Welcome to PA PL8S / PA PLATES
Pennsylvania License Plate Images
John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA
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News and postings from 2010
COMMERCIAL replaces OFFICIAL USE as the new legend on Commonwealth of PA state-owned truck and large equipment type vehicles, far left image. This is probably the most significant change in Official Use tags in quite a while. Commercial tags are issued as single tags while non-commercial plates are issued in pairs. Until more plates are seen, it is unknown at what point this change took place, however, the 2009 image from Bill Stephens, near left, also in the A suffix series, uses the traditional OFFICIAL USE legend. A big thank you to Tom Perri for this latest image. UPDATE — Actually Tom forwarded the image but Jordan Irazabal of The Delaware 3000 took the photo.
As I have often said, this is part of what makes the hobby interesting, and an important reason for recording the history as it happens. Posted 12/26.
This interesting '60 Press Photographer on a Suburban base was provided by Chuck Harrington. PP Suburban plates were issued to station wagons and the like from 1960 to 63; however, there was a change in PP plate in 64 where the PP was enclosed in the more familiar keystone. It is unknown if all Suburban plates were replaced by the new style PP in 64 or continued for another year such as normal Suburban plates. Posted 12/26.
This Lima Fire Company plate has been listed on the Fire Page for a while, but it is not listed on PennDOT's list of approved organizations and there are no plates in use. So for the time being, it has been moved to the Pending/Proposed list. Posted 12/26.
I spotted this plate recently and noticed that it didn't have the normal keystone separator. Unfortunately I wasn't able to photograph the plate; however, Tom Perri spotted the same vehicle and got this image. It appears that there was a short run of Salvage Yard plates with a dash in place of the keystone separator. Later plates in the WL-23900 range again use the keystone separator. This same anomaly was recently seen on Transporter plates. Posted 12/26.
Tom Perri (https://www.paplates.com/) also sent this image of an older St. Vincent Alumni Assoc. plate for the Special Organization Plate History Page. Posted 12/26.
This is a particularly nice image of an extremely rare type — Moped Dealer. The image was provided by Kelly Brewer. There was also a 78 issue of this plate type with an embossed date, however, not a lot is known about later plates on this base. They are believed to have been revalidated with stickers thru the re-plating in 1999. Click the link above to read more about this type and see additional images. Beginning with the plate changeover in late 1999, Moped Dealer plates are now on the www base; however, trying to locate one to photograph has been futile. Posted 12/19.
A Villanova Plate Mystery. Villanova plates, since their inception back in 1987 on the yellow on blue plates, and later on the www plates, always used VU as their identifying prefix. Now with the change to the graphic format on the visitPA base, the VU has been moved to the suffix position, but yet on the graphic prototype, it retains its original position. Also, the name has been shortened from Villanova University Alumni Assoc to Villanova University. At the present time both variations are in use. Posted 12/19.
Here is the first of a group of fire service plates provided by Tom Perri. To the lest is s a very nice image of a Colonial Park Fire Company #1 plate. They are located in Harrisburg. Posted 12/19.
Next in the group is this #1 image of a Friendship Hook, Ladder, Hose & Ambulance plate. This organization is located in Royersford, PA. Image provided by Tom Perri, posted 12/19.
And from the Mechanicsburg, PA area is an image of a Hampden Township Volunteer Fire Company plate. Image from Tom Perri, posted 12/19.
And finally the last of the group is this image of a Ringing Hill Fire Company plate. This organization is from Pottstown, PA. Image from Tom Perri, posted 12/19.
First image of a 2016 Validation Sticker. This sticker was issued to a light trailer with a 5-year registration. In PA, light trailers can do annual or 5-year renewals. Heavy trailers can do annual or permanent registrations (Perm-Trailer) in which case no sticker is issued. Posted 12/19.
Chuck Harrington has kindly provided a number of Press Photographer images along with information about an unknown version which was produced in an incorrect format, center left. The far left plate is a 77 base, the first image of such on this site. The center left is the error version which was issued to those who had the 77 base, but requested to have their plate reissued on the later yellow on blue base. Finally, the near left plate was the corrected version. Almost all of the error plates without the keystone were recalled. This error was brought to PennDOT's attention by Chuck and resulted in the corrected plate. See more images and read more about the evolution of this unique plate type. This is also one of only a few plates in PA issued in pairs. Posted 12/12.
The East Allen Twp. Vol. Fire Dept., Northampton County, plate has been moved from Pending/Proposed to active status. Posted 12/12.
Tom Perri shares this very nice image of a Jefferson Fire Company plate. This is the first image of this plate type on this website. This fire company is located in West Norriton Township, Montgomery County. This and the other images (below) provided by Tom can also be seen on his https://www.paplates.com/project.htm webpage. Posted 12/12.
Another needed image that has been provided by Tom Perri is this Lycoming College plate. Lycoming College is located in Williamsport, PA. Posted 12/12.
Another great image, again provided by Tom Perri, is this Plymouth Fire Company #1 plate. Plymouth Fire Company #1 is located in Conshohocken, Montgomery County. Posted 12/12.
Jordan Irazabal spotted this plate while working together with Tom who sent this nice image of an elusive plate, WHYY. WHYY is a public broadcast media (TV & radio) provider in the Philadelphia region. Posted 12/12.
And finally, I can't finish out this week's website additions without again expressing my gratitude and appreciation to Tom Perri and his associate Jordan Irazabal. They have provided me with quite a number of first time images. I have more images from them; however, time constraints don't allow me to publish them all at once. Most, if not all the images, are 'first of their kind' making them valuable and important to the mission of this website. So watch for additional images over the next weeks, or go to their PAPlates website and see them now. Also check out the PA High Page. Posted 12/12.
The Limousine plate has finally switched from the www base to the visitPA base, far left image. This image is courtesy of Tom Perri. Note the use of the keystone separator in place of the dash. The changeover likely took place at LM-27000. Posted 12/5.
This, first of its kind, Thomas Jefferson University plate image, was provided by Bill Ceravola. Posted 12/5.
Another first of its kind image provided by Tom Perri. This one is of a Philadelphia University plate. I really don't understand why someone would spend the extra bucks to get a nice specialty plate and then cover up the name of the organization with a plate frame. Posted 12/5.
By the way, Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal have rearranged their PA Plates website somewhat. The home page, https://www.paplates.com/ is now the Pennsylvania plate highs page. The page with the images is now called https://www.paplates.com/project.htm. Posted 12/5.
State Representative Ted Harhai, 58th Legislative District, sponsored legislation to create an NRA Foundation special registration plate, but according to the Bill Information Page, the bill went to the House Transportation Committee back in March and was never voted on. So maybe the plate went thru the normal process for specialty plates. The other unique thing about this plate is the use of a 3-letter suffix. The only other specialty plates to use 3 characters were the NASCAR plates that all used a 3-character alpha-numeric prefix. Anyway, a portion of the fee for each plate will go to support the NRA Foundation's hunter safety programs. Posted 12/5.
Since my last posting, Eagles Youth Partnership plates 1 to 50 were auctioned off. The high plate, which happened to be the # 1 plate, fetched $4,245.00, and plate # 13 brought $3,123. A little salty for my taste, but quite a benefit to the charity. Posted 12/5.
A couple weeks ago Nick Tsilakis sent me this image of a Transporter plate which was the high number at the time. This plate surprisingly did not have the keystone separator, and in place had the dash separator. This is a departure from normal for non-passenger plates on the visitPA base. At the time it was unknown if this was an error plate or a format change. Since that time Nick has spotted DT-10210 with a keystone separator; however, Tom Perri has an image of DT-10357 on his PA Plates website also with the dash separator. What this suggests is that the plate run from DT-10330 or before, to DT-10357 or beyond, use the dash. Error or not, it constitutes a new format. Time and additional plate spotting will help determine the starting point which at this time is somewhere between DT-10210 and DT-10330.
This is part of what makes this hobby interesting, and one of the reasons for preserving license plate history. Posted 12/5.
These are the first images of the updated West Virginia University (WVU) Alumni plate. The far left image was taken in traffic by Bruce Bufalini, while the near left image was taken by Tom Perri. Posted 12/5.
Eagles plate auction for plates numbers 51 to 100 is over. Winning bids ranged from a high of $3,506 for the # 100 plate to a low of $305 for the # 78 plate. Currently plates 1 to 50 are being auctioned to benefit the Eagles Youth Partnership. Click the link to watch the online license plate auction. Posted 11/28.
The far left image is courtesy of Tom Perri (PA Plates Website) and shows the use of a wide tagline font on this State Representative plate. Note the word REPRESENTATIVE extends beyond the bolt holes, while the near left plate uses a narrower legend. The use of the wide font has been documented before but is unusual. The sections on State Representative and State Senator plates have also been reorganized. Posted 11/28.
Here's a new addition. The National Police Defense Foundation is now offering a plate to help support their mission. This plate has been placed on the Fire, Police and EMS page. You must be a member of the organization to qualify for the plate; if you are, here is an informational link: http://www.npdf.org/pdf/PA_DMN_LETTER.pdf. Posted 11/28.
