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Pennsylvania License Plate Images

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

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News and postings from 2011

Merry Christmas

Weekly Posting 12/25/2011

Compare and contrast these two Person with Disability plates.  Nick Tsilakis provided the pictures and points out a spacing variation between the plates.  There is a noticeable shift of the 5-digit number to the left on the higher number plate, while the wheelchair symbol is located in the same place on both.


While these eye-catching plates are still in use, they are no longer issued, and they seem to have become orphans.  They almost never appear on eBay.  Years from now will they be sought after, or not?  Did PA not have the interest in NASCAR plates that some states have to sustain production?  While these plates were available from late 2004 until early 2010, a number of types never sold.  Apparently some drivers were not very popular.  Others sold only 1 or 2.  All together PA produced over 50 types or type variations.  They were also not cheap at $54 each.  This NASCAR 24 Jeff Gordon plate image was provided by Clayton Moore.


This is not such a great image but it shows a NASCAR 88 Dale Jr. plate issued for the '08 and '09 racing seasons.  You may recall that there was a previous NASCAR 88 Dale Jarrett plate issued during '04, '05 & '06.  There was also another Dale Earnhardt, Jr. plate issued from '04 to '07 and used number 8.  Confusing . . . yea.



This 59 Bus Validation Sticker image was provided by Vern Kreckel, III. 





And this 62 Suburban Validation Sticker image was also provided by Vern.  For anyone not familiar, Suburban plates were used on station wagon type vehicles between 1960 and 64.





And finally this 63 Bus Validation Sticker image was provided by Vern Kreckel. 





This Presque Isle high number plate image was provided by Brendan Sherry.  Presque Isle is a beautiful vacation spot with a light house out in Lake Erie.



As announced recently, the Sanatoga Fire Company (Montgomery County Station 58) will have their own specialty plates soon.



As mentioned in the 12/11 posting, Harcum College is one of the latest to sponsor a specialty license plate.  This facility is located in Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County.



Weekly Posting 12/18/2011

Website news: The Plate Coding Page has been updated to include all the latest plate types.  I frequently get inquiries from individuals, even police departments, asking about the identity of a plate that was spotted by giving me the prefix or suffix code, or the entire plate number.  This page makes it fairly simple to identify a plate type.  Also Tom Perri's website has a similar feature.  


Eric Conner recently spotted this # 1 West Point Alumni plate.  Note that West Point is one of only a handful of PA plates that use a 4-digit number as opposed to the usual 5-digit format.




Here's a prototype and sample plate of the new Delaware Valley Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America.  Very nice plate, the title is a bit of a mouthful, it actually forces the condensing of the font to fit all the characters, and is the longest tag legend currently in use in PA.


This nice Omnibus plate image from Clayton Moore shows a very recent plate, not quite the current high (OB-77623), but close.




This nice PA Choose Life image, also sent by Clayton Moore, shows a recent plate, not quite the current high (01086C/L) but close.  With the current high being above the 1000 mark it suggests that these plates have been selling well.  On the other hand the Planned Parenthood of PA plates have sold about two dozen and have yet to be photographed on the street.  The high figures come from Tom Perri's site.


Bucknell University is switching their plates to the visitPA base (far left) with the usual features of a screened logo, prefix and tag legend.



Here's a new one on the drawing board.  Waynesburg University (Greene County, PA) is getting ready to launch their own plate program.  This one has been added to the Pending Proposed plate list.



Weekly Posting 12/11/2011

Tom Perri provided this first image  of a Police Athletic League of Philadelphia plate.  Very nice image to boot.  This plate type has also been moved to the Fire, EMS and Police page.  It was on the miscellaneous specialty plates page.



Brandon Sowers sent this image to Jordan Irazabal who forwarded it to me.  Here is the first plate made for the Colonial Park Fire Company #1.




The plate image on the far left is a 1952 Tractor Dealer plate from Ed Burr.  TX designated Tractor Dealer for many (but not all) years up to 1973, after which a 7-character format was used.  For example, D12-345D was used to designate a Tractor Dealer.  Later (1977) TX was again used to designate Taxi, and it still does.  The source of the 1968 plate above is unknown.  If anyone has any tractor dealer plates, the images would be welcome.


Clayton Moore provided this very nice Circus-Carnival Truck plate image.  The consensus seems to be that the BZ stands for Bozo.




The Lehigh Township Volunteer Fire Company # 1 has been moved to active plate status; however, as of today's update there are no plates on the road.



Little League Baseball has also been moved to active plate status; however, as of today's update there are no plates on the street.



The following new specialty plate types should soon be on the street:

Delaware Valley Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America.  Format 00000B/W.

Harcum College.  Format 00000H/C.

Sanatoga Fire Company.  Format 10000S/F.

Bucknell University is now on visitPA base.


Weekly Posting 12/4/2011

Legislative Update.  Each year many bills sponsoring new license plates get introduced in the PA Legislature; and each year the vast majority of the bills die in committee.  For that reason I usually don't report on these bills.  This year there are several bills that show some hope of passing.

House Bill 98 would allow for vanity and specialty plates to be used on trucks up to 14,000 pounds (currently 10,000) and motorhomes.  It has passed the house (192-0), and is now in the Senate Transportation Committee.

House Bill 149 would provide for the issuance of "In God We Trust" registration plates.  It has passed the house (196-0), and is now in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Senate Bill 468 would providing for special registration plates for recipients of the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Bronze Star with Valor, Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy Cross and Air Force Cross.  The bill has passed the Senate (50-0) and is now awaiting action in the House.

House Bill 1203 would provide for Vintage Registration Plates, better known to vehicle and plate enthusiasts as Year of Manufacture or YOM plates.  The bill has passed the house (196-0), and is now awaiting action in the Senate.


Tom Perri provided the U.S. Navy Reserve plate image on the far left.  This vintage plate should have been replaced more than 10 years ago.  This has been added to the Special Organizational Plate History Page.  The others images are two different samples.


This University of Scranton sample plate image has been added to the Special Organizational Plate History Page.  The plate should actually be formatted as U/S10000.



These two older Apportioned Truck plate images are not new plate types, just better images.  These are on the Plate History Page.



Nick Tsilakis sent the LV2BGRN images on the left.  This plate, as Nick points out, shows a wider character spacing than is normally seen on vanities.  The other image shows a more typical  spacing of characters.




