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Pennsylvania License Plate Images

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

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News and postings from 2009


The plate on the near left (P/H/S0037) is the standard Pearl Harbor Survivor plate, while the plate on the far left is somewhat of a mystery.  This is the first Pearl Harbor Survivor plate I have seen with a 3-digit serial number.  Is this a special reserve issue?  PennDOT has done this with other veteran types.  Is it a courtesy plate, an error plate?  The P/H/S140 image was provided by Michael Wiener.  Posted 12/31.


Here's one you don't see every day — an ATV Class 2 plate.  It's also the first Class 2 plate I've seen that did not have X as the final character.  This would suggest that the Class 2 plates use 0000X to 0000Z, then possibly 000X0, etc.  Class 2 ATVs are motorized off-highway vehicles, which travel on three or more inflatable tires and have a width which exceeds 50 inches or a dry weight which exceeds 800 pounds.  Class 1 ATVs are far more common.  (The image quality is kind of poor.  It required using a flash due to the very poor lighting.)  Posted 12/30.


Plate Trivia.  On the Plate History Page, a minor update to House Car/Motor Home data.  Posted 12/30.


Neither of these REPOSSESSOR plate images are new to this website.  These are posted here because I have finally completed the plate history on this plate type, or so I think.  These two images show the only 2 variations of this plate type I am aware of.  This plate type came along at the same time as the Repair/Service Towing plate, but unlike that plate, the Repossessor seems to not have nearly as many formatting variations.  This is likely due to the relatively low numbers of this this type produced.

As always if anyone has a different Repo plate, or image, or more information, it would be appreciated. 

Posted 12/27.


The Plate Lookup pull-down menu (on the homepage) is now fully operational.  With this website having been divided into more than 20 different pages of images a few months back, it could be difficult finding a particular plate.  Hopefully the feature above will facilitate the locating of plates.  I have tried to test all the links, so hopefully they are working properly, but if anyone finds a broken link, or if I have missed a plate, please let me know.  It should be mentioned that not all of the Special Event, Front Plates, and Mystery/Oddball plates are listed above.  As always, images, suggestions and corrections are welcome.  Posted 12/26.


Here is a new image of a 58 base 5-digit School Bus plate with a 63 sticker for the Plate History Page.  The first run of the 58 base with 4-digit numbers had the tab slot to the left of the year, while the 5-digit plate shown here does not.  I do not know if all of the 4-digit plates have the tab hole and none of the 5-digit plates have it, or if the change occurred at some other point.  For now I'm going to list the change with the start of the 5-digit plates.  Posted 12/19.


Also added this 58 base School Bus sample image from Pauli Bagnarol to the Plate History Page.  Posted 12/19.




At the suggestion of Chuck Harrington, all the Governor related plates have been placed on one page.  The Governors' Plates Page now also contains all the Governors' Inaugural plates and Governors' Conference plates.  Chuck also sent along images of this 1979 Governor's Inauguration plate, and this 1980 Republican Governors' Conference plate.  Posted 12/17.





Added this image of a low number PA Association of Realtors plate provided by Eric Conner.  Posted 12/17.




Also added this image of a low number Franklin & Marshall College plate provided by Eric Conner.  Posted 12/17.




Added this image of a Version 8 School Bus plate to the Plate History page.   To my knowledge all the type variations have now been depicted in the School Bus section of the plate history page.  Posted 12/14.



Added this image of a prototype of a new plate for Colonial Park Fire Company #1.  The use of the leading 2 is because the Civil Air Patrol has the first block of ten-thousand numbers using the C/P suffix, while Cathedral Preparatory School has the next group with a leading 1.  Posted 12/14.


Also added this image of a prototype of a new plate for West Grove Fire Company.  Similar to the above plate, West Grove is the second organization to use the W/G suffix, the first being Willow Grove Volunteer Fire Company.  Posted 12/14.



Anyone see anything wrong with this plate?  Besides the obvious expired sticker on an obsolete plate, this is an 8-character vanity plate!  Pennsylvania only allows up to 7 number and/or letters, plus a dash which does not count as a character.  Apparently somehow this plate slipped thru the system.  The photo was provided by Ned Flynn.  This plate was likely recalled at a later date.

This is not the only 8-character vanity produced.  Somewhere in the late 1999 to 2000 range, I spotted a plate with HUMPBACK.  This was on the www base and was seen several times in traffic.  Unfortunately at the time I did not carry a camera with me.  Anyone ever see one of these, or have such an image or plate in their collection?  Posted 12/11.


First image of an AFSCME Council 13 plate.  This picture was taken in the dark and was provided by Nick Tsilakis.  Posted 12/9.



This is not the first Fire Fighter vanity plate posted on this site, but it is the first showing a dash separator.  There are currently six of these vanity plate images on this site ranging from FF7 up to FF plus four characters.  The FF is a part of the registration number.  This was provided by Nick Tsilakis.  Posted 12/9.


Bill Ceravola sends this first image of the new veterans plates, this one being the U.S. Army Veteran.  Unlike the prototype image, the actual plate uses "1" as a numerical prefix since the AIDS Resource Alliance uses 00000A/R.  What is unknown is whether this was the first general issue plate, and if there is a reserve group of plates with numbers beginning at 10001A/R.  This practice was done with Veteran plates and several others — the first 99 were held in reserve.  My efforts to get an explanation of this in the past have been futile.  Posted 12/6.


PA Plate Trivia: What types of PA plates are still issued with the state outline border? Answer below.  Posted 12/6.

Answer: Antique Motorcycle



Added this image of a Dealer-Multi Purpose plate.  For a better understanding of this plate type, click on this link to a PennDOT Fact Sheet.  This is also the current observed high for this plate type.  This plate type had a starting point of MP3000D when they were released on the www base.  The characters MP and D are static, non-advancing characters.  Posted 12/1.


Updated the '66 M.V. Business plate with this new image on the Plate History page.  Posted 12/1.




Added this '76-stickered image of a Version 11 M.V. Business plate on the Plate History page.  Posted 12/1.




Here's a bit of a mystery plate.  Eric Conner suggest it's likely a 65 Governor prototype (with reversed colors from the actual '65 base), or possibly the rear plate to the 1964...a plate used a year before passenger plates were changed to the same format with the exception of the colors.  The image was provided by John Willard.  Posted 12/1.


The Governors Plate Page now has quite a few plate images.  Click link to view page.  There are now about 39 images representing 27 years of Governors' and Lieutenant Governors' plates.  The plate image to the left was taken from a photo provided by John Willard.  This is not the only 1934 Governor's plate shown.  The other image from Eric Conner shows evidence of a large, metal coat of arms attached to the plate, while this plate does not. 

Eric Conner is doing a research project on PA Governors' plates and finding that not much information exists.  Photographic evidence of Governors' cars with plates visible is virtually non-existent.  There is evidence from a newspaper article that the first Governor's plate was issued in 1912.  There are some years for which two distinctly different plates have survived.  The belief is that one was used on the front, while the other was used on the rear.  And, there are long gaps where nothing is known of Governors' plates, such as 1920 to 1929.  If anyone has any information that would be helpful in the project, please let me know and I'll put you in touch with Eric.  Posted 11/27.


This 1944 Governor's plate is one of two 1944 plates shown on the Governors Plate Page, with the only real difference being slight variations in color.  Some of that could be attributable to ageing, storage and handling, lighting, camera variations and settings, etc., as well as variations in paint batches at the time of manufacture.  Posted 11/27.


This is an updated image of this very low number Antique Motorcycle plate.  There is some question about the actual age of this plate since the hole spacing appears to be that of a more recent vintage plate.  The image was provided by Michael Wiener and the plate may have been produced as a courtesy.  Despite the uncertain pedigree of the plate I will continue to list it as a Format 1 plate, at least until additional examples emerge.  For whatever reason very low numbered Antique Motorcycle plates are exceedingly rare.  In any case — very nice plate!  Posted 11/24.


This Format 2 Antique Motorcycle plate image was also provided by Michael Wiener.





Spotted this Salvage Yard plate on the visitPA base today.  The previous image had a frame around it.  Posted 11/19.




PennDOT Introduces Branch of Service Veteran License Plates

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces have a new way to proudly display their service as PennDOT today announced the availability of a new series of military license plates honoring veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

"On any given day, members of our armed forces are serving around the globe protecting our freedom," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. "PennDOT is pleased to announce this new series of military plates recognizing their sacrifices in service to our nation."

The new plates feature the standard Pennsylvania license plate colors of blue, white and yellow along with the applicable branch of service emblem or logo on the left side of the plate. Pennsylvania is printed at the top of the plate, with the name of the applicable branch of service at the bottom.

To obtain one of these plates, honorably discharged veterans must complete and mail Form MV-150, Application for U.S. Military Veteran Registration Plate, to PennDOT and include a certified copy of their DD-214, along with a $20 fee.

Form MV-150 is available on PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services Web site, www.dmv.state.pa.us, via the Military License Plates link under the Military Personnel/Veterans Information Center. Additional information and images of the new license plates are also available on this Web page.