Tom Perri (PA Plates Website) has been very kind in sharing images with this site. Thru his help I have been able to add a number of images of fire company plates. This Oakmont Fire Company image is the first of this type on this site. Posted 11/28.
Another new image from Tom Perri is this Tinicum Township Fire Company plate image. Posted 11/28.
And finally from Tom is this West Grove Fire Company plate image. Posted 11/28.
Here's another shameless plug for the PA Plates Website of Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal, now with a domain name: https://www.paplates.com/. They have added a new page to track Plate Highs, and unlike the License Plate.cc highs page, the PA Plates highs page will list every known Pennsylvania plate type. A great resource! Check it out. Posted 11/21.
While we're on the subject of Pennsylvania plate resources, fellow ALPCA member, Rick Kretschmer, has an excellent site called Ricks Plates or http://www.ricksplates.com/ covering Maryland, North Carolina and Pennsylvania plates. On the PA side, he details Passenger plates from 1906 to the present. Rick also covers Motorcycle, Truck and Trailer plates from 1914 to the present. He provides excellent historical narratives on the evolution and progression of the various types. For the most part, Rick covers areas of plate history that I don't cover. Check it out! Posted 11/21.
The Eagles Youth Partnership is sponsoring a new plate. This should have great appeal to Philadelphia Eagles fans. Actually the Eagles Youth Partnership is a public charity that serves low income children in the Philly area. Of interest to plate enthusiasts and Eagles fans is the online license plate auction for the first 100 plates.
Just when you thought they were here to stay. Actually these "Live Free Ride Alive" plates are part of a 60,000 plate run expected to come to an end somewhere in the "T" series. In Bulletin 10-09 PennDOT says "that the "Live Free Ride Alive" motorcycle registration plate is a limited edition . . . plate and is the current standard . . . motorcycle plate. PennDOT began issuing the redesigned . . . plate in March 2010. Agents . . . are required to issue the "Live Free Ride Alive" . . . plate in place of the regular . . . plate. Once inventory of [these] registration plates is exhausted, they will . . . return to the previous standard . . . plate design." As a side note, vanity plates on this base seem to be very rare. Posted 11/21.
Nick Tsilakis has provided this image of a relatively new Transporter plate. In spite of the newness, this plate has had a harsh life. That aside, the interesting feature of this plate is use of the dash separator in place of the keystone separator normally seen on the visitPA base. It is unknown if this is an error plate or represents a format change. Posted 11/21.
Brendan Sherry provided the (updated) Penn State Alumni Association plate on the far left. This pair has been added to the Special Organization Plate History Page. Posted 11/21.
Want to see more PA Plates? Fellow license plate enthusiasts (and friends) Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal (of The Delaware 3000 fame) have put together a new PA Plates website in which they list every Pennsylvania plate type, the base it uses, and the alpha-numerical high. They are working on their own, to obtain images of as many of the plate types as possible. Their goal is very similar to this site. I don't view their efforts to be in competition, but rather I welcome their efforts as additional resources to help preserve plate history and further the hobby. Take a look! Posted 11/14.
Tom Perri has also been very kind in sharing his images with this site, in this case the first image of an Avondale Fire Company plate. Posted 11/14.
Also from Tom is this image of a Malvern Fire Company plate. Posted 11/14.
This State Supreme Court plate image was provided by Michael Wiener. The letters stand for Supreme Court Justice. Read more about the formatting of this plate type on the Plate History Page, link above. An image of current Supreme Court plate is very much needed. Posted 11/14.
Here's a current Moped (MP) plate, but it's not on a Moped. A moped (motorized pedacycle) is required to have operable foot pedals. It also must be limited to a 50cc engine and 1.5 horsepower. The bike depicted is more of a motor scooter, certainly street legal, but should have a Motorcycle (MC) plate. Posted 11/14.
Abington Fire Company, Montgomery County, comes on board with their own specialty plate. Posted 11/14.
Vern Kreckel has provided many examples of validations stickers and other pre-sticker validation methods. Here are two examples of the method PA used prior to the introduction of stickers. The plates had their expiration date embossed into the upper border of the plate. This validation system was used beginning with 1941 plates showing a 1942 expiration up thru 1957 plates with a 58 expiration. Posted 11/14.
Here's the plate of the month. Tom Perri provided this image of a very unusual Superior Court plate. Click the link to see the other two images of this plate type. These include plate S/C03 and S/CPJ1. The latter meaning President Judge 1. Note also this this is the only one of the three not having the coat of arms. This plate type has an interesting but sketchy history; it is unknown when the plate type was first issued, but I saw one in 1997 — unfortunately no camera. That plate was yellow on blue and had SUPR as a prefix followed by a one- or two-digit number like 4 or 04. Then in September of 1999 the plates were reissued on the www base, but not in the current format. Those plate were reissued on a number-for-number basis using the same format as the previous issue mentioned above. No images from that era. Then in February 2002 they were redesigned and reissued in the current format. It is unknown how many of these plates are in use, but the series is reserved from S/C01 to S/C30.
PA has only three judicial plate types. Besides the Superior Court, there is also Supreme Court (no images) and Commonwealth Court (1 image). Any help with images or history would be appreciated. Posted 11/7.
Sixers Charities is now marketing a plate of their own. Click here to see more about the plate. Posted 11/7.
Added this image of a first generation American Legion plate to the Organizational Plate History Page. Posted 11/7.
Ed Coghill provides these two images of a 71 (natural) Press Photographer plate. Note the debossed 71 in the left sticker well. Posted 11/7.
This 59 Truck Validation Sticker has been added to the Validation Sticker Page and provided by Vern Kreckel III.
This 60 Truck Validation Sticker has been provided by Vern Kreckel III. Posted 11/7.
Ed Coghill shares a couple shots of a pair of School Vehicles that are still operating with older yellow on blue plates. It is unclear why these plates are still in use, but the research that I have done indicates that the vehicles are properly registered, but never received replacement plates. At this time I also have moved the older School Vehicle plates onto the History Page. After all these plates do represent the past, even if by some administrative glitch they have current stickers. If anyone has images of these plate, with stickers from the 90s, I will gladly post them. Posted 10/31.
Tom Perri has been kind enough to send this first image of a Goshen Fire Company plate. Posted 10/31.
This Limerick Fire Company plate image is also the first of its kind to be posted and was also sent by Tom Perri. Posted 10/31.
This older style Villanova Univ. Alumni Assoc. plate image was also captured by Tom Perri. Unlike the School Vehicle plates above, in most cases the continued use of obsolete special organizational tags is because the newer tag had the identical number on it ,and for whatever reason the owner decided to continue to display the old tag but keep them validated annually. Regardless of the reason, this image will go onto the Organizational Plate History Page. Posted 10/31.
The history section dealing with Moped plates has been largely rewritten. Some of the previous data has been corrected. Posted 10/31.
Clayton Moore provides this image of a pair of sequential Blue Lodge plates. The plate image on the near left has been added to the History of Special Organization Plates. Posted 10/24.
Clayton Moore also provides this image of a Fraternal Order of Police plate, which also has been added to the History of Special Organization Plates. Posted 10/24.
Here's pretty much a one-year-only plate on the far left. PA, thru DCNR, issues Snowmobile Dealer plates, but 1974 was the only year these were issued as metallic plates. They were the same size and general design as motorcycle plates of the time. It's also the first year for the plate type. All subsequent plates have been 3" by 5" plastic — as in the near left plate. Posted 10/24.
A section on Press Photographer has been added to the Plate History Page. This plate type goes back to the late 40s or mid-50. If anyone has better images than some of those I have, they would be appreciated. Also some of the changeover points from one version to another are subject to discussion. Sol Bress has provided the images of the # 4 plates above. This very low number has already prompted some discussion. Posted 10/24.
Normally on this page I post images of new types, unusual plate finds, formatting changes, etc. Today in addition to the new postings below, I'm posting a list of needed plate images. As always, the purpose of this site is to preserve and share plate history by displaying current images and some groups of older PA plates. Any help would be very much appreciated.
* Antique Motorcycle 1-, 2- or 3-digit (1 - 999)
* Collectible Motorcycle
* Moped Dealer (any vintage)
* Fleet Transporter (any vintage)
* Implement of Husbandry (www base)
* Commonwealth Court (any vintage)
* Governor (any vintage)
* Lt. Governor (any vintage)
* Retired Senator
* Passenger (current 1-digit, 0 - 9)
* State Representative (current, 1"HR" to 9"HR", 10"HR" to 99"HR")
* Supreme Court (any vintage)
* U.S. Congress (any vintage)
* U.S. Senator (any vintage)
* Congressional Medal of Honor (not a sample)
* Apportioned Bus (BN, yellow on blue)
* Salvage Yard (yellow on blue, with SALVAGE YARD screen printed)
* Special Mobile Equipment (yellow on blue, SME-000A to SME-000C format)
* Transporter (yellow on blue, TRANSPORTER screen printed)
* Any yellow on blue Special Organization plates not shown on the linked page.
