dealer plate.  At the time there were only two other dealer types, those being Motorcycle Dealer and Tractor Dealer.  The dealer plate shown here is black on yellow and made of steel, legend on bottom, PENNA, then DEALER, then 1921, series ran from X1 to X999, then X1-000 to X11-503 or higher. All plates are believed to be 6" x 16" because of the layout of the legend.  Again thanks to John Willard for today's run of dealer plates.


Next up is this 1946 Miscellaneous Dealer type.  1946 signaled a major change in dealer plate formatting with the addition of New Car Dealer, Used car Dealer and Miscellaneous Dealer plates, marked as Dealer, as shown here.  The plates had a distinctive format with A000A for New Car, B000A for Used Car, and X0000 for Miscellaneous.  All plates were five character.  The leading A and B are fixed characters, while the other characters can advance.  The X can be in be in various positions progressing from the left.  It should be noted that at some point in time a C000A Dealer plate was issued.  The earliest known plate is 1954, but these could have been issued at an earlier date.  Additional research or evidence is needed.


Here is a nice 1947 Used Car Dealer plate.  Not as many used car dealer plates were issued as new car dealer, but this plate would suggest that at least 1,637 plates were issued.  Thanks John Willard.



Again thanks to John Willard, we're able to display these very nice 1948 New Car Dealer and a 1948 Used Car Dealer plate photos.  These plates measures 6" by 11".



Next addition is this 1949 New Car Dealer plate.  This photo is actually an upgrade of a previous picture.  This plate also has an interesting number.  The photo gallery also has a plate with A00D0 — a different new car dealer with the final letter in the 4th position.  Thanks to John Willard.



Next in this dealer progression is this super nice 1950 Miscellaneous Dealer tag with the 'X' identifier in the second position.  This is a John Willard plate and measures 6" by 11".



Here is a very nice 1952 Used Car Dealer plate, again thanks to John Willard.  For 1952 the plate size was reduced from 6" by 11" to 6" by 10¼, at least on the dealer plates that I've seen.  Some other plates remained 11".  This was done by shrinking the map border width on the left and right side, and probably done to reduce the cost.


Finally this week is this near mint condition 1953 Used Car Dealer plate of John Willard.  The size and formatting remained the same from 1952 thru 1955 with the obvious reversal of the colors each year.



  •  Be sure to check back next week for more Dealer plates including a 1954 Transit Dealer, the oldest C000A plate known to exist.  Anyone know when these were  first issued?  Again thanks to John Willard for providing so many plates from his collection for photographing.

  •  Also watch for some old Tractor plate images from Tim Gierschick.



Posting 10/3/2016

Here's a new high Action for Animals Humane Society plate.  Plates have been around since 2012.  Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for the plate photo.




Jordan Irazabal spotted this new high Spring Mill Fire Company No. 1.  The fire company is located in Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, and they have about 11 plates in use



In legislative news, Senate Bill 1155, which provides for special plates for current members of the armed forces of the United States, has been passed by the house and senate, and presented to the governor for his signature on September 27.  This includes members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and PA National Guard with the plates designating the appropriate branch of service.  This suggests to me that 6 new military plates are in the offing 120 days after the bill is signed into law, so possibly late January of 2017.


At this time there does not appear to be any movement on House Bill 1154 to repeal the elimination of validation stickers.


This very nice '58 base Amateur Radio with a '59 sticker was provided courtesy of John Willard.  These plates were first issued in 1956.




Up to this point I believed that plates between 1 and 999 were never issued in the Antique Motorcycle series.  I have been to many motorcycle shows and events and have never seen one, although I have images of 140 Antique Motorcycle plates.  John Willard, the owner of this plate, believes otherwise, stating that this plate was part of a Bureau of Motor Vehicles pictorial display showing this plate as an example of the issued plates at the time.  It does have the correct hole spacing for the early plates.


More thanks to John Willard for sharing these older Bus plates beginning with this 1934 Bus.  This is the first year with the word BUS to distinguish the plates from others, since it is the only year without an identifying prefix, which in this time period would have been the letter O.  The number issued according to an old BMV document was 5,705, with the series beginning at 1.  All plates are believed to measure 6" x 10".

John also had a 1932 and 1933 H plates which were commonly believed to be the other class of bus plates; however, based on research provided by Jake Eckenrode and Eric Tanner, the H Bus plate were discontinued after 1929, and plates after 1929 are now believed to be passenger vehicle plates.


Next is this very nice 1941 Bus also courtesy of John Willard.  After the 1934 plate year, the 'O' prefix was again restored to Bus plates.  It is believed that the number sequence likely began at O1 and progressed to somewhere around O6614.  The plate shown here is a 5-character plate and measures 6" by 12", while plates with 4 or fewer characters would have been 6" by 10".


The next plate in this week's lineup is this very nice 1942 Bus, also thanks to John Willard.  The use of the letter O continues to be the trademark of a bus plate and continues to this day on Omnibus plates.  According to the BMV some 78-hundred  plates were issued that year.  The plate shown here is a 5-character plate and measures 6" by 12", while plates with 4 or fewer characters would have been 6" by 10".


The final bus plate for this week is this 1947 Bus.  Please this year measured 6" by 11", and with plate production exceeding 12,000, plate formatting had to be adjusted to accommodate more plates.  The solution was to add a letter to the serial number beginning at OA000.  Each advancing letter would allow for an additional 1000 plates, thus solving the problem.  This practice actually began in 1946.  John Willard has been very helpful in closing a number of bus plate gaps.  This leaves only 1932, '33 and '39 Bus plates needed.


Here's a nice example of a 1917 Motorcycle plate.  The plate was a recent eBay auction.  The owner at the time of the auction, bigdon45  gave me the OK to use the picture.




Posting 9/25/2016

On Saturday September 24, I attended an ALPCA license plate meet near Nazareth, PA, set up by Dale Bernecker.  I had an opportunity to take well over 100  images from John Willard's license plate collection.  It will take me a while to process all the images but look for Commercial Motorcycle, Motorcycle Dealer, Motorbike, Dealer, including a '54 Transit Dealer, Motorboat Dealer, Tractor Dealer, Suburban, early samples, early vanities, Trailer, Bus, Z series Truck, Foreign Consul.


Commonwealth Constables Association now has, or soon will have, 9 plates in use.  These plates were approved at the end of 2015.  Since these plates are law enforcement related, they have been grouped with Fire, Police and EMS organizations.  They are headquartered in Steelton, PA, which is just south of Harrisburg.


The plate on the far left is not a high, it's not even a good picture, but this Fire Fighter plate is within a few number of the current high of FF38686 as recorded by Tom Perri.  These are supposedly available as vanities which I'd like to see, since generally organizational vanities on the visitPA base use a flat screened logo and name.  PennDOT now calls these as Volunteer Fire Fighter plates, and shows the near left prototype image which appears to be a screened.


Here's the latest high Nazareth Area Chamber of Commerce plate.  The image was provided by Dale Bernecker.  These have been around for 10 years.



Brendan Sherry snapped these two West Virginia University plates.  The far left plate is a low number, on the www base with WVU Alumni Association as the legend, while the newer plate is on the visitPA base and closer to the current high of W/V01653 according to Tom Perri.


This is a new high NASCAR 14 Tony Stewart plate.  The picture was taken by Bruce Bufalini.  I'm not a NASACAR fan per se, but have always been a NASCAR plate enthusiast.  To this day there are still about 15 variations of NASCAR plates with no photos.  Most of these are where only 1 or 2 plates were issued but about 20 NASCAR 5 Terry Labonte plates were issued and never been photographed.  An then there are 8 or 9 plates that were never issued.


Bruce also snapped this Honoring Our Veterans 'THANKS TO YOU' vanity plate.  This is a Special Fund plate with the series being available since late 2012.







Added this Apportioned Bus sample plate image to the bus gallery.  In the early years of this plate, the number of plates issued was only into the hundreds, but in later years the number seems to have increased considerably with the current reported high of BN-03831, while the actual issued high is around BN-03980.  After BN-03999 is reached, the series is expected to jump ahead to BN-04200.  Why the jump in numbers?  Will they then be on the visitPA base?


This 100 year old 1916 Motorcycle plate and registration document were up for grabs on eBay by bigdon45 who gave me the OK to use the pictures.  The two-digit plate is rare enough, and quite a bit more so with the owner's card.  The plate measures 4½" high by 6" in length.  The colors are black on orange.  Click the link above to also view a 3-digit, 4-digit and 5-digit plate for 1916.  There were some 21-thousand plates issued that year. 



I thought this Suburban plate would be my last to display.  It shows the characteristic Q in the fifth position.  Then John Willard provided me with the opportunity to photograph Suburban plates from the runs that were still needed.  With the three plates below, the gallery now has a plate from each of the eight Suburban combinations.  The last plate shown below with the Q4C-280 is the highest number known at the end of the Suburban series.  This particular run would have started at Q0A-000, with A being the final character to advance, and in this case advancing to C.

I will show some additional Suburban Press Photographer plates sometime in the future.





Posting 9/18/2016

Here's the first image of a Ducks Unlimited plate now on the visitPA base.  The image was provided by Dale Bernecker.  This latest edition hit the streets in early 2016 with the sequence starting at D/U01900.




This first image of a Kuhl Hose Company plate image is brought to you courtesy of Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal.  A very special thank you to these gentlemen for their efforts in photographing this plate.  It's home would be Erie County.  About 20 of these plates have been issued so far, and they have been on the road since around March of this year.


Tom Perri also photographed this vanity edition of a Gold Star Family plate.  A plate to be displayed with great pride and at the same time tremendous sadness.  Up to four characters are allowed.  This is the first vanity I've seen, and is among the nearly 660 standard issue Gold Star Family plates issued so far.  These plates have been available since late 2006.


While on the subject of vanity veterans' plates, Chuck Harrington, snapped this plate picture of a Combat Wounded Veteran / Purple Heart plate.  This plate allows up to 5 characters for vanities.



Here's another Combat Wounded Veteran / Purple Heart plate. This is the current high, and the first plate photographed above P/H10000.  The image is courtesy of Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal.  Click this link to see older Purple Heart plates, the first generation of which dates back to 1986 when the plates were originally yellow on blue.


Lock Haven plates are sending mixed signals.  I'm not going to try to explain this but there are currently three different numbering sequences on current Lock Haven University color graphic plates.  Lock Haven is not a large facility and would not have plates in the thousands.  The center plate is from Ryan Battin, while the near left picture came from Tom Perri.


This Permanent Trailer from Bruce Bufalini is the new high.  Plates with the alpha character in the next to the last position were first seen in May of 2015.  This was after plates with the letter in the final position exhausted all the available combinations.  The first Permanent Trailer plates date back to 1997 on the yellow on blue base.  Click this link to see the older plates.



Here's the latest School Bus high from Brendan Sherry.  Click this link to see the complete run of School Bus plates from 1956 until the present.




At least the bolt holes are still there.  This very early www base Passenger plate was likely issued in April of 2000.  The plate is not beat up, but it has been subjected to a lot of weathering and other hardships.  The law that would have required the replacement of plates every 10 years was repealed in 2008.  I'm sure this plate would qualify as illegible and would be eligible for a free replacement.  Steve Ondik spotted this.


Here's another sad specimen.  This Conserve Wild Resources - Owl plate was also provided by Steve Ondik.  On this plate the graphic portion has held up much better than the numbers.  I'm guessing that this would qualify for a replacement, but not sure if a standard plate would be provided or if a Conserve Wild Resources - Otter plate would be offered.  Anyone know?


This week's Suburban plate features a plate with the Q in the 4th position.  I have one more Suburban plate for next week — 681-4Q9.  Does anyone have any Suburban plates from the following groups they would be willing to share, 0Q00 to 9Q999, 000Q to 999-Q99, 000-00Q to 999-99Q, and Q0A-000 to Q3B-054?



Posting 9/11/2016

Before posting photos this week I want to say thank you to the network of friends and fellow license plate enthusiasts who regularly share photos from their daily travels, special events and dedicated plate photo missions.  Without your help and generosity, this website would not be what it is today.  I have also been inundated with computer networking issues on one of my jobs resulting in a short display of plates this week.


This Combat Action Medal was recently photographed by Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.  This is the first image of such a plate on this website.  Great find as there may only be 1 or 2 of these plates in use in addition to the plate shown below. 



This Combat Action Medal vanity plate likely refers to a C-130 Hercules, a military aircraft that has seen a lot of uses over a lot of years — mid-1950s till today.  Thanks to Tom Perri for sharing the image.



Next is this somewhat more common Distinguished Flying Cross plate also thanks to Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.  Presently there are some 50 of these plates issued.




This very nice low number Gettysburg 1863, Pennsylvania Monuments plate was snapped by Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.  These are considered Special Fund Plates, have been available since 2014, now with some 550 having been issued.  These plates seem to be popular as vanities as well.


This 82nd Airborne Division Association plate photo was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  This plate is classified as an organizational plate rather than a veterans' plate.  These have been around since 2007 and have a reported high of 00238A/R according to Tom Perri's www.paplates.com/ website.


It's not quite a new high, but it's a nice 3-digit image of a PA State Society Daughters of the American Revolution plate from Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.  That very long title makes the plate difficult to read on the road.  The current high on this type is 00183D/R according to Tom Perri's www.PAPLATES.com webpage.  By comparison that title is second in length only to the Delaware Valley Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America.


Spotted this U.S. Army Veteran vanity plate recently.  The M60A-series was the US main battle tank from 1960 until 1997.  Nice plate, like to know the story behind it. 



This nice Veteran plate was provided by Brendan Sherry.  These plates have been around since 2005 and are one of the plates issued in two tiers representing a reserve group and a general issue group.  The current reported high is 02400U/S according to Tom Perri.



Here's the weekly addition to the slate of Suburban plates.  This is one of the 5 character plates that does not have the keystone separator as seen on 6 character plates.  It appears to be part of the 00Q0 to 99Q-999 run.  I acquired a couple more of these plates for display over the next couple weeks.



Posting 9/4/2016

I posted this Philadelphia Union Foundation plate picture on 8/28.  I misidentified the source of the picture.

If you sent me this image please let me know so I can credit you.  Thanks.



The Pennsylvania Coal Alliance Inc. has or soon will have some 57 plates on the road.  No image yet.




They're here!  Kyle Kuser snapped this first image of this newly released Share the Road plate, which is part of the Special Fund series. On the surface it would appear that plate sales are off to a good start.  Not so quick.  Plate sales started at B/K00106, and currently run to B/K00180.  It's not unusual for certain plate types to be issued in two tiers.  In other words the public gets plates from the second tier, while another group of lower number plates are held in reserve for a select group of favored individuals.  Efforts to get an explanation of this practice in the past have been met with blatant stonewalling.


This under-100 Lehigh University Alumni plate image was provided by Steve Ondik.  Lehigh switched over to the visitPA graphic base about 10 years ago.  The plate shown here would be one originally issued on the yellow on blue base, then later reissued on the www base.  Click the link to see more images and details.  The current high is 02255L/U.


This West Catholic High School is from Jaska Börner, and comes from the series of plates issued since the  re-plating in 2001, and shows a jump in plate numbers leaving a block of numbers skipped.  This group started at W/C01000 and the plate pictured here is close to the current high of W/C01058.


I couldn't get a straight-on shot of this plate so I did my best with PhotoShop.  It is a new high number Street Rod plate.  So far it does not appear that there are plans to revamp this plate as has been done with Antique Vehicle and Classic Vehicle plates.  This also means no vanities available.  These plates have their origin back in 1982 with a starting point of 0001S/R.



Here is a nice pair of Quality Deer Management Association plate photos taken by Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.  The plate on the far left is unique in that it is on a trailer.  Organizational plates are now permitted on trucks under 14-thousand GVW, trailers and motor homes, but so far not on motorcycles.



Here's a new high Pennsylvania Hunting Heritage plate from Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.  These plates have been in use for a little over a year with a little over 800 plates being issued.  The vanity option is not available on this plate type.



Here's another Appalachian Trail Conservancy plate.  These plates have been active since late 2014 and by now some 250 plates have been issued.  Thanks to Steve Ondik for the image.