Media contact: Craig Yetter, 717-705-1092

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

The plates include the following:

 U. S. Air Force Veteran




U. S. Army Veteran




U. S. Coast Guard Veteran




U. S. Marine Corps Veteran




U. S. Navy Veteran





Added this low numbered Collectible Vehicle plate image which was provided by Michael Wiener.  Posted 11/19.




I rescanned, at a higher resolution, the original photograph of these 1958 Governor's plate images provided by John Willard.  As stated in the earlier post, the far left plate may have been used as the front plate while the rear plate has the # 1 serial number in the center.  Posted 11/17.


Jordan Irazabal sends this current Passenger Vanity plate on the www base.  Posted 11/17.




Added Versions 9, 10 and 11 to the School Bus section of the Plate History page.  While these three plate do not currently have a historical significance, they are the last three variations of school bus plates were originally introduced back in 1956.  Version 8 (SB prefix on yellow on blue base) still needs to be added to the page.  Posted 11/17.


Updated this Version 14 Motor Vehicle Business plate.  This was the last of this series of plates, and is one of a few M.V. Business plates without an embossed date.  This version was released for 1979 and could be revalidated with stickers thru '99 or 2000.  In about 1984 this type was split into four groups, the largest of which was Repair/Service Towing.  The other three included Salvage Yard, Transporter and Repossessor; however, some of the M.V. Business plates continued to be revalidated until the plate changeover in 1999 or 2000.  Posted 11/13.


Added what I'm calling Version 4 of School Bus in the Plate History section.  This plate was embossed with 64 and could be revalidated with stickers thru '67.  These plates were made in 4- and 5-digit formats.  No alpha characters were used.  Posted 11/13.


And yet another format variation on School Vehicle plates . . . !  This is the 6th or 7th variation on this plate type since the start of the www plates.  Click the link above to see a description of all variants.  Still need an image of a plate in the SV-19750 to SV-19899 range.  Posted 11/12.



This Format 2 Ex-Prisoner of War plate image was provided by Michael Wiener.  While the plate is not current based on the stickers, the plate format is still in use.  Today these plates are increasingly rare.


There may have been a run of POW plates with the placement of PENNSYLVANIA and PRISONER OF WAR reversed — besides sample plates.  In other words PRISONER OF WAR is on the top and PENNSYLVANIA is on the bottom.  If anyone has such a plate or an image of such a plate, I'd appreciate hearing.  Posted 11/12.


A new section has been added, called Historic Plate Documents.  If anyone has anything along this line (PA only) that you would be willing to share, I am looking for other similar material to include.  Posted 11/11.


These 1958 Governor's plate images were taken from a photo provided by John Willard.  The far left plate may have been used as the front plate while the rear plate has the # 1 serial number in the center.  Posted 11/11.


First image of the new Penn State University plate.  This image came courtesy of Clayton Moore.  This plate was purchase very shortly after the plate introduction and already the number is at 177.  Penn State also has the Penn State Alumni Association plate, and the Pennsylvania College of Technology plate.  Posted 11/9.


Also added this Veteran plate.  Posted 11/9.




Added this Victory Junction Gang NASCAR plate.  Victory Junction is the parent agency that sponsors all the PA NASCAR plates.  Posted 11/7.



Spotted this not-so-official Farm Use plate on the road today.  Some farm trucks use made up plates to indicate that the vehicle actually has a Farm Vehicle Exemption.  If you click on this Farm Vehicle Registration Exemption link you can see several examples of other plates as well as the actual stickers that are applied to the side of the vehicle near the driver's door.  Since the official sticker is small and placed in an inconspicuous place, many farm trucks use some type of plate to indicate that they have a farm exemption.  Without any plate they invite curious police officers to question the apparent lack of some type of credential.  Posted 11/4.


Added what I believe is a 77 base School Bus with a July 82 sticker.  It appears that the 77 blue on yellow base was the start of SB series.  Somewhere I saw it suggested that the SA stood for School Activities and SB stood for School Bus.  I don't think this is valid.  Posted 11/3.


Here's a School Bus sample on with 71 lightly stamped or etched in the upper left sticker well.  There was no 71 School Bus base.  At the time the 68 base was used until the 72 base came out.  It is not uncommon to find sample or prototype plates that don't correspond to what was actually produced.  Posted 11/3.


Added a pair of sample images of Permanent Trailer plates to the Plate History page.  Over the years PA produced samples of almost every type of plate.  It's unfortunate that this venue for obtaining plates has been discontinued.  Posted 11/3.


Here's another Retired Legislator plate.  Click the link for additional information and more images.  The image was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  Posted 10/30.



These Inauguration plates are from 1983, '87 and '91.  The plates are not new to this website, but the owner, Eric Conner, provided nicer images.



Two more School Bus plates have been added to the Plate History page.  The far left plate being a 1968 base with a '71 validation sticker, and the other plate is a 72 base with a 73 sticker.  At first glance the plates may not look all that different, but the older plate still retains the vestiges of the state map outline, while on the other plate the map has been replaced with an embossed border.  Posted 10/28.


The Lima Fire Company has been added to the growing list of fire agencies with specialty plates.    LF seems to be a popular suffix.  The use of the 2 in the numerical prefix position can be explained.  00000"L/F" is assigned to The Mario Lemieux Foundation; 10000"L/F" is assigned to the Limerick Fire Company; 20000"L/F" is now assigned to the Lima Fire Company; 30000"L/F" is assigned to the Linglestown Fire Co. #1; and  40000"L/F" is assigned to the Lansdowne Fire Company.  See the Plate Coding page for more.  Posted 10/27.


This Bus is wearing a plate that should have been replaced back in 2000.  My best guess on the continued use of the old base is that when PA did re-plate, it was on a number-for-number basis.  So the new plates had the same number as the old plates.  It is possible that some bus owners just left the old plates in place since the number didn't change.  Those numbers at the time were within the range of BA-10000 and BA-47999.  The replacements while sporting the same number, were minus the dash separator, BA10000 and BA47999.    Beginning at BA-48000 the dashes were again reinstated.  These images were provided by Bruce Bufalini.  Posted 10/27.



These images were provided by Bruce Bufalini.  (Click link to go to Bruce's website.)  This Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran plate is unique in that it is from the 'reserve group of plates'.  That means standard issue plates of this type started at 00100I/F, and as you can see this is plate number 2 in a series that supposedly began at 100.  So how do some get plates with special low numbers?  I asked a member of our PA Legislature (Dick Stevenson) who was seen getting his picture taken with one of these low numbered plates.  He did not answer me.  I have asked PennDOT a similar question and I was provided with a bunch of stonewalling and doubletalk, but no answer.  So much for transparency in government, so much for right to know.  Posted 10/25.


Updated my very poor image of a National MS Society plate with this one.  I got the image from a reference website where the image was attributed to Tiger Joe Sallmen.  When I asked Tiger Joe about using the image he said he didn't recall taking the image, but go ahead and use it.  So if it would happen to be someone else's image, let me know.  Posted 10/25.


While we're at it, let's add another Governor's plate.  This 1936 Governor's plate was taken from a photo provided by John Willard.  This seems to be part of a pair of plates for that year.  This plate was likely the front plate while the rear plate has the # 1 serial number in the center.  Click the text link above to see both plates.  Posted 10/25.


Spotted this nice PA Choose Life plate.  Plate is not far from the current posted high of 00746C/L.  Posted 10/24.




Here are images of two different greyhound organizational plates.  The plate on the far left is Going Home Greyhounds, and the other is National Greyhound Adoption Program, which is also the current high.  Posted 10/24.


I wouldn't normally post such a poor image, but AMVETS plates are pretty rare.  Posted 10/24.





Added this '58 School Bus plate.  This is version 3 of the series.  These were issued in 4-digit and 5-digit formats.    Posted 10/22.



Added this 1963 Inauguration plate from Eric Conner on far left, and updated this 1967 Inaugural, also fro Eric.  Posted 10/22.



This '71 Inaugural and '75 Inaugural were also updated with new images.  These plate images are from Eric Conner.  Posted 10/22.



Continuing with the run of M.V. Business plates, this '76 plate on the far left, with a sticker has been added.  For some reason for '75 & '76, the plates were issued without a date stamp, and instead used validation stickers.  So a plate issued in '75 could be revalidated in '76.  The next plate is a '77 — back to a date year stamp.  This image was provided by Tim O'connor.  Posted 10/21.


A '78 M.V. Business, on the far left, with a date year stamp, and a '79 and later, without a date stamp, have been added.  It is my belief that this '79 and later was issued until sometime around 1984, at that point new M.V. Business series plates were split into four groups, the largest of which was Repair/Service Towing.  The other three included Salvage Yard, Transporter and Repossessor; however, some of the existing M.V. Business plates continued to be revalidated until the plate changeover in 1999, thus the '93/'94 validation stickers seen above  With the addition of these two plates, this (to my knowledge) completes the run of M.V. Business plates beginning in 1966, and brings the total to 14 versions or variations of this plate type.  Posted 10/21.