This Implement of Husbandry image has been added to the Plate History Page. This very unusual plate was recently auctioned and the owner, eBay seller dmddrk, made the image available to me. I very much need a better image of a current Implement of Husbandry plate. What I have is a photocopy and it is not a good representation of the plate. Unfortunately these things are not hanging off the rear of tractors, combines, and truck mounted sprayers as one might expect, and I live in an agricultural region. For 2009 there were only 222 of these registered in PA down from 289 in 1999.
There is a related plate called Commercial Implement of Husbandry of which there were only 44 registered in PA at the end of 2009, however, I have been able to photograph several of these. Click link for image.
And one more very scarce plate — Farm Equipment Dealer, of which there were only 59 plates in use by 39 dealers. Click link for image. Posted 10/17.
Ed Goghill sends this Format 2 Antique Historic Car plate. This plate, with its light blue background, is in contrast to some of the other plates of this type with dark purple and light purple backgrounds. Is fading a factor here, or varying batches of paint over the years? Posted 10/17.
Dani DeGuzman has made this Lion Member image available, which is now posted in the History of Special Organization Plates. Posted 10/17.
Spotted this Motor Home plate today. Nothing noteworthy about the plate, but it is the current reported high. This plate type has remained consistent in its formatting since the start of the HH series. Posted 10/17.
With the recent shift of Special Mobile Equipment plates to the X suffix, there was speculation that they would appear on the visitPA base which they have not. Here is a good image of the current reported high. Not sure what happened to the Special Mobile plates legend at the bottom, or the validation sticker. Posted 10/10.
This is a nicer image of a 1967 M.V. Business plate. This is part of the complete run of this plate type shown on the Plate History Page. Posted 10/10.
Finally the vinyl prototype has advanced to the aluminum sample plate for the East Allen Township Volunteer Fire Department, Northampton County. The project is just awaiting the final approval of the sample from PennDOT. Posted 10/10.
Just for fun I snapped this image of a nice A suffix Farm Truck plate while the operator was busy combining (harvesting) soybeans. I pulled the B series image from my image archives. As best as I can determine, the Farm Truck high is somewhere around FM-6100C, which would still be on the www base. For anyone interested, there is a complete listing of PA Farm Truck plates dating from 1977 on the Plate History Page. Posted 10/10.
Here's a Permanent Fleet Sticker image. This was seen on a vehicle used by an electric utility company. Posted 10/10.
This plate image is an update (better picture) of Version 1 of Special Mobile Equipment on the History Page. Posted 10/3.
Jordan Irazabal provided this image of a low number Expeditionary Forces Veteran plate. This plate series came out in 1995, which is also the likely year of issue of this plate. Posted 10/3.
This is not a new image, however, this Elizabethtown College plate image has been moved to the page depicting the History of Special Organization Plates. The image originally came from Nick Tsilakis. Posted 10/3.
Same story as above for this West Point Alumni plate. This is one of only a handful of plates that uses only a 4-digit number in place of the more typical 5. Posted 10/3.
Added this prototype of a Geneva College plate with color logo on the visitPA base. Posted 10/3.
This School Vehicle image, of what is believed to be the most current rendition, was provided by Steve Ondik. This relatively obscure plate type — only about 8,000 issued in 10 years — is on its 7th format variation since the www plates were introduced. Posted 9/26.
Still no visitPA base on Special Mobile Equipment. Plates have recently advanced into the X (SME-000X) series but have continued on the www base. This is likely due to a large existing inventory of the plates on the www base. This image was provided by Steve Ondik. Posted 9/26.
I have updated one of the earlier images of a Duquesne University plate with this one from Brendan Sherry. Posted 9/26.
This Marine Corps League image pair was provided by Brendan Sherry. Posted 9/26.
The North Penn Volunteer Fire Company (North Wales, Montgomery County) will soon have their plate on the street. Posted 9/26.
I was able to capture these decent images of Classic Car plates. The one on the far left is part of a unique 1000-plate run from 20000 to 20999 (Format 2) in which the wrong dies were used. Note the use of standard dies in place of the 'antique' dies on the other plate. The other plate is also part of a 1000-plate run in the 50000-50999 (Format 5) series where the plate legend is reversed compared to the plate runs immediately before and after. Click the link about to see the entire series. Posted 9/19.
Bruce Bufalini has forwarded this image of the number 1 Delta Waterfowl plate. It's also the first image of this plate type I have seen. Unfortunately my version of Photoshop doesn't seem to have the 'remove the dirty plate frame' feature. Posted 9/19.
This image of a 1st generation Emergency Medical Services plate was caught in traffic by Brendan Sherry. It also shows current use of an obsolete plate. This image has been added to the Special Organization Plate History Page. Posted 9/19.
This is a Veteran Motorcycle plate with what appears to be a Severely Disabled Veteran Motorcycle Plate Decal. This type variation is listed on PennDOT's form MV-145V. Posted 9/12.
Bill Ceravola provides this image of the #1 Pa State Society Daughters of the American Revolution plate. This plate type has the longest name, or plate legend, of any PA plate. The letters are really squeezed together to fit between the bolt holes. Posted 9/12.
Bill also send this very nice image of a Gold Star Family plate. Posted 9/12.
As the Live Free Ride Alive motorcycle plates become more numerous, it appears that the starting point may be at 7600L or 7601L. Here is an image of a plate in the R series. I expect to see plates in the S and T series in the future which should exhaust the expected run of 60,000 plates. Then what, go back and use the unissued plates just prior to these? Or something new? Posted 9/12.
Here's the first image of a West Shore EMS plate, and was provided by Nick Tsilakis. Posted 9/5.
This very nice image of an Ancient Order of Hibernians plate was courtesy of Nick Tsilakis. Posted 9/5.
Bill Cerevola provides this image of a Reading Buccaneers, Inc. plate. The only earlier image of this plate type was half covered by a frame. Posted 9/5.
This somewhat unique Save Wild Animals - Tiger plate image was provided by Bruce Bufalini. It is presumably a sample plate with the word SAMPLE left out. Posted 9/5.
Jordan Irazabal sent this very low number Type 4 Person with Disability plate. I guess you really have to like plate frames or hate other people to put something on the back of your car with 1-800-BITE-ME. Posted 9/5.
Here's the first image of a California University of Pennsylvania plate. The picture was provided by Nick Tsilakis. Posted 8/29.
Here's a partial image of a 1914 plate showing the aluminum maker's number tag. These were used on tags from 1910 thru 1915 to designate the vehicle manufacturer's number. They were occasionally used on later plates but that's another story. They're not exactly validation stickers, but in a manner of speaking they do validate the plate. Vern Kreckel III provided the image. Posted 8/29.
Here's a new specialty plate — Police Athletic League of Philadelphia. Posted 8/29.
The is the latest update from Correctional Industries after improving the contrast of some of the colors on the East Allen Township Fire Department prototype design. Posted 8/29.
Brendan Sherry has provided this image of Veteran plate 00014U/S. This is part of the reserve group of 1 to 99. General issue began at 00100U/S. Posted 8/24.
If you look closely, the Person with Disability plate on the far left uses a slightly larger wheelchair symbol and the letters P D are taller. This is not a new discovery, however, after spotting the plate on the far left I have revised the changeover point in the number series. Posted 8/24.
Here's an unusual Save Wild Animals - Tiger vanity plate, especially since PA does not issue vanities on Special Fund Plates, although it's not the first unique special fund plate. There are also Otter plates with 3-dugit numbers, which do not conform to the standard Otter plates. This vanity plate appears to be something possibly made up as a favor, since the plate has no validation sticker and was front-mounted. The image was courtesy of Nick Tsilakis. Posted 8/24.
I've never before seen a Repair Towing plate on a motorcycle. Here's two such plates side by side. They are full size 6' X 12' plates as PA has no such plate specifically for cycles. Click the image for a better view. Posted 8/18.
This is the first image of a Knights of Columbus plate now on the visitPA base with a colorful logo; and was provided by Nick Tsilakis. Posted 8/18.
Nick also sends along this Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. image. Posted 8/18.
This image shows a new reported high on the Antique Motorcycle series. This plate is more than half way thru the Format 10 series which runs from A0A to Z9Z. When this series is exhausted, the next anticipated series (Format 11) is likely to be 0AA to 9ZZ. Posted 8/15.
Bill Pratt shares these two images of an inversion error '75 Motorcycle plate. The sticker on the near left plate probably indicates how the plate was actually displayed on the bike. Posted 8/15.
Geneva College is giving their plate a fresh facelift (far left) as it switches to the visitPA base. Posted 8/15.
Brendan Sherry provides this first image of a Mount St. Mary's University plate. Posted 8/8.
This is the current high Passenger plate along with the companion temporary registration document. These images were provided by Jerry McCoy. Posted 8/8.