Here's a fairly low number Vietnam Vets plate.  It's the only under 1500 image I have on the www base.  The plate was photographed by Steve Ondik.  This organization has had plates since 1988, with the current high above V/V04500.



This is a subject I should have posted long ago.  There was a change in Motorcycle plate fonts (dies) a few years back.  Ryan Battin sent me several pictures (one shown here) showing the change and Steve Ondik recently sent me other pictures showing this change.  Click to enlarge the image and compare the characters, especially the 2, 4 and F.  The MC dies may also have changed.  It appears to me that the change took place after the Live Free Ride Alive run changed back to the standard visitPA base.  This change was likely at plate 7500T.  I have not seen this newer font used on Moped or Motorcycle Dealer plates, but it appears to be used on later M/C vanities.



This is the second and last of my Suburban plates from my collection, however, I'm in the process of getting a few more.  There are certainly many permutations and combinations of this extinct species of plates.




Posting 8/28/2016

Here's the latest high Apportioned Truck plate, well into the AG-series, which was first seen in May or June of 2012.  So, in a little over four years, almost 50-thousand plates have been issued.  If you are unfamiliar with PA plates there are also Apportioned Bus plates which are issued in much lower numbers, use a BN prefix and are still on the www base.  These plates are renewed annually always with a 5-YY (May - 2-digit year) sticker.  It is unknown if these stickers will also be eliminated in the future.  This image is thanks to Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.


Here's the latest Farm Truck high.  These plates were first issued on the '77 blue on the yellow base.  They have always used the FM prefix, but since the plates were reissued on the www base, an alpha suffix has been added.  This series switched from the www base to the visitPA base with the 'D' suffix.  Click the Farm Truck history link to see the progression of plates since they were first introduced.


Here's a Concordville Fire and Protective Association plate.  Concordville is located in Delaware County.  The current reported high is 00037C/F according to Tom Perri's PA Plates website.  This plate program has been around since 2007.



Here's a new high Flourtown Fire Company plate.  These have been on the road since 2008.  They are located in Springfield Township, Montgomery County.



This Clarion University plate was spotted by Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal.  While this plate is within the 'normal series' there is also a small run of plates from C/U43045 to C/U43103 which were likely done as a result of transposing the 03 in the series shown here and making it 30.  Click the Clarion link above to see plates from both series.  This plate program dates back to 2005.


Here's a new high Mercyhurst College plate photo from Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.  Mercyhurst is located in Erie, and now refers to itself as Mercyhurst University.  There was an indication a while back that Mercyhurst would be moving to the color graphic base, but so far there is no evidence to support that.  Thanks to Tom and Jordan for their efforts in getting this picture.


This image of a Philadelphia Union Foundation plate.  The source of this plate is unknown — if you sent me this image please let me know so I can credit you.  These plates have been on the street since 2013.  Currently the reported high is 10150U/F.  The Philadelphia Union is professional soccer team, while the Philadelphia Union Foundation, according to their website, "provides opportunities for children through the power of relationships to offer transformational change in the areas of education, community, health and recreation."


Here's a new high WHYY plate.  WHYY is a National Public Radio and TV station serving southeast PA, southern NJ and Delaware.  Their plate program's been around since 2009.  The image was provided by Colin M.



With cars shows as ubiquitous as they are in summer, new highs are fairly common.  The Antique Historic plate series switched to a 0A00 format recently after the previous series ran out of combinations upon reaching 9ZZ9.  This is the new series high.



This Temple University Official plate is not a recent photograph, but it's being added to show a 2-digit (38) plate along with 1 and 3-digit plates already posted.  Temple plates, like Penn State Official plates, use the school colors, unlike the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University which use standard PA plate colors.  It appears to me that many Temple-owned vehicles use standard issue plates in place of official tag, thus the current reported high is only T0218U.


Continuing with Suburban plates, here is an Amateur Radio Suburban plate.  I always considered the Amateur Radio Suburban and Press Photographer Suburban kind of a hybrid plate, or maybe a plate that belongs in two categories.  It would be interesting to know haw many of each of these were actually issued.  I'm not aware of any other Suburban hybrid types.



Posting 8/21/2016

This very distinctive looking number 1 U.S. Air Force Veteran is not the first plate off the press, rather it's an extra cost vanity.  The image was taken recently by Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.  Very nice, thank you for sharing.



In case you were wondering what a Commercial Implement of Husbandry vehicle looks like, here's a pair of images on the far left.  The first is a granular fertilizer or lime spreader, the next is a sprayer.  They are ag implements that do commercial applications of fertilizer and spray materials.  There are other vehicle types with such plates, and there are similar vehicles with other types of plates.  Inconsistency is fairly consistent.  The plate image is a new high and was taken recently by Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.

If this piques your interest, check out Implement of Husbandry plates.


This is a Retired State Legislator plate from Bruce Bufalini.  There are 203 legislative districts in PA, although the districts tend to get carved up differently about every 10 years or so.  I think, in general, a retired legislator can get the same number as the district he or she served.  Of course for districts below 100 leading zeros are used so as not to conflict with current State Senator plates and the first generation of Retired State Senator plates.  Not sure what happens where there is more than one retiree from the same district.  I have never seen one of these with the P/A in the suffix position.


The new high Jefferson Fire Company plate was provided by Colin M.  These plates have been on the street since 2010.  Jefferson Fire is located outside of Norristown.



Colin M. also provided this low number West Catholic High School plate picture.  Their plate program dates back to 1997.  Since this plate had its start on the yellow on blue base, then later reissued on the www base.  New plates that were issued after the replacement process saw a jump in numbering with this series starting at W/C01000.  I still need one of those later plate pictures.  West Catholic has not moved to the newer graphic style plates.  


These are both NASCAR 29 Kevin Harvick plates.  They are only 17 numbers apart, yet the graphic 29 is different.  The low numbered plate (0143) was issued for the 2004 thru 2006 racing season with GM Goodwrench sponsorship, while the high numbered plate (0160) was issued for 2007 and 2008 with Shell Gasoline sponsoring.  Exactly what number signaled the change is unknown, but there are no significant gaps in the intervening sequence of plates.  The low number plates was posted previously, while the high plate was recently photographed by Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.


This isn't the first time I've photographed this plate.  The last time it was wearing an 8/06 sticker and a more intrusive plate frame.  This is a NASCAR 12 Ryan Newman plate issued for the 2004 thru 2006 racing seasons with a total of about 68 plates being issued.  While these are no longer being issued they can still be renewed.


The far left number 1 Expeditionary Forces Veteran plate picture is from Colin M.  These plates first came out in 1995 and while the plate itself appears to be in good condition, there is paint fade especially along the bottom.  These plates have gone thru a couple changes as noted in the center plate above in 2013 or early 2014, then later in '14 the graphic version on the visitPA base was released.  The center plate is courtesy of Brendan Sherry and the newest plate is thanks to Ryan Battin.  The current high is in the 27-hundred series according to the Pa Plates website.


This 1OF1, that's '1 of 1' Antique Vehicle plate is a vanity.  PA does not issue the letter 'O' as part of progressive serial numbers.  We also know it's an O rather than a 0 (zero) since letters are not as tall as numbers.  Thanks to Steve Ondik for the picture.



Continuing to add Suburban plates to the Plate History Section 2 page.  This 1960 plate has the Suburban plate legend and a serial number from the Press Photographer series.  Press Photographer plates never had Press Photographer as the legend.  This plate was provided by Chuck Harrington.



Posting 8/14/2016

Act 36 of 2016 created the “Share the Road” registration plate which became available on August 8, and will be listed as a Special Fund plate.  Proceeds are to maintain PennDOT's central office position of Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator (salary $51,443 - $78,103) as well as funding highway bicycle signage.  Cost of the plate is $40.  It is also available as a vanity for an additional $100.  So far no plates are in use.


Here's the latest high DeSales University plate.  The DeSales University plate program has been around since late 2011.




Colin M. provided this number 4 Malvern Fire Company plate image.  This would also be considered the new high for this plate type.  Malvern Fire has had a plate program since 2008.  You probably know my feelings about plate frames.  Colin has sent me quite an assortment of plate images, and I plan to post several of these with next week's update.


Here's a pair of recently photographed vanities.  The vertical Motorcycle plate reads E-V-zero-8-Oh.  Standard issue plates do not use the letter O.  The picture is from Bruce Bufalini.  The Dealer vanity is a little more obvious.  It also uses the number zero.  On full size plates numbers are slightly larger than letters.  This plate picture was provided by Brendan Sherry.




Here's a recent high number Antique Historic Vehicle on the recently changed alpha-numeric format.  After reaching 9ZZ9, the format changed to 0A00.  The alpha character is the last to advance.



A couple more images from the Macungie car show.  These are Antique Historic Vehicle vanities.  It's been said before, but the redundancy of placing the words "Antique Historic Vehicle" and "Antique Vehicle" on the same plate makes no sense.  Also are the words Pennsylvania and PA both necessary?  Up to 5 characters are permitted for vanities.


Here's a trio of Classic Car / Classic Vehicle plates.  The plate on the far left is a recent photo of the lowest documented plate of this series which began in 1977 at 10000, the center plate is the highest plate spotted on the original base.  The C37278 plate is the latest high on the newer redundant legend series.  This photo is from Bruce Bufalini


This very nice 1949 New Car Dealer plate image was added to the Dealer History section.  The plate is in use as a YOM tag.




Harry Campbell has contributed many older Motorcycle plate pictures recently.  He has also sent information on a dozen and a half motorcycle plates issued during the '71 to '76 run.  From that a spreadsheet was put together helping to establish at what point plates were switched from steel to aluminum, in addition, early plates were painted blue on the reverse side, then were changed to blue, but not at the same time as the switch to aluminum.  All of these changes took place during the initial run from 0A000 - 9Z999.  Click link to see the breakdown.  Further refinement on the transition points is still needed.


Suburban plates have added to the Plate History Section 2 page as a new category.  You may remember these plates if you were born before 1960.  They only had a short run from 1960 thru 1964 and were used on station wagons.  Today the term station wagon has somewhat fallen out of use in favor of newer labels such as SUV, minivan or crossover.  I guess they were considered one step below a truck which at the time used alpha prefixes to designate the weight class starting with R, so presumably stations wagons, being lighter, used  the letter Q.  So many station wagons were registered over the period that many permutations and combinations were used with the letter Q.  There were also Amateur Radio and Press Photographer Suburban plates without the Q.  I will be adding more plates over the next couple weeks.



Posting 8/7/2016

This number 1 U.S. Army Reserve plate is a very unusual sighting.  You may say, another number 1 plate, so what!  Here's the storey.  Back in 1987 U.S. Army Reserve plates were first issued on the yellow on blue base. Then in 2000 all plates were reissued on the www base, and the newly issued plates started at A/R1000; however, those who originally had A/R0001 through A/R0010 had the opportunity to keep the same tag number. The following plates were reissued on the www base: A/R0001, A/R0003, A/R0004, A/R0005, A/R0008 and A/R0010.  This plate is one of those six issued in 2000, and it's the only one still on the road today.  The military reserve plates including Air Force Reserve, Army Reserve, Marine Reserve, Navy Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve plus the National Guard, have always been classified as organizational plates rather than veterans' plates.  Thanks go to Brian Craig for the use of the picture.




Here's the latest Lycoming College high number.  This plate program dates back to 2010.  Lycoming is located in Williamsport, PA.  Thanks to Jeff Lawson for the image.



Here's another nice find from Jeff Lawson.  Check the West Point Alumni photo gallery to also see the W/P0000 plate and the W/P0001 plate.  West Point is one of a small group of organizational plates using a four-digit serial number.



Spotted this high number plate from Waynesburg University in my travels.  This plate program has been around since 2011.




This high number PA State Corrections Officers Association picture was provided by Jeff Lawson.  These plates have been around for about 10 years.



Tom Perri snapped this first image of a Rose Tree Fire Company No. 1.  Rose Tree got their plate program listed by PennDOT in December of 2015, with the first plates on the street in June of this year.



Moved Communities in Schools Pennsylvania from the Miscellaneous Organizational Plates Page to the Educational Plates Page.  The group has no plates in use yet.



Update on the Liquid Fuels P. or O. Permit plate from Eric Tanner, former ALPCA Archivist.  These were not used on vehicles, but were actually mounted on gasoline pumps at gas stations.  That explains why there were so many issued, as well as the additional mounting holes.  Eric indicated that the law was first effective July 1, 1937, and the license year was 7/1 to 6/30. The 1937 plate should probably have been dated "37-38" but that was not fixed until the next year.  Another law was passed 5/26/39 repealing this act, so that is why there are only 2 plate [years] in the run for this type.  Eric plans to do more research on the law but believes it was related to some kind of gasoline tax for sellers. Other states had similar laws and plates at the time, such as the NJ Motor Fuel Dealer etc.  Mr. Tanner also theorizes that the meaning of the "P. or O." might mean Petrol or Oil, which if true, would indicate the dealer could sell both.  He has not seen any other type of plate that restricted the seller to just one or the other, but that is something we can find out from the original law, which was passed on June 2, 1937.  Thank You Eric.


These two 1931 Motorcycle plates were provided by Harry Campbell.  These consist of a 4-digit numeric plate and an alpha-numeric plate.  Together these make a group of five 1931 motorcycle plates.  For now this ends the long run of plates provided by Harry Campbell, although I do have some other plate related material that may be added in the future.  I owe quite a debt of gratitude to Harry for so many images.  As stated previously there is at least 1 plate for every yearly issue and every multi-year plate, however, more needs to be done with M/C Dealer plates.  I want to also recognize the following for helping with images and information: Tim Stentiford, Dave Lincoln, Clayton Moore, Jerry McCoy, Tiger Joe Sallmen, Bob Connison, Edward F. Jones, ebay user luv2wheels, Aimee Senott, Chuck Sakryd, Jeff Hinkle, Tim Gierschick and Bill Pratt.



Posting 7/31/2016

Here's a prototype or conceptual image of the pending Share the Road plate.  The legislation authorizing this plate has been signed into law by the Governor as Act 36.  The plates should be available on or about August 7th or 8th.



Rescue Hose Company No. 1 is getting into the plate business with this prototype.  They are located in Greencastle, Franklin County, which is southwest of Harrisburg near where I-81 crosses the Maryland state line.  There are no plates in use yet.



Here's an International Association of Fire Fighters  plate from George Kunsman that fills a gap in the formatting.  When the yellow on blue plates were first issued in 1993, they were likely issued up to P/F02860 by the time the plate changeover took place on 6/27/2001.  That group of plates was then reissued on a number for number basis on the www base up to the plate shown here.  Plates issued following the reissue started at P/F03500 leaving a gap in the plate number sequence.


Here's a very nice pair of Syria AAONOMS plates.  These were seen on eBay and the owner, Michael Natter of Studio 1908 gave me the OK to use the photo. This Syria Shriners facility is located a little northeast of Pittsburgh.  As a result I don't ever recall seeing one of these plates on the east side of PA.  Judging by the number the yellow on blue plates was likely issued in 1986.  The tag legend AAONMS stands for Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.



Here's a U.S. Air Force Veteran vanity plate image taken by Arthur Levine, and my attempt to crop and skew the image.





Here's the latest Pennsylvania State University official plate.  These are used on university-owned vehicles.  This nice photo was taken by Tom Perri, keeper of the Pennsylvania Highs Page, www.PAPLATES.com.  Pitt, Temple and Lincoln University also have their own official plates.  There are 14 other universities that are part of the PA State System of Higher Education that use the more common Official Use plates. 


And another high, this one from Jordan Irazabal shows the latest Special Mobile Equipment plate.  These are generally seen on specialized equipment that does most of it's work off-road, but may also do incidental travel on the roadway.



Here's the low and high International Union of Operating Engineers.  The # 1 photo was taken some time ago by Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal, while the most recent plate image was provided by Jordan Irazabal.