Here's an interesting trio of 1930 Governors' plates.  The image on the far left may have come from an auction website, so the current plate ownership is unknown, however, comparing it to the center left image of another 1930 plate (from Eric Conner) shows that the colors on the raised loaf section are reversed.  Also, if one looks closely at the far left image (zoomed & rotated) there is what appears to be John Fisher's signature, the Governor in 1930.  The third plate. without the loaf and coat of arms, came from a photo provided by John Willard.  Could this have been the front plate while the others were used on the rear?  Posted 10/20.


School Bus has been started as new category on the Plate History page, thanks to some images from Clayton Moore.  Here are the first two years of this plate type with more to come.  Posted 10/20.




Added these images of 1973 and 1974 M.V. Business plates.  So far there are nine different years of this plate type posted on the Plate History page, plus one year with two variations.  More of this series to come.  Posted 10/18.


Another interesting photo contribution from Chuck Harrington is this 65 base Lieutenant Governor's plate with a 66 sticker.  Click the link to see more information and another variation of the 65 base Lieutenant Governor's plate.  Posted 10/17.



This image is also from Chuck.  While this may not be a Governor's plate in the traditional sense, since there is no # 1 or Governor marking on the plate, Chuck Harrington says that on special occasions, Governor Bob Casey would put this on the front of the Governor’s limo.  Although this photo may not show it, this plate is unique. Instead of the glass beaded reflectorized yellow paint used on standard issue and state made booster plates at that time period, this plate has gold leaf paint on the embossed areas. An impressive plate when seen in person.  Casey served from January 1987 to January 1995.  Posted 10/17.


Chuck Harrington provided this image of a Foreign Consul plate on a 65 base with a 69 sticker.  This plate completes the Foreign Consul run consisting of '58, '65, '71 and '77 bases.  Click the link to read more about these plates.  Posted 10/14.



Recently I spotted a Disabled Veteran plate on the web in the DV-18000 range.  The plate helped establish that plates in that range are a continuation of what I refer to as Format 2.  I am trying to establish at what point plates switched to Format 3.  One of the goals of this website is to identify variations within plate types, and determine at which serial number each change takes place.   If anyone has a disabled plate in their collection between DV-19000 and DV-22000, please contact me.  Posted 10/14.


The plate on the far left is an updated (better) image of the Governor's plate on the '77 base, while the other image, which is new, has the remnants of a sticker in the upper left corner.  Eric Conner, who has provided the images, suggests that the far left image was the front plate, while the rear plate had the validation sticker.  It's unfortunate that someone (not Eric) chose to remove the sticker.  Posted 10/11.


This 1930 and 1932 are updated (better) images of Governors' plates from Eric Conner.  Posted 10/11.




This 1949 and 1952 are updated (better) images of Governors' plates from Eric Conner.  Posted 10/11.




This 1962 and 1964 are updated (better) images of Governors' plates from Eric Conner.  Posted 10/11.




These 1969 and 1972 Motor Vehicle (M.V.) Business plates have been added to the plate history page bringing the total M.V. Business images to 8 with more to come.  Posted 10/10.



A new section on Motor Vehicle (M.V.) Business plates has been started on the History Page.  As of now, 6 images are posted with more to come.  Posted 10/7.



The section on Mass Transit plates has been completed, but I may update some of the images.  Posted 10/7.




This pair of 1945 Governor's plates is a new addition, and shows some variation between the two.  The left plate may have been rear plate with the other being on the front.  Anyone have a picture of the Governor's car back then?  Or any historical image of a PA Governor's car?  It would add quite a bit to the plate history to see the actual vehicle with plates.  The images were provided by Eric Conner.  Posted 10/6.


This 1932 Governor's plate is a new addition, provided by Eric Conner.  Click the link to see another variation of a 1932 Governor's plate.  Posted 10/6.



This 1934 and 1936 are updated (better) images of Governors' plates from Eric Conner.  Posted 10/6.




Same with this 1944 and 1949 which are also updated (better) images of Governors' plates from Eric Conner.  Posted 10/6.



This Retired Legislator plate image was provided by Eric Conner.  This is the first decent image without a frame blocking the plate legend.  The numbers appear to correspond to legislative districts.  There also a Retired Senator plate which just came out earlier this year.  The vehicle code actually provides for "retired member of the Pennsylvania or United States Senate or House of Representatives, as appropriate."  That means that plates could be issued to those who held U.S. Congressional or Senatorial seats.  There are plates for current members, but I'm not aware of plates for those retired.  Posted 10/4.


Concerning the Plate Sticker Page, a lot of changes and corrections have been made; however, much work remains.  Some of the needed images I probably have in my collection, while other I may need assistance with.  Images and corrections are always welcome.  Posted 10/4.


These two image are of the same Motorcycle Vanity plate.  Originally I had this number registered to my car with # 30 on the www base, then later on the visitPA base, and now on a motorcycle. 

For what it's worth, this is the lowest number PA motorcycle plate I have seen on a current base.  Posted 10/2.





The East Stroudsburg University plate on the far left uses a different bottom tag legend font than the other sample and production plate.  This plate appears to be a test sample to determine which font would be used during production.  Posted 10/2.


This is the first image of a Harrisburg University of Science and Technology plate.  Image provided by Nick Tsilakis.  Posted 10/1.



Nothing remarkable about this Motor Home plate other than it's the current reported high.  Posted 9/30.




For Antique Motorcycle plates, I recently updated the serial number data of where the plates changed from Format 3 to Format 4.  Click link for details.  This type of data may be meaningless trivia to many plate enthusiasts, and even some hardcore collectors, but I believe it is a worthwhile effort to preserve the detailed history of the plate type.  Posted 9/30.


Jake Eckenrode provided these images of the 1931 Governor's plate and 1939 Governor's plate.  These two plates have the raised loaf area, but never had a coat of arms, while the two plates below do have them.  Click the links to see additional Governors' plates.  Posted 9/29.


Jake also sent this pair of images of the 1947 Governor's plate and 1948 Governor's plate.  Posted 9/29.



The Validation Sticker Page is up and running.  A number of stickers and the 1943 tab still need to be added, but the page currently has images from 1958 to 2014.  Thanks to Glenn Pomygalski for the majority of images.  Posted 9/29.


Added this image of a WHYY sample plate.  Posted 9/29.




This ZWP00 Motorcycle plate is as far down the Z series as I have seen.  Some of the remaining Z plate stock (Format 2) is probably still in dealerships and tag services.  So it is very possible that the ZZZ plates will eventually make it to the street, or they may already have.  My lovely wife can be seen in the far left photo enjoying Bike Week in Ocean City, Md.  Posted 9/25.


Here's the current reported high on the new (Format 3) Motorcycle series.  Seen on 9/19 at Bike Week in Ocean City, Md.  Posted 9/25.




Added this image of a PA Association of Realtors plate.  Posted 9/25.




Here's a 2-character Passenger Vanity and a 3-digit Passenger Vanity, both spotted recently.  The 329 image was provided by Eric Conner.  Posted 9/25.



At first glance this may look like any other cycle plate, but for some reason it has a letter / number combination from the www series, yet it's on a visitPA base.  VisitPA plates did not start until the PAA00 series.  Not sure what the real story is here, but I'm calling it a Motorcycle Vanity that may have been made using an earlier number, in other words a re-make.  Posted 9/21.


Somehow a few of these older Trailer plates continue to survive.  This plate should have been replaced around May of 2000.  Posted 9/21.




Spotted this Moped plate on this homemade motorized pedacycle (moped).  A little more on this plate type — the current plate series began on the www base with the starting point being BA000 on April 16, 2000.  The changeover to the visitPA base started with the BN series and was first seen in September of 2007.  After almost 9 years, the series has only advanced to BV, or possibly a little beyond.  When you consider that not all letter combinations are used, i.e., BI, BO, BQ, this suggests that there aren't that many registered mopeds.  Actually per PennDOT statistics there were 3,267 mopeds compared to 390 thousand motorcycles registered in 2008.  Still looking for a Moped Dealer plate image.  Posted 9/14.



This 1912 Governor's plate was provided by Eric Tanner, while Eric Conner did the legwork to get this image.  The story goes that while vacationing in New England in 1912, then Governor Tener gave this plate to a young boy who asked for it. The governor gave it away because he said "I have an extra."  Eventually this plate went from collector to collector but has not been in PA since 1912.  [Sounds like there could have been more than one of these plates produced!]  Posted 9/11.


Clayton Moore shares with us that the Presque Isle Partnership plate is available as a sample — if you're willing to plunk down $39.50, the same price as an actual plate.  Posted 9/11.



Jordan Irazabal sends this image of a low number Flyers Wives Charities plate.  Click on Jordan's link to visit his amazing Delaware plates website.  Posted 9/6.



Sean Flannery provides this first image of a NASCAR 91 Bill Elliott plate.  This plate was only available for the 2004 and 2005 racing season, but it has taken this long to get an image.  There are still quite a few NASCAR plate types for which I have no image — if anyone can help.  Posted 9/6.