Here's one you don't see every day, at least not in my neighborhood. This very rare sighting was provided by Tom Perri. These images were captured at a NJ seashore resort. At one time plates from 3 to 23 were reserved for cabinet members. Today not as many state officials and politicos use these distinctive numbers due to security concerns; however, plates below 10 are still considered to be under control of the governor. Unfortunately in recent years the Governor and Lt. Governor have discontinued using the number 1 and 2 plates. Posted 7/30.
Vern Kreckel III has provided this image showing a '60 Suburban plate with the date embossed. These are being displayed on the Sticker Page. Suburban plates were issued to station wagons and the like from 1960 thru '64. All plates had the embossed 60, but after that first year they were all revalidated with stickers. There plates all had the telltale Q somewhere in the plate serial. There were a couple exceptions such as the Suburban Press Photographer and Suburban Amateur Radio plates that lacked the Q. Posted 7/30.
Added this Fire Fighter sample on the far left to the Special Organizational Plate History Page. Note the absence of any sticker well. Also note the use of the Keystone State legend on the near left plate which is incorrect. It should read Fire Fighter; however, there were no yellow on blue Fire Fighter plates issued, only blue on yellow during this era. Posted 7/30.
After submitting an application to PennDOT for a specialty plate back in May, the East Allen Twp. Vol. Fire Dept. (Northampton County) received this 'design' back from Correctional Industries. It's one step closer. Posted 7/25.
Vern Kreckel III has provided this image showing a '62 Dealer plate with the date embossed. Unlike many of the more common plates that by then had begun to use validation stickers, Dealer plates continued to be embossed up thru 1974 then went to stickers, then back to embossed in '77 and '78, then to stickers. A little confusing. Even though it's embossed, it's shown on the Validation Sticker page with the sticker from that era. Posted 7/25.
I recently posted a Street Rod plate, 5903S/R, as the current high. A few days later Bill Ceravola provided this image of his recently received Street Rod plate. He actually received the plate in May, so the actual current high is probably slightly above the 6000 mark.
The Fearnots Volunteer Fire Company (Luzerne County) has joined the ever-growing ranks of fire companies and departments with their own plate. Posted 7/25.
Check out this new and unusual Passenger Vanity plate from Grant MacKenzie. At one time these single letter - single number combinations were reserved for state officials and dignitaries, but now they are available as vanities. However, such combinations are not easy to get as almost all combinations are in use. Posted 7/20.
Spotted this current high Dealer plate on the back of an antique Pontiac at a recent car show. Posted 7/20.
This Street Rod plate is also the current high. Posted 7/20.
Eric Conner shares this Operation Iraqi Freedom plate image. The interesting thing about this plate is that if from the reserve issue group, which was from 00001 to 00099. The general issue plates began at 00100. So what is the significance of the reserve issue group? You can form your own opinion. Whenever I tried to get answers to questions about such things, I received a bunch of double talk and stonewalling. Posted 7/15.
Lebanon Valley College is giving their plate a colorful facelift (far left) as it switches to the visitPA base. Posted 7/15.
Spotted this 'first of the series' Antique Motorcycle plate. In this case the series is what I refer to as Format 10. Format 10 is the latest Antique Motorcycle series with the formatting being letter-number-letter, making this the first. Unfortunately the plate has managed to become quite dirty in a short period time. Once this series fills up, the next series will likely be 0AA formatting. Posted 7/15.
Lycoming College will soon have a plate of their own. Posted 7/9.
Added Duquesne University and an East Stroudsburg University sample plate images to the Special Organization Plate History Page. Posted 7/9.
The plate on the far left is a first generation Fire Fighter plate. In fact this was the first Special Organization plate offered in PA. The first year of issue was 1983, thus it was introduced prior to the 1984 plate switchover to yellow on blue. All of the first generation Fire Fighter plates remained with the blue on yellow format right up to the plate changeover to the www base around 2000. The series ran from FF00001 to FF24999, although the run probably never reached that high. Sample plates, on the other hand, probably appeared after the 1984 change, so they wore the opposite colors. The plate with the Keystone State legend is incorrect. It should read Fire Fighter. Also the plate legend was reversed. Posted 7/6.
These were also provisions at the start of the Fire Fighter plate program to allow vanities. A few (hundred?) were produced and shortly this option was taken off the table, however, contrary to what some plate enthusiasts believe, they were not recalled. And when the www plates were issued, those who still had the original Fire Fighter vanities, were given the same alphanumeric format on the new base. There is still a small number of theses on the road today. Click link to see the current version of these. Images courtesy of www.pl8s.com. Posted 7/6.
Salvage Yard truck gets salvaged. This image, courtesy of the East Allen Township Fire Dept., shows a salvage yard vehicle that ran astray and found its way into a home. No one was injured but the truck and the home didn't fare quite so well. Plate looks unscathed. Posted 7/6.
This vanity plate image is from my son, Jim McDevitt. The plate kids of speaks for itself. Posted 7/6.
Steve Ondik provided this image of a Caddy wearing nothing but a G. This plate is considered a Passenger Vanity. These single letter plates are extremely rare with a theoretical maximum of 26 plates. That is assuming letters such as I and O are used. Posted 7/2.
Here is a Farm Truck sample, and has been added to the Plate History Page. This uncommon sample was provided courtesy of Paul Bagnarol. Posted 7/2.
Chuck Harrington provided these two PA0000 plate/sticker images. These images have been added to the Plate Stickers Page. Posted 7/2.
If anyone wondered if there would be Motorcycle Vanity Plates issued on the Live Free Ride Alive base, Bruce Bufalini has answered the question with this image. Since this base is intended to be a limited run of 60,000 plates, it did raise the question about vanity plates. Posted 6/28.
Here's a beautiful specimen of a We The People - U.S. Constitution plate, nice number also. For anyone not familiar, this is the only remaining yellow on blue plate still valid in PA. Posted 6/28.
Here's the first image of an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. plate which was provided by Heather Butera-Howell. She took the picture with a phone camera thru a thick plastic cover. Posted 6/28.
In a bit of a departure from the ordinary, I'm posting a group of plates that didn't make it. In other words, for one reason or another, a particular plate program never made it onto the street. Actually this Antique Automobile Club of America plate has even more mystery to it. It does not say Pennsylvania or PA on it; and it looks nothing like a typical organizational plate. I'm sure someone will provide more on this plate. The plate image was provided by Michael Wiener. Posted 6/26.
How about a Commercial Dealer plate? Don't head down to the local Ford dealer hoping to find one of these. This may have been a mock up or proposed plate, but to my knowledge never went into production despite having a 75 validation sticker. Posted 6/26.
Franklin & Marshal has a plate program today, but that came about in 2006. This sample plate is from an earlier effort back in the 90s that never got out of the chute. Posted 6/26.
This Rajah Temple A.A.O.N.M.S. sample plate is likely also the result of an organization embarking on a plate program and the program running out of gas. This was often the result of not reaching the minimum number of required plates, which at that time I believe was 300.
There were other plates with similar outcomes — Knights Templar, Special Olympics, and others. I'll post more at a later date. Posted 6/26.
Added this first generation Blue Lodge plate image to the Organizational Plate History Page. Note the absence of the word SAMPLE on this plate. This plate type dates back to 1984, right after the special organization plate program began, and samples did not use the word sample at that time. If anyone has actual (non-sample) plates or images of these three types, images would be appreciated. Posted 6/23.
This Notary Public sample image was also added to the Organizational Plate History Page. Posted 6/23.
Same for this Square & Round Dancers sample plate. Posted 6/23.
I was very surprised to spot this old beat-up Special Mobile plate in use on an active well drilling rig, but what was even more surprising was the plate format. The Special Mobile Equipment plate series began around 1984 starting with SME-0000 to SME-9999, then went to 0000-SME to 9999-SME. After that series was exhausted, there was a relatively short run starting with SME-000A and possibly going into the SME-000C series, before switching to the the www base at SME-000D in 1999. Because of this short run, this is the first of this format I have seen. Unfortunately it's pretty beat up from years of pounding water wells. If anyone has a nicer image or more information on this plate type, you input would be welcome. Posted 6/21.
This unusual Dealer-Multi Purpose sample plate image was provided by Jeff Minard. This plate type has always been a bit of a mystery. I have seen them on small trucks with utility bodies and on towing vehicles. They are fairly rare. PennDOT states "The primary purpose of a multipurpose dealer registration plate is for dealers or manufacturers that have more than one vehicle (truck or trailer), but do not have those vehicles on the road simultaneously. Generally, when dealers or manufacturers have only one vehicle (truck or trailer) in their possession, there is no advantage for a multipurpose registration plate to be purchased since the fee is exactly the same as the required registration fee for that vehicle". They are also for use on second stage vehicles, i.e., "A Second-Stage Manufacturer is defined as a person engaged in performing manufacturing operations on an incomplete vehicle produced by a manufacturer". Whatever. If anyone has an image of an actual yellow on blue plate of this type, it would be much appreciated. Posted 6/21.