PA Official Use Plates changeover narrowed down.  A short run of Commonwealth Owned - Official Use bearing COMMERCIAL in place of OFFICIAL USE legend has been seen over the past few months.   The other day I spotted a PennDOT truck with PA-1392A using Official Use legend.  This would suggest that the point where the use of COMMERCIAL as the plate legend in place of OFFICIAL USE began at PA-1500A.  It is believed that the run using COMMERCIAL ended at PA-2499A, thus a run of 1000 plates.


On the history page, School Bus Type 7, the end point of the series has been changed from at least SA-23999 to at least SA-39999.  This is based upon a picture seen on eBay.


Weekly Posting 11/27/2011

Tom Perri passes along the first image of a VMSC of Lower Merion & Narberth plate.  VMSC stands for Volunteer Medical Services Corps.  Posted 11/27.



Tom Perri also shares this first image of a Pennsylvanians for Nebraska Alumni Chapter plate.  I've said this before and will say it again — I don't understand why someone would go to the effort and expense to get a specialty license plate only to cover up the name of the organization with a car dealer frame.  Posted 11/27.



Here's a very nice image of a Combat Wounded Veteran or Purple Heart plate.  It's also the current high, and was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  Posted 11/27.



Jordan Irazabal also shares this nice Steel Worker sample plate image.  Despite their appearance, these are not specialty or special organization plates, but rather a special class of plates but is being displayed on the Special Organizational Plate History Page.  Posted 11/27.


This Susquehanna University sample plate image has been added to the Special Organizational Plate History Page courtesy of Paul Bagnarol Posted 11/27.



As mentioned in the 11/20 posting, the 1958 #1 plate (from John Willard) may not be a Governor's plate at all.  Both plates shown here are listed in my '58 Governor section, however, the plate on the near left (also from John Willard) is believed to be the correct Governor's plate while the other may be the first plate produced in an all-numeric issue.  These started at 1 and went to 9999.  This all came to light as Eric Conner was doing research.  Also, this all-numeric run was not the first series as evidenced by the lack of the tab slot.  Eric learned that the #1 plate was not registered to the Governor, but to an average citizen who happened to get the number.  If the plate were a true Governor plate, it probably would have been marked as "1 Governor."  Posted 11/27.


Weekly Posting 11/20/2011

PA plate news.  The emergency medical services organization, VMSC of Lower Merion & Narberth now has plates on the road, and thanks to Tom Perri, I will be posting an image on 10/27.  Also, Lower Frederick Fire Company plates are now active.  Posted 11/20.


Clayton Moore has provided this image of a type variation of an older Handicapped Person plate.  While the image is small, it does document the existence of this subset of plates until a better specimen can be captured.  Posted 11/20.


Here's a 1941 Governor's plate just acquired Eric Conner.  This plate had found its way to California but is now back in PA.  See the page on the Governors' Plates for what is likely the best display of such plates on the web. 

Eric has a keen interest in PA Governors' license plates, and has made a discovery while doing research.  The #1 plate below (from John Willard) may not be a Governor's plate at all.  More on this next week.  Posted 11/20 & updated 11/21.





It looks like Lincoln University (Chester County) has a specialty plate on the drawing board, so it has been added to the Pending / Proposed list.  Posted 11/20.




Jordan Irazabal spotted this oddball Kutztown University plate on the far left.  What's unusual about the plate is that the serial number is not formatted correctly.  The current high on the series is K/U01440, however the far left plate is about 10,000 higher.  It appears that what should have been K/U01486 became K/U10486, a simple transposing the the first two digits.  The plate on the near left is correctly formatted.  This oddball run is from K/U10477 to KU10494.  Posted 11/20.


Jordan Irazabal also provided this extremely nice PA Society of Physician Assistants plate image, the first image of such a plate.  Posted 11/20.





Nick Tsilakis sent this Cathedral Preparatory School (Erie) image, again, the first image of such a plate.  Posted 11/20.





Clayton Moore sent this nice Notary Public plate image for the Special Organizational Plate History Page Posted 11/20.



Brendan Sherry shares this first image of an NRA Foundation plate.  These plates hit the streets not long ago.  Note the use of the 3-letter suffix and a 4-digit plate number in place of the much more typical 5-and-2 format.  Posted 11/13.



Brendan Sherry also provides this first image of a Point Park University (Pittsburgh, PA) plate.  Posted 11/13.





Tom Perri provides this first Elizabethtown College plate to be issued on the www base.  Generally plates that have first been issued on the visitPA base start at 00001 rather than all zeros.  According to Tom's website the high number is E/C01105.  Posted 11/13.


Tom Perri also provides this current high on a Multi Purpose Dealer plate.  Posted 11/13.





This Pennsylvania State University official looking plate is not believed to be a genuine official plate.  It also was probably never issued.  It is likely a novelty or test plate that was recently seen on eBay.  Posted 11/13.



Both of these plates are 1981 U.S. Open Golf Tournament special event plates.  It is unknown why the plates appear in different colors.  The far left plate was seen on eBay, while the other plate (from Bill Houser) was featured on this page last week.  Anyone have the scoop on this?  Posted 11/13.


A little side trip thru beautiful Berks County yielded these first images of Mt Penn Fire Company plates.  Posted 11/6.




Tom Perri spotted what is likely the very last Flagship Niagara plate issued.  No plates in the W series were issued.  For anyone not familiar, this plate type is no longer issued due to visibility problems, but is still eligible for renewal.  They were issued between 11/95 and 2/97.  As of the end of 2010, there were 12,186 of these plates still in use.  Posted 11/6.


Bill Houser sends this image of a 1981 U.S. Open Golf Tournament special event plate.  Unfortunately PennDOT no longer issues special event plates, at least not made of aluminum.  The closest thing to special event plates today are the black and white cardboard things.


Here are a few more additions to the Special Organizational Plate History Page.  These include Saint Francis College, which is now St. Francis University, located in Loretto, PA; next is St. James Alumni, which is a defunct high school from Chester, PA.  This plate should be formatted S/J10000, otherwise the St. James and St. Joseph's plates would share the same format; and finally St. Joseph's University of Philadelphia.  Posted 11/6.


This is a prototype of a soon-to-be DeSales University plate.  DeSales is located in Center Valley, PA.  Posted 11/6.




Tom Perri recently captured this first image of the first plate from Trevose Fire Company (Bucks County).  Posted 10/30.