Chas Stokes II provides these Passenger Vanity plates.  The far lest plate, a newer edition on the visitPA base.  The other older plate is on the www base.  Posted 9/6.



Animal Friends are now marketing a new plate to help support the cause.  Link to plate info.  The '1' prefix is because Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has the first block of 10,000 numbers beginning with 00000A/F format.  Posted 8/31.


This is the observed current high on the Street Rod series.  Plate was seen at the Wheels of Time Rod & Custom Jamboree in Macungie, PA.  Nice show, beautiful weather, great cars and lots of mud.  Posted 8/31.



Another one of these Fire Fighter vanity images has found its way here, thanks to Nick Tsilakis.  Posted 8/28.



Added this one-of-a-kind Public Utility Commission Chairman front plate.  The image is courtesy of Joseph O'Keefe.  Posted 8/28.



Thomas Jefferson University joins the ever-growing list of colleges and universities with a new plate.  Posted 8/28.




Here's a very nice image of a Christian Homeschool Association of PA plate, courtesy of Nick Tsilakis (Correction, I had first listed Bruce Bufalini as the provider of this image.) It's also the first image of this type and a nice low number.  Posted 8/25.  Corrected 8/28.


Here is a pair of Washington & Jefferson College plate images also provided by Bruce Bufalini. Actually Bruce provided the far left image and I used a little computer wizardry to straighten it.  He took the picture across lanes in traffic.  Anyway, it's the first W&J College plate image on the new base.  Posted 8/25.



The PA State Society Daughters of the American Revolution will soon have their own specialty plate.  I do believe that this is the longest legend ever placed on a PA tag.  Posted 8/25.



Jordan Irazabal passes along this low numbered Ruffed Grouse Society plate image.  Posted 8/23.





Cedar Crest College is one of the latest to be putting together a plate program.  The reason for the leading 1 is because Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School is also using the C/C suffix, but they have the first block of ten thousand numbers.  Posted 8/23.


Here's three images of brand new 3-digit Passenger Vanities on the visitPA base.  These were provided by Grant MacKenzie.  Posted 8/22.




Here's one of those elusive Fire Fighter Vanity plates.  This is the only special organization plate that was ever made in a vanity version.  Click the link above to read the full account.  Bruce Bufalini caught this one on the fly, and hopes to eventually get a better shot.  Posted 8/22.



The number of specialty plate types continues to grow as the organization, Women In Transition, Inc., is now offering one.

Posted 8/22.



UPDATE - this Municipal Motorcycle plate type was added to the Plate History Page on 8/19.  Chuck Harrington points out that the plate did not actually come out until '74 or '75 even though it is a '71 base.  In addition he reports that the 000MG format was never used on the '71 base.  Posted 8/21.


More and more out-of-state colleges and universities are getting PA specialty plates, this one from the Syracuse University Alumni Association.  Posted 8/20



Website correction.  One of the links on this page was labeled Validation Stickers, but was pointed at the wrong page.  It should now work properly.  Posted 8/20.


Here's another uncommon find — a Municipal Motorcycle plate on the '71 base, also courtesy of Harry Nowak.  This earliest series of Municipal Motorcycle plates is not even mentioned in the ALPCA archives.  This plate also completes the run of all five variations of this plate.  What still remains unknown is whether this plate was produced on this base in the 000MG format, as it was in the subsequent base.  Posted 8/19.


This super-nice 1914 Governor's plate and Governor's Chauffer's license images were provided courtesy of Harry Nowak.  The plate would have been originally used by Governor John K. Tener.  Posted 8/16.





Acquired a much better image of an American Cancer Society plate than the 8/11 photo.  Posted 8/15.




First image of a Format 2 Villanova University license plate.  Unfortunately the lighting was all wrong for this shot since it was in a parking garage. Yeah well, you take what you can get.  These plates have been out for a while and I have seen them before but couldn't get an image.  Posted 8/12.


First image of an American Cancer Society plate.  Posted 8/11.




This is also the first image of a National MS Society plate.  The images are pretty poor, but were taken across several lanes of traffic using zoom and both vehicles were moving.  Actually this is one image with the smaller version being cropped and skewed in an attempt to square it up.  Posted 8/11.



A contributor to this site sent this SPECIAL MOBILE EQUIPMENT image which is nicer than the one previously posted from my collection.  I also added the 'data' to the Plate History page for this plate type, or at least what data I had.  There may be an additional variation of the earliest version of this plate (use link above) which may exist with the standard PENNSYLVANIA font in place of the "You've got a friend" font.  I do need some help with this plate type.  Also, the plate highs page reports that this type has been spotted on the visitPA base.  So far no images.  Posted 8/10.


Through some research it appears that Motorcycle Dealer plates on the www base were first issued on 9/1/1999, and starting serial number was 7000 or more correctly MCD7000, since the small plate legend at the bottom of the plate is actually a prefix.  This plate is the lowest one I've seen on this base.

What seems a little strange is that the number series, beginning at 7000, seems to be a continuation of the previous M/C Dealer plates, but the previous series used DLR as the prefix.  Posted 8/9.


Finally got a decent image of the new format (Format 3) Motorcycle plate without the plate being half covered by frames, reflectors and dealer advertisements.  It's also the lowest number spotted so far.  This series started with 0000A, most likely back in June.  Posted 8/9.


If you think you've seen these 1975 PA Inaugural county political chairmen's plates before, you probably have.  This time the protective sheeting was removed to improve the image quality.  Both images are from Chuck Harrington.  Posted 8/7.


Same as above, again these 1975 PA Inaugurals are courtesy of Chuck Harrington, and are the more typical inaugural format.  Posted 8/7.



This trio of plates is also part of the 1975 PA Inaugurals but comes from Eric Conner.  Collectively the 53 to 57 series from both contributors makes a nice mini-run of plates.  I think the apparent difference in color between this group and the one above it is the result of lighting conditions, camera variations, etc.   Posted 8/7.


The Pennsylvania State University will be adding a new plate, this one apparently not related to the Alumni Association.  Posted 8/7.



Another nice addition to the Plate History page. This was the last version of the Foreign Consul plate to be issued, and is the only one bearing the legend FOREIGN CONSUL, although the very early plates in 1920s and 30s used CONSULAR.  This is on the '77 base and was used until 1984 or 85.  (These plates were eventually replaced by U.S. Dept. of State diplomatic plates.)  It is not an easy plate to find making the image, which was provided by Chuck Harrington, much appreciated.  Still needed is an FC plate on the 65 base to complete this run.  Posted 8/5.


Chuck Harrington has provided images of these two very nice Governor's plates.  The 1949 plate would have been used by Governor James H. Duff.  Interestingly I have another image of a 49 Governor plate without the coat of arms.  Both can be seen on the Governor's page along with an explanation.  The other plate image above, with a very similar format except for the reversed colors, is a near-mint condition 1963 plate which would have been used by Governor William Scranton.  Posted 8/4.


A very welcome addition to the Plate History page is nice specimen of an Auto Manufacturer plate, also from Chuck Harrington.  These plates are quite rare and were issued only to the Volkswagen car plant in New Stanton, PA, in the late 70s and 80s, until the operation ceased.  Read the full description of these plate at the link above.  Posted 8/4.


Sticker shock or KINKEE-ness, or whatever adjective applies to this Passenger Vanity plate, seen recently at a car show.  Posted 8/3.




This image shows the current high number on this Antique Motorcycle plate.  I was not able to get a straight on shot of this plate, but this is adequate to see the number.  Posted 8/3.




Here is another image of the new Motorcycle plate format.  This is only the second one I've seen.  The first image was posted on 7/12.  This series has replaced the old AAA00 format, which had been in use since April of 2000, finally reached the end of the sequence at ZZZ99, at which point this new format was released.  This new format is 0000A, the alpha character being the last to advance.  It should be noted that while this new series is out, not all dealers and tag services have exhausted their older series tags yet.  Posted 8/3.


These are the first images of Willow Grove Volunteer Fire Company #1 plates.  Posted 8/2.




Yesterday while traveling on PA Route 22, I spotted a Kutztown University plate with what appeared to be an odd (high) number.  The plate read K/U10479 and was on the visitPA base.  Unfortunately I was unable to snap an image.  The plate on the left is just for reference but is the highest I have seen.  The plate highs page does not list Kutztown.  Kutztown is not a large university, and the likelihood that their plate numbers have exceeded 10000 seems highly doubtful.  My guess is that the first two dies got reversed when the plate was being produced and the plate should have been K/U01479 instead of K/U10479.  Posted 8/2.


Have completed the Repair / Service Towing section of the Plate History page.  A total of seven type variation have been identified and described.  Could there be more?

As always, additions, corrections and images are welcome.  Posted 7/31.