The Expeditionary Forces plate image on the near left shows a slight formatting difference from the older plate on the far left. Note the placement of the stacked EF prefix on the earlier plate forms a vertical line with the small E in the plate legend above it. On the later version, which was provided by Heather Butera-Howell, the vertical EF prefix is moved left and no longer aligns with the E in Expeditionary above. My guess is that the plates above 1000 were made in a later batch and the formatting changed a bit. I'd like to confirm this with another sighting and then list the plates as format 1 and format 2. Posted 6/18.
Vern Kreckel III provides this '68 passenger plate validation sticker as an addition to the Plate Sticker Page. Posted 6/18.
Vern also sent along this 1970 trailer sticker image. Posted 6/18.
And finally to fill more of the gaps in the sticker page, Vern provided this 1974 truck sticker.
Fellow ALPCA member Ned Flynn sends along this image of a Delaware Valley Triumphs Ltd. plate. This is the first image of this relatively new plate type. Posted 6/12.
Spotted this Duquesne University plate the other day. It's a little nicer than the previous posting. Posted 6/12.
Moved this first generation Penn State Alumni Association plate image from the College Page to the Special Organizational Plate History Page. Posted 6/12.
This is not the first appearance of this 83rd US Open held at Oakmont Country Club in 1983, but this is a better quality image, courtesy of Chuck Harrington. Unfortunately today's special event plates, at least those for golf tournaments, are all made of cardboard. Posted 6/9.
Vern Kreckel III provides this '66 Passenger validation sticker. Posted 6/9.
This image of a U.S. Navy Veteran plate is somewhat better than the original one posted back in mid-April. Posted 6/9.
Here's an Official Use front plate provided by Chuck Harrington. Very nice plate. Not sure just how, where and when the plate was used; however, most likely on the front of some state owned vehicle. Posted 6/7.
Here's another specimen on the Live Free Ride Alive motorcycle base. Considering these recently started in the L series, they are now now in the N series. As previously posted only 60 thousand of these will be made, and each letter series represents 10 thousand plates. Posted 6/7.
This is the first image of a Brookhaven Fire Co. No. 1 plate. The image was provided by Jay Hughes. Posted 6/4.
Added this trio of sample plate images of Bloomsburg University, Dickinson College and Drexel University Alumni to the Special Organizational Plate History Page. Posted 6/4.
Also added this Bucknell University plate image to the Special Organizational Plate History Page. Even though this plate has an 05 validation sticker, the plates should have been retired or replaced several years before. Posted 6/4.
Grant MacKenzie sends these two photos showing innovation and creativity in using PA license plates to help accentuate the recent installation of a new rear window. This was spotted outside of a Wal-Mart. Seems to go with the "Save money, live better" theme. Posted 6/1.
Clayton Moore reminds me that the yellow on blue Apportioned and Mass Transit plates were made of steel rather than aluminum. Posted 6/1.
This is the first time I've seen the #1 Penn State Alumni Association plate — this plate bearing the older Nittany Lion or 'Pozniak Lion', named after the illustrator. This symbol, which dates back to 1985 on plates, was replaced in 2005 by the Official Penn State Mark on the newer visitPA base. While this lion symbol may have been replaced, there are thousands of these older plates still on the road showing their 'Lion Pride'. Can't tell I'm a Penn Stater can you? By the way, the image of this nice plate was provided by Nick Tsilakis. Posted 5/29.
First image of a Concordville Fire and Protective Association plate. Nice plate! With this and the plate below the number of needed fire plate images is down to 33. It's a loosing battle with the proliferation of fire plates. And to think — there are some 2400 fire companies in PA. Posted 5/25.
First image of a Pottsville Area EMS plate. Posted 5/25.
Spotted the NASCAR plate on the far left the other day. I knew something was different about it judging by the serial number (after the prefix) beginning with 1. It turns out this is the newer NASCAR 88 plate of Dale Jr. (2008-09 racing season). The other (older) NASCAR 88 plate on the near left is that of Dale Jarrett (2004-06 racing season). Posted 5/24, updated 5/25.
Added this Veterans of Foreign Wars plate image to the Special Organizational Plate History Page. This plate type dates back to 1984 and was one of PA's first special organization plates. The image was provided by Clayton Moore. Posted 5/24.
Clayton Moore has provided this Telephone Pioneers of America plate image for the Special Organizational Plate History Page. Posted 5/24.
Added this image of a Penn State Alumni Association sample on the visitPA base. Samples on the visitPA base are rare and always warrant a closer look, or in this case an image. It's not mine, so don't ask me to sell it. Posted 5/24.
Here's a windshield shot of the current high Perm(ament)-Trailer plate. Note the lack of any validation sticker since these are permanent. Posted 5/23.
Here's another windshield shot, this time of an Apportioned Bus. Unlike the above picture that was taken in stop-and-go traffic, this was taken at at highway speed on the interstate. I'm really surprised it came out as well as it did considering the speed, distance and zoom factor. It is also the current high on this type. And yes, still on the www base. I've been told not to expect to see this plate on the visitPA base due to the high number of plates produced on the www base and the relatively low number of registrations. As of the end of 2009 there were only 627 Apportioned Buses registered in PA. By comparison, there were only 207 of these registered in 1999. So if the numbers continue to grow, and if PA holds off on a major plate reissue, eventually it should happen. Posted 5/23.
Here's a Shriners plate image provided by Steve Ondik. To my knowledge, this plate type has not made the transition to the visitPA base yet. Posted 5/23.
These Live Free Ride Alive plates are certainly out there, although I've yet to see one on the road. This image was provided by Bill Ceravola. I did see one of these at the PennDOT plate window that was in the N series. The letter is the series marker — the character that advances last. PennDOT will produce 60 thousand of these Live Free plates then revert back to the standard motorcycle plate design. That should take the run thru M, N, P, R, S, and into the T series. The letters O, Q & U are normally not used. My previous statement that this series appears to have started at 8000L may or may not be correct. The series may have started at 5000L. As the plates become more common, the starting point should reveal itself. Posted 5/22.
Added this sharp Marine Corps League plate image to the Special Organizational Plate History Page. According to my information this plate type dates back to 1992. Posted 5/21.
This very nice National Guard plate was recently acquired from a fellow ALPCA member. Plate type dates back to 1987. Posted 5/21.
This St. Thomas More Alumni Assn. is part of a Philadelphia high school. The plate is pretty beat. One day I was admiring the plate owner's current plate on the www base when he opened his trunk and handed me this plate. At the time this plate would have been in the trunk for several years. Plate type dates back to 1997 Posted 5/21.
This U.S Armed Forces Retired plate image came to me as a surprise from a relative of my wife. The plate type was discontinued in 2006. Plate type dates back to 1990. Posted 5/21.
This super nice Vietnam Veterans of America plate came from a friend. Plate type dates back to 1992. Posted 5/21.
Here's an interesting pair of School Vehicle plates. Notice the numerical sequence is only eight (8) numbers apart. Also notice the plate formatting is quite different, with the upper plate using a narrow tag legend while the other plate uses a wider format. Also note the use of a keystone separator on the lower plate. It appears that this a formatting change at SV-19800 and not some kind of error. These kinds of changes have been common with this plate type. Posted 5/18.
This Antique Vehicle image was taken on 5/15 and is the current high. For anyone not familiar with this plate type, the T is the series marker, and therefore is the last character to advance. Also the letters I, O, Q and U would not be used in this series, or most other plate types in PA. In addition plate series P00A - P99Z is reserved for Person with Disability Motorcycle plates and would not be duplicated. Posted 5/17.
This is the first 1995 Governor's Inauguration plate I have seen. It's also the only one with a validation sticker, as all other issues have the year embossed or screened on the plate. This image was provided by Chuck Harrington. Posted 5/16.
Changed again! Nick Tsilakis reports spotting School Vehicle plate SV-20872, again using the keystone separator. This is also a new high. My previously high plate, SV20383, shown here, without a separator. This is at least the 7th, if not the 8th format change on this plate type since the changeover to the www base. I don't think any other PA plate has seen so many variations in as short a period. The variations consist of narrow and wide tag legends, and the intermittent use of the keystone separator. This plate type seems to be produced in small quantities and with each batch something changes. Sorry, no image yet. These plates are generally used on school vans and smaller vehicles with a seating capacity of 10 or under. Posted 5/16.
First images and first plate form Cedar Crest College (Allentown, PA). Posted 5/14.
I suppose it was only a matter of time till I posted another plate history page. This new history page will focus on the organizational plates dating back to the 1983 when the Fire Fighter plate was first issued up to the point of the plate changeover in 1999-2000. Therefore it will include only those plates that got their start on the yellow on blue base, except for the Fire Fighter which was always blue on yellow prior to the changeover. This page will not include those plate that came along after the changeover to the www base. The new page is in its infancy and contains very little at this point.