With a little help from Clayton Moore, a second image of the Version 2 and Version 3 Handicapped Person plates have been added to the Plate History Page.  In addition Clayton was also able to provide a Version 8 image which was needed.  Still missing is the Version 4, HP90600 to HP99999, yellow on blue '84 base, issued 1984.  This was a short run and will be harder to locate.  Posted 10/30.


Here's a new high on an Official Use plate.  This version is used on automobiles rather than trucks, and is one of only a few types issued in pairs.  Posted 10/30.



Here's an International Association of Fire Fighters high number plate image from Steve Ondik.  Posted 10/30. 




The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition plate type was first added to the Pending Proposed list on 9/25/11.  This type has now been added to the list of specialty plates, although it appears that there are no plates on the street yet.  Posted 10/30.



DeSales University (Center Valley, PA) will soon have a plate of their own.  No image yet but coming soon.  Posted 10/30.


Here is the first (and very nice) image of a National Ski Patrol plate.  The image was provided by Tom Perri.  Posted 10/23.




Real or no real?  This plate was first brought to my attention by Jordan Irazabal then later by a contributor wanting to be credited as Triborough.  Triborough claims to have it on good authority from NYPD that plates from only 4 states have any parking rights - NY, NJ, CT and PA.  He claims there are other similar PA NYP plates.  For anyone not familiar the letters NYP mean New York Press.  A PA vanity check does show several other plates with similar formatting.  A call to PenDOT went unreturned.  I can find no official record of any such plate type in PA, nor anything in the PA legislature.  Until I get some official confirmation, this plate will not be listed as a new type.  Posted 10/23.


These two images of first generation Special Organization plates were provided by Clayton Moore.  The far left plate is an International Association of Fire Fighters and the near left plate is Knights of Columbus.  Posted 10/23.


For some time I've been wanting to add another section to the History Page on Handicapped Person / Person with Disability plates.  Only problem there were lots of variations of these plates during the 80s and 90s, and I don't have many images to help sort out the sequence of changes.  Anyway, the HP/PD section has been started, minus a couple of needed images.  The plates shown here are two of my own on the far and center left, and an image from Clayton Moore on the near left.  Any help in completing this section would be appreciated.  Posted 10/23.


While on the subject of Person with Disability plates, here's the latest high provided by Jordan Irazabal Posted 10/23.





Here's a Tinicum Township Fire Company plate image also captures by Jordan Irazabal.  Posted 10/23.




A little plate trivia.  One of my goals in putting together the progression of many plate types, is to establish the points at which various design changes or highs take place.  This week a photo on eBay shows a higher Version 3 Motor Home plate than I had previously cataloged.  The previous high was HF-60999 and the new high is likely HF-72999 or possibly higher.

In addition the same photo shows a Repair Towing plate which helped to narrow down the changeover point from the Version 3 to the Version 4 plate. VERSION 3 was from between RS-15000 and RS-17000 to between RS-25999 and RS-31999, the upper limit of which has been revised downward to RS-29999.  Similarly VERSION 4 started between RS-26000 and RS-32000, the upper limit of which has been revised downward to RS-30000.  Posted 10/23


Tom Perri shares information that the National Ski Patrol's plate is now on the street, and they have a nice sample image on their site.

Tom also notes that Pennsylvanians for Nebraska Alumni Chapter (10000N/U) and the Trevose Fire Company (10000T/F) are now active plates.  Keep those cameras handy.  Posted 10/16.


Found this piece of license plate history recently in the PA state archives.  On February 10, 1956, Governor George M. Leader signed the Press Photograph License Plate Bill along with Secretary Gleason and Pat Cahill, Paul Vathis and Tom Leask.  This enabled the issuing of Press Photograph License Plates, the first year of which is shown here.  Click the link above to see a pictorial history of these plates.  Posted 10/16.


Jordan Irazabal send this nice low number University of Delaware plate image.  Posted 10/16.




This number two Sixers Charities plate image was sent by Bruce Sakson.  It appears that plate sales of this type have been disappointing.  Posted 10/16.



Clayton Moore recently spotted this obsolete white on red Fire Department plate still in use.  These was all supposed to be replaced by Emergency Vehicle tags several years ago.  Posted 10/16.





Clayton also sent along this interesting white on blue Emergency Vehicle plate image.  These plates were always either white on red or red on white, never blue.  In addition, all of the older EV plates were supposedly replaced several years ago.  Posted 10/16.




This weird-looking LiveFree... Motorcycle plate is actually a movie prop.  This screen shot was taken by Jim McDevitt from the show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia".  Posted 10/16.





Jordan Irazabal provides this current high Penn Alumni plate image.  Nice plate.  Posted 10/9.




This Lincoln University official plate, also courtesy of Jordan Irazabal, is one of PA's rarest plates.  They range from L0500U to L0529, for a total of 30 plates, making this image the first of this type on the www base.  It is believed that no plates have survived from the previous (first) issue of this plate which would have been the yellow on blue base with the series starting at L0000U.  Anyone know of any?  It is unfortunate that not a single specimen or even a photograph exists of such a recent plate.  Posted 10/9.



Rough plate — this Special Mobile (Equipment) plate has had a harsh life on the work end of a well drilling rig.  It was also one of the first plates of this type issued on the www base.  This series started at SME-000D.  The series is currently in the SME-000Y series and still on the www base.  The previous issue of this type on the yellow on blue base first used the series SME-0000 to SME-9999, then 0000-SME to 9999-SME, and finally SME-000A to SME-999C.  It is not certain just how high that last series went, but I do haven image of an A-suffix plate on the History Page.  Posted 10/9.


On 10/2 I posted the near left image of what appeared to be an unusual PA plate taken at a recent car show by Jordan Irazabal.  Then I found a company called LicensePlates.TV that produces replica, or one might prefer to call them, fake plates.  Their system allows one to enter a number to see what the plate will look like.  The far left image is from their system using the same number.  Looks almost identical to me.  Posted 10/9.


Several more samples have been added to the special organizational plate history page.  This includes Pitt Bicentennial. On the www base this plate was renamed University of Pittsburgh.  Next is the Prince Hall F&AM, and Rotary International.  Posted 10/9.


This pair of Shippensburg University Alumni plates has also been added to the special organizational plate history page.  Posted 10/9.