I've added Liquid Fuels P. or O. Permit as a new category on Plate History Section 1.  The plate legend suggests it is a permit possibly issued to a liquid fuel hauler or supplier.  Unfortunately not a lot seems to be known about the plate, although judging by its motorcycle plate size, it was not the primary plate on the vehicle.  I'm going to guess that it likely was not issued by the BMV, but rather by another state agency.  These plates also have an additional set of holes for a total of six.  For 1937 I have seen plate number ranging from 11000 to 69000.  These plates are only known for a '37 issue and a '38-'39 issue.  The colors are the same as other plates for those years.  I have posted a couple pictures but I'm hoping for some feedback explaining the P. and O. and the use of the plates. 


This very nice, 2-digit 1942 Motorbike plate picture was provided by Harry Campbell.  You didn't think is was a Motorboat plate, did you!?  Motorboat plates at the time used MBL as their identifier.  Motorbike plates were intended to be used on what we'd call Mopeds today.  These MB plates were very similar to Motorcycle or MC plates at the time.  One big difference is the number of plates issued with Motorbikes being a small fraction compared to Motorcycle plates.


I doubt that there is a better looking 1922 Motorcycle plate.  While some prefer plates in their natural state, this plate has been restored to its original condition, the colors being brown on cream.  Some 19-thousand plates were issued beginning with # 1 and going to 5 numbers since all plates were numeric at the time.  Click the link above to see a 4-digit plate.  Thanks again to Harry Campbell for supplying so many Motorcycle, Motorcycle Dealer plus a few other plates



Posting 7/24/2016

Here's an image of the latest high Honoring Our Veterans Motorcycle plate.  As I said in the past, I was happy to see graphic features had finally arrived on motorcycle plates but very disappointed that the wide numeric fonts left so little space for the symbol that it looks like a postage stamp.  They could have done better.  Thanks to Jordan Irazabal for the picture.


This very nice University of Scranton plate image was provided by Steve Ondik.  This series started at U/S10000, and has they have been in the plate business since 1995, and switching to the visitPA base in 2006.



The Kutztown University plate on the far left was a live traffic shot from Steve Ondik.  The plate on the near left was taken by me some months ago.  This is not a new discovery, but look how the number on the near left plate jumps by some 9000 numbers.  It appears that the series went from 01476 to 10477, apparently an error, but now the error continues.  Note, this occurrence is also seen in the Clarion University plates and the Lock Haven University series.


I don't do a lot with Passenger Vanities but thought these were worth posting.  The all-X picture is from Nick Tsilakis, the other, believed to be a phone number, I spotted in traffic recently.  Today the use of vanities has been expanded to allow almost all plates types including Truck, Trailer, Motor Home, Dealer types, Veterans' plates and many more.  There are some weight restrictions.


The current high number Person with Disability is 61759PD according to Tom Perri's website, www.PAPLATES.com.  Yet here are plates in the 98-thousand series.  Simple explanation — a while back it was authorized that vehicle owners who had a device on the rear of the vehicle for carrying a wheelchair or personal assistive device were authorized to get two plates since the assistive device carrier may block visibility of the vehicle mounted plate.  Click the image of the far left and the second plate can be seen above and behind the other.  The two far left images are courtesy of Nick Tsilakis and near left image is from Bruce Bufalini.

This 2-plate option is also available to users of Disabled Veteran and Severely Disabled Veteran plates beginning at DV-79000 and D/V98000 respectively.  The two-plate option extends to vanities for these two plate classes.


Here the latest high Municipal plate.  This one happens to be on a Ford Explorer Police Interceptor, but these plates can be used on everything from 18-wheelers to fire trucks to street sweepers.  This image was provided by Brendan Sherry.





Here's another gem from Harry Campbell's collection.  This 1936 Motorcycle plate is a great example of the alpha-numeric configuration.  Some 11,900 plates were issued that year so the plate sequence likely extended well into the B series.  1936 plates had embossed borders but they were not painted.  Clink the link above to see 4 examples of '36 plates.


Next we switch focus to dealer plates beginning with this 1955 Motorcycle Dealer plate.  Harry Campbell has been very supportive in helping to fill many gaps in the motorcycle dealer plate series.  I don't believe the MCD plates went to 4 digits until multi-year plates made their debut in the 1958 to '61 run.


This pair of 1966 Motorcycle Dealer plates raised a couple questions.  For starters 1966 plates were supposedly single year plates, since new MCD plates were issued in 1967.  Since new plates were issued in '67, why would some plates be a '66 base with a '67 validation sticker?  We really don't know if the '66 - stickered '67 was renewed for 1967 or if it was issued new in '67.  By comparison, there were 1966 Motor Vehicle Business plates plates issued (or renewed?) with '67, '68 and '69 stickers even though there were plates issued for '67, '68 and '69.


Here are some group displays from Jeff Hinkle.  They are different shots of the same wall display.  Since they show large groupings of plates.  I have not reduced the dimensions of the original images which are 2592 x 1937 pixels, so the expanded image may load slowly.  These images have been added to the Group Displays page.


This is the first image of a 1916 Trailer plate on this website, thanks to Judd Clemens.  Everyone has their own opinion as to whether this plates should be refinished or left in its current state.  Originally this plate would have been black on orange.  It is unknown how many of these plates were issued but the number runs at least to T427.  The size is believed to be 6" x 13½"; however, T+1 or 2 digits are believed to be shorter.  If you happen to be a member of ALPCA, there are some additional '16 Trailer plate images in the Archives.



Posting 7/17/2016

This group of newly issued Antique Vehicle plates shows a new format of numbers and letters.  The previous series, after hitting 9ZZ9, moved to the new series seen here beginning at 0A00.  If you attend car shows, you quickly get a sense of how many of these have been issued.  Many more of these are seen in comparison to Classic plates.  According to the 2015 Report of Registrations there were some 162-thousand Antique registrations, compared to 72-thousand Classics.  Street Rod plates have barely exceeded 68-hundred and Collectible Vehicle plates a little more than 16-hundered plates.  Thank to Ryan Battin for the photo.





Here's a pair of Support Your Zoo plates showing the more expensive vanity version taken by Arthur Levine, and the standard issued from Ryan Battin.  Before the changeover to the visitPA base and smaller graphic, these plates were part of the Save Wild Animals series with the tiger and cub.


This plate is not new but the image is.  The older #27 Cetronia Ambulance Corps image was not as clear.  Steve Ondik provided a better image than the one previously posted.  Cetronia's plate program has been around since 2007.  They are located on the west side of Allentown.



Jordan Irazabal spotted this new high number Bus plate. PA currently has five different bus plates types in addition to School Vehicle, Limo and Taxi.  The Bus & Omnibus series have an interesting and somewhat confusing history.



This beat up plate shows a low-number Permanent-Trailer tag on the visitPA base.  These plates switched to the visitPA base at PT-0000L, then after reaching PT-9999Z, the series switched to PT-000A0 as shown here.  This format is not new, having been first seen over a year ago.



Jordan Irazabal also snapped this image of an Expeditionary Forces Veteran plate showing the wide spacing variation between the E/F prefix and the numbers.  This is seen in plates between E/F1000 and E/F1199.



This 1977 base Amateur Radio plate photo was provided by John Fedorchak.  This is not the first appearance of this plate.  Bruce Bufalini also got a traffic shot of this vehicle and plate in 2013.  Considering its age, this plate looks to be in great condition, and it is still a valid registration number.






This week a few more motorcycle plates have been added beginning with this 1928 Motorcycle plate from Harry Campbell.




Next photo in line is this very nice 1929 Motorcycle plate also from Harry Campbell.  This 4-digit plate is shown in the plate gallery with single digit and 5-digit variations.



This very nice 1956 Motorcycle plate comes from Jeff Hinkle.  This three-character alpha-numeric plate would have been issued after the all-numeric series reached 9999.  Click the link above to the photo gallery to see 4 examples of these variations.



1963 signaled a new issue.  The 63 Motorcycle base was issued up thru 1964 with a sticker, and could also be renewed with a sticker.  As a multi-year plate five variations in number and letter formatting were used.   I will have some additional group displays from Jeff Hinkle in the future.



They just don't get any nicer than this 1953 Motorcycle Dealer plate provided by Harry Campbell.  For 1953 it does not appear likely that plates extended beyond 3 digits.  This plate picture helps to fill another gap in the motorcycle dealer plate history.  Check back for some additional plates from Harry over the next few weeks.



Posting 7/10/2016

This high number Geneva College plate was recently spotted on the move by Bruce Bufalini.  Geneva College plates made their debut in 1994 on the yellow on blue base, then to the www base and finally to current version.  The school is located in Beaver Falls which is northwest of Pittsburgh.




This picture-perfect Organ Donors Save Lives plate image was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  The plate is also the new high.




Here's the newest high Combat Infantryman Badge from Jordan Irazabal.  The plate is part of a group of 5 combat related badges, medals and ribbons that came about in 2014.  NOTE: A newer high, 20121C/O was seen by Bruce Bufalini after this page was edited.



This personalized Korean Defense Services Medal plate picture was provided by Matt Boyer.  These plates were introduced in 2010 and allowed to be personalized in 2014.  I'm going to assume the DMZ stands for the Demilitarized Zone.





Here's the latest high Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran plate.  Theses have been around since 2005.  This plate, like several other veterans' plates, has been issued in a two-tiered system.  The lower tier are the under-100 group.  These are also available as personalized plates for an additional fee.  Thanks to Jordan Irazabal for the image.


This trio of plates was provided by Bruce Bufalini and were photographed at recent car shows.  Click on them to see larger images.  They all happen to be new highs.  On the far left is a Street Rod plate, center left is a Classic Vehicle, and on the near left is an Antique Vehicle plate.  So far the Street Rod is the only plate not available as a vanity plate.




This Moped plate image was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  It is the high number spotted on the www series before the it transitioned to the visitPA base at the start of the BN series.




Jeff Hinkle has recently sent a number of current plates photos and some group shots from his collection.  Shown here on the far left and center left are the top and bottom sections of a display wall showing mostly motorcycle plates.  The smaller group of motorcycle plates shows duplicates, possibly resulting from the plates not being properly cut.  I'm hoping to get more group shots from Jeff.  These images have also been placed into the Group Displays page that was started last week.



This near perfect 1970 Used Car Dealer plate is the final installment from Bob Connison.  This plate finishes the run of 1970 dealer plates.  I want to thank Bob for so many older dealer plates.  At this point in time, there are dealer images for every year except 1921 and 1930.  A number of other years have incomplete runs, especially C-series Transit Dealer plates.


This 4-digit 1927 Motorcycle plate has been added to the existing '27 group consisting of a 3-digit and 5-digit plates.  As these were all-numeric, the series ran from 1 to some 14000.  Thanks to Harry Campbell for the plate image. 



Next from Harry Campbell is this 1951 Motorcycle Dealer plate.  This series also started at plate the #1 and continued in the 3-digit series as seen here.




Posting 7/3/2016

To my friends and contributors, I have received so many plate images over the last week or two that I'm not able to post them all.  Too many pictures is a good thing, unfortunately I run out of time before running out of material to post.

New plate on the horizon Communities in Schools Pennsylvania is getting into the organizational plate business.  They describe themselves as "a nationwide network of passionate professionals working in public schools to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life."  There is no indication that the plates are available yet.


Here's the first image of an Arizona State University plate from Jeff Lawson.




Drexel University Alumni plates are no longer available.  Drexel discontinued their participation in the program.  Plates reached a high of D/U41699.  Their number block began at D/U40000, and the program dated back to 1992.  Thanks to Matt Boyer for the tip.  In other plate news, the Fire Fighter plate is now available to be personalized.


LEGISLATIVE NEWS - Senate Bill 1155 has seen final passage by the House on 7/1/16.  The bill is xpected to be presented to the Governor for his signature.  The bill establishes a special vehicle license plate for members of the United States Armed Forces.


This is the first image of a Combat Medical Badge.  I wasn't sure what it was when I first spotted it.  About 20 of these plates have been issued so far.  According to Wikipedia, it's "an award of the United States Army which was first created in January 1945. Any member of the Army Medical Department, at the rank of Colonel or below, who is assigned or attached to a ground Combat Arms unit of brigade or smaller size which provides medical support during any period in which the unit was engaged in active ground combat is eligible.


The U.S. Congress plate is one of Pennsylvania's rarest plates.  Since these plates were re-issued on the www base only 4 such plates have been photographed.  In fact the plate shown here is formatted differently than the others where there is a separation between the number and U/SC.  It is unknown how many have been issued since many members of congress choose not to use them.  PA currently has 18 districts; however, there were 21 districts prior to the 2010 census.  In a related matter, there are no PA U.S. Senator plates in use at the present time.  The person providing this picture wished to remain anonymous.


Yes, the license plate is striking but so is the car.  This BMW I8 has a $140-thousand plus price tag.  For that you get an electric motor and an internal combustion engine that work together to push this thing from 0 to 60 in just over 4 seconds and can get 76 MPG.  Anyway thanks to Bruce Bufalini for sharing these images including this personalized version of a Mario Lemieux Foundation plate.


This very nice #1 vanity Pennsylvania Monuments - Gettysburg 1863 plate was recently spotted by Kyle Kuser.  Great find.




Here's a new high Motor Home plate spotted by Jordan Irazabal.




I recently added a page called Motorcycle Plate Displays showing groups of plates, and there was an older page called Sample Plate Displays.  The common theme of these pages is that the plates were shown as groups, usually mounted on a wall, display board, or laid out together.  These pages are being combined into one page called Group Displays.  Also a new group of '77 base passenger plates which are almost all sequential starting at 001-CNG and running to 065-CNG.  Click the link to see the series of images provide by Sarge at Klassy Karz.  To my knowledge PA never issued '77-base plates with a series of 3 numbers followed by 3 letters.  In addition Sarge suggests that these could have been possibly intended for a fleet of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles.  One of the plates has a 5-85 sticker.  Does anyone have any knowledge of these plate?  Watch for additional groups to be added as time permits.



This is not a new high but it is an excellent image of an ATV Class 2 plate.  These plates are motorcycle size and are issued by DCNR (Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) not by PennDOT. The image was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  Click the link for more image displays and information.


Thanks again to Bob Connison for helping to fill a couple more gaps with these 1969 New Car Dealer (A-series) and Used Car Dealer (B-series) plates.



This nice 4-digit 1926 Motorcycle plate was provided by Harry Campbell.  Click the link to see a 5-digit plate.  The series began at #1 and ran to some 14-thousand plates.  Plate size depended on the number of digits and were either 4½" by 6" for 2 and 3-digit plates, and 4½" by 8" for 4 and 5-digit plates.  Single digit plates were likely 6".


Harry Campbell is also helping fill some of the dealer plate gaps with this very nice 1950 Motorcycle Dealer.  I don't know how many dealer plates were issued but I don't think 4-digit plates were needed until multi-year plates were issued starting in 1958 to '61 run.




Posting 6/26/2016

Jeff Lawson spotted this 63 split window Corvette coupe with matching vanity Classic Vehicle plate at a recent Corvette meet.




Also from Jeff Lawson is this 50th anniversary Corvette also with a matching U.S. Army Veteran plate.




Here's a vanity version of a Northampton Fire Department special organization.  The 42 is the station number and the 91 indicates the position or rank of the fire officer.  The 90 series is fire police.



Here's the latest Salvage Yard high spotted at a recent antique truck show.  I never understood the connection between the prefix WL and the term salvage yard.



Bruce Bufalini recently spotted this new graphic style Prisoner of War plate on the street.  This new design dates back almost 3 years but so few of these plates are issued today that they are seldom seen.  Just guessing that most are probably re-issues rather than new issues.  Anyway, the most recent issue (high) spotted on the original base was POW-V67 according to Tom Perri's www.PAPLATES.com website.




Jeff Lawson shared this low number International Brotherhood of Boilermakers picture.  These plates have been on the street since 2012 with about 80 plates having been issued.



Eric Conner recently acquired this 1963 Governor's Inauguration plate.  '63 was the fist year for Inaugural plates and they were reportedly issued to vehicle dealers who had cars in the inaugural parade.  Eric, who specializes in 'PA Politicals', indicates that there were fewer than 100 such plates issued.  Such plates are considered special event plates and normally have a limited period of validity.


Jim McDevitt sent me this novelty vanity plate he spotted recently in Philadelphia.  A few weeks back I posted a couple others, click the link above to see the others.