The plate shown here is a Telephone Pioneers of America sample and was provided by Selanda Leetphreak. Posted 5/14.
The East Allen Twp. Vol. Fire Dept. (Northampton County) has applied for their own specialty plate. Plate type has been added to the Pending/Proposed page. Posted 5/9.
Finally, here's the first image of the new LiveFreeRideAlive.com Motorcycle plate. The image was provided by Jerry McCoy. This series appears to have started at 8000L. Presumably there are still a number of plates on the visitPA base in the F, G, H, J, K, and L series (below 8000) in the hands of dealers and tag services that have yet to be issued. I'm curious to see if M/C vanity plates will be available on this base. Posted 5/7.
Spotted this somewhat unusual 2-character Motorcycle vanity plate. 4 and 5 digit vanity plates are common but 2-digit plates are rare. There is no overlapping of plate configurations between passenger and motorcycle plates. In other words there won't be a passenger plate with XL. Posted 5/4.
I'm guessing that this Veteran Motorcycle plate is somewhere close to the high point for this series. This plate type began at V0100. The curved plate frame makes squaring up the image more of a challenge than I was up for. Posted 5/4.
Attended the annual Spring Thaw Rendezvous sponsored by the Northampton Fire Department on 5/1. This event is always a good early season opportunity to spot plates. The plate shown here is the current high Motorcycle; however, with upwards of 1000 bikes at this event I was expecting to see at least one of the new LiveFreeRideAlive.com plates. Prototype image below. Seems strange that a plate that was supposedly released on March 17, and is now listed as the redesigned regular series, was not anywhere among so many bikes. Posted 5/2.
Back on February 10, I did a rather extensive write up on the rise and fall of NASCAR plates. Little did I know at the time that the NASCAR plate program would reach the finish line, but it has. As of today there is no more Victory Junction / NASCAR plate program in PA. PennDOT has pulled the plug. Existing plates should still be renewable. Posted 5/1.
Eric Conner has provided these two updated images of a 1930 Governor's license plate. The coats-of-arms on two of the 1930s (there are actually 3 - 1930 Governor's plates shown on the Governor's Plate Page) are not decals like later plates, but rather each one is hand-painted and signed by an artist named "Rice." These might be the only hand-painted coat-of-arms Governors' plates. The second image is the only autographed governor plate known and it is autographed by the governor for whom the plate was made, John S. Fisher. Posted 5/1.
Great plate, illegal frame. Why get such a nice plate and then completely block out the top and bottom plate legends? If you haven't figured it out it's a PA Chiropractic Association plate. Image provided by Bill Ceravola. Posted 4/29.
Added a second image of a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran plate. Posted 4/27.
Here's another image from Jay Embee. We have the # 1 plate from the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology that the owner decided to partially obscure with a dealer advertisement frame. Posted 4/23.
I've been trying for quite a while to find one of these yellow on blue Taxi plates, or at least a good image. For a variety of reasons very few plates of this vintage have survived. Anyway, many thanks to Jay Embee for the nice image. This image will be displayed on the Plate History Page. Posted 4/21.
The Mercedes Benz Club of America is the latest group to get a specialty plate. Posted 4/21.
I recently spotted the Blue Lodge plate on the far left. If you look closely at these plates you can see three plate variations within the span of 387 plates. The plates show a transition from the www base on the far left, to the visitPA base with embossed tag legend, logo and M/B on the center left, and finally the last plate shows the flat screened legend, logo and M/B. This is not a new discovery but the M/B11269 plate helped to narrow down where the first changeover took place. I would like to see a plate in the 11500 - 599 series to narrow down the next transition point. Posted 4/19.
Bill Ceravola recently snapped this Vietnam Vets (Veterans of Vietnam War, Inc.) plate image. One might ask how can a plate that should have been replaced 10 years ago still be in use? The likely answer is that the owner received the replacement plate but never put it on, since both plates would have the same number. If the police run the number, it comes back as being correctly registered. Posted 4/19.
Nick Tsilakis has provided this first image of a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran plate. Nice image. One unexpected finding is that this plate type started in the 10000 block of numbers rather than 00000. This suggests that another organization has the 00000M/C block of numbers but has not yet released their plate. Plates don't always come out in the same order that an organization was assigned a group of numbers. Posted 4/17.
This Combat Wounded Veteran - Purple Heart plate, also provided by Nick Tsilakis, should have been replaced in late 2004 / early 2005; however, it's still in use with a current sticker. These plates were replaced on a number-for-number basis making it easy to continue using the old plate. See also the History Page for all three versions of this plate. Posted 4/17.
This is the first image of a U.S. Navy Veteran plate. Image was taken in traffic. Posted 4/17.
How low can you go? This # 1 Friends of Valley Forge Park plate image was provided by Jordan Irazabal. Posted 4/15.
Here's an image of a very low numbered Save Wild Animals - Tiger plate. The image was taken by Tom Perri and forwarded to me by Jordan Irazabal. Posted 4/13.
Here's a pair of not-so-identical University of Pittsburgh twins. The plate on the far left, possibly a prototype sample, uses the old tag legend, 'Pitt Bicentennial' from the previous yellow on blue issue. Also the logo lacks much of the detail of the later plate. Posted 4/13.
The previous Gettysburg College sample was replaced with this nicer image. While there is nothing remarkable about this sample, actual Gettysburg plates are unique in that they are one of a very few with a 4-digit serial number, almost all others use 5-digit displays. Posted 4/13.
Dave Lincoln has provided this image of the 1956 Pennsylvania Governor's license plate. Posted 4/5. See several dozen images of Governors' plates on the Governor's Plate Page, also Governors' Inaugural Plates. Posted 4/5.
This image was provided by Michael Wiener. Ostensibly it has the formatting of what could be a Lt. Governor's plate on a 1987 base; however, Governors' and Lt. Governors' plates were not believed to have been used beyond the 1977 base plates which continued to be used at least until 1983. So what is this plate? Perhaps a Lt. Governor plate that was never used, or maybe some kind of courtesy plate. Michael Wiener was not able to provide much information. Also, it is unknown if the companion # 1 Governor's plate existed. Posted 4/5.
PennDOT promotes motorcycle safety thru a motorcycle safety training campaign and by redesigning its motorcycle license plate with the web address of the campaign website, LiveFreeRideAlive.com.
The following is an excerpt from PennDOT Bulletin 10-01, March 2010.
In promotion of PennDOT’s “Live Free Ride Alive” motorcycle safety campaign, PennDOT has redesigned the regular series motorcycle registration plate. The plate contains the Web address of the campaign Web site, “LiveFreeRideAlive.com,” at the bottom of the plate. This is a limited edition motorcycle registration plate and will be the standard issued motorcycle plate until inventory is depleted. PennDOT began issuing the redesigned motorcycle registration plate effective March 17, 2010. The redesigned motorcycle plate will be available to agents for their inventory by early April, for issuance to their customers.
Customers, who wish to replace their current regular series motorcycle registration plate with the "LiveFreeRideAlive.com" motorcycle plate, must complete Form MV-44, "Application for Duplicate Registration Card, Replacement of Registration Plate, Renewal Sticker or Weight Class Sticker." In Section B, customers will check the "replacement plate" block and in the "other" block write "Live Free Ride Alive." The replacement registration plate fee is $7.50 each.
The image has been added as a new Motorcycle format. Posted 4/3.
This is the first image of a University of Pittsburgh (Official) plate on the visitPA base. These images were provided by Eric Conner. Note the use of both a rear and front plate, one of only a few so issued in PA. On 1/22 Bruce Bufalini spotted one of these with U1111P and reported this new version. There is also a section on the plate history page showing the earliest University of Pittsburgh (Official) plate. Posted 4/2.
These images of April 2015 stickers were provided by David Hobbs. Before you run out and try to renew your car for 5 years, this option is limited to certain trailers. Posted 4/2.
The is the first image of a U.S. Coast Guard Veteran plate. Posted 3/30.
The plate image on the far left is an Organ Donors Save Lives plate provided by Steve Ondik. This is also the reported high. The other image is the same plate after a visit to Photoshop. Posted 3/30.
This first image of an Animal Friends plate was provided by fellow ALPCA member Bruce Bufalini. Image was taken in traffic. Click on Bruce's name to see his website. Posted 3/26.
West Shore EMS (Camp Hill) will offer its members an attractive specialty plate. Posted 3/26.
This unique photo provided by Andy Keim shows a rare PA Auto Manufacturer plate being affixed to a VW Rabbit at the VW plant in Westmorland County. The image is actually a photo of a page of the July 1979 Volkswagen Mirror. Click image to enlarge.
Several months ago, long time contributor Chuck Harrington provided a nice image of one of these plates as well as additional information on the plate. This write-up is listed under Auto Manufacturer on the Plate History page. Posted 3/24.
The Commercial Implement of Husbandry plate is one of PA's rarest plates. So when I saw this fertilizer spreader truck, I had to snap an image. This series started at CI1500H on the www base, making this one of the earliest ones issued. Obviously time and the relentless assault of granular fertilizer have taken their toll on this plate. Click the link above to see a nicer image.