This plate image and the one below were taken at the Greenville Car Show (DE) by Jordan Irazabal.  Interesting plates — both of them.  Legitimate numbers — quite likely.  The first plate has what appears to be a Classic Car number, on what may be a '77 base, but without sticker wells, and using a pre-1971 font.  What else could the frame be concealing?  To me the plate is a fake.  Interesting picture nevertheless.  Feel free to comment.  Posted 10/2.


This plate, also from Jordan Irazabal, appears to have a number from the current Antique Vehicle series, but is on a base that resembles the previous issue Antique Historic Car, with the colors coming from the Collectible (Vehicle) series.  The frame is hiding the border.  The user either has a good friend at PennDOT or the plate is a fake also.  Posted 10/2. 


These are all Official Use commercial plates, meaning truck or heavy equipment use.  They are issued as single plates as compared to passenger vehicle plates which are issued in pairs.  Both types have always used the legend Official Use until recently when the commercial version (center left) actually began using the tag legend Commercial.  Now, after a short run of maybe 1000 or 1500 plates, they have switched back to the familiar Official Use legend.  Recording and documenting these changes is part of what make this hobby interesting.  Posted 10/2.    


A contributor, Christopher Hainesport, noticed the recent postings of unusual looking Temporary Intransit cardboard plate images on this page.  I had noted that the font on one plate was different and the other was 4 million past the current high. Chris explains that it's because they're counterfeit temp tags.  It's a common practice of illegal immigrants and others who cannot obtain a drivers license, insurance, and/or registration by legal means. They print them up on a computer and paste it to cardboard. The incorrect font, incorrect number sequence, and use of the outdated PennDOT square box logo are the biggest giveaways.  The tag 2031-244 (below) that is shown under Format 6 is the only one that appears genuine and it actually belongs in Format 4 since all the others in Formats 5, 6 and 7 are fake.  Chris works for the Philadelphia Parking Authority and confiscates a bunch of these fakes each month.  All of the images posted here were provided by Jordan Irazabal.  In the near future I will remove the formats that are fake.  Posted 10/2.





Several, mostly sample images, have been added to the special organizational plate history page.  These include the International Association of Firefighters, Notre Dame University, Ohio State Alumni, and PA Association of Realtors.  The Realtor image is courtesy of Paul Bagnarol.  Posted 10/2.





The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (http://ovarian.org/pa-plates.php) appears to be getting ready to launch a plate program.  Posted 9/25.



This image was taken about a week ago and at least at the moment it is the reported Antique Vehicle high.  Posted 9/25.




This Street Rod is also the current high.  Posted 9/25.




Both of these 30 Day Temporary Intransit plates were provided by Jordan Irazabal.  These numbers advance in a normal numeric sequence however the difference between the previous high plate on the near left and current high on the far left is over 4-million.  What's up with that?.  Posted 9/25.


Here's a prototype image of the recently announced Trevose Fire Company plate.  Posted 9/25.




And the last plate image for this week is this prototype of the VMSC of Lower Merion & Narberth plate.  Posted 9/25.




Bill Stephens provided this image of a February 2017 Validation Sticker.  For anyone not familiar, some trailers can be registered for 5 years.  Posted 9/25.




This highly elusive plate type was finally captured by Tom Perri.  It is believed that only two of these PA Council On Independent Living plates are in use.  Great find!  Posted 9/18.



Another few images of PA's first generation of special organizational plates have been added.  This sample represents Lock Haven University which debuted back to 1999.  Posted 9/18.



Next in the group is this Moravian College sample.  The Moravian plate program dates back to 1990.  Posted 9/18.




And the final one this week is Muhlenberg Alumni whose history goes back to 1996.  Unlike the sample plates, issued plates were formatted as M/C10000.  It's seems unlikely that any group or plate actually has M/C00000 with 5 digits, most likely the closest were the first generation of U.S Marine Reserve plates which used M/C0000 with 4 digits.  Posted 9/18.


As announced several weeks ago here's a prototype image of a Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center plate.  Posted 9/18.



And finally this week is the prototype image of a Pennsylvanians for Nebraska Alumni Chapter plate.  Posted 9/18.




Here is an image of a very unusual passenger plate.  This is believed to be an 'interim' plate used when the blue on yellow '65 plate stock had run out before the new '71 base could be used, which at the time was March 15.  Note the use of a '70 sticker and note this interim plate was on the non-passenger base.  This image was provided by Ned Flynn.  The plate is apparently owned by another ALPCA member who provided the image to Ned.  Posted 9/11.


Motorcycle Plates progress beyond the Live Free run.  The "Live Free Ride Alive" plates were part of a 60-thousand Motorcycle plate run intended to enhance motorcycle safety.  The series started at or around 7600L and appears to have ended between 7499T and 7699T.  The plate on the far left is the observed high on the Live Free base, while the plate on the near left is the lowest observed plate on the next plate run.  The newest run is similar to the plate prior to the Live Free run.   The images below are the street shots of the same plates. 






Posted 9/11.


Here's a not-so-good image of the current Motorcycle high.  The plate was mounted vertically in a curved frame.  Posted 9/11.





And another high for the day is this Motorcycle Dealer (MCD) plate image.  All of these motorcycle types except the Moped below were taken at the Lansdale Bike Nite.  In spite of the miserable weather the turnout was decent.  Posted 9/11.



The last small plate of the day is this Moped high provided by Jordan Irazabal.  Posted 9/11.




Members of the Mt. Penn Fire Company (Berks County) will soon be sporting their own plates.  Posted 9/11.




Likewise the National Ski Patrol will have a nice colorful plate.  Posted 9/11.




What's the difference?  The plate on the left was spotted by Tom Perri.  The plate on the right is my own.  Besides the plastic frame and (add-on) pair of coat of arms, the number on the left plate is 3 plus the letter O, while the other plate is 30.  Note the smaller O.  In PA letters are smaller than numbers.  As for the 3O on the far left, I consider it a Passenger Vanity plate.  As for the state coat of arms, I consider them owner installed.  While the state does issue some judicial plates with a coat of arms.  Posted 9/4.


Here's a nice low number Saint Francis University plate image provided by Jordan Irazabal.  Posted 9/4.




Lately there appears to be a few variations in these Temporary Intransit cardboard plates.  Click the link to see others.  This plate image was provided by Jordan Irazabal and is the current high.  Posted 9/4.



Added this image of a Gladwyne Fire Company plate.  It is also the current high.  Posted 9/4.