Jeff Lawson sent this image of a first generation Implement of Husbandry plate.  These plates date back to 1984 after Tractor plates were discontinued.  Tractor plates were replaced by Implement of Husbandry plates for farm use, and Special Mobile Equipment plates for industrial and construction vehicles.  Of course today Implement of Husbandry plates can also be used on farm machinery other than tractors including vehicles that are not self-propelled; however, they are almost never seen.  The good news is that several of these plates are known to exist within the hobby.  The bad news is that the first generation of Commercial Implement of Husbandry plates seems to have disappeared without a trace, not even a photo.


This 1966 Used Car Dealer plate was provided by Bob Connison and fills a gap in the lineup.  One significant change for 1966 is the end of both the 'X' series Miscellaneous Dealer category and the 'C' (Transit) Dealer plate, the the replacement series, now called Motor Vehicle Business, uses the same format as the previous 'C' series.


The next image is a 1968 New Car Dealer plate, again filling a gap in the photo lineup, and again much thanks to Bob Connison.




Harry Campbell has provided some additional cycle plate images beginning with this 1915 Motorcycle.  The first character on the 1914 and 1915 plates was the letter 'O', which at the time looked like a zero, '0' and was followed 1 to 5 numeric characters to at least 17000.  Click the link to also see 3 and 4-digit plates from 1915.


Harry Campbell has also made available a number of Motorcycle Dealer plates.  I will add them over the next few weeks, and they will help fill a number of gaps in the M/C Dealer displays.  For 1949 Motorcycle Dealers the series is believed to run from 1 to an unknown 3-digit high similar to the plate shown here.  MCD was used as the designator from 1934 to 1966 inclusive, usually in the suffix position.



Posting 6/19/2016

The image on the far left shows a University of Pittsburgh prototype.  Pitt is in the process of giving their plate a new look.  Thanks to Ryan Battin for sharing this.

On the near left is a current University of Pittsburgh vanity plate that was recently shared by Bruce Bufalini.


Still alive and well.  These two NASCAR plates were recently spotted.  The N18 Bobby Labonte plate was previously spotted in May of 2005.  These were only issued in 2004 and '05, with about 86 plates being registered.  The N48 Jimmie Johnson plate had a longer life form 2004 thru 2009.  About 221 of these plates were issued.  The NASCAR program ran from late 2004 up thru May of 2010.  Each year there were additions, deletions and changes making it a challenge to track.  There are NASCAR variations that have never been photographed but still may be in use, and a number of plates that were never issued.


Steve Ondik recently snapped this image of a DeSales University plate.  The first plate was spotted in January of 2012 with some 42 plates having been issued.  DeSales is located in Center Valley, just south of Allentown, PA.



Here's the latest high Emergency Vehicle plate from the 'no-fee' registration series, which is the progression that started at EV-50000.  All EV plates were (supposedly) reissued in 2007 on the visitPA base.



Is it a Taxi or is it a Limousine?  Take your pick.  Seen recently on Airport Rd. near Allentown.





On the far left we have a new image from Bob Connison. This '56 'X' Dealer plate has the X in the second position.  1956 brought about changes, for starters all plates were now 6" by 12" as compared to 6" by 10¼" for 1955.  In addition there were two sets of fonts and two bases.  Wide fonts were used initially and wide map borders as seen here on the far left.  Later in the production cycle narrower fonts were used in conjunction with a narrow border base as seen on the second plate.  The 43X02 is not a new image but shown here for comparison.


The following year, 1957 Dealer plates saw more changes.  The base has been refined again to allow a little more space for the additional character — now 6 characters for the first time since 1929.  The same coding was used with A, B, C and X prefixes.  Thanks again to Bob Connison the the image.


This very nice 1957 Motorcycle plate was provided by Harry Campbell.  For 1957 the series ran from 1 to 9999, and then began an alpha-numeric run beginning with A000 or A001.  This all-numeric plate was needed to compliment the F941 plate that had been previously posted.  My goal, as always, is to photo-document as many variations in formatting, sequencing for each year and plate type with certain exceptions.   


Here's one I didn't know if I'd ever see, but Harry Campbell had one.  The 1965 base was used until the '71 base was issued — a long stretch.  It was also at a time when motorcycles were gaining in popularity.  In an effort to not run out of combinations as many as seven different all-numeric and alpha-numeric systems were used, which included this scarse 3-character plate using the series 0A0 to 9Z9, also A00 was used and possibly 00A.  Thanks to Eric Tanner for some of the data references.


1951 Tractor plate belonging to Tim Gierschick.  This picture was taken at the recent ALPCA meet in Trexlertown.  That year PA registered almost 20,000 tractors and trailers.  Lets' assume that there were 4 to 5 times more trailers than tractors, based on later statistics.  This would make the number of Tractor plates issued in the range of 4 to 5-thousand.  Of that number how many would have been used on farm tractors and how many on other non-farm tractors?



Posting 6/12/2016

Legislative update House Bill 150, was signed into law by the Governor on 6/8, and is now Act 36, which authorizes a Share the Road registration plate.  The plates should be available on or about August 7th or 8th.  No photo yet.


One of PA's rarest plates.  The Air Force Cross plate has been available since late 2012, and there are only 2 or 3 of these plates in use.  The Air Force Cross is awarded for extraordinary heroism not justifying . . . the Medal of Honor.  Tom Perri spotted this plate recently — great find!



Bruce Bufalini recently snapped this traffic shot of a low-number Combat Action Badge plate.  At present there  are some 63 of these plates with numerical serial numbers on the road, at least a few formatted as vanities.





Tom Perri recently spotted this Watercraft Trailer Dealer plate with some collaboration from Jordan Irazabal.  This plate would certainly be considered a rare find.  Tom, Jordan and I have had this conversation in the past, that while these plates have been issued, most are tucked away somewhere at the dealership and only brought out when needed.  Also many such dealers have no such plates, or they don't know it.  Since September of 1999 fewer than 500 of these plates have been issued with the series starting at WD00500.   Click the link above to see a couple more of these elusive plates.


Here's a VW Passat sedan with a current Omnibus plate and huge label of School Students on the hood and trunk.  I guess it's legal, but the regulations seem a bit confusing, at least to me.  To read the Fact Sheet on Bus, School Vehicle, Lime, Taxi registrations, etc. click here.


Eric Conner took this picture of this very low number PA District Kiwanis International plate.  Only about a dozen of these plates are in use, so great find.



Here's a University of Scranton vanity plate, likely showing the year of graduation.  The University of Scranton has been in the plate business since 1995 was a couple different iterations.



We continue to post additional Dealer images on a weekly basis from Bob Connison.  This nice pair of 1951 New Car Dealer plates shows the second alpha character, in this case an 'H' in the 4th position instead of in the 5th spot which is where the series started.  This just means that once A999Z was reached, the next plate would have been A00A0.  The first 'A' is a non-advancing character.  Click the link above above to also see a plate in the A000A series. and the 'X' series.


Next is this first image of a 1952 New Car Dealer plate also from Bob Connison.  For 1952 the plates were reduced in size from 6" by 11" to 6" by 10¼".  Other formatting appears unchanged from prior years.

Still very much needed is any kind of C-series Dealer from the late 40s or early to mid-50s.  Do they even exist?


This very nice 2-digit version of a 1950 Motorcycle plate was provided by Harry Campbell.  The number series started with 1 and followed the standard progression of all numeric followed by an alpha-numeric run.  Click the link above to see additional formats.


Great news from Harry Campbell.  He, with collaboration form Todd Mickinak, has kindly provided more than 20 additional Motorcycle plate photos, including a bunch of Motorcycle Dealer plates.  Watch for these plates over the coming weeks.

The first one of these is this 1956 Motorcycle plate in the alpha-numeric series.  This series was used after the 1 to 9999 plates had all be issued.  Click the link above to see a 3-digit and a 4-digit example of '56 Motorcycle plates.



Last week at the ALPCA Trexlertown, PA meet I get a few pictures of old tractor plates.  This 1950 Tractor plate is considered a low number as the series began at 0001.  This plate belongs to Tim Gierschick.  Tim has a very nice collection of older PA tractor plates.  Also take a look at the Tractor Plates section on this website.  It included every year from 1914 up thru the 1977 thru the '83 run except for 1927, '29, '32 and '33.



Posting 6/5/2016

Desperately Seeking The following current PA plate types were all issued on the previous base before the 1999-2000 changeover, yet that issue appears to have vanished without a trace, no plates, not even a picture.  These include: Apportioned Bus (BL-00000), Commercial Implement of Husbandry, (CI0000H), Fleet Transporter (FL0000T), Lincoln University (L0000U) and Watercraft Trailer Dealer (WD00000).  If anyone has knowledge of the existence of any of these plates, please help us establish and preserve the plate's history.  Help!


Legislative update House Bill 150, which proposes a Share the Road registration plate, was presented to the Governor on 6/1 for his signature.


It appears that the Rose Tree Fire Company No. 1 of Media, PA, has or soon will have, 14 plates on the street.




This photo was taken a few months ago but it is still the current high Severely Disabled Veteran.  These plates switched to being partially flat screened at about D/V92500, and were first seen around June of 2013.



The Vietnam War Veteran plate on the far left with the hand-painted medal was recently spotted.  The newer, updated plate of the same type was spotted a few months ago by Jeff Lawson.  Note that the plates are fairly close numerically which helps to narrow down the transition point which appears likely to be at or about V/W09400.


This Flourtown Fire Company image was snapped by Jeff Lawson.  These plates were approved back in 2008 and the organization has at least 43 plates on the street according to Tom Perri's highs website — http://www.paplates.com/.



This Pennsylvania Hunting Heritage plate was spotted a few days ago.  It appears to be a new high, and selling well.  They have been out since late June of 2014.  I still can't Photoshop shadows out of the image, LOL.



As we continue to add older Dealer plates to the history section, we begin with this 1949 Used Car Dealer plate.  Note the non-advancing 'B' as the first character, and the final A suggesting this was likely the 627th or 628th plate in that series.  Once plate B999A is reached, the next plate would be B000B or B001B.  Again I want to thank Bob Connison for sharing this and many other old dealer plates.


Here is another pair of '49' Dealer plates.  These are part of the 'X' series, and this pair of front and rear plates has the 'X' in the second position.  The first run would have had the 'X' in the first position.  Click the link above to see several additional 1949 Dealer plates.  Again thanks to Bob Connison for helping to fill in so many gaps in the Dealer series.


This week's ensemble of goodies from Harry Campbell includes this 1941 Motorcycle plate.  This particular plate would have been from the alpha-numeric run started after the all numeric high of 9999 was reached.  Some 12,275 plates were issued so the series likely extended into the C-series.  The formatting has essentially been the same since the the 1938 changes came about.  Anyone have an all numeric version of this plate?


Also from Harry Campbell is this 1947 Motorcycle plate.  This is an all-numeric serial; however, according to BMV records, some 26,000 plates were issued that your.  It appears that motorcycles surged in popularity following the war.  The 26-thousand figure likely included Motorbikes which may have accounted for some 11-thousand of that 26-thousand total.

At this point I am very happy to say that the Motorcycle Plate History Section now has at least one plate for every year issued beginning with 1914, and at least one plate for every format change for the undated plates beginning in 1971.  While this is certainly a milestone, it would never have been possible without the help and contributions of so many friends and supporters.  It's always nice to get an email from a someone you don't know, saying they enjoy the website, and they have pictures of plates I could use.  As I have said in the past, the website is not about me, it's about the hobby, the plates, the history, the stories, the sharing, and the collaboration of friends. Thank You.



Posting 5/29/2016

Another pair of new high Passenger plates — the one on the far left from Jason Embee, and the  KCZ plate is thanks to Kyle Kuser.



Legislative update House Bill 150 which proposes a Share the Road registration plate, has received concurrence from the House on Senate amendments.  It is now expected to go to the Governor for his signature.  When this occurs, the law will take effect in 60 days.

In other legislative news — there has not been any movement since April 13 on House Bill 1154 to repeal the elimination of registration stickers.


From time to time questions come up about similar plates.  To my knowledge these are all novelty vanity plates that were sold by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles or PennDOT.  I don't know the years of the yellow on blue plates but they use two different bases representing different periods.  The Flagship Niagara plates were made available to use up extra bases after the plate was discontinued in 2-97.  The Flagship Niagara novelty plates were embossed with 6-96 so they couldn't be legally used.  A number of blank Flagship Niagara plates were also released.  The JCT plate was provided by Heath Labasik, the other plates are from my collection.


The very image of a very nice Legislator / House of Representatives plate was shared by Kyle Kuser.  HR plates were reissued in 1965, then they received a facelift in 1966.  This facelift included the word Legislator and also had the HR prefix enclosed in a keystone.  Click the link above to see more examples, and to see images of the 1965 plates.


1946 brought about major changes in the formatting of Dealer plates.  Instead of all plates bearing the legend DEALER and the letter 'X', now there were NEW CAR DL'R with A000A formatting, then USED CAR DL'R with B000A formatting.  Also, still in the mix were the X-series DEALER plates as in previous years.  We also know that at some point in time PA issued a C-series Dealer plate with C000A formatting.  This plate was later referred to as a Transit Dealer, the meaning of which is unclear.  Could it have been as early as 1946?  A collector friend claims to have one from 1954, but I have not yet seen it.  If such plates existed, they must have been issued in such low numbers that few if any have survived.  Any help with this would be much appreciated.  Bob Connison has been kind enough to provide these 1946 Dealer plates.  The first letter in the series indicated the type of plate.  This letter did not advance.  The 3-digit number series would advance first then the final letter so that after reaching A999A, the next plate would be A000B, and so on, the final letter could also to the fourth position such as A00A0 if the first series ran out of combinations.


Next to be added to the Dealer section is this pair of 1948 Dealer 'X' plates.  The 'X' series was (later) referred to as Miscellaneous Dealer, although this term never appeared on the plate up thru 1965, the final year of the 'X' series Dealer plate.  Both the '46 above and the '48 were 6" by 11".  Click the link above to see a Dealer plate with the 'X' in the second position, and a couple of New Car Dl'r plates. 


This week the M/C plate addition begins with this 1937 Motorcycle.  This plate follows the same general format as the previous year except for the color reversal.  Old DMV records show that some 12,195 plates were issued, therefore, plate serial number likely extended into the 'C' series of the alpha numeric plates.  Thanks to Harry Campbell for the image.


1938 signaled a major change with the addition of the state map outline.  This familiar format was first seen in 1937 on passenger plates and the following year every it was added to all other plates except boat plates.  The map outline is still issued to this day on Municipal Motorcycle plates and possibly Collectible Motorcycle plates., and still in use, but no longer issued, on several other small plates.  Aside from the map, the '38 Motorcycle plate formatting followed the previous layouts with some minor rearranging of components.



Posting 5/22/2016

This is going to be a 'lite' week.  I've had a lot on my plate recently, especially in my other life.  In addition, I need a little break.


Legislative News House Bill 150 creates a Share the Road registration plate, with proceeds maintaining PennDOT's central office position of Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator and funding highway bicycle signage. The bill has been passed by the House and Senate, but now the bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.  No image yet.


This Pennsylvania Coal Alliance, Inc. plate has been in the works for a while, but just recently this prototype image was released.  These Friends of Coal license plates are also available in other states including Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.  At this point I have no information on getting one in PA.  I don't expect that Hilary or Obama will be lining up to get one.


Kyle Kuser recently passed along this new high Passenger (KCT) plate on the left spotted in south Philly.  Then Bruce Bufalini snapped this (KCX) image in traffic.  I suspect the actual high changes every few minutes.



They don't get any lower, and they don't get any nicer.  This Pennsylvania DUI Association plate image was shared by Nick Tsilakis.  Tom Perri's www.paplates.com/ website shows the current high as 00097D/U.  These plates have been on the road for about 10 years.



On the far left is another Official Use front plates from Chuck Harrington.  Chuck suggests this version would have been in use in the 1985 to 1999 era.  On the near left is a white or cream on blue Official Use Only plate.  Although the formatting is similar to other Official Use Only plates used during the '60s and '70s, the white or cream coloring does not ring a bell for me.