- - This plate was issued on the previous base but I have never seen one and the history of it may very well be lost. If anyone knows anything of the this plate's predecessor, please let me know what you have.
- - There is also a non-commercial Implement of Husbandry plate which is even more elusive. Again anyone having such a plate or a neighbor with such a plate on their John Deere, please let me know. My goal is not for the betterment of this website nearly as much as it is to preserve the history of some of the rarest plate types. Posted 3/24.
Oh really!? I've never seen anything quite like this in PA, and there was no temporary registration document in the rear window. Posted 3/20.
The Erie Yacht Club will soon have their own plate. Posted 3/20.
Chuck Harrington provides this county-based 1975 Governor's Inauguration plate representing Clearfield County. The Inaugural Plates Section of the Governors' Plate Page also shows plates from Cameron County and Philadelphia County for 1975, as well as more than two dozen other PA inaugural plates.
For those interested in such plates, the Pennsylvania Governors' Plates page depicts more that three dozen historical governors' plates. Posted 3/19.
Added this unusual Susquehanna University sample plate image. If you compare the sample to an actual plate, the sample uses Title Case while the actual plate uses Small Caps on the tag legend. Posted 3/19.
Also added this University of Scranton sample. Again there is a difference between the sample and actual plate. In this case the sample tag line is lower than that of the sample. Posted 3/19.
Press Photographer on visitPA base spotted. Fellow ALPCAn, Jason Cowdell, reported seeing a Press Photographer plate on the visitPA base. The odd thing is that it was plate number PP416. The current high is somewhere above PP760, and to my knowledge are still being issued on the www base. Jason and I share the opinion that the plate is likely a remake. He was driving in the York PA area at the time and not able to get an image. Posted 3/16.
Therapy Dogs United, Erie PA, now has a specialty plate available. It appears that these plates are available to the public. Posted 3/16.
Two on one. Here's a rollback (flatbed towing vehicle) with two license plates, not counting the one on board for the ride. The images are poor as it was raining and almost dark, but after a few adjustments of brightness and contrast we have a usable picture. For anyone not familiar with PA plates, the plate on the left is a standard Truck plate, while the other is a Repair Towing plate. The Repair Towing plate is also the current reported high. Posted 3/14.
Plates look the same? Look again, the logo on the left Persian Gulf War Veteran plate is inverted. Somehow the initial run of these plates were made incorrectly, then at about the P/G01270 plate (far left), the error was discovered and subsequent plates were correct. If requested, the earlier plates were replaced. The P/G01898 image was provided by Brent W. Thompson. Posted 3/13.
This is the second U.S. Air Force Veteran plate spotted in three days. Posted 3/11.
Another addition to the Plate History Page: As for dealer types, the Trailer Dealer plate has had a relatively short history having been released in 1995. Only two versions of this plate are known to exist. I believe the number of current issue plates remains under 1000 making this an uncommon sighting. This plate is not yet known to exist on the visitPA base. Posted 3/11.
As part of the Plate History Page, both versions of the Civil Defense plate have been added along with a link to the County Codes. These plates were issued during the cold war years of the 1950s and 60s; however, the exact years of issue are unknown (by me). Plates were issued by the State Office of Civil Defense, today known as the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency or PEMA, and were distributed by PA's 67 county CD offices. Plates were front mounted on vehicles, and were given to people who had a role in civil defense. All plates measure 4" by 9½". The first part of the plate number represents the county code, the second part is the plate serial number, all are undated. Posted 3/9.
The weather this past weekend in PA was beautiful — blue skies, mild temperatures and melting snow. So while my wife shopped, I scoped the parking lot and came away with a few treasures of my own. This is the first image of a U.S. Air Force Veteran plate. Posted 3/8.
This is not the first U.S. Army Veteran plate image on this site, but certainly worth getting an image of. The 357 serial number suggests that these plates are selling pretty well considering the fact that they did not come out until late November 2009. Posted 3/8.
Even with 4H activity in the area, these 4-H Youth Program plates are not common. Posted 3/8.
Here's another image of the latest plate from Penn State University. The starting point for this plate was 10000P/S. Posted 3/8.
Here's another image of a Gold Star Family plate. Posted 3/8.
Added image of this hard-to-come-by Ohio State Alumni sample image. Posted 3/6.
Also added image of this Lafayette College (Easton, PA) sample plate. Lafayette samples are not only unusual, but in this case, the plate legend on the sample plate differs from the production plate. Note the use of ALL CAPS on the sample and Small Caps on the issued plate. Posted 3/6.
A new section on Taxi plates has been added to the Plate History Page. As stated in yesterday's post on Taxi plates, I need a yellow-on-blue taxi plate or image. Posted 3/4.
These images are of the current observed high Taxi plate. These images may look good as thumbnails, unfortunately when enlarged the otherwise nice plate is wearing an ugly coat of road dirt, a plentiful commodity in PA this winter.
While on the subject of Taxi plates, I would like to do an addition to the plate history section on Taxi plates, but I need a yellow-on-blue taxi plate or image. Trying to find one, or even a nice image, seems just about impossible. Were all the older plates sent back when PA re-plated? Anyway, if anyone has one for sale or has a decent image, please let me know. Posted 3/3.
A new section on Omnibus plates has been added to the Plate History Page. Posted 3/2.
Added image of West Point Alumni sample plate. Posted 3/2.
Added a 5-digit version of the 64 base School Bus plate to the Plate History Page. This plate bearing a 67 validation sticker. The earliest plates on the '58 and '64 bases were 4-digit. It is not known how high the 5-digit serial numbers progressed on the '58 or '64 bases, but I have never seen one on either base that reached 20000.
At this point I think the School Bus section of the Plate History Page represents all the bases and variations known, plus a few samples. Posted 2/28.
Updated the '56 and '57 School Bus plate images. These were the first two years for School Bus plates in PA. To my knowledge there were no 5-digit plates issued in these years. After 57, PA went to multi-year plates. Posted 2/28.
Older Purple Heart and Combat Wounded Veteran plates have been moved from the Veterans' Page to the Plate History page. Posted 2/27.
Updated image of the 77 base Municipal Motorcycle plate in the History section. It is my belief that the MG000 plates on the '77 base are no longer in use while 000MG plates on the same base are still in use. This is based on the fact that '77 base 000MG plates are still seen on the road and MG000 plates on the 77 base would have number duplications with MG000 plates on the 84 base. For that reason I have removed this plate format from the current Municipal Motorcycle listing and show it only on the History Page. Posted 2/26.
First image of a Friends of Valley Forge Park plate, and a nice low number. Posted 2/25.
John Netzlof sent a couple images of police vehicles used in the making of Tony Scott's Unstoppable from last September. There are state police and municipal (Wilkins County sheriff) vehicles pictured. (There is no Wilkins County in PA.) John worked as an extra as a Sheriff's Deputy. He described the plates as non-embossed plastic or cardboard. Except for the font, the PA Official Use plate on the state police looks fairly authentic. The Municipal plate on the other hand, is harder to read and has an alpha character in the first position, which is not unusual for a movie prop. He also stated that there were Fire / Rescue vehicles with movie prop plates but he got no pictures of them. Posted 2/22.
Nick Tsilakis has provided us with the first image of a Pa State Society Daughters of the American Revolution plate. That name is the longest on any PA specialty plate followed very closely by the 32° Masonic Learning Centers for Children. Posted 2/16.
All skewed up! Another gem from Nick Tsilakis shows a Passenger Oddball (error) plate where the serial number is skewed. Posted 2/16.
And still another fire department plate gets added to the list. This one belonging to the Warwick Township Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, Bucks County. Posted 2/16.
Concerning NASCAR Plates, Steve Ondik commented that the popiular drivers are the ones that have sold while the unpopular drivers have not. The 'BIG' names in NASCAR sell: Jeff Gordon (24), Jimmie Johnson (48), Dale Earnhardt (3) and Dale Earnhardt Jr (8, now 88), Mark Martin (6, now 5), Kevin Harvick (29), Tony Stewart (20, now 14).
So as 'predictable' as some fans THINK their driver is, and will NEVER change car numbers, the last two to three years have caused most fans to rethink that process. When Mark Martin said he would retire (from a car numbered 6), no one expected him to reappear in a car numbered 5 a year later. No one expected Dale Earnhardt Jr to leave DALE EARNHARDT, INC.
As for value to these plates, to the NASCAR fan, the 'popular' drivers plates might be worth something to the NASCAR fan no matter what state the plate is from, but probably not worth a lot. To the PA collector, ANY one of these should bring a decent price, but the ones that were issued in smaller quantities should of course bring a higher value. Posted 2/16.