And yet another Governor's plate, this one from 1946.  Used by Governor Edward Martin, although the plate may have been used very briefly by John C. Bell, Jr.  Martin resigned in early January 1947, prior to the expiration of his term.  Bell, then Lt. Governor, took over and may have used this plate until his term expired on January 21.  Then newly elected Governor James Duff took the reins and could have used the plate from January 21 until the plate expired on March 31, 1947.  So much for historical conjecture.  This addition brings the number of Governors' and Lt. Governors' plate images to 17.  Posted 7/29.


The sample image of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy on the far left shows a different tag legend font.  It uses Title Case while production plates, as seen in the center and right images, use SMALL CAPS It is not believed that any production plates use the Title Case formatting, so it will not be listed as a different format.  Posted 7/26.


Added image of Pennsylvania Game Commission front plate.  Posted 7/26.




This Pennsylvania State Police plate on the far left would look appropriate on the front of a PSP cruiser, but as nice as it is, it's not an official plate.  It was created as a courtesy or novelty plate by a fellow ALPCAn who specializes in police plates.  While the plate may not be official, I did add it to my Official Front Plates page for lack of a better place for it.  The other older PSP plate I did have in my collection at one time, but I do not know the history of it.  Posted 7/26.


Another interesting Governor's plate — this one from 1934.  This plate apparently had a metal coat of arms on the plate at one time, unfortunately now missing.  The plate was used by Governor Gifford Pinchot.  This and many of the other Governors' plate images were provided by Eric Conner.  Eric is working on the history of PA Governors' plates.  If anyone has any plates, pictures or history, please let me know and I'll put you in touch with Eric.  I certainly think the preservation of the license plate history of our Governors is a worthwhile project, not only for the plate hobby, but for the preservation of this archival data.  Posted 7/21.


Plates, Images, History Needed

Just as Eric is trying to do above, I am trying to find plates or images and information on some other plate types before they disappear.  It already appears that the yellow-on-blue Lincoln University official plates have all been destroyed with no surviving plates, or even images to document their existence.  This resulted from the plate changeover in 1999.

Another group of plates that may also be in danger of disappearing is the Apportioned Bus (BL) series on the blue on yellow and yellow-on-blue bases.  Much of the above information was provided by Chuck Harrington.  Posted 7/21.


Added a Format 1 Street Rod sample image.  Posted 7/20.




The Plate History Page is up and running, nothing great, but it's a start.  The page is very incomplete in a couple of ways.  In the lower part of the page, there are a number of plate images with no descriptive text.  This will be added as time permits.  There are also numerous plate types that I would like to show but for which I have no plates in my collection or no images.  If anyone has a complete or near complete run of a particular type, I would consider adding it.  As I have stated previously I don't plan to do passenger, truck (commercial), trailer or motorcycle.  Others have already done this.  This page will be an effort to depict the history of some of the many plate types that have evolved over the past 25 to 50 years or so.

 — I just updated some data on House Car/Motor Home plates;

 — A couple different images of Foreign Consul plates are needed;

 — Additions, corrections and suggestions are always welcome.

Thanks for looking.  Posted 7/20.


Note the difference in formatting between these two Notre Dame plates.  The one on the far left if formatted incorrectly.  The N/D should always be in the suffix position.  This is an error plate.  Posted 7/19.



Philadelphia TV and radio station WHYY will soon have its own specialty plate.  Posted 7/19.




Added this very nice pair of 1975 Governor's Inauguration plate images.  These images are courtesy of Chuck Harrington.  Posted 7/17.



The above pair are generally viewed as typical inaugural plates, however, there were also some county-based 1975 Governor's Inauguration plates as seen on the left.  These two represent Cameron County and Philadelphia County.  (Philadelphia County and City are the same.)  The Cameron County plate appears to have hand-painted legend and is on a different (older) base, while the Philadelphia County plate has screened top and bottom legend.  These images are courtesy of Chuck Harrington.  Posted 7/17.


Here is a 2007 Inaugural without the normal numbers, instead just wearing the state abbreviation.  This images is courtesy of Chuck Harrington.   Posted 7/17.



Every once in a while one of these unusual special organization / vanity Fire Fighter plates shows up.  This image came from Jordan Irazabal.  I have seen only about 4 of these on the www base and unfortunately all but one have had frames.  All of these plates have a history which goes back to 1983.  The Fire Fighter vanity was only available for a short time when PA first started to produce special organizational plates.  It was quickly discontinued; however, those who had them were allowed to keep them and those few remaining were eventually reissued on the www base.  I have not seen any on the visitPA base and don't expect to.  Click the link here or above to go to Jordan's amazing TheDelaware3000 website.  Posted 7/13.


Eric Conner provides this image of the # 1 Elizabethtown College plate.  Posted 7/13.




First image of the new Motorcycle plate format.  The old AAA00 format, which had been in use since April of 2000, finally hit the end of the sequence at ZZZ99, at which point a new format was needed.  This is the first image of the new format which is 0000A, the alpha character being the last to advance.  My guess is that these came out in June.  Posted 7/12.


This is the first Motorcycle Person with Disability plate to be issued.  The PD and wheelchair symbol, which are flat screened, are not part of the registration number.  The embossed P is part of the number, but is a static, non-advancing character.  I should have taken a better shot of the bike.  The operator, in a wheelchair, controls the bike from the sidecar.

This Motorcycle Person with Disability plate format is also the reason that the P00A series was skipped on the Antique Vehicle plate series.  This was pointed out by Nick Tsilakis.  Posted 7/12.


This is the current high on the School Vehicle type.  Posted 7/12.




Added these 2009 U.S. Women's Open Golf Tournament PA Temporary plate images.  These plate were seen on Lexus corporate sponsor vehicles. The event is being held at the Saucon Valley Country Club, Bethlehem, PA.  All the plates had Lexus corporate frames which conceal the word EXPIRES and the date 7/13/09 at the bottom.  Getting the pictures was easy, getting a plate, well, that's a different story.   Posted 7/10.


Added this 2-digit West Chester University Campus Use plate.  This plate type is used on university-owned vehicles that are not used on public roadways. This includes small campus vehicles (ATVs, UTVs, tractors, Cushmans, etc.) that are used off road around the campus for identification purposes.  Posted 7/10.


Here's one I have not seen before — a single-digit Press Photographer.  From all the information I had, these plates started at PP00 or PP10.  The ALPCA archives makes no mention of single digit plates.  Sol Bress provided these two images. 

In a similar vein, back on 6/18, I posted an image of an Air Force Reserve plate A/F0001, when the standard issue plates began at  A/F1000.  And I've yet to hear an explanation of the 3-digit Otter plates.  Interesting stuff out there.  That, plus the great contributions from the PA plate spotters, is what makes doing this website enjoyable.  Posted 7/9.


Updated this newer format Notre Dame Alumni Association plate.  The previous image had a frame around it.  Posted 7/9.




Fire Department plates have been removed from the official section of current plate pages and moved to the plate history page.  These were all (supposedly) replaced in 2007 with Emergency Vehicle plates.  This type appears to be on a '68 base; however, in an Allentown Fire Department history book, a Fire Department plate is pictured at a fire scene that was captioned as 1961.  Can this be?  Posted 7/7.


Bruce Bufalini provided this image of a Salvage Yard plate of the visitPA base.  These have been out for a while but this is the first image of one.  Posted 7/7.



Eric Getchell provided this nice image of what is believed to be a '65 Governor's plate.  If this plate was actually on a vehicle, which appears doubtful, it would have been used by Governor William (Bill) Scranton.  It is quite likely that more than one plate was used.  Posted 7/7.


Eric Conner some time ago sent me this nice # 2 plate of the same vintage as the plate above.  Was this a Lt. Governor's plate?  Eric Conner believes that this plate may be a prototype in preparation for the Lt. Governor plate since there was a space for Lt. Governor at the top, while the ALPCA archives describes the '65 Lt. Governor's plate as the one shown.  Posted 7/7.


Added image of this very unusual PA Turnpike 50th Anniversary special event plate on the far left.  This event was from 1990.  The sample plate image is from Paul Bagnarol  Posted 7/1.



The Knights of Columbus give their plate a colorful makeover.  Posted 7/1.




A pair of beautiful commemorative, motorcycle size plates from the 2009 ALPCA Convention recently held in Erie PA.  The lighthouse plate image was provided by Chuck Harrington.  ALPCA is the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association.  Posted 6/30.


Another pair of plates from the 2009 ALPCA Convention.  The far left plate is another commemorative plate, this one being full size.  The other is a porcelain plate made in the likeness of early PA porcelain plates.  A number of these plates were given out as first prizes for outstanding plate displays.  The '55' denotes the 55th annual convention of ALPCA.  Posted 6/30.


You can form your own opinions about this Passenger Vanity plate but it is sporting current and recent stickers.  Posted 6/30.





Updated the Format 1, 4-Digit Antique Historic Car plate.  Posted 6/30.




Ned Flynn has solved the mystery of the PA State Senator 51 plate.  Since PA has 50 senatorial districts, and the numbers on the plates represent the districts, how does a plate above 50 come about?  The over-50 plates are for retired senators - before the retired senator plates came out which was earlier this year.  The image was provided by Nick Tsilakis.  Posted 6/29. 