The samples to the left and below represent several plates types for which I have no actual plate images, nor does the ALPCA Archives.  Do any of these plate types on the yellow on blue base still exist?  I'm hoping that they do and that someone has one or more in their collection that they would be willing to share an image of.  The mission of this website to photo-document of as many types as possible, but especially the more unusual types.  This first type is a Commercial Implement of Husbandry, probably introduced in 1997.  These sample images are courtesy of Paul Bagnarol.  Posted 9/4.  


This next sample is a Dealer-Farm Equipment.  I remember seeing one of these in the late 1990s but I was not photographing plates at the time.  These date back to 1991 or 92.  Posted 9/4.  



The last of this sample trio is a Fleet Transporter plate — a very tough find on any base.  These date back to 1997.  Posted 9/4.  



This prototype image of a Harmonville Fire Company No. 1 (Montgomery County) plate has been added.  No plates of this type are believed to be in use yet.  Posted 9/4.



This prototype image of a Lower Frederick Fire Company (Montgomery County) has been posted to the Fire, EMS & Police page.  No plates of this type are believed to be in use yet.  Posted 9/4



Here's one of those 'plate of the month' winners.  Unfortunately the frame seriously detracts from the image, nevertheless it provides photo documentation of a previously unknown type variation.   Tom Perri captured this Commonwealth Court plate image.  This is not the first Commonwealth Court plate, but it's the first to use the letter J in the mix.  The J presumably stands for Judge.  Click the link to see two other Commonwealth Court plates.  Posted 8/28. 


This Temporary Intransit cardboard tag image was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  What's unique about it is the font, which is different from previous and subsequent issues.  Click the link above to see other tags with the more common font.  Posted 8/28.   


This older Lebanon Valley College sample has also been added to the Special Organization Plate History Page.  Posted 8/28.




This Lehigh University Alumni sample plate image was also added to the Special Organization Plate History Page.  Posted 8/28.



The M Club Foundation, Univ of Maryland plate was announced last week on this site.  Here's a prototype image.  The first group of these plates appear to be in use.  Any member out there willing to share a picture?  Posted 8/28. 



Monroeville Vol. Fire Dept. (Allegheny County) was also posted last week.  This fire department also looks as if they also have plates on the street.  Posted 8/28. 



Brandon Sowers provides this NASCAR 17 Matt Kenseth plate image.  This is the the first image of this plate type I have posted, although about 57 of these plates were issued.  The series started at N/1/70100, and were issued during the 04, 05 and 06 racing seasons.  Posted 8/21.


Here is the current School Bus high.  The current series started at SC-00000 on the www base in June of 2000.  They switched to the visitPA base at SC-47000 around the middle of 2006.  Posted 8/21.




This is another image of a Commercial Official Use plate, although when the word Commercial was added the Official Use wording was dropped.  Commercial Official Use plates are issued as single plates while the standard Official Use plates come in pairs.  There are also 2 number series to distinguish between the commercial and non-commercial.  Click on the link above to see more on the two versions.  It is unclear when this change took place.  Sometime at or between PA-1000A or PA-1500A these plates began to use the word Commercial.  Posted 8/21.  


Not long ago Neumann University (Aston, PA) was listed as a pending / proposed specialty plate.  The plate has now been moved to the status of an active plate, although at this time it appears that no plates have been issued yet.  Posted 8/21.  



Another organization was recently listed with a pending / proposed plate was the PA Society of Physician Assistants The plate has now been moved to the status of an active plate, although at this time no plates are believed to have been issued.  Posted 8/21.  


In addition to the above two plates, the following new specialty plate types have been announced by PennDOT:

 - Harmonville Fire Company No. 1; Formatting, 00000P/T; Plates not yet in use.

 - Lower Frederick Fire Company; Formatting, 20000F/F; Plates not yet in use. 

 - M Club Foundation, Univ of Maryland; Formatting, 00000L/W; Plates are in use.

 - Monroeville Vol Fire Dept; Formatting, 00000F/D; Plates are in use. 

 - Mt Penn Fire Co; Formatting, 00000M/P; Plates may be in use. 

 - National Ski Patrol; Formatting, 00000S/P; Plates not yet in use.

 - Pennsylvanians for Nebraska Alumni Chapter; Formatting, 10000N/U; Plates not yet in use. 

 - Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center; Formatting, 00000R/E; Plates not yet in use. 

 - Trevose Fire Company; Formatting, 10000T/F; Plates not yet in use.

 - VMSC of Lower Merion & Narberth (VMSC = Volunteer Medical Services Corps); Formatting, 00000V/M; Plates not yet in use.

No images yet, and the plate coding for the above plates has not yet been added to the Plate Coding Page.  Posted 8/21.


This older Ducks Unlimited sample has also been added to the Special Organization Plate History Page.  I have many more older sample images to post but it is not a high priority.  What are really needed are actual plate images more so than samples.  Posted 8/21.


Same with this older Gettysburg College sample.  This image was courtesy of from Paul Bagnarol  Posted 8/21.




This Kutztown University sample image was also added.    Posted 8/21.




And likewise for this Lafayette College sample.    Posted 8/21.




A Year of Manufacture (YOM) Plate for PA? — Maybe

Clayton Moore gives us a heads-up that a bill has passed the PA House of Representatives and gone to the PA Senate Transportation Committee to allow a Vintage (YOM) plate.  For anyone not familiar with the term "Year of Manufacture", the legislation provides that the owner of an antique or classic motor vehicle may request permission from the department to display a vintage registration plate from the model year of the motor vehicle.  The owner provides his or her own plate, which must be a PA plate between 1906 and 1975.  Unfortunately most legislative bills dealing with plates end up in one of the Transportation Committees and never see the light of day again, but this one bears watching.  To read the bill or see its history go to www.house.state.pa.us.  Under Find Legislation By, click on Bill and type in HB1203.  Posted 8/14.


Tom Perri recently sent this very nice image of an American Motorcyclist Association plate.  Posted 8/14.




Eric Conner captured the far left Rails to Trails Conservancy plate image on the road recently.  Next to it is a sample.  There are both being added to the Special Organization Plate History Page.  Posted 8/14



While this image from Jordan Irazabal was obviously taken under difficult conditions, it is the new high for the Apportioned Bus series, and it is pretty clear that it is still on the www base.  The previous high was BN-01979, so this BN-02201 advances the high by several hundred.  I was told long ago by a reliable source that the BN plates were not likely to ever go to the visitPA base due to the low demand and the initial number produced.  Posted 8/14.