More gems from Bob Connison. This week we begin with this pair of 1941 Dealer plates.  This is the fist year where the expiration date (EXP. 3-31-42) now is embossed in the upper border.  The 5-character pair shown here measure 6" by 12", however, there were also 4-character shorty 6" by 10" plates.  The 5-character plates had the 'X' in the first position, and possibly elsewhere, whereas the 4-character edition could have the 'X' in any position.  What's needed are more examples.


Next we have a 1945 Dealer plate, again courtesy of Bob Connison.  It appears that all plates for '45 measured 6" by 11" regardless of the number of characters.  Both 4 and 5-charter Dealer plates were issued and the 'X' could at least be in the first and second position. 



Back to the older Motorcycle plates starting with this 1934 Motorcycle image from Harry Campbell.  This is the first image of a '34 M/C on this site.  This series started at plate 1 then ran to 9999, after which an alpha-numeric run began at A1 thru A999, then B1, and here we have B724.  The run likely ended in the C-series.  The formatting of these plates has been very similar from 1916 up thru 1933, but for 1934 the stacked M/C has been added for the first time.  1934 also signaled the addition of M/B on Motorbike plates and M/C/D on Motorcycle Dealer plates.


Next in line is this 1935 Motorcycle plate.  This is an all numeric plate, and except for the colors being reversed, is similar to the plate above.  I have a copy of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles plate designs for 1935.  It gives the size as 45/16" by 7⅞".  In addition the document authorizes plates 1 to 9999, then A to A499.  It is likely the A499 was exceeded as the total number of motorcycle plates registered that year was 11,731.  Don't know if that figure includes Motorbikes and Dealers, but they were only authorized at 50 and 200 respectively.



Posting 5/15/2016

This high number Dealer - Multi Purpose plate on the two far left images was spotted recently.  It's not a great image as it was taken at quite a distance with full zoom.  Anyway, it's still on the www base.  The current inventory runs to MP4899D — what happens after that point is unknown.  These are low volume plates with only 1750 or so plates issued since their reissue starting point of MP3000D on 9/1/1999.  I also added a picture of the lowest www plate picture I have.


Here's what was thought to be the latest high Motorcycle plate from Jordan Irazabal on the left.  Then Ryan Battin snapped this highway shot of 4CA17 on the right.  Motorcycles appear to hibernate over winter in PA but once the weather gets nice, the nearly 400-thousand bikes reappear.  It's interesting that the number of motorcycle registrations has doubled since 1999.  This has brought about an evolving plate numbering system that started at AAA00, then 0000A, then A0000, and finally 0AA00.  In addition there was a switch to the visitPA base and a limited run of "Live free..." plates.  In addition to the standard MC plate there are vanity, Person w/ Disability, vertical, Antique, Classic, Collectible, YOM, Veteran, and Honoring Our Veterans.  Do you want to include Moped and Municipal?  What have I missed?  Maybe organizational plates in the future.


Here are the latest Antique Vehicle and Antique Motorcycle, fresh off the plate press in the big house.  Thanks to Ryan Battin for sharing these.



Here's a new high Civil Air Patrol plate spotted by Kyle Kuser.




Bruce Bufalini managed a traffic shot of this U.S. Air Force Veteran vanity VADER plate.




Here's a picture of a Special Event plate from Chuck Harrington.  It likely came from an International Fuel Tax Association gathering in PA.  Not sure if the 14 represents 2014, or if it is the serial number of the plate.  Anyway it does show that special event tags in PA are not limited to just a piece of white cardboard.


These two older Zem Zem Temple plates on the far left have been added in with the newer plates.  This is also one of the organizational plates to use a 2-tiered numbering system.  As with other plate types, the low number group, in this case from Z/Z00001 to about Z/Z00500, represents the original issue of yellow on blue plates and the subsequent replacement group.  Plates that were issued following the completion of the replacement process started at Z/Z01000, leaving a gap of about 500.  The sample is from George Kunsman and the high number plate is from Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal.


Again this week we have more old Dealer plates from Bob Connison.  We start with this pair of 1939 Dealer plates.  The '39 plates were similar to the '38s except for the colors.  There were both 4-character and 5-character Dealer plates measuring 6" by 10" and 6" by 12" respectively.  The 'X' could be in the first, second or third position.


Next from Bob Connison is this 1940 Dealer pair.  The formatting is similar to the above pair, but this plate has the 'X' in the third position.  Again both 4- and 5-character plates were issued measuring 6" by 10" and 6" by 12" respectively.  Anyone have a shorty picture to share?


The plate on the far left is not the first 1932 Motorcycle plate displayed here but it is the nicest by far.  The previous year, 1931, saw the end of 5-digit plates and the beginning of alpha numeric plates when the 4-digit high of 9999 was reached.  So the series started at 1 and went to 9999, then came alpha prefix plates starting with A and up to a 3-digit number such a A12 or B123.  This same pattern was used in both the '32 and '33 Motorcycle plates, and both years had some 11-thousand plates issued, so many alpha plates were issued.  Both of these plates shown here are courtesy of Harry Campbell.


A new Motorcycle plate display page has been added.  It features plate displays from both Harry Campbell and Todd Mickinak.  These gentlemen have been very helpful in providing many older motorcycle plates, thereby filling lots of gaps.  At this point in time I have not established cross-links to this new page from other pages. 







Posting 5/8/2016

Arthur Levine recently spotted this PA Association of Realtors, all-zeros plate.  It seems that some plates types that had their origins back in the yellow on blue series, had all-zeros plates.  Don't know if this was made available as an option or a favor, but I attempted to do this on a new organizational plate program that started in 2010 and was flatly turned down, even though I am the plate program coordinator for that plate.  If you see an all-zeros plate on visitPA plates it's because the original number that was issued on the yellow on blue base was carried over into the www base, then visitPA.


Here's the latest high Municipal Motorcycle plate, thanks to Jaska Börner, or http://jaska.me/lp/pa.php for his web address.  This plate type is one of the very last types of PA plates still issued with the state map outline base.  The other is the Collectible Motorcycle of which there are only a couple plates in use, and future plates are due to change to the visitPA base.  I really don't understand the mentality that all plates should look alike.  The rationale was to make plates easier to read by the police, but is PA the only state where the police have difficulty reading license plates?


Here are the latest high Antique Vehicle plates from Jaska Börner.  If you recall when PA switched from the white on purple Antique Historic Car plates to the visitPA base the first series was A00A, next came the current series of 0AA0.  As can be seen here, this current alpha-numeric series will soon reach the end at 9ZZ9.  If you're wondering what's next, the series will be 0A00.  Number series from the older white on purple plates can't be used since many such plates are still in use.


This high number Vietnam War Veteran plate was also provided by Jaska Börner.  This is the second generation for these plates that originally date back to 1999, and received a facelift in late 2014 at plate number V/W09500.  A couple of newer generation have been spotted as vanities.  Click the link above to see the evolution of this plate.


These first generation Vietnam Veterans of America plates on the far left have been added in to the current display of organizational plates.  In addition the near left plate has been added as another example of the early group of www plates.  In 2005 the plate changed to the visitPA base.  Still needed is a plate between V/N02000 and V/N02107, which represents the second wave of www plates. 


Here's a new high Transporter plate also from Jaska Börner.  These plates made their debut in 1984 and since that time have gone thru several iterations.



We begin the weekly addition and update of older dealer plates with this nice pair of 'shorty' 1937 Dealer plates from Bob Connison.  Judging by the wear on the plates, I'm guessing that the plate on the far left is the front plate.  This pair measures 6" by 10", while 5 character plates were 6" by 12".  As stated these plates could be 4 character or 5 character, with the X appearing in the first or second position. 


Next is this first image on this site of a 1938 Dealer plate.  Thanks again to Bob Connison.  Many characteristics are the same as the above plate but the biggest difference, aside for the colors, is the state map outline.  These were first seen on 1937 passenger plates and then were added to other plates in 1938.


We'll finish up this week with a couple more old cycle plates starting with this 1922 Motorcycle from Harry Campbell.  Todd Mickinak was helpful in photographing and sending Harry's plate pictures.  This is the first image of a '22 cycle plate on this site which helps fill another gap.  For this year plates were brown on cream, started at 1 and ran to about 19,316, were 4½" high, length was 6" for 1, 2 & 3-digit plates, 8" for 4- & 5-digits.


Next on display is this very nice 1930 Motorcycle plate from Harry Campbell.  Again Harry is helping me fill a number of gaps where I had no images.  For 1930 plates were dark blue on yellow with a painted border.  The use of alternating dark blue and yellow began in 1923.  The series ran from 1 to about 13223.  Plate sizing again depended on the number of digits and were the same at the 1922 plate above. 


There is nothing remarkable about this Motorcycle Vanity plate, only that it a decent example of a yellow on blue 5-character vanity with a dash.  (1968 HD Sportster?)  It is my understanding that vanities were not offered on motorcycle plates prior to the '85 base, and I don't know if they were allowed as far back as '85.



Posting 5/1/2016

Jaska Börner photographed this vanity vertical Motorcycle plate.  This is the first one of these spotted.  The vertical plates have been available for a little over two years, and although they're not common, they do fill a need.  According to the law that made the vertical plates possible, Act 89, as of 1/1/2016, there was to be a report of the number of vertical plates issued and the cost of issuance and any required revision to the fee so as to maintain necessary financial support for the highway system.




This Antique Motorcycle plate is a bit of a mystery.  Judging by the wide bolt hole separation it is a modern plate, yet it doesn't fit any of the known serial number formats used prior to the changeover to the all-too-familiar visa card family of plates .  Another plate with a 2S serial was seen back in August of 2015.  Click the link above to see the other plate.  If anyone knows the story here, please fill us in.


While on the subject of Antique Motorcycles, I took this photo at a recent Oley, PA bike event.  This plate helps to narrow down the transition from what I call Format 4 to Format 5.  The main difference is the Format 4 plates use a narrower bolt hole spacing while the Format 5 plates have switched to a wider spacing.  The change has been narrowed to between L00 and R00.


Next plate for this week is this very nice number 1 image of a Combat Act Badge from Nathan Krawzyk.  The Combat Act Badge plate is part of a series of 5 combat related plates all using the CO suffix.



Here are two images of the same number 1 Elizabethtown College plate.  The picture on the far left is from Eric Conner and was taken in mid-2009.  Note the fading and deterioration of the sheeting on the near left plate.  That picture was taken recently by Kyle Kuser.  By the way, there was an all-zero Elizabethtown College plate.  Click the link above to see more images.


University of Scranton plates from U/S11000 to U/S11095 represent a small group of plates issued after the re-plating process was completed in late 2001.  This plate is part of the two-tiered system on the www base that was common to organizations whose plate program started on the yellow on blue base.  Click the link for a further description of how the plates evolved.  Thanks to John Clark for the image.


This first picture of a Waynesburg University vanity plate was snapped by Bruce Bufalini.  Waynesburg plates have been active for about four years, and since this plate type is on the visitPA base they can be personalized as shown here.




This group of three first generation Vietnam Vets or Veterans of Vietnam War, Inc. on the far left was added to the current plate display page.  The newer image on the www base is an example of a later plate issue after the replacement of the first generation.  The replacement plates ended at V/V02791 and later picked up at V/V04300 leaving the number in between skipped.


Bob Connison is helping to fill another void with this pair of 1935 Dealer plates.  The plates shown here are 6" by 10" and are the short version with the keystones on each side of the word Dealer.  2 to 4 character plates were configured as shown here, while 5 character (X0000 or 0X000) were 6" by 12" and had the keystones on both sides of the legend to the outside of the bolt holes.  Click the above link for more on formatting.


Also from Bob Connison is this very nice '36 Dealer plate.  For 1936 plates with 4 characters were a short 6" by 10" in size, while 5 character plates as shown here were 6" by 12".  In addition the X could be in the first, second or third position.  Click the link to see an additional plate with the X in the second position.


I've seen a picture of this plate in the past, but I saw the actual 1914 Motorcycle plate on a bike last week in Oley, PA, at a bike event.  1914 was the first year for motorcycle plates, they were white on black porcelain, and the first character in the 1914 and '15 plates was the letter O, although you can't distinguish it from a zero by looking at the plate.  The plates were 4½" high but came in 4 different lengths depending on the number of digits after the O which could be 1 to 5.


Harry Campbell has provided this very nice 1919 Motorcycle plate picture.  According to state records there were some 25 thousand of these plates issued.  The series started at 1 and ran up thru 5 numbers.  All the plates were 4½" tall, with the length being 6" for 1 to 3-digit plates, and 8" for 4 & 5 digit plates.  The plates were red on black, although this plate may be a repaint.


This very nice 1920 Motorcycle repaint was also provided by Harry Campbell.  The original colors were white on dark blue, although the blue on this plate is such that it almost appears black in the photo.  These were almost 24 thousand plates issued beginning with plate 1.  Plate length again depended on the number of digits, with 1 to 3 using 6 inch plates and 4 and 5 digits using 8 inch.



Posting 4/24/2016

This is the first image of the newly redesigned Millersville University of Pennsylvania, now on the visitPA base with a new logo and addition of the words 'of Pennsylvania' added to the legend.  Millersville's plate program dates back to 1994 making this the third generation of plates.  Thank you to Tom Perri for photographing and sharing this image.  Tom runs the www.paplates.com/ website which tracks all of PA's plate highs.


Spotted this high number Rutgers University plate recently.  Rutgers is a relative newcomer to PA's litany of plates only dating back to 2011.




This Bronze Star is also a new high. This plate type has been on the road since 2012.  PA also offers a Bronze State for Valor plate.




This U.S. Coast Guard Veteran also represents a new high.  This plate type dates back to 2009.




John Clark sent this first generation University of Scranton plate picture.  These plate came out in 1995 with this plate being the 336th out of 651 issued; the first plate was actually U/S10000.  Since that time plates were issued on the www base, and then around 2006 they migrated over to the visitPA base.  Click the link above to see all the variations.


For some (maybe all) of the first generation military reserve plates, there were two versions of the sample plates.  Some had three zeros and some had four.  The 3-digit U.S. Air Force Reserve plate is a new image.



These first generation Veterans of Foreign Wars plates have been added to the display section for current plates.  It appears that some 2500 of the yellow on blue plates were issued since their inception in 1984 until they were replaced in 2001 on the www base.  To see more plates click the link above.


This very nice pair of 1933 Dealer plates was provided by Bob Connison.  Bob has provided quite a few more Dealer plates, many of which will help to fill gaps.  The series shown here likely ran from X1 to X9999, then there were also additional combinations of 0X, 0X0, 0X00 and 0X000.

Check back over the next few weeks to see additional Dealer plates from Bob.  Some of the plates are shown as a stacked pair, others are shown as individual images, depending on how they were posed when photographed.




1934 Dealer plates saw some big changes.  Gone was the 'X' designator for Dealer, and in it place is the return of the word Dealer.  The word Dealer was last seen in 1923; however, the 'X' has been a part of Dealer plates every year since 1911.  Serial sequence could be all numeric or alpha-numeric but X was not used. 1, 2, 3 and 4 character all numeric were issued, then a single alpha character followed by 1, 2 or 3 numeric characters were used.  All plates are believed to be 6" x 10".  This pair was provided by Bob Connison.


This pair of Commercial Motorcycle plate images was provided by Harry Campbell.  Harry, with help from Todd Mickinak has proved quite a few images of older Motorcycle plates which will be posted over the next several weeks.  The '38 plate had been posted in the past, but this is a nicer image.  Commercial Motorcycle plates were issued for 12 years from 1938 until 1949, except 1943 when metal tabs were issued.  It appears that plate formatting was the same from year to year with the exception of the color rotation which was the same as passenger plates, and the 2-digit year, which was embossed as part of the COMM over MC over PA.  The expiration date was added in 1941 as seen above.  All plates measured 4½" by 8".  In 1950 the Commercial Motorcycle registration fee was reduced from $5 to $4 eliminating the need for this plate type.  Plate serial numbers ranged from 1 to under 1000.



Posting 4/17/2016

LEGISLATION — The State Senate Approves Special License Plate for Active Duty Military.  Senate Bill 1155 would establish a special license plate for members of the United States Armed Forces including members of the reserves, and Pennsylvania National Guard.  The bill now goes to the State House for their consideration.