Added this image of a 1951 Governor plate, courtesy of Ned Flynn.  This plate would have been used by Governor John S. Fine  I have added the names of governors who used the dozen or so governors' plates listed in the Governors Plates Section.  Posted 6/27.



Captured these two 'first time' images of Friends of Drake Well Inc. plates.  Posted 6/27.




Updated this Format 3 School Vehicle plate with a better image.  These are used on van type school vehicles, not on buses.  This format was the first group of plates of this type on the visitPA base.  Since that time several other plate variations have been identified.  Posted 6/22.


Soon the South Newton Twp. Vol. Fire Co. will be getting its own specialty plate.  This is another in the ever growing list of PA fire departments/companies with plates.  Posted 6/22.



This NASCAR 99 Carl Edwards plate is brand new and was ordered as soon as the 2009 NASCAR order form came out.  So I am guessing that it may be the first off the line.  What does seem a little strange is the 1101 number.  If you look at the image gallery for the NASCAR 99 Carl Edwards plate, you will see that there were three (3) different '99' plates over the years due to different sponsors.  Unfortunately I only have prototype images of the first two (2) versions, and sometimes the production plate differ from the prototypes.  So based on number progressions with other NASCAR plates, this is my assessment of the progression:

For the 2005 racing season, N/9/90100 series was used (actual image needed);

For the 2006 racing season, N/9/91000 series was used (actual image needed);

For the 2009 racing season, N/9/91100 series will be used;

No plates of this type were offered during the 2007 & 2008 seasons.

Images of these missing formats are most welcome.  Posted 6/20.


Here's another plate that raises questions.  Obviously it's a State Senator plate, however, it was always my understanding that since PA had 50 senators, each one could register two (2) vehicles with senatorial plates just by reversing the placement of the PA with the senatorial district number.  In other words plates from PA1 to PA50 and 1PA to 50PA could be issued.  So what is the story behind PA51? 

Could this be a third plate for someone who already has two, or a replacement for a lost plate?  I don't think PennDOT will do a plate for plate replacement for a lost or stolen plate, so they might issue one with a new number, which would have to be out of range.

This interesting image was provided by Nick Tsilakis.  Posted 6/19.


Here are two York College samples with very different formatting.  The far left plate has the Y/C designator in the prefix position while the other plate has it in the suffix position.  The plate on the near left with the Y/C in the suffix location is the correct format.  Posted 6/19.


Note the unusually low serial number of the far left U.S. Air Force Reserve plate.  When you consider the fact that the standard series started at A/F1000, it is a departure form the normal format.  So what's the deal?  In 2000, when the yellow-on-blue series was replaced, those with A/F0001 through A/F0010 had the option of keeping the same number on the new plates, while all others got new plates starting at A/F1000.  This opportunity was available to all other low number military reserve plate holders at the time, including National Guard.

This interesting image was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  Posted 6/18.


Steve Ondik took these two images of Antique Vehicle plates.  Note that some plate holders have placed an image of their own vehicle over the original graphic on the plate.  The plate on the far left is also the new current high.  In PA the use of the letters O and Q in the first position (or anywhere else) would have been skipped.  Posted 6/18.


This nice NASCAR N00 Victory Junction plate was provided by Nick Tsilakis.  My previous image had a shadow.  This plate represents the Victory Junction Gang Camp, the sponsor of the NASCAR plate series in PA.  Posted 6/14.



See any difference between these West Catholic High School sample plates?  The plate legend font on the far left plate uses Title Case, while the near left plate uses Small Caps.  Also the legend line is at the bolt hole level on the one, and above on the other.  I don't believe any production plates used the Title Case font, so I won't list these differences as type variations.  Posted 6/14.


PA now issues a Retired Senator plate.  The formatting is 000R/S with Retired Senator along the bottom.  No image available.  This will be a companion plate to the Retired Legislator plate.  This is the first new plate outside of veterans groups, PD Motorcycle and specialty plates that I am aware of in long time.  Posted 6/11.


Added this Keystone State Games 1988 plate image to the Special Events page.  Posted 6/10.




Also added another 1988 Northeast Governor Conference plate image.  Posted 6/10.




And what image collection would ever be complete without a front plate from the PA Fish Commission?  Posted 6/10.



It's been a while since I've added anything to the Special Event page.  This picture was actually taken back in February but haven't gotten around to posting it.  Kind of self evident but it's a 1967 PA Governor's Inauguration plate.  Posted 6/8.


Also added these two PA State Official front plates.  Posted 6/8.




See anything wrong with this Telephone Pioneers of America plate?  Now compare it to the one below.  At first glance it may look like any other until you compare it to a normal plate.  I'd call it an error plate.  (The T/P prefix belongs in the suffix position.)  Posted 6/3.






Recently I've added and/or upgraded a bunch of sample and prototype images.  Also I'm adding the 'first year of issue' for each plate type where I have that data. 

There is also a project afoot to add a totally new page to this website focusing on plate history.  The new page will be an effort to depict the history of some of the plate types that have evolved over the past 25 to 50 years.  Watch for more on this.  Posted 6/3.


These image are from Jordan Irazabal.  It's not that unusual to see a Repair Towing plate on a passenger vehicle, and certainly legal.  What is unusual is that this is the current reported high for this type.  Any of the Miscellaneous Motor Vehicle Business plate, including Salvage Yard, Repossessor and Transporter can be used like this.  Posted 6/1.


This Truck plate is a little unusual that it's on what looks like a School Bus.  This image is also from Jordan Irazabal.  Posted 6/1.





The Jeff Burton NASCAR 31 image on the far left was provided by Lee Merrick.  The image on the near left is after a photo shop facelift.  (I regularly straighten, skew images and adjust brightness, but I don't ordinarily alter an image.  This image was altered to remove the tow ball, but the finished product is a valid representation of the actual plate.  Just don't look too close!) This plate is also is the first NASCAR plate that I have seen where the series did not start at 0100 or 1000.  If one looks at the NASCAR plate history, the Jeff Burton NASCAR 31 plate was issues for the 2005 and 2006 racing seasons, while there was also a Robby Gordon NASCAR31 plate for 2004.  See image below.  What appears to have happened is the 2004 plates used N/3/10100, so a new plate for 2005 meant a new format was required to avoid duplication of numbers.  Instead of the later-issued plates having higher numbers, the series went back to N/3/10000.  Posted 6/1.


First image of a Reading Buccaneers, Inc. plate with the frame completely obscuring the state name and half of the organization name.  I actually caught this at a traffic light with a telephoto lens.  Posted 5/28. 



After nearly 10 years of Pennsylvania using the AAA00 format on its Motorcycle plates both on the www and visitPA bases, they have recently, or are about to hit the ZZZ99 point and switch to a new format, that being 0000A.  The plates will continue on the visitPA style base.  No image yet.  Posted 5/28. 


This is the first image of a Boy Scouts of America plate on this website.  The image was provided by Nick Tsilakis.  Posted 5/26.



And yet another DARE plate image.  This one being the second one produces after the change to the current style.  The image was provided by Nick Tsilakis.  Posted 5/26.



Updated image of this Format 4 DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) plate.  This was the last format (D/A0A00 to D/A9B99 ) before the switch to the now familiar DARE plate on the visitPA base.  Posted 5/23.


. . . and while we're on the subject of DARE plates Paul Sanfran provided this image of a very low number plate.  Posted 5/23.




On far left is the first image of a Temple University Alumni on the visitPA base with flat screened color graphic and prefix.  This image was provided by Nick Tsilakis.  The other image, for comparison, is on the www base.  Posted 5/20.


This Collectible Vehicle image represents the high number for this plate type.  The black is very glossy on these plates making it almost impossible to get a good image without a reflection.  This was taken on a cloudy day.  This plate type is seldom seen on the street.  It is more common at car shows, however, even there is is not nearly as common as Antique and Classic plates.  The Collectible Motorcycle counterpart is so rare that I have never seen one.  Posted 5/20.


The plate on the far left is the current high on this Antique Vehicle plate type.  See LicensePlates.cc website for Pennsylvania highs.  The plates on the far left and center show that the characters spacing has been shifted to the right on these recent plates, while the earlier plate shows the characters are centered between the graphic and right border.  The early plate image was provided by Jeff Lesher.  Posted 5/19.


Captured this nice clean image of an Antique Motorcycle plate.  Posted 5/19.




This is the current reported high Classis Car plate.  See LicensePlates.cc website for Pennsylvania highs.




On the application form for a Special Registration Plate, it states:  If an owner desires a second Amateur Radio plate, it will be issued with the call sign plus a hyphen and the number two (-2).  Then what does a plate with -1 indicate?.  I have seen plates with -2, in fact there are images of these on this site, and I have heard of plates with -3, but never with -1.  Spotted this today at a car show in Wind Gap PA today.  The town lived up to its name and with a temperature of 52 and overcast sky, most car owners were sitting in their vehicles.  Posted 5/17.