It has been quite a while since I posted any official front plates.  This plate and the one below are from Sarge of Klassy Karz.  This is a City of Philadelphia Official Use front plate.  Posted 8/14.



I had one of these in my collection at one time, and so does Sarge from Klassy Karz.  It's a PA State Police front plate that was used during the period prior to using the Official Use registration plates on the front.  Posted 8/14.



Validation Stickers likely to become a thing of the past

Back in April, Governor Corbett issued an executive order to the Governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission to "develop a comprehensive, strategic proposal for addressing the transportation funding needs of Pennsylvania", and "prepare a comprehensive listing of potential revenue sources available for current and future funding of transportation in the commonwealth" . . .  Click this Link to go to a webpage of the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission.  There is also a link to the full report, which included the following excerpt:

 - Recommendations: Eliminate vehicle registration stickers.

 - Description: Phase out the requirement to affix a registration sticker to each license plate each year.

 - Principal Benefits: One less task for vehicle owners.  Yearly savings of $1 million (PennDOT).  Potential for enhancing online registration renewal.

Thanks to Steve Noll for the above information.  Posted 8/7.


Here's an image of a recent acquisition — Version 1 of a School Vehicle sample plate.  This plate type came out in 1993 with the number sequence starting at SV10000.  None of the first generation plates are believed to have used the dash separator, as are used on some of the later issues.  Posted 8/7.


This is not a new addition, just an much better image of a Version 1 Perm-Trailer sample plate.  It is unknown if these plate began at PT-00000 or PT-10000.  The plates came out in 1997.  Posted 8/7.  



Bill Stephens provided this image of a 1-13 Validation Sticker.  The color is black and white, somehow the image seems to have a bluish hue.  Posted 8/7.  




Here a new high on the cardboard Temporary Intransit plate used on vehicles purchased in Pennsylvania and then registered out of state.  Posted 8/7.



Here's a nice low number Carnegie Mellon plate provided by Jordan Irazabal Posted 8/7.




Here's another example of a ham radio call sign appearing as a vanity plate without the Amateur Radio legend.  Just as the plate from 7/31, I'm placing this image in with Passenger Vanity plates.  This image was provided by Tom Perri.  Posted 8/7.




At a distance this appears to be an Amateur Radio plate, but upon closer examination, the plate legend, Amateur Radio, is missing.  While it does have a ham radio call sign, I'm classifying it as a Passenger Vanity since it does not have the Amateur Radio legend.  The same application form (MV-904) is used for both types, so it not hard to see how the wrong plate type may result.    I have seen this on a couple of other PA ham radio plates but this is the first image of such a plate.  Posted 7/31.


Vern Kreckel recently received this new Antique Vehicle plate which happens to be the current reported high.  Posted 7/31.




Tom Perri noted that La Salle University is giving a fresh new look to their plate.  The updated plate will have a screened color graphic and will now be on the visitPA base.  Posted 7/31.



Tom Perri also shares information that Neumann University (Aston, PA) is selling Pennsylvania plates, although from the look of this plate image, they are in the early stages of setting up their program.  For this reason I'm placing this new type on the Pending Proposed Page.   Click link below to see more.  Posted 7/31.



Tom Gehringer from Lehigh Township Volunteer Fire Company (Northampton County) shares this proposed draft of their plate.  The final plate may be identical or may have minor changes.  This plate type is also being placed on the Pending Proposed Page.  Posted 7/31.


At first glance I wasn't entirely sure what this plate was.  Obviously a Motorcycle plate, but the number seemed a bit odd.  The owner confirmed my suspicion that it was a Motorcycle Vanity plate.  It was on an antique Italian-made Harley.  Posted 7/24.



I spotted this plate driving past me while stopped at an intersection but wasn't quite sure what I had seen.  Later my wife spotted it parked.  It has the alpha-numeric coding of an old Emergency Vehicle plate.  The vehicle it was on had all kinds of emergency lights for fire police use, but to me it's a Passenger Vanity plate.  Posted 7/24.


Spotted this U.S. Air Force Veteran plate.  It's also the current high.  Posted 7/24.




Here's the current Municipal high, spotted while moving thru traffic the other day.  Posted 7/24.




And a Saint Francis University high plate image taken by Tom Perri.  Posted 7/24.




This Millersville University sample image was provided by Jordan Irazabal and has been added to the Special Organization Plate History Page Posted 7/24.



This older Knights of Columbus sample has also been added to the Special Organization Plate History PagePosted 7/24.




Tom Perri with some help from Jordan Irazabal, was able to get the first image of a Women in Transition, Inc. plate.  Not only is it the first image, but it's the number one plate of this type, and there is only a handful of these plates on the road.  Nice find.  Posted 7/17.


Tom Perri also reports that the new PAL (Police Athletic League of Philadelphia) plates are now considered active, meaning the plates are on the street.  Posted 7/17.



This very nice Limo plate image was provided by Tom Perri.  It is also the current high for the plate type.  Posted 7/17.




Here's another tip from Tom Perri.  Apparently the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants is planning a plate.  The image pictured here is an early graphic representation of what one might look like.  It has been added to the Pending / Proposed list.  Posted 7/17.


Here's a Vietnam War Veteran plate image which happens to be the the high plate number on this type.  Posted 7/17.




Brendan Sherry shares this extremely nice image of a University of Pittsburgh plate.  It's also the current high plate number.  Posted 7/10.



Here's the current high Antique Motorcycle plate.  The center character is a zero, note the difference in height.  Posted 7/10.




And another motorcycle high, this one of a Veteran plate.  Posted 7/10.




Spotted this NASCAR 29 Kevin Harvick.  Nothing especially noteworthy about the plate.  Less than 90 of these were issued beginning at N/2/90100.  Posted 7/10.




This 1970 Tractor Dealer image was sent to me by Kelly Brewer some time ago.  Recently I received another Tractor Dealer image, below.  So I guess it was time to start another section on the Plate History Page dedicated to Tractor Dealer plates.  It is not clear how many years this plate type was actually issued.  It was first issued in 1916 and continued well into the 1930s.  Then it seemed to go into hibernation until 1955.  Unfortunately I have very few of these plate images to show, only a 64 and 69 in my photo archives which I will post at a later date.  If anyone has any other years, I would gladly post them.  Posted 7/10.


Here's another very nice 1970 Tractor Dealer plate image along with the owners card which was sent by Glenn.  Posted 7/10.