 • In other legislative matters, House Bill 1154 which, if passed, would repeal the elimination of Registration Stickers.  The bill was passed in the State House and is now in the State Senate.


This is the first image of a Combat Action Badge with the serial number format.  The image was provided by Kyle Kuser.  Two other images of this plate type have been posted, both in a personalized / vanity format.  This plate type has been available since November of 2014.



It appears that the Eagles Youth Partnership plate may no longer be available.  I received an inquiry from a Jeff H. who noticed that there is no mention of the plate on their website, and the email link for the plate program is no longer functional.  These plates have been around since late 2010 with some 780 plates issued at a cost of $75 per plate.  The plate shown here is courtesy of Tom Perri.


Bruce Bufalini snapped this first image of a Steel Worker plate on the visitPA base.  This was a street shot and the plate is wearing an awful frame.  Note the use of the colored logo.  This series appears to have started at S/W05500 as plate S/W05498 was still on the www base.  Nice find.



The Bronze Star plate picture on the far left was snapped back late 2014, however, the plate is still the reported high.  That image is from Ryan Battin.  The plate on the near left is a recent photo of a Bronze Star vanity.  Brendan Sherry suggests that it stands for the 219th Mechanized Infantry Division.


This is likely the second Collectible Vehicle plate issued from the general issue group which began at CV0100.  If you recall from last week's post, there was a reserve issue of the plates under 0100, and that those who were instrumental in getting the law in place for this plate were eligible to receive numbers below 0100.  A plate check shows about 8 of those plates in use, and the numbers are spread out.  Thanks to Arthur Levine for the image. 



First let me say that the colors have not changed, this Disabled Veteran image is a little overexposed.  It is also the current high.  You may have noticed that the standard Disabled Veteran plates are still on the fully embossed base, while Disabled Veteran vanities are partially flat screened with the DV- prefix being screened.  The screened base also has the state on the top and Disabled veteran on the bottom, both flat screened.  Click the link above to see more examples.


CORRECTION — Last week I posted these two Official Use Only images but had the information backwards.  The far left plate is a '65 - '70 issue while the near left plate is a '71 to '76 issue.  Thanks to Chuck Harrington for the correction.



These first generation U.S. Navy Reserve plates have been added to the display section for current plates.  It appears that almost 750 of the yellow on blue plates were issued since their inception in 1987 until they were replaced in 2000.  Since that time less than 200 have been issued on the www base.  As I have stated in the past, with so many newer, more attractive veteran plates with color graphics, these Navy Reserve plates have lost their appeal.  To see more plates click the link above.


These Trailer plates are from around 1984, with this series being issued until the XA series came out around 1993.  The Trailer plate on the far left is a rare find, and was provided thanks to Clayton Moore.  This plate was formatted with PENNSYLVANIA on top and TRAILER on the bottom, while most of the run up to TZ-99999 had TRAILER on the top and PENNSYLVANIA on the bottom.  It is unknown how long the run was, but by TL-16365 or below the change was made.  The source of the near left plate is unknown.  If anyone has any plates or images that would narrow down the changeover point, it would be appreciated.


Bob Connison, who has been so helpful with dealer plates in the past, has been kind enough to dig out a large group of older dealer plates starting with this pair of 1932 Dealer plates.  Unfortunately at the time PA plates lacked an identifying legend, and with varying numbers of digits and location of the 'X', one may ponder the authenticity of any X-rated plate.  The consensus among a number of plate enthusiasts is that this is a Dealer plate.

Check back over the next few weeks for great pictures from Bob.




Posting 4/10/2016

Chad Gage provided this very nice image of a Format 2 Classic Motorcycle plate.  Format 2 is believed to start at C/L0200, and so far this is the lowest number with photo-documentation.  Numbers below C/L0200 are considered Format 1 and use a different PENNA font; however, only 1 such plates has been photographed, that being C/L0103.  Additional photos of plates from C/L0000 to C/L0200 are needed.


Jeff Lawson pointed out a recent eBay auction in which the seller explained some of the history of Collectible Vehicle plates.  The seller explained that there was a reserve issue of the first 100 plates, and that those who were instrumental in getting the law in place were eligible to receive them.  A plate check shows about 8 of those plates in use, and the numbers are spread out.  Of the plates shown here, the plate on the far left is likely a sample while the CV0097 was provided by Michael Wiener, the provenance of that plate is uncertain.  These plates are also expected to switch to the visitPA family of plates base.  That should help to kill sales.


Arthur Levine spotted this St. Charles Borromeo Seminary plate recently.  It's the first image of this plate type and is one of only nine such plates.  The plates have been on the street for less than a year.



This personalized NRA Foundation plate was spotted recently by Brendan Sherry.  Most of these organizational plates, where vanities are permitted, allow up to 5 characters, but in this case with the 3-character suffix, only 4 additional characters are permitted.



Jeff Lawson provided this screen shot of a Bucknell University vanity plate.  The Bucknell plate program dates back to 1998.




This Pennsylvania SPCA plate picture was provided by Jeff Lawson.  This plate program has been around since 2008 and currently the reported high is 10086P/H.



This Person with Disability vanity suggests the user suffers from low oxygen.  The picture was provided by Jeff Lawson.




Bruce Bufalini spotted this vanity version of a Disabled Veteran plate.  These plates use a combination flat screened portion, DV-, and the embossed side, 14QM.  Bruce adds that "The 14th Quartermaster Detachment . . . in Greensburg lost 13 soldiers in a missile attack in the 1991 Gulf War, 25 years ago last month."  It's also noteworthy that while the legend and prefix are flat screened, the plate has not joined the visitPA family of plates look.  This is because the law that authorized this plate also specified the coloring of the plate.


Also provided by Jeff Lawson is this Vietnam War Veteran vanity plate.  The LLRP likely stands for Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol.




Here are two Official Use Only plates with similar formatting except for the reversal of the colors.  There are also variations of these plates without the state in the top border and there are other variation without any plate legend but with the state seal both with and without the raised loaf surrounding the seal.  According to Chuck Harrington, the plate on the far left was issued from the '65 to '70 era, the the near left plate from 71' to '76.  The plate on the far left was provided by Chuck Harrington.  Click the link above to see other variations.

See correction under 4/17 posting.



Posting 4/3/2016

This pair of Municipal plates with an alpha character in the final position shows a low-number earlier plate with an A suffix, and a much later plates from the current-issue J series.  The early plate picture was provided by Jordan Irazabal. The color difference is due to cameras, lighting, etc.  There were no plates issued with an 'I' suffix.  Prior to the alpha suffix, a 5-digit serial was used followed by -MG in the suffix position.  Click the link above to see more variations.


Arthur Levine spotted this low number PA Chiropractic Association plate, but could not identify the plate from a distance.  Not surprising since the dealer's plate frame completely obscures the name of the organization.  These plates have been around since mid-2006.  The current high is 00056D/C.


This number 50 NRA Foundation plate was spotted on the road by Steve Ondik.  The high on this plate type is in the upper 7-hundreds.  This 4-digit and 3-letter suffix combination was the supposedly the result of a favor; however, the formatting is not too unlike NASCAR plates.  See below.



I spotted this the other day, then saw that I had photographed the same plate back in 2007 with a dealer frame around it.  Anyway this is a NASCAR 18 Bobby Labonte plate.  These were issued only for the 2004 and 2005 racing seasons, but remain renewable.  This would have been the 4th plate issued out of 86.


Tom Perri, owner of the PA Plates (http://www.paplates.com/) highs website got this first image of the first plate of Bucks County Community College.  These plates are a fairly recent arrival, and there are currently about 7 plates in use.



Last week I posted the # 2 plate, this week the # 13 Northampton Fire Department plate.  This is also the current high.




Brendan Sherry spotted this Slippery Rock University plate back in July of 2014.  This plate is still considered the current high.  Slippery Rock began their plate program back in 2004, so there were no yellow on blue predecessors, and so far no indication of a move to the visitPA family of plates.


I should have added this U.S. Coast Guard Reserve plate image with a 2-04 sticker to last week's Coast Guard Reserve update.   It's likely I snapped this picture back in 2003.  As stated last week, there are unexplainable gaps in plate numbering.  Also, there are 4 plate images between this website and Tom Perri's.  All range from 1104 to 1127.  In looking further at the numbers there are only 7 plates between 1000 and 1099, and 20 plates between 1100 and 1137, for a total of 27 plates. 


John Fedorchak sent images of this 1975 Dealer plate with a natural PA0000 sticker.





I had more material to post but ran out of time.



Posting 3/27/2016

Here's a new Cedar Crest College high, but not by much.  The previous high was 10026C/C according to Tom Perri's PA Plates (http://www.paplates.com/) website, not be be confused with this site, https://papl8s.com/.  Tom and I are friends, we share a common interest and collaborate on plate matters.


Spotted this Northampton Fire Department # 2 plate.  This organization has about 13 plates on the street.  Their plate program went live almost a year ago.



These 2-digit Trout Unlimited plates are not recent photos, but they are decent photos pulled out of my archives.  These plates have been on the street since 2002, therefore there was no yellow on blue forerunner.  The current reported high is T/U40659.



Continuing along with the effort to merge the older organizational plates in with the newer plates, these two first generation U.S. Army Reserve images have been added into the mix with the current plates.  One additional current images has also been added, these are formatted like the other military reserve plates with no logo and only 4 digits.


Next is the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve plate.  Unfortunately I do not have any images of the first generation of these plates.  It is also not known how many of the yellow on blue plates were issued, and since these quasi-military types were not reissued on a number for number basis, determining the number issued is not easy.  That being said, in 2005, there were only 33 of these plates in use.  As of today, the high number is C/G1137; however, these are many large gaps in the numbers especially between C/G1001 and C/G1050.

There was also a provision back in 2000 when this series was replaced, that those with C/G0001 through C/G0010 had the option to keep the same number on the new plates, while all others got new plates starting at CG1000; however it appears that there were no plates in that series to be replaced.  Strange.


This 1990s edition of an Emergency Medical Services plate is still on the road and wearing a current validation sticker.  The image was provided by Sarge.  There were some 33-hundred EMS plates issued on this base between 1985 and 2001.



This is one of the latest series of Permanent Trailer plates.  After the series hit PT-9999Z, it then shifted the letter from the final position, and moved the letter one position to the left as PT-000A0, and as shown here.  The current high is now in the B series.



This Classic Motorcycle plate is being auctioned on eBay.  The owner gave the OK to use the image and asked that it be credited to his father, Gary Gage, the owner of the bike prior to his passing.  I like a plate with a story behind it.  Anyway, this is also the lowest number Format 2 image I have.  Format 2 plates are believed to start at C/L0200.  Format 1 plates used a different PENNA font.  Click the link above to see all of the formats.


This pair of 1929 Dealer plates is the final installment of older Dealer plates from Bob Connison, spanning 1920 to 1929, and included a nice X+3-digit 1912 Dealer.  Bob's contribution has filled a number of gaps in the early years.  Thanks Bob!

It appears that the '29 Dealer plates were formatted much the same as the 28s, except for the reversal of the colors.  There are still many gaps in the dealer series, if anyone is able to help.




This Official plate falls into the 1957 to '65 run.  These plates were undated yellow on blue. Plate legend was Official Use Only.  Pennsylvania is embossed in top border. There were three type variations. The early issue was on steel with early wide dies. Next the plate changed to '57 dies but continued on steel.  Finally plates at least in the 7- & 8-thousand series were on aluminum and use '57 dies.  Click the link above to see all the variations.  It appears likely that the plate series started at 1000.  I remember these plates as a boy and recall that the colors were a slightly different shade that passenger plates, however, with time and weathering, that distinguishing feature is less pronounced.  This plate image was provided by Sarge.



Posting 3/20/2016

If you are interested in the latest highs, here they are — new highs for the three most issued PA plates, Passenger, Truck and Trailer.  (Not sure where P/D plates fits in.)  Thanks for Ryan Battin for the photos.  If you want to see the full spectrum of PA highs, check out Tom Perri's PA Plates website.


In God We Trust, Ryan Battin photographed this new high.  I wondered why I had not seen any images of plates below G/T00143. Checking the numbers showed a strange pattern.  There were only 12 plates issued below G/T00135.  Almost all the number above that point appear to be in use up thru the new high shown here.  So what's the deal?  It appears that this is another example of a plate type with both a reserve issue and a general issue.  Efforts to get answers to questions like this in the past have consistently been met with stonewalling.


This U.S. Naval Academy image was provided by Steve Ondik.  These plates date back to 2004, with a current reported high of N/A00794 on Tom Perri's PA Plates website.



This Children's Hospital of Philadelphia image was snapped by Steve Ondik recently.  These plates have been around since 2012 or 13, with a reported high of 432 plates.



This Philadelphia Folksong Society plate was spotted by Colin M.  These plates have been around since 2007 with a reported high of 28.




Here's a U.S. Navy Veteran plate in a personalized format.  The CVA-59 was the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal.  The ship has quite a history.  The plate picture was snapped by Steve Ondik.



In the ongoing project to bring the first generation yellow on blue plates together with the www plates, the U.S. Armed Forces Retired plate on the far left has been added to the newer plates.  The lower and upper tiers of the www plates have also been separated with the addition of two www plates above.  The D/D00945 is courtesy of Tom Perri.  This plate type was discontinued in 2006, but is still eligible for renewal.  I'm guessing that with the release of the Veteran plate in 2005, the demand for this plate dwindled.  Click the link above to read more on the discontinuation of this plate.   


PA's We The People plate is the only remaining legal yellow on blue plate. The plate commemorates the 200th anniversary of U.S. Constitution, and was issued as an optional type.  It was only issued during a 3½ month period in 1987 ending on December 31 of that year, with some 4,635 being issued.  These plates shown here were added to the plate gallery which now shows 1, 2, 3, and 4-digit examples.  The U/S03707 is from Steve Ondik.


Chuck Harrington snapped this image of a low number Official Use plate.  This series started at 10000-PA.  This is part of the passenger vehicle series of Official Use and the plate would be issued in pairs, unlike the commercial series which are issued as singles.  Note also that this vehicle has a CNG marker indicating that it runs on compressed natural gas.



This 1928 Dealer plate is dark blue on yellow, made of steel.  The legend is PENNA 1928 flanked by keystones.  According to one source the series started at X10-000.  If that is correct all plates would have been 6" x 15".  If the series started at X1, plates with fewer than 5 digits would have been narrower.  While this is a Dealer plate confirmed by the X prefix, none of the plates from 1924 thru 1933 used an identifying legend.  Thanks to Bob Connison for this and a number of other older Dealer images.



Posting 3/13/2016

Pennsylvania has adopted a new slogan —“Pennsylvania: Pursue Your Happiness.”  Could that mean a new license plate is in our future?  It's interesting that the original license plate web address, www.state.pa.us, which is still in use on many license plates, isn't even a valid website!  So maybe it is time for something new.  Of course happiness to many Pennsylvanians would be having a state budget.


Lots of new plates either on the street or about to be.  First the Cumberland Valley Corvette Club, prototype on far left, with 23 active plates.  Center left is the Kuhl Hose Company with 11 plates, and finally is the Newtown Fire Association with 16 plate.


Jeff Lawson recently spotted this Dealer Vanity plate.  While I'm not a huge fan of vanities, I do find it interesting to see the variety of personalized plates that are being spotted.  Some vanities are required to retain certain prefix or suffix components, while others can use up to 7 characters without a prefix or suffix.  A personalized Motorcycle Dealer plate would retain the MCD as a prefix and the plate would then be limited to a maximum of 4 additional characters.


This new high B.P. Order of Elks plate picture was provided by Jeff Lawson.  This plate type has been on the road since 2005.




I was in need of an upper-tier LaSalle University plate and spotted this somewhat aged specimen.  The upper-tier plates were those issued after the re-plating process in July of 2001.  This series started at L/U02000.  As you may recall LaSalle has also moved their plate program forward with the visitPA base.  This is believed to have taken place in 2012.