This is not the first time an image of this very unusual Conserve Wild Resources - Otter plate has been shown.  These images are from Jordan Irazabal and the previous images were provided by Nick Tsilakis in 2006 and 2008.  Normal formatting of this plate type is R over C always followed by four (4) characters.  I have asked for an explanation of this format from PennDOT, and was told that to answer my question would violate record confidentiality.  I insisted that I did not want or need to know who owned such a plate, just an explanation of the unusual formatting.  The question went unanswered.  So much for government transparency, and Right-to-Know.  Posted 5/17.


These low-numbered Conserve Wild Resources - Owl plate images were provided by Jordan Irazabal.  Posted 5/17.





This on-the-fly image of a U.S. Air Force Reserve plate was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  We're not likely to ever see these military reserve plates appear of the visitPA base.  Apparently there were enough of these made on the www base that the supply is not likely to run out. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, if you like low number and / or Delaware plates Jordan's website is a must see:  http://www.thedelaware3000.org  Posted 5/13.


Received news from Ned Flynn today that the PA District Kiwanis International plate will not be coming out.  Not enough orders, and the Kiwanis office chose to cancel the project.  Too bad — nice plate.  Posted 5/13.




Spotted this not-quite-current but still-in-use Farm Truck plate.  The latest sticker is 10-96.  It was on a truck that was being used to support no-till corn planting.  Don't know if the vehicle had a Farm Permit which would have been located near the driver's door, and which would have made it legal to operate on the street.  Posted 5/11.



New sponsorship for 2009 for NASCAR 9 Kasey Kahne results in a updated look on far left.  The near left format has been in use from the 2004 to 2008 racing season.  Note the newest format number series starts at 1000.  Posted 5/9.


Tony Stewart has switched to NASCAR 14 for 2009, far left image.  The reason for the 1000 starting point is that there was another NASCAR 14 driven by Sterling Marlin (middle left) for the 2006 racing season.  From 2004 to 2008 Tony Stewart drove NASCAR  20.  Posted 5/9.


NASCAR99 Carl Edwards seems to hold the record for the most plate changes with the same number.  The 2009 plate is on the far left, while the middle left plate was for the 2006 racing season.  The plate on the near left represents the 2005 racing season.  It is unknown if there was a number shift from the 2005 to the 2006 version, but for 2009 the plates start at 1000.  Posted 5/9.


This is the first image of a Reliance Hook and Ladder Co. 1, and also the first plate.  Great find, provided by Jordan Irazabal.  Jordan is a Delaware plate enthusiast and has an amazing website on Delaware plates:  http://www.thedelaware3000.org  Posted 5/6.


Both of these Antique Motorcycle plates are of the latest format what I call Format 10.  In fact, the plate on the near left is the current high.  The plate progression in this series began with A0A, A1A and will end with Z9Z.  The first alpha character is the last character to advance.  There is likely to be one more series after this and that would be 0AA to 9ZZ.  After that I don't think there are any 3-digit combinations available.  If anyone has any of the older PA Antique Motorcycle plates in their collection, I am still in need of images of certain formats, also data on the starting and stopping points for certain groups.  Posted 5/6.


This is the first Veteran Motorcycle plate I've seen with a number above 1000.  Posted 5/6.





Spotted this low numbered Motorcycle Vanity plate.  The significance of the number is unknown.  It could be in remembrance of the 343 FDNY firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11/01.



Delaware Valley Triumphs Ltd. will have their own organizational plate soon.  Posted 5/6.




As can bee seen from this plate image, the current Motorcycle alpha-numeric number series is about to run out.  In fact this is the current reported high for this type.  See the LicensePlates.cc website for a listing of current PA plate high numbers.  It is not known, at least by me, what the new format will look like.  They should be on the street soon.  Posted 5/3.


This is the first Person with Disability Motorcycle that I've captured without some kind of frame, or other adornments which obstruct the view.  Unfortunately this one is dirty.  The PD and wheelchair symbol which are flat screened are not part of the registration number.  The embossed P is part of the number but is a static, non-advancing character.  This plate type has been around for almost a year-and-a-half.  Posted 5/3.


This Motorcycle Dealer plate is the current reported high for this plate type. See the LicensePlates.cc website for a listing of current PA plate high numbers.  This series began when the older series on the www base ran out of numbers at MCD9999.  This series began with MCD000A.  The alpha suffix character is the last to advance.  The current series was first seen in 6/06.  Posted 5/3.


While this plate does not represent anything unique in formatting or appearance, it is the current reported high for the Disabled Veteran series.  There is also a Severely Disabled Veteran plate series with its most recent reported high of D/V90059.  See the LicensePlates.cc website for a listing of current PA plate high numbers.  Posted 5/3.


The Millersburg Fire Company will soon have its own specialty plate.  The 2 prefix is because the Malvern and Midway fire companies received the first two blocks of numbers with the M/F suffix.  Posted 5/3.



NASCAR PLATE UPDATE — Carl Edwards, Kasey Khane and Tony Stewart all changed sponsors for 2009. Tony Stewart also changed car NUMBERS from 20 to 14, so this is the most significant change to any of these three. Information provided by Steve Ondik.  So there will be several plate changes.  Images will be posted when available.  Posted 5/2.

NASCAR PLATE NEWS — For the 2009 racing season PA will be adding Carl Edwards # 99 (N99) back into the mix.  Edwards had plates available for the 2005 and 2006 season.  The plate's logo colors were different each year to reflect different sponsorship for each of the years.  There is a good chance this will change again for 2009.  Kevin Harvick # 29 (N29), and the Richard Petty Historic # 43 (43N) have been dropped from the list of available plates.  So, for 2009 there will be nine NASCAR plate types available.  Also the 'Tag Type' designation on the order form (MV-913 4-09) for Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart have changed.  I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest a change in race teams or sponsorship will result in a revised plate format for these two drivers.   As a point of interest, since the VICTORY JUNCTION / NASCAR plate program first began for the 2004 racing season, there have been at least 51 different plate formats.  2009 may add a few more.  Posted 4/29.


First image of the newly restyled University of Notre Dame plate on the far left.  Note the change in tag legend from the older plate.  This image was taken in traffic from about 15 feet thru a not-so-clean windshield.  The plate frame does nothing for the plate either.  Posted 4/29.


After doing some additional research, I have come to the conclusion that PA is in fact issuing two series of Official Use plates.  This came to the forefront after Bill Stephens provided the image on the near left (with the alpha suffix), and then Eric Butler made a case for the two concurrent formats.  I do know for a fact that PennDOT differentiates between those that are issued for Passenger (PennDOT Type 33) vehicles and those that are issued for Commercial (PennDOT Type 23) vehicles.  The one difference is that the Passenger vehicles receive two plates while the Commercial vehicles receive only one.  The other difference is the serial numbering of the plates.  Passenger plates (far left above) use the 00000-PA format, while Commercial vehicles had been using the PA-00000 format until the number series ran out and are now using the PA-0000A format (near left above).  The history of the two formats is more obscure, it is unknown to me if there were always two groups or formats; however, it appears that there was a more noticeable difference when 00000-PA series began which may have been in 1984 or later.  This may have marked the beginning of the Passenger series.  Any help would be appreciated.  Posted 4/27. 


This conceptual rendering of an Emergency Vehicle plate is the final image from Mike Emody, again using the retro-map outline with the current serial formatting.  To compare with current Emergency Vehicle plates click the link.  Posted 4/27.


Bill Stephens sent these images of a new serial format on Official Use plates.  These were seen on a new PA Turnpike vacuum truck or suck truck.  This new format is a bit of a surprise, not the format itself, but the timing.  Pennsylvania had been issuing this plate type in the previous format in the 30000-PA series, and was nowhere near running out of numbers with almost 70,000 to go.  The use of the alpha suffix was expected, but not until the previous series was exhausted.  So what caused the change?  Or could this be another example of plates being issued out of sequence?  It has happened before with the Person with Disability plates where the format progression got ahead of itself.  Or just following the format of Municipal and Municipal Motorcycle plates that have already progressed to using an alpha suffix.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, what is the high number on the 30000-PA series?  Posted 4/21.

Eric Butler, a contributor to this website, suggests that PA is now issuing two series of Official Use plates.  A passenger series which will continue to use the 30000-PA series and a commercial series which will use the new PA-0000A series.  I think one of the differences may be that commercial plates are not issued in pairs.  Updated 4/23.


Nick Tsilakis provides this first image of a Linglestown Fire Co. #1 plate.  As I've said in the past, there has been a proliferation of fire and EMS related specialty plates in PA, and with somewhere around 2500 fire companies, there is no end in sight.  Posted 4/21.


Here are several more images from Mike Emody.  They are conceptual renderings of PA Dealer plates with the retro-map otline.  Posted 4/21.








While this prototype plate type will actually be produced and sold, it will not be marketed by PennDOT, but rather it will be available to ALPCA (Automobile License Plate Collectors Association) members.  ALPCA will be holding their annual national convention in Erie Pennsylvania in June this year.  It has been quite a few years since it was held in PA.  This type of plate will not have official standing, in other words, it can not be used in place of a regular PA plate.  It is more of a special event souvenir plate.  The plate shown here represents the passenger type and was provided by Chuck Harrington.  There will also be motorcycle plates which depict the Flagship Niagara under sail.  Posted 4/19.