This all-zeros East Stroudsburg University plate might, at first glance, look like a sample plate.  Actually it was the first of these plates issued, note the validation stickers.  Thanks to Ned Flynn for the image.  Posted 7/10.



The above plate, the plate to the left and this group below have been added to the Special Organization Plate History Page.  The plate to the left is a Barbershopper sample.  Images of actual plates are still needed for many of these types.   Posted 7/10.



The plate to the left is an Elizabethtown College sample.  Posted 7/10.




The plate to the left is a Gannon University sample.  Posted 7/10.




The plate to the left is a Geneva College sample.  Posted 7/10.




The plate to the left is an IUP Alumni Association (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) sample.  Posted 7/10.




The plate to the left is a Kings College Alumni sample.  Posted 7/10.




I knew these plates existed, but after years of looking and trying to figure out what kind of business would use Fleet Transporter plates, this pair of Fleet Transporter plates was finally located.  (Previously I only had a graphic depiction of this plate type.)  So what is a Fleet Transporter plate?  In simple terms, it's a Transporter plate used by a fleet owner, rather than by a dealer.  A dealer, on the other hand, might use a Miscellaneous Motor Vehicle Business Transporter plate such as those pictured below.  These plates are meant for moving vehicles around as needed prior to receiving a permanent plate, or being sold.  I've also seen Transporter plates on mobile homes during delivery.  Posted 7/3.


Douglas Boldt shares this extremely nice image of his Erie Yacht Club #1 plate.  Posted 7/3.




Here is a Format 4 Temporary Intransit cardboard plate.  These are temporary plates used on vehicles purchased in Pennsylvania that will be registered in another state.  This image provided by Jordan Irazabal is also the current high.  Posted 7/3.


This Antique Motorcycle plate, while not out of the ordinary, does help to narrow down the transition point from Format 5 to Format 6, the main difference being shifting from narrow bolt hole spacing to wide spacing.  This plate has the wide hole spacing.  Thanks to Tom Perri for providing this image.  Posted 7/3.


This Antique Motorcycle plate image, also from Tom Perri, is unique in that it is the new high number.  It is my belief that the numeral advances first, then the final letter, then the first letter.  The next alpha-numeric series is likely to be 0AA.  Posted 7/3.



This Potter County Visitors Association plate is the current high.  Posted 7/3.





Tom Perri provides this nice image of a Pennsylvania State University official plate, which means it is used on university-owned vehicles.  The image also happens to be the current high number for this series.  Check out Tom's highs page to keep up with the latest, or submit a finding to him.  Posted 6/26.


Tom Perri also sent this very nice Lycoming College plate image.  Posted 6/26.




And finally from Tom Perri is this out-of-sequence Lock Haven plate.  The series should be L/H00000, not L/H100000.  There appears to be a run from L/H10010 to L/H10080 with this out-of-sequence numbering.  Click the link to see all three formatting variation of this college plate.  Posted 6/26.


Bill Ceravola was kind enough to forward this image from the 2011 ALPCA Convention.  Unless you're a plate collector or an ATV Dealer, it's unlikely you've ever seen one of these plates.  These full-size plates date from about 1986, and were replaced with smaller motorcycle-size plates in 2006.  The issuing agency at the time was DER or Dept. of Environmental Resources, later it was renamed DEP or Dept. of Environmental Protection.  Posted 6/26.


Bill Ceravola also sent this novel Passenger vanity plate picture.  I had an earlier image of this plate but this is a nicer image.  Posted 6/26.



Jordan Irazabal captured this Amateur Radio plate image.  To the casual observer the plate formatting may look almost random, but in the United States plates can be issued with A, K, N, or W as the first letter.  Most PA Amateur Radio plates use the number 3 to designate the region; however, there are call signs on PA plates that use a different number if the holder moved into PA from another region, or even another country.  Actually I don't ever recall seeing a tag with a foreign call sign in PA.  Anybody have one?  Posted 6/26.


Jordan Irazabal spotted this Widener University all-0s plate.  It is my belief that back when this plate type was first issued (1995), it was not uncommon for the first plate to be all zeros.  Today most, but not all plates, start with leading zeros and a one.  So far Widener has no plates on the visitPA base.  Posted 6/26.


Photographing these Moped Dealer plates is probably the find of the year.  I've been searching for this very unique plate type to photograph for quite a few years.  Jordan Irazabal deserves much of the credit for calling around until he found a dealer with such a plate.  Most dealers that sell mopeds use Motorcycle Dealer plates which are far more common.  I actually visited the same dealer several years back but it was closed at the time.  Note the use of the MPD for Moped Dealer while Motorcycle Dealer plates use MCD.  The plate format is actually MPD4000, with the MPD being a prefix in spite of its location.   Also, the plates pictured here were the first Moped Dealer plate produced on the www base, and the dealer actually had the three plates pictured.  Sorry, they were not for sale.

The only other current Moped Dealer plate I ever saw was at PennDOT headquarters but I was not permitted to photograph it.  I'm guessing that there are very few of theses in use.  Posted 6/19.



Motorcycle Plate Update

Since PA is just about thru issuing the 60,000 Live Free Ride Alive motorcycle plates, I was curious to see what was next and went to a tag service.  They had about 10 of the Live Free tags left, then they were going back to the undistributed plates that predated the Live Free tags.  I asked to see one, and the plate was in the K suffix series.  The Live Free plates started in the later part of the L series.  This will result in plates being distributed out of sequence.  I really don’t know where PennDOT left off the standard M/C plates prior to the start of the Live Free, maybe somewhere in the G or H series, maybe later.  Actually this plan to distribute the Live Free plates and then go back to the undistributed plates was announced by PennDOT some time ago.  Note, the images pictured here are not new to this website.  Posted 6/19.


Tiger Joe Sallmen recently captured this nice low number Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix plate image at an Ohio motorcycle event.  It's not a motorcycle plate, however.  PA does not produce any specialty, special organization or special fund plates for motorcycles — too bad.  Posted 6/19.


Brendan Sherry shares this super nice Ohio State Alumni plate image.  Posted 6/19.




Here's a pair of California University (of PA) plates.  On the far left is a nice low number from Brendan Sherry and the near left image is from Jordan Irazabal Posted 6/19.




Also from Brendan Sherry is this West Point Alumni plate image.  This is one of only a handful of PA plates that use a 4-digit rather than a 5-digit serial number.  Posted 6/19.