These two first generation Syria AAONMS plates images have been added in with the current plate display page.  In addition, the two-tiered numbering has been refined to try to improve the data.  This organizational plate type dates back to 1986.  So far there is no indication of a move to the visitPA base.  Ever wonder what the AAONMS stands for?  Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.


Like the plates above, these first issue Telephone Pioneers of America have been added to the current plate section.  The 410 plate was provided by Clayton Moore, while the 712 image came from Selanda Leetphreak.  This plate type dates back to 1989, and also does not show any signs of moving to a visitPA format.


There are couple of unique features of the various military reserve plates including this U.S. Air Force Reserve plate.  They have no logo and they also use a 4-digit number series in place of the typical 5 numbers.  These plates date back well into the 1980s, and are considered organizational plates rather than veteran plates.  I'm betting that with all the newer veteran plate types that these plates will never see the visitPA base and may even have a limited life expectancy.  The A/F0007 plate is courtesy of Ned Flynn.


Since this pair of 1926 Dealer plates were photographed together, I left them this way for display.  Thanks to Bob Connison for the image.  These plates were dark blue on yellow, and always with the X prefix.  Sizes depended on the number of characters — 6" x 10 for X+1 or 2 digits; 6" x 12" for X+3; 6" x 13" for X+4; and 6" x 15" for X+5 digits.  The plates shown here are 6" by 15".





Next comes this pair of 1927 Dealer plates.  This pair is also courtesy of Bob Connison.  The legend on the '27 plates is now on top as compared to the '26 plates which was on the bottom.  The sizes are also slightly different as the 6" by 12" plate was not used.  Again the sizes varied according to the number digits as follows: 6" x 10 for X+1, 2, or 3; 6" x 13" for X+4 and 6" x 15" for X+5 digits.






Posting 3/6/2016

This Kuhl Hose Company organizational plate was first added to the list of fire company plates back in September of 2015; however, this is the first prototype image available.  So far this organization has no plates on the street.  They are located in Erie County.



You're not likely to see many Repair Towing vanity plates out there.  This was spotted in Philadelphia by Jim McDevitt.  The vehicle code now permits the personalization of many plate types, while in the past vanities were limited to Passenger plates.  Also, some of the newer vanities use screened prefixes and plate legend, while this plate still has all of those features embossed.


The Ancient Order of Hibernians plate image on the far left was provided by Jeff Lawson.  The plate on the near left is the reported high.  These plates have been on the road since 2008.



I needed a Penn State Alumni Association plate in the upper tier between P/S21800 and P/S24899.  Spotted this recently and it will have to do until a better plate is spotted — preferably minus the frame and shadow.



In other plate news, Bruce Bufalini reports spotting a new high Steel Worker plate of S/W05518 now on the visitPA base.  He was unable to photograph the plate.  The image shown here is a www sample just for reference.  Bruce suggests, and I concur, that the change took plate at S/W05500.  The plate now has a screened plate legend and colored logo.  The Steel Worker plate looks like an organizational plate, but is actually a special class of plates restricted to those persons or family members currently or formerly engaged in steel industry.  The plate is also available in a vanity version. 

And while updating the Steel Worker section, the yellow on blue first generation of plates were added, as well as defining the now-familiar two-tiered system on the www base.  The 307 plate on the far left was provided by John Fedorchak, the sample was from Jordan Irazabal and the 5498 was courtesy of Ryan Battin.


The next section to be updated is the Rotary International.  A first generation yellow on blue plate photo is needed.  Does anyone have such a plate or photo of one?  Also, this additional www base image has been added.  This plate type has also had a lower and upper tier of numbers, but so far has not shown any indication of a shift to the visitPA base.


The final section of organizational plates to be updated this week is the Square & Round Dancers type.  This plate type dates back to 1991 and is shown here with a first generation plate and a sample.  Like most plates with a pre-www base history, there were two groups of plates issued on the www base.  I still need an image of an upper tier plate at or above S/D01500.


As this website has progressed, one of the goals has been to monitor and document the evolution of various plate types.  To do this, it is necessary to establish transition points where there is a formatting shift.  The Classic Car image on the far left helps establish a new transition point when the plate legend reversed positions.  It now appears likely that the change took place at 50800.  Jeff Lawson has been instrumental in getting both of these images, and updating the 50858 plate with a much better image.  Updated 3/7.


These 1923 Dealer plates show the difference in formatting between an X+4 character and an X+5 character plate.  They are yellow on dark blue, steel, legend PENNA, then DEALER, then 1923 on bottom, series ran from X1 to X999, then X1-000 to at least X13-875.  All plates are believed to be 6" x 16", and were issued in pairs.  The plate image on the far left is from Bob Connison and is new, the other is from Clayton Moore as has been on this site for a while.


This nice pair of 1924 Dealer plates are the first images of this type and year for this website, and were provided by Bob Connison.  They are dark blue on yellow, steel, legend on bottom, PENNA 1924 flanked by keystones, series likely ran from X1 to X9999, then X10-000.  Sizes are believed to be 6" x 10 for X+1, 2, or 3; 6" x 12" for X+4 and 6" x 15" for X+5 digits.  Issued in pairs.


Next is this 1925 Dealer plate also provided by Bob Connison.  They are yellow on dark blue, steel, legend — 1925 PENNA flanked by keystones toward the lower left and right corners, series likely ran from X1 to X9999, then X10-000 to at least X17-535. Sizes are believed to be 6" x 10" for X+1, 2, or 3 digits; 6" x 12" for X+4 and 6" x 15" for X+5 digits.  Issued in pairs.  Next week more of Bob Connison's dealer plates.



Posting 2/28/2016

Plates 1 and 6 say Rosedale Technical Institute, while plate 4 says Rosedale Technical College.  So which is it?  Apparently it's goodbye Rosedale Technical Institute, and hello Rosedale Technical College. They changed their name and logo, but kept the R/I and number series.  It is not known if some or all of the plates got changed.  To clarify, the 1 and 6 plate images were taken in mid-2013, while the 4 plate was taken recently.  The earlier plates came from Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal, while the new design was provided by Bruce Sakson.  There are some 19 plates in use.


This is the first image of a Fraternal Order of Police-Survivor plate.  This plate was spotted by Bruce BufaliniBruce wrote "The 'in memory of' on the window [of the vehicle] is for an officer from . . . Westmoreland County who was shot and killed in the line of duty back in October 2011."  Today there are 40 of these plates on the road, and each with a sad story.  Thank you for sharing this Bruce.  Below is a link an article about the officer who was killed.



This new high Flyers Wives Charities plate was provided by Brittany.  These plates have been on the street for about 10 years.  PA doesn't permit plates for professional sports teams; however, the charitable organizations associated with the teams are permitted to offer plates.



This nice number U.S. Navy Veteran picture from Steve Ondik.  This plate type was part of a group of five military veteran plates introduced in 2009.



These PA Association of Realtors plates have been added to the organizational plate page gallery.  Since this plate type dates back to 1995 on the yellow on blue base, they were reissued on a number for number basis in September of 2001 on the www base with the high being about R/E00644.  Plates that were issues after the completion of the re-plating process were issued starting at R/E01000.  Plates continue to be issued from that series with the current high of R/E01236 with no switch to the visitPA base.


These two Philadelphia Museum of Art plates have been added to that category.  The first plate was provided by Jeff Lawson, the origin of the 23 plate is uncertain.  These plate have been around since 2006 and some 126 plates have been issued.  



As we continuing to merge the older organizational plates with the newer plates, and to further refine and expand the coverage of those plates that had a 2-tiered numbering system on the www base, the Prince Hall F&AM Masonic Lodge plates above have been added to the plate gallery.  Still needed is a first generation yellow on blue plate.  Also, it is unknown if the newest format on the visitPA base is in use yet, prototype image above. 


PA's Rails to Trails Conservancy plate has made the made the full transition from the original yellow on blue base dating back to 1997, then moving to the two-tiered system on the www base and finally to the visitPA base again with a two-tiered system.  Click the link above to see more detail.  The yellow on blue plate is from Eric Conner.


The RE-00785 Repossessor plate on the near left is a recent acquisition of Clayton Moore.  The other plates are shown for comparison.  Note that in the span of less than 800 plates there were three formats used, and in 1999 there were only 421 Repossessor tags in use.  The 61 plate uses a screened top legend, then the 523 plate uses the "You've got a friend" font for the state, and finally the full use of block letters.  Great find Clayton!


Bob Connison has been kind enough to supply quite a few older Dealer plates that will be displayed over the next few weeks.  Starting this week with this nice 1912 X+3 digit plate and this 1920 Dealer.  In both cases I have other Dealer plates from the same year but these show different formatting variations.  Check back next week for more early dealer plates.



Posting 2/21/2016

Finally a prototype image of a Rose Tree Fire Company No. 1 plate.  This plate type was first listed in December of 2015, but without an image.  They are located in Media, PA.  So far there are no plates on the street.



Here's an interesting number on this Flyers Wives Charities plate from Jeff Lawson.  Keep in mind this series started at F/L00001 and the current high is F/L01583 according to Tom Perri's highs (www.paplates.com/) website.  I'm going to suggest that this is a vanity or personalized plate.  It does not appear to be part of a run of out of sequence plates.


Here are two new recent highs.  The plate on the far left is a Vietnam War Veteran, and the first one photographed above 10000.  This current plate design was first seen in November 2014.  The picture is courtesy of Jordan Irazabal.  The Virginia Tech plate on the near left is also a new high.


In organizational plate news, the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance Inc. has been added to the list of organizational plates.  Neither the plate formatting nor a prototype image is available yet.


With the continuing effort to integrate the older organizational plates with the newer plates, and to further refine and expand the coverage of those plates that had a 2-tiered numbering system on the www base, the Marine Corps League plates above have been added to the plate gallery. 


The next plate series where the original series is now combined with the newer plates is National Greyhound Adoption Program.  The G/H00566 was provided by Tom Perri.  These plates date back to 1997.



These first generation Notary Public plates were added to the current section.  An interesting tidbit about these plates is that when they were replaced on the www base, there was not a general reissues of plates on a number for number basis.  Instead owners of plates from N/P0001 through N/P0010 had the option of getting their old number reissued on the www base, all others received new numbers starting at N/P03000.  Click the link above to read more detail on the replacements.  Unfortunately only two of those low number plates remain in use and it is unlikely that either will ever be photographed.


Rodney Lecrone was was kind enough to let me use this 1954 Governor plate that was recently for sale on eBay.  The fact that this plate shows no wear may suggest that there was more than one of these plates made.  The Governor at the time was John S. Fine.  This style of Governors' plate, with the raised loaf and coat of arms, was used off and on at least as far back as 1930 and as late as 1964.  Personally I like plates that include the word Governor on them.


This is the first image of a first generation U.S. Marine Reserve plate.  The plate picture was provided by Sarge, and he has a great story to go with this low number plate.  Back in the 80's he was in the Marine Corps Reserve stationed at NAS Willow Grove. He assisted his admin officer with preparing the paperwork necessary to request the DMV issue specialty plates for the reserves.  They were the first to be notified of the DMV's approval and the first to apply for the plates. The admin officer received number one and Sarge, number two.  Years later he lost the plate when his truck was scrapped and he never expected to see it again, but sure enough he ended up finding it at the Chesapeake show.


This very nice image of a low number 1943 Motor Boat License has been added to the Motor Boat plates.  The image was provided by simone54.




Posting 2/14/2016

PA's RAREST PLATE — These two Medal of Honor plates are the same plate taken at different angles, with the white areas being reflected light from a glass display case.  The images were provided by John Clark.  The plate had been issued to Army Sergeant Gino J. Merli who received the Medal of Honor for his service during World War II.  He passed away in 2002.  Look up Gino Merli and read his heroic account.  To my knowledge no other Pennsylvania MOH plates have been photo-documented.


PA VALIDATION STICKER NEWS Effective 12/31/16, PennDOT will no longer issue Vehicle Registration stickers.  This seems to be the case unless one of the legislative bills that are stuck in committee (HB1154 & SB926) can get some traction.  If you have any interest in PA registration stickers read this: As of the end of 2016 there will be no more stickers which PennDOT claims will save the state $3.1 million the first year.  According to the news release, police vehicles equipped with license plate readers will be the solution.  Click here to read the news release issued 2/10/2016.


This Saint Joseph's University plate is a new high.  This plate type dates back to 1985, and moved to the visitPA family of plates format around October of 2013.



This Person with Disability vanity plate has been added to the photo gallery for miscellaneous plates.  Vanities are showing up on more and more plate types.  The image is from Jaska Börner.  Jaska is a plate enthusiast who invited me to link to his photo page.  So here's the link: http://jaska.me/lp/pa.php.  It also has been added to my page with historic and reference documents and other links.  


Here's a couple Emergency Vehicle images.  The far left EMS unit is a low-number example of upper series, from Steve Ondik.  The other plate on the near left is a new high of that same series.  These are part of the high series which started at EV-50000 and available to volunteer agencies or those that are exempt from payment for registrations.  There is a lower number series beginning at EV-30000 for the non-exempt agencies.  The high image was provided by Jeff Lawson.


This Severely Disabled Veteran plate image was supplied by Ron Lunn, and shows a vanity or personalized version of that plate type.  The D/V is required, then up to 5 characters are permitted.



Bruce Bufalini snapped this image of a personalized Penn State Alumni Association plate.  The picture, taken under less than ideal conditions, shows the first example of a Penn State vanity.  These should be fairly popular considering the number of PSU fans.


On the ALPCA Pennsylvania License Plates Facebook page, Clayton Moore points out a new high '77 base blue on yellow Farm Truck of FM-47281.  The '84 yellow on blue base has a low number photo at FM-48560.  Based on this, it appears likely that the changeover took place at FM-48000.


These first and second generation Purple Heart / Combat Wounded Veteran plate pictures on the far left and center left were provided by Clayton Moore.  The latest version is also being shown for comparison and was provided by Ryan Battin.  These plates first came out in 1986, thus the yellow on blue base.  When the second generation was released is unknown although I have seen plates with mid-1990s stickers.  The current graphic edition dates back to late 2004, with the P/H09763 being the current high.


Here is a first generation Salvage Yard plate on the far left from Clayton Moore, and a second generation plate on the near left from Lee Madigan.  The main differences between them are the screened Salvage Yard replaced by an embossed version, and the use of two different Pennsylvania fonts.  These two plate both help to narrow down the changeover point which is between WL-01499 and WL-02600.  It is still unknown if there was a yellow on blue base after Version 2 which used the standard font for the state name.  If so, it would likely have been above WL-10000 such as Version 3 of Rep / Ser Towing.


Recently acquired this 1992 PA Apple Festival special event plate.  I'm assuming this is a sample plate, but Paul Bagnarol has a sample with a single 0.  Anyway, I enjoy the special event plates and now have a total of 5 Apple Festival plates from 1991 thru 1994.  Too bad with today's technology, that cheap looking black on white cardboard is the new standard in special event plates.



Posting 2/7/2016

This Combat Action Badge vanity on the far left was spotted by Arthur Levine.  My effort to crop, rotate, and skew the image would not win any prizes.  It's interesting that so far I have pictures of two personalized plates, but none with a serial number.




The project to include first generation organizational plates with current plates  continues beginning with these American Legion plates.  The A/L00925 is from Brand Sowers.  In addition, the current A/L00059 has been added as a 2-digit plate.


This nice first generation plate has been added to the history section and added to the current Barbershopper section as well.  Thanks to Clayton Moore for the nice image.  Barbershopper, like the American Legion above, has so far not gone to graphic plates on the visitPA base.



This is not a recent photo, just an additional Big Brothers Big Sisters plate. These plates have been around since 2005 with a current high of B/G00066 according to Tom Perri's PA Plates website.



These Masonic Blue Lodge blue plate specials have been added to the current photo gallery.  The low-numbered plate is thanks to Clayton Moore, whale the higher plate photo is from Brandon Sowers.  This plate series is now on the visitPA graphic base after going thru a short run of hybrid plates that had www features on the visitPA base.


For the Ducks Unlimited series, George Kunsman provided the image of the original yellow on blue version.  Since that time there has been a lower and an upper tier of www plates which appear to end at D/U01844.  Then another series begins at D/U01900.  It is believed, but not yet confirmed, that the D/U01900 series is likely the start of the visitPA run as depicted on the prototype above.