The Rise and Fall of NASCAR Plates — In late 2004, PA embarked on a license plate undertaking that seemed to be a radical departure from the past. This was at the same time passenger, vanity and specialty plates were switching over to the visitPA base. NASCAR plates were on their way. Unlike the one-plate-per-organization, 33 different NASCAR types were to be issued, all available at the same time. This plate program was being sponsored by the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a special camp for kids with health care needs. So 33 plates were available for the 2004 racing season, which only lasted until March of 2005 when a new listing of plates was issued for the 2005 racing season. This time there were 34 plates available, many were the same as the previous season, but there were several changes, as teams, sponsors and drivers changed. When 2006 arrived, the number of plate types dropped to 32. For 2007 and 2008 the number of available plates dropped way back to 10, and for 2009 there are only 9 types available.
So what has caused this big decline in plate types? In a word — sales. A related question that has always bothered me, why are some NASCAR plate types so common and other types so elusive? Efforts to get sales or production figures have been futile; however, I have been able to put together some numbers which paint an interesting picture. Several types have sold in the 500 to 750 range, with the NASCAR 8 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. exceeding 1000. The 500 to 750 group includes NASCAR 24 Jeff Gordon, NASCAR 3 Dale Earnhardt Legacy and NASCAR 3 Dale Earnhardt. A number of others have only sold in the 100 – 200 range, and surprisingly about 24 types have not hit 100, several of these only selling 1, 2 or 3 plates. And as best as I can determine, about 9 types had no sales — zero. I have always wondered why I have been unable to spot and photograph more types. The answer is quite apparent with so many having such lackluster sales. This also means that a number of plate types are now extinct and none of the plates made it to the street. Would a plate with only 1 or 2 being issued of a less popular driver have more value than a high issue plate of a very popular driver?
While I am admittedly not a NASCAR enthusiast, nor am I knowledgeable about cars, drivers, teams, etc., I have maintained a meticulous matrix of the PA NASCAR plates since the first issue, along with the annual changes. In all, about 52 types have been issued, and even within a particular type there have been variations such as the NASCAR 29 plate of Kevin Harvick. For 2004 thru 2006 the graphic had a red and black outlined white numbers, while the 2007 plate used the same number with a black outlined red number. Both versions are listed as Type X7. There is a similar situation with NASCAR 99 of Carl Edwards where altogether three different variations of the 99 graphic exist on plates. So what's coming for the 2010 racing season? Check back in early April.
The NASCAR 31 Jeff Burton plate image above was provided by Lee Merrick, and the NASCAR 29 sample was courtesy of Paul Bagnarol. Posted 2/10.
This is the first image of a Pennsylvania College of Technology plate. The reason for the initial '1' is that Purdue University has the first block of numbers with the P/C suffix. The Pennsylvania College of Technology is located in Williamsport, and is affiliated with Penn State. Posted 2/8.
Spotted this 'first of the series' Penn State Alumni Association plates recently. I believe the P/S25000 was the starting point for the newer graphic plates issued on the visitPA base. (P/S24938 was confirmed on the older series.) Not sure what the small sticker is in the lower right corner, possibly a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs baseball symbol, but it's not an original part of the plate. Posted 2/8.
This is the first image of the new graphic style Lock Haven University plate. The previous style was on the www base. Click the link to see both styles. Posted 2/6.
Not sure what to make of this 1966 Motor Vehicle Business plate with a 69 sticker. I have two other '66 embossed plates with stickers — one for '67 and the other for '68. Why were some '66 plates renewed with stickers, while at the same time embossed '67, '68 and '69 plates were issued. The other odd thing is that the '67 and '68 re-validated plates had the sticker placed over the embossed 66, while this one is all alone and does not show evidence of earlier stickers. Posted 2/6.
Plate Trivia. On the Official Plates page under Official Use - Commonwealth of Pa Owned plates, the changeover point from blue-on-white plates to white-on-blue plates has been verified at PA-56000. Previously it was known that the changeover took place between PA-53000 and PA-56000. Recently I spotted a plate in the PA-55000 series that was still on the blue-on-white base. It was known that plates in the PA-56000 series were white-on-blue. These older plates are not normally seen on PennDOT trucks but are still common on the campuses of state run universities and state hospitals. Circumstances at the time did not permit a picture. The images above are just for reference. Posted 2/6.
Spotted this low number Knights of Columbus plate just asking to be photographed. This organization is supposed to have a more colorful plate revision in the works, but none has been seen or reported yet. Current high on this plate type is around K/C02348. Posted 2/3.
On the Plate History page, updated (nicer) image of the Version 2 of the Repair/Service Towing series. Posted 1/31.
Andrew Laver, President, Syracuse University Philadelphia Alumni Club has provided these images of two Syracuse University Alumni Association plates from the first batch produced, including the #1 plate. Andrew has also provided this link to plate ordering information — www.suphillyalumni.org. In his words. "The SU plates are available to Orange alums and fans alike, so no one is excluded or prohibited from buying." Posted 1/29.
Added this framed image of a National MS Society plate. Image was taken under less than ideal lighting conditions. Posted 1/24.
Tinicum Township Fire Company, Essington, Delaware County, joins the ranks of the ever growing list of PA fire companies with specialty license plates. Posted 1/24.
Added this image of an Ancient Order of Hibernians plate. Posted 1/22.
Bruce Bufalini shares this plate information: He recently spotted a University of Pittsburgh - Official plate on the visitPA base. Plate was number U1111P. He saw it in traffic and was not able to get a picture. Posted 1/22.
Added this prototype image of a new plate for the Jefferson Fire Company, West Norriton Township, Montgomery County. Posted 1/22.
This is just another update of the 1977 (Version 12) M.V. Business plate with this slightly nicer image. Posted 1/19.
Recently spotted this Union Hose Company of Annville Inc. (Lebanon County) plate. Posted 1/16.
HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 15
"Pennsylvanians have requested that the option to check personalized license plate availability be added to our increasing list of online driver and vehicle services," said Kurt J. Myers, PennDOT's deputy secretary for safety administration. "We are listening to our customers and are pleased to add this online service."
Individuals may apply for a personalized license plate by completing Form MV-904, "Application for Special Registration Plate." There is a one-time application fee of $20.
There are approximately 276,000 personalized plates in use across Pennsylvania.
PennDOT's online driver and vehicle services are always available and include driver's license and photo ID renewals; vehicle registration renewal; driver-history services; change of address; and exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.
The Swedeland Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 (Upper Merion Twp., Montgomery Co.) joins the ever-growing list of PA fire companies with a new specialty plate. Posted 1/15.
This is the fourth format used on the Temporary Intransit series since 2000. (These are used on vehicles purchased out of state.) The difference in the formatting of these cardboard beauties is the watermark. Click the above link to see all four versions of this plate. This one uses Pennsylvania over Department of Transportation followed by a PennDOT keystone. Unfortunately this plate is somewhat weathered and therefor a little hard to see. Posted 1/15.
Misericordia University will soon be hosting a college plate of their own. The reason for the leading 1 is because Marshall University has the first block of numbers with the M/U suffix. Posted 1/15.
The West Manchester Twp. Fire Dept. (York, PA) comes on board with their own specialty license plate. Posted 1/12.
The Mount St. Mary's University plate which had been on the Pending/Proposed list since February of 2009, is now considered an active plate. Posted 1/11.
A number of validation sticker images were provided by Vern Kreckel III. These are posted on the Validation Sticker Page. Posted 1/7.
Updated the 1977 (Version 12) M.V Business plate with this image. The M.V. Business section of the Plate History page now has 16 images all depicting a different year or different validation. Posted 1/5.
This Motor Home plate is the current reported high plate. I presently have 5 images of this plate type on the visitPA base ranging from HH-01271 to HH-20057 and so far there does not appear to be any formatting changes. Posted 1/3.
During the period of 1967 - 1969, there were new M.V. Business plates issued each year with the year embossed; however, at the same time some 1966 plates were renewed with 67, 68 and 69 validation stickers over the embossed 66. All of the revalidated plates seem to be in the series C45-00C to C99-99D, while the starting point for natural plates during that period was C00-00A. Why were some plates revalidated, while at the same time new embossed plates were being issued? Posted 1/3.
This Farm Truck image provided by Clayton Moore helps narrow down the changeover point between Version 1 and Version 2. The change likely occurred somewhere between FM-44000 and FM-48000. Posted 1/3.
On the Plate History Page, Clayton Moore identified an additional type variation that I did not have, and provided this image. The earliest Farm Truck plates (Version 1) were blue on yellow. The highest number on that series that I have seen is in the FM-32000 series. The next series of plates is what is depicted here. I have listed this plate as Version 2. Note the wide FARM TRUCK font. Version 3 of this plates is still yellow on blue but uses a narrow tag line font. Then Version 4 goes wide again. Finally Version 5 of this plate is on the www base. There are no reports of this plate type being issued yet on the visitPA base.
This raises two questions: At what point did Version 1 switch to Version 2? And with so many variations on the yellow on blue plates, it raises the question, could there be other variations between the FM-32000 series and the FM-48000 series? Posted 1/2/2010
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