Tom Perri sent an image of this Apportioned Bus plate last week and then had an opportunity to retake it under better conditions, but Tom, I think you need to start carrying a wash cloth Also worth mentioning is that Tom maintains the premier resource for checking and reporting high plate numbers on PA plates.  So if you see a new high in your travels, send it to Tom.  His site is www.PAPLATES.com  which sounds a lot like mine, which is www.PAPL8S.com.  The big difference between us is that he is young and handsome and I'm old and fat, but we are good friends and both enjoy the hobby and sharing license plate information.  Posted 6/19.


Bruce Sakson sent this image of his brand new Animal Friends plate which is also the current high.  Posted 6/19.




As a point of information, the older Emergency Vehicle plates have now been placed in their own area on the History Page.  So there will be a current Emergency Vehicle plate section and a historical section that cover EV plates back to the beginning.  Posted 6/19.


This elusive Midway Volunteer Fire Company (York County) plate image was provided by Tom Perri.  Of the fire companies with plates on the street, this leaves only Harleysville Community Fire Co., Hartsville Fire Company and Ingomar Vol. Fire Co. No. 2 without plate images.  Posted 6/12. 


The image on the far left represents a normal Street Rod plate and was provided by Tom Perri.  The other image is from ALPCA member Bill Ceravola and looks a lot like a Street Rod plate.  Customized Street Rod plates are not all that unusual, but they are normally limited to altering the graphics.  In this case the plate has not only been repainted, but the state name on the top of the plate is embossed.  Neither Bill nor I have ever seen a Street Rod plate with anything other than a flat screened state name.  Posted 6/12.


The mystery concerning this plate has been solved.  It is not a Governor's plate per se, but rather it is, or was, one of the 1975 inaugural plates.  Some of the '75 inaugural plates were made on what appears to be an earlier (mid-60) map outline base.  It likely had hand-lettered markings of Inauguration 1975 above the 1, and a county name below the 1, however, all traces of these features are missing.  Thanks to Chuck Harrington, Eric Conner and Eric Getchell for their input on this plate.  Posted 6/12.


This Apportioned Bus image represents the current high and was provided by Tom Perri.  Is there a visitPA base anywhere in our future?  Posted 6/12.

Image updated 6/19.




Vern Kreckel III shares a number of images of validation stickers.  The first images are from a '60 Bus plate & sticker, followed by a '60 Trailer plate & sticker.  Posted 6/12.












The next is from a '61 Trailer plate & sticker and a '62 Trailer plate & sticker also from Vern Kreckel.  Posted 6/12.












Nick Tsilakis captured this image of an all-zeros International Association of Fire Fighters plate.  Normally specialty and special organization plates begin at 00001, but occasional favors do occur.  Posted 6/5.



This Passenger Vanity is a product of Lancaster County, PA; image taken by Eric Conner.  I'm sure this Toyota Avalon is not driven by an Older Order Amishman, or at least not one who follows the rules of his church.  Posted 6/5.



Tom Perri recently captured this perfect image of an Eagles Youth Partnership plate.  Judging by the number, the plates seem to be enjoying decent sales.  Posted 6/5.



Here's another William Penn Charter School plate image from Tom Perri.  This plate type has unusual number sequencing.  After the first couple of plates, the serial numbers appear to advance by increments of 10 such as 20190 then 20200 instead of 20019 and 20020.  Posted 6/5.


Jordan Irazabal provides this Motor Home high number plate image.  Posted 6/5.




The image quality is marginal, but it shows an ATV Class 2 plate with the letter in the 4th position.  This is the first of the Class 2 plates I've seen where the letter was not in the 5th position.  The Class 2 vehicles appear to be limited to the use of X and Y and probably Z.  Class 2 ATVs are wider (>50") or heavier (>800 lb.) than Class 1s  These are also much less common than Class 1 plates.  Posted 6/5.


Here are several images from Eric Getchell, but what kind of plate is it?  A #1 plate in this era generally indicates Governor, but the word Governor is missing, then again not all Governor plates used the title.  Could it be (another) prototype?  Eric suggests, and I tend to agree, that it could have been a front plate used in conjunction with different plate on the rear.  At least for now it has been placed in with another '65 Governor Prototype.  It does seem to wear the scars of being on the front, note center image.  Posted 5/29.  Read the updated information posted on 6/12 concerning this plate.


And here's another #1 plate.  These are not historic pictures, but were taken recently by Eric Conner.  The plate has no legend, but it does appear to be on a PA '77 base, with correct PA colors and font.  Could this have been a '77 Governor's front plate, or maybe some kind of prototype?  Posted 5/29.  



With so many Governors' plate variations existing in certain years, it does make the process of positive identification difficult and tenuous at times.  During the years from 1965 to 1971 there were a couple of changes in Governors, quite likely each wanted their own new and different plate.  There are very few actual photos in existence which depict the Governor's vehicle (limo) and plate.  Here's one of the few on the left with a 75 sticker.    Posted 5/29.


Speaking of #1 plates, here's a pair of images from a cell phone camera of the #1 (00001)  Reading Buccaneers specialty plate taken by Kyle Goodhead.  Posted 5/29.





Bus plates that were part of the initial release on the www base were assigned on a number-for-number replacement basis.  In other words buses received the same number that they had on the previous base.  These ranged from BA10000 to BA47999 and did not have the dash separator as plates beginning at BA-48000 had.  Those plates with the lowest numbers are somewhat scarce.  After all the BA series started back in '68.  The plate image above from Clayton Moore is a good example.  The lowest number spotted to date had been BA28644 — no picture available.  The other day in traffic a taxi with a bus plate passed me at an intersection with BA23115.  The whole point is that this revises the low point on this type by about 5000.  There may very well be lower plates out there but not many.  Posted 5/29.


Tom Perri brought to my attention that on the latest Expeditionary Forces veteran plates, the 4-digit numerals have shifted back to the left.  There was an earlier run where the the numbers had been moved to the right.  This is a minor variation, but for those purists who watch formatting variations, we will attempt to track it.  Any help in identifying the changeover points is welcome.  Click the link above to see all the variations.  Posted 5/29.


This very nice, very low numbered Motor Home plate image was furnished by Clayton Moore.  Posted 5/29.




Tom Perri captured this image of State Senator PA 4 plate.  The number indicates the senatorial district.  This is only the second image of State Senator plate on the