The Harley Owners Group plate series was first issued on the www base in 2004, then the plate was redesigned on the visitPA base with color graphics in 2006.  Some choose to keep their original plate, while other got the updated version with the same number.  Following that replacement process, newly issued plates started at H/D01000.  Tom Perri reports the current high as H/D01864.


The first generation Knights of Columbus organizational plate came out in 1987 as shown here.  In 2001 they were replaced by the www base.  Unlike many of the special org. plates on the www base that ended up with a two-tiered numbering system, I was unable to establish a break point in the numbering system.  This is not to suggest that there was none, just that I couldn't identify it.  Eventually the organization switched to the visitPA format, and then this brought about a two-tiered system within that group.  Thanks to Clayton Moore for the early photo shown here.


The original series Lion Member plate image from Dani DeGuzman has been added to the current display.  In addition the current series has been split into a lower and upper tier as described in plates above.



Clayton Moore also provided this first generation National Guard plate image.  While adding this image to the Organizational Plate History section, it has also been added to the current National Guard plates.




Posting 1/31/2016

This Christian Homeschool Association of PA is hot off the plate press and is a new high.  It appears that the sale of these plates is not limited to those affiliated with this group.  The price of the plate is $50, or it can be personalized for an additional $100.  Thanks to Clayton Moore for sharing this image.


This low number N00 Victory Junction NASCAR plate picture was sent by Jaska Börner.  This series started at N/0/00101 making this the 10th plate issued out of a total of 219.  The NASCAR plate program was ended as of 5/1/2010, however, plates are still eligible for renewal.  The Victory Junction Gang Camp was a place for kids with special health care needs and was the sponsoring agency behind PA's NASCAR program.


Thanks to Jaska Börner for reminding me that I needed a Penn Wynn Overbrook Hills Fire Company prototype image.  I discovered that I had the image, just needed to post it.  It's not a new plate type — came out in 2012.  Click the link to see some issued plates.



Here's a new high Philadelphia Union Foundation plate image from Jaska Börner.  These have been around since 2013.




This very sharp image of a first generation York College plate was provided by Clayton Moore.  The YC plate program dates back to 1995.




The process of expanding the coverage of organizational plates by combining the yellow on blue first generation of organizational plates with the later www and visitPA plates continues.  Coverage is also expanded for those organizational plates that had a two-tier system on the www base.  We begin this week with Emergency Medical Services starting with the E/M00574 plate from Brendan Sherry and the E/M01354.  The source of that plate is unknown.


This first group of Fire Fighter plates has been added to the current Fire Fighter plates.  Note the early Fire Fighter vanities that were available at the beginning of the 1983 plate program.  The vanity option was then withdrawn.  The FF14900 is courtesy of Clayton Moore while the vanities are courtesy of www.pl8s.com.


These additional current Fire Fighter images have been added to the mix.  The FF35639 plate image is courtesy of Tom Perri.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that there is reason to believe that this plate type had been discontinued in the FF38695 to FF38699 range.  Perhaps since there are so many fire companies with their own plates, or maybe the fact that there is no parent fire agency supporting this plate.


These Fraternal Order of Police images have been added to the Fire/ EMS & Police plate gallery.  This plate type dates back to 1987, and has transitioned their plates the color graphic layout on the visitPA base.  These images are courtesy of Clayton Moore, Bill Ceravola and Tom Perri respectively.


This first generation International Association of Fire Fighters plate photo has been added to the www and visitPA base plates.  I realize that I don't have a www base plate image in the range of P/F00000 to P/F002859.  This range represents those plates that were issued on the www base to replace the yellow on blue plates.  Thanks to Clayton Moore for the image shown here. 



Posting 1/24/2016

I have contempt for plate frames, at least those that cover the state and plate type.  I don't understand why the police and the vehicle inspection stations allow frames that totally obscure the state name.  Also, why purchase a plate from an organization you support, only to cover up the

name of the organization?


Then there's this Passenger vanity from Steve Ondik who wonders why people spend money for a vanity plate, put a frame around it and then put the stickers where they don't belong, thus covering up part of the plate they paid extra for.  Well said.



Added this image of a Lower Macungie Fire Department plate.  Lower Macungie Township is in Lehigh County.  This plate type has been around since 2012, and has a reported high number of 00022L/M. according to Tom Perri's  http://www.paplates.com/ highs website.



This Presque Isle Partnership image has also been added.  These plates are available to the public to raise funds for the preservation of the historic Presque Isle Lighthouse.  The cost is $49.50, and with over 1,000 plates issued, the plate program appears to have been beneficial.



The process continues this week to expand the coverage of organizational plates by combining the yellow on blue first generation of organizational plates with the www and visitPA plates.  Coverage is also expanding for those organizational plates that had a two-tier system on the www base.  We begin this week with Villanova University.  The most significant feature is relocation of the V/U prefix to the suffix position on the visitPA edition — a change not seen in other organizational plates.  The V/U01399 and V/U02479 are from Tom Perri.


Next is the W & J or Washington & Jefferson College series starting with this first generation plate image from Jordan Irazabal.  These plates came along starting in 1993 and are now on the visitPA base with a colorful logo.  What's missing and needed for the display is an upper tier www plate between W/J01200 and W/J01283.


West Catholic High School is one of a handful of high schools with organizational plates.  The West Catholic plate program began in 1997 and has so far not made the transition to the visitPA graphic format.  The early issue yellow on blue plate shown here is thanks to George Kunsman.


The uniqueness of the 4-digit plate has always had a certain appeal.  The West Point Alumni plate is one of only a handful of such plates in PA.  This plate has been added to the later West Point plates.  This group has also not yet moved their plate program into the color graphic format.


Next in order is Widener University.  The Widener program dates back to 1995 starting with yellow on blue plates.  The far left image shown here is from Arthur Levine.  The newer plate is an additional example of the plates reissued on the www base.  This group also has not transitioned their plate program into the color graphic format.


This is a Wilkes University Alumni sample plate.  Anyone have a first generation yellow on blue plate and can share a photo?  This plate program dates back to 1995.  Also needed is an image of a current issue second tier Wilkes plate with W/U21000 or above.



Finally this week this first generation York College plate image has been added to the display of newer plates.  The York College program dates back to 1995.  There are also 2 tiers of plates on the www base, but so far no indication that there will be a switch to visitPA base.  This photo was provided by Arthur Levine.



Posting 1/17/2016

They're here!  First photo of the K-series Passenger plates, thanks to Ryan Battin.





The Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics now has, or soon will have, about 14 license plates on the street.  This organization appears to be based in Pittsburgh.



This image was a traffic shot from Jaska Börner.  It's shows the first picture of an under-100 Support Your Zoo plate.  The general issue of these plates started at 00101P/Z.  Now it appears that there is also a handful of 'reserve' issue plates beginning at 00001P/Z.  This has been seen on a number of other plates where is appears that Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Veteran and Honoring Our Veterans held back low number plates for certain people.  And how about the 3-digit Conserve Wild Resources plates?  Don't try to get an explanation from PennDOT.


This is a traffic shot of a personalized Appalachian Trail Conservancy plate.  There may be moose along some of the northern sections of the Appalachian Trail, but not likely in PA.



This high number National Constitution Center plate was provided by Jeff Lawson.  These plates are very elusive with only a dozen on the road.




This PA State Nurses Association plate on the far left was also courtesy of Jaska Börner while the center left is from Jeff Lawson.  These plates have been around for about 10 years, and about a year ago the plate received a facelift as shown on the prototype image.  So far none of the new plates have been spotted.


The effort to expand the coverage of organizational plates continues by combining the first generation of organizational plates with plates that came later.  The yellow on blue plates are being added in with the www plates and visitPA plates.  I'm also expanding the coverage of those organizational plates that had a two-tier system on the www base.  Starting with St. Thomas Moore Alumni Association the yellow on blue plate and this second tier of the www plate have been added.  The G/B01056 plate is courtesy of Jordan Irazabal.


These two first generation St. Vincent Alumni Association plates have been added to the newer plates.  The far left plate is courtesy of Brandan Sowers, and the near left image was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  On later plates the word Alumni (error)  Assoc. is dropped from the legend.


Next we have these Susquehanna University plates that have been added to the mix.  The plate on the far left is part of the first group issued on the www base that were replacements for the yellow on blue plates.  The other plates were later issues after the replacement process was completed.  The center plate is from Tom Perri and the last plate is from Jordan Irazabal.  Still needed is a first generation yellow on blue plate.


We are fortunate to have added a few older Temple University Alumni plates.  In addition, one second tier www plate has been added.  Credit for the far left plate goes to George Kunsman and Jordan Irazabal provided the T/U01969 plate.


Next college plate is the University of Pittsburgh, although this plate started out with a Pitt Bicenntenial tag line on the yellow on blue base back in 1988.  That image is from George Kunsman.  The www plates represent the second tier, or those that were issued after the re-plating in February of 2002.  The U/P03928 is courtesy of Jeff Lawson.


The final college plate type this week is the University of Scranton.  This plate type dates back to 1996.  Still needed is a first generation yellow on blue plate, and also a second tier www plate in the U/S11000 to U/S11095 range.



The last posting for this week is this 1934 Tractor plate from Tim Gierschick.  Click the link to also see 2-digit and 3-digit '34 Tractor plates.  Tim has an amazing collection of tractor plates, but still needs a few, namely, 1923, 1927, 1929, 1932, 1933 and 1935.  If anyone can help, please let me know.



Posting 1/10/2016

First image of a 2021 Validation Sticker.  This one was issued for a 5-year trailer registration.  The color patterns on these stickers follow an 8-year cycle.




I am continuing the process of combining the first generation of organizational plates with plates that came later.  The yellow on blue plates are being added in with the www plates and visitPA plates.  I'm also expanding the coverage of those organizational plates that had a two-tier system on the www base  The first section to be completed this week was Notre Dame Alumni Association, which changed its name to University of Notre Dame.  The 00006N/D image is from Tom Perri.


Next category to be expanded was Ohio State Alumni with the addition of this first generation plate from Ryan Battin.  In separating the early (first tier) www plates from those that were issues after the re-plating in 2001, I need a picture between O/S00700 and O/S00764 which won't be easy to spot.


The largest single group of organizational plates is the Penn State Alumni Association with over 15,000 plates in use.  Even the first generation shown here went at least as high as P/S21344.  Even with the abundance of Penn State plates, an www base image is needed between P/S21800 and P/S24899, which were issued after the re-plating in May of 2001.  The first two plate images above were from Brendan Sherry, the other is unknown.


This first generation Shippensburg University Alumni has been added to the College page together with the current images.  This plate type also had a two-tiered system on the www base.  A plate image is needed on the www base between S/U01500 and S/U1689.



Both of these St. James Alumni plates are thanks to Tom Perri.  Like the above organizations the first generation and later second tier www plates were added to the mix.  The plate on the near left is from that sometimes hard to find elusive upper tier of www plates that ran from S/J11000 to at least the current high shown here.  This organization has not yet moved to the visitPA base.


This first generation St. Joseph's University plate was added to the College page.  This picture is thanks to George Kunsman.  Beside the version shown here, St. Joseph's has now had plates on two groups of www plates as well as the visitPA standard and vanity formats.



These two variations of 1937 Dealer plates have been added to the Dealer History section.  The X was the dealer plate designator, and as can be seen here, could be in the first or second position.  There likely were also 4-character plates such as X123 or 1X23 that measured 6" x 10" compared to the 6" x 12" shown here.  The images are courtesy of Chuck Sakryd.


Here are 1944 Motorcycle and 1956 Motorcycle plates from Bob Connison.  They are very similar in formatting.  For 1944 there were some 11782 plates issued suggesting that the alpha-numeric series would have been used after the series hit 9999, and by 1956 some 24,000 plates were issued.


This 3-digit 1964 Motorcycle Dealer was provided by Bob Connison.  The 1964 plate signaled a return to single year dealer plates after the '58 thru '61, and the '62 thru '63 multi-year plates.  There are still a number of missing years of Motorcycle Dealer plates if anyone can help.



This is the first picture of a 1937 Official plate.  The image is courtesy of Clayton Moore.  The Official Plate section shows that for 1936, 1937 and 1938 the number series appears to be in the 31000 and 32000 series.  Images are still needed for a 1925 and 1934 Official plates.  Plates from 1939 thru 1956 were from a reserved number block of passenger plates but lacked any distinguishing features to identify them as Official plates.  Plates all consisted of 5-digit serial numbers.  See http://www.statetrooperplates.com/pennsylvania.html for a listing with images of these plates.  Thanks to Norm Ratcliff and Allan Cooper for a great website on State Trooper Plates.


These two variations of 1952 Trailer plates have been added to the Trailer History section.  Plates that year used the following formats: 0001 to 9999, A000 to Z999, 0A00 to 9Z99, 00A0 to 99Z9, 000A to 999Z, 10001 to unknown high.  The images are courtesy of Chuck Sakryd.



Posting 1/3/2016

Here's the first picture of a ChildFirst PennsylvaniaJordan Irazabal, captured this perfect image.  These first came into use in December 2015.




With the proliferation in the number of plate types allowing personalization, we'll likely see more of these vanities.  On the far left is a Person w/ Disability plate from Nick Tsilakis.  Left center is a Truck vanity from Jordan Irazabal, and finally The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, as a vanity, also courtesy of Jordan Irazabal Act 23 of 2014 is what cleared the pathway to permit so many plate types to be issued in a personalized version.


Nick Tsilakis also captured this traffic shot of a Quality Deer Management Assoc. plate.  This is the of first image of this new plate.  At last check there were some 33 of these plates on the road.



Here's the latest high School Bus plate.  In PA School Bus plates go back to 1956.  The current series started at SC-00000 on the www base back on June 11, 2000.  The change to the visitPA base took place at SC-48000, and were first seen around August of 2006.


I am continuing to combine the first generation of organizational plates with plates that came later.  The yellow on blue plates are being added in with the www plates and visitPA plates.  I'm also expanding the coverage of those organizational plates that had a two-tier system on the www base  The following colleges/universities were updated this week: Indiana University of PA, Kings College, Kutztown University, Lafayette College, LaSalle University, Lebanon Valley College, Lehigh University Alumni, Lock Haven University, Millersville University, Moravian College and Muhlenberg Alumni.




In doing this I had to beg, borrow and steal the above images to help fill some new gaps.  Some of the above images are traffic shots so they're not perfect.  The first Indiana plate is from Bruce Bufalini, the next Indiana plate is from Steve Ondik, the Kutztown and Lafayette plates are from Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal, the first Millersville plate is from Tom Perri, and the final Millersville plate is from Jordan Irazabal.


This low-number Street Rod plate was spotted by Steve Ondik.  This plate series started at 0001S/R back in 1982 and has a current reported high of 6780S/R.  This plate type is not eligible for personalization.  Many of these plates have had their graphic symbol modified or replaced.


This is the first image on this site of a yellow on blue Steel Worker plate.  The image is courtesy of John Fedorchak.  Did you know that the Steel Worker plate is not an organizational plate, but rather a special class of plate that was authorized by legislation in 1996?  It does, however, share many traits with organizational plates.


CORRECTION — Last week I posted this 1943 validation tab as being for a Motorcycle Dealer plate.  That was incorrect.  It's actually for a Motorcycle plate and has been move to the appropriate location.  Image from Bob Connison.


Again this week several more Motorcycle Dealer plates have been added.  And again thanks to Bob Connison for sharing these photos, starting with this low-number 1944 Motorcycle Dealer plate.  The '44 plate is essentially the same as the '42 plate except for the plate year and expiration date.



Skipping ahead to this 1947 Motorcycle Dealer plate, the formatting again is the similar, except for obvious reversal of colors and the new dates.  The photo is again thanks to Bob Connison.



This 1948 Motorcycle Dealer plate and this 1952 MCD plate are similar in formatting.  It is believed, but unconfirmed, that the plate number series started at 1 and extended high into the 3 digits.  I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that Motorcycle Dealer plates didn't go to 4 digits until multi-years plates came along in the 1958 to '61 period.  Anyone know otherwise?  Images from Bob Connison.





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