Don't run out to your closest tag service and expect to walk out the door with one of these new plates.  Mike Emody has produced several conceptual images of interesting PA passenger plates.  The last image, JBA-0000, allows enough space for the 7-character format currently in use.  He has employed the old map outline with some modern color schemes.  Look for more images from Mike in the future.  Posted 4/16.

Mike reminds me that the plate design ideas actually came from Bill Stephens.  Updated 4/17.





This tricked out Pennsylvania State Police drug and alcohol rolling billboard is quite an eye-catcher.  I have seen this a couple of times at car shows.  Note the use of the generic registration plate.  Posted 4/6.



Saw this Motorcycle Dealer tag recently.  While these are not exactly rare, spotting one is not an every day occurrence, unless of course you work in a dealership.  It is my understanding that that the MCD at the bottom of the plate is actually a prefix to the registration number, making the registration MCD9775. 

I have been trying for a number of years to get an image of a Moped Dealer plate but so far no success.  These plates look much the same with a 4-digit number over MPD instead of MCD.  I have been to dozens of moped dealers trying to find a plate.  The problem seems to be that most dealers that sell mopeds also sell motorcycles and therefore only have one type of dealer plate.  A motorcycle dealer plate will cover mopeds but not vice-versa.  The plates do exist; I saw one at PennDOT headquarters.  Posted 4/6.


This is the first image of a Civil Air Patrol plate, and was provided by Bill Ceravola.  Posted 3/26.




Steve Ondik sends this image of a remake of an older passenger plate.  This remake would have been for a plate issued on the 91 base.  These were yellow-on-blue with an AAA-0000 format.  Posted 3/24.




A new plate to support the American Cancer Society, posted 3/24




First image of a Girl Scouts of the USA plate.  Posted 3/22.




Warminster Volunteer Ambulance Corps gets its own specialty plate.  Posted 3/20.




Added image of Pennsylvania College of Technology sample.  Posted 3/13.




Added Wisconsin Alumni Association as a new type of specialty plate.  Posted 3/13.





Spotted this shiny red Cadillac yesterday sporting a recent vintage PA MUNICIPAL registration plate.  Click the thumbnails to enlarge.  Posted 3/5.



On March 1 the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review did an interesting article called Inmates' license to plate revised on license plate production in the PA prison system.  Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for the tip on the article.  After enjoying the article, I noticed one of the pictures (far left image) had images of several sample plates.  What caught my attention was the plate in the lower right.  At first it looks like an Official Use plate as used on Commonwealth owned vehicles, but the top plate legend does not say OFFICIAL USE, instead the letters look like CO, such as COMMONWEALTH OF.  Note the standard Official Plate in the next image.  If so, I have never seen a plate with that legend on it.  My guess is that it's a sample, and does not reflect actual production plates.  Click the thumbnails to enlarge.  Posted 3/5.


First image of a University of Pittsburgh restyled plate on far left with color logo, flat legend and UP prefix, on visitPA base.  This image was provided by Nick Tsilakis.  The other image is an older version, but still current, with the embossed logo on the www base.  It may be worth mentioning that the University of Pittsburgh also has official plates for university-owned vehicles.  Posted 2/27. 


Proliferation of PA's Specialty Plates.  Over the past several years there has been quite an increase in the number of Specialty Plate types.  Just to cite some numbers, between the time when PA first began to issue Special Organization plates back in 1984 until the time of re-plating in 1999 the number of plate types had grown to about 77.  From that point till early 2005 the number increased to about 95 plate varieties.  Then in early 2005 the specialty plates started coming out with the colored logos and flat screened plate legend.  During 2005 about 33 additional plates were added, with an additional 25 or so coming out in 06.  Approximately 27 were added each of the next two years, which bring us to 2009 with about a dozen being added so far bringing the total to 219.

Of course the above numbers lump all the NASCAR plates together as one type, when in fact there have been at least 49 varieties of these Victory Junction plates offered over the years.  At present only 10 NASCAR varieties are available.  Posted 2/22.


Added Marshall University Alumni (Huntington, WV ) as a new specialty plate.  Posted 2/22.




Added image of proposed Mount St. Mary's University plate.  Posted 2/14.




Added image of Reading Buccaneers, Inc. sample plate.  Posted 2/14.




Nick Tsilakis has provided this first image of an Ancient Order of Hibernians plate.  Posted 2/13.




The Pennsylvania College of Technology has now gotten its own plate.  This college is the technical institution run by Penn State; thus their name appears in the logo.  The reason for the '1' prefix is that Purdue University has the series beginning with '0'.  Posted 2/13.


In the ever growing lineup of fire and EMS agencies, Pottsville Area EMS unveils a new plate.  Posted 2/13.




The Midway Volunteer Fire Company will soon have its own specialty license plate.  The reason for the '1' prefix is that the Malvern Fire Company has the series beginning with '0'.  Posted 2/8.



Members of the Norwood Fire Company will also be sporting new plates soon.  Posted 2/8.




This is not the first time an older Bus plate has been spotted with a current validation sticker — in this case 7-09.  Here the plate happens to be on a school bus, and wearing the requisite coating of road salt.  Most school buses in PA use School Bus plates but some are registered as buses.  I believe this allows more flexibility in how the bus company can use the vehicle.  Posted 2/5.


Lock Haven University gives its plate a facelift (far left) with a new color logo and now on the visitPA base.  Posted 2/5.



These 2013 and 2014 validation sticker images were provided by Vern Kreckel who sent them to Bruce Bufalini.  These stickers are used on trailers where there is an option to do a 1-year or 5-year registration.  Bruce is a fellow member of ALPCA and a long time contributor and friend.  He has several great web pages, with his home page being http://www.bufs-plates.com  Posted 2/3.


The Lansdowne Fire Company will soon have their own specialty plate.  Note the leading character is a 4.  This is because the L/F suffix is in use on several other plate types, namely The Mario Lemieux Foundation, and the Limerick Fire Company, and Linglestown Fire Company.  Posted 2/2.


The Harleysville Community Fire Co. also will be offering a specialty plate.  With this new plate type the leading character is 3 because the H/F suffix is in use on several other plate types, namely Hampden Township Volunteer Fire Co., Hartsville Fire Company, and Holy Family University.  Posted 2/2.


No Re-Plating for PA

On January 26, 2009 PennDOT announced that a new law has taken effect that eliminates the mandate to replace plates every 10 years.  Plates will be replaced at no charge if the plate becomes illegible.  Read more about this.  This proposal was previously posted here back on November 13.


I recently obtained this unusual 2-character Antique Motorcycle plate.  My research suggests that the first series of Antique Motorcycle plates went from 1 to 999, although I've never seen a single-digit or three-digit plate.  The next series appears to go from A0 to D99 after which the tag legends (PENNA and MOTORCYCLE) were reversed.  More data is needed to complete this research, so information and images are always welcome.  Posted 1/25.


Friendship Hook, Ladder, Hose & Ambulance will have a plate available for its members.  The 00000"F/F" series is being used by Flourtown Fire Company.  Posted 1/25.



Elizabeth City State University Alumni (Elizabeth City, North Carolina) will be offering a specialty plate.  Posted 1/25.



The latest School Vehicle plates (far left) are now coming thru with keystone separators.  All previous School Vehicle plates, from the first ones produced, well up into the SV19000 series, never had any kind of separator.  This latest image was sent by Nick Tsilakis.  Nick is an astute plate observer and believes that plates just prior to the one shown, also had the keystone separator, but used a narrow tag legend.  The flip-flopping between narrow and wide tag legend fonts has been common with this plate type and makes it one of the more interesting types to watch.  Posted 1/20.


This Hartsville Fire Company prototype (far left) is new to the ever-growing list of specialty plates.  What is unusual about this plate type is that it shares the same format 00000H/F as Hampden Township Volunteer Fire Company, or at least the prototype does.  If this is an error, I suspect it will be corrected prior to the startup of actual production.  It should be noted that Holy Family University uses 20000H/F and the Harleysville Community Fire Company (type not yet posted) uses 30000H/F.  Posted 1/20.


These prototype souvenir plate images were produced by ALPCA member Mark Coolidge and his company, MVLS.  These plates will be produced for the 2009 ALPCA Convention, which will be held in Erie, PA in June.  They are not yet available.  The left image is a standard size passenger plate and the other is a motorcycle plate.  The images were provided by Michael Liscio.  If you are interested in license plate collecting and you are not a member of ALPCA, ALPCA is the organization for license plate enthusiasts.  Click this ALPCA link to see what the association has to offer.  Posted 1/15/2009.


Ringing Hill Fire Company will be coming out with their own plate.  Posted 1/15/2009.




Brookhaven Fire Co. No. 1 will also be offering a specialty plate.  Posted 1/15/2009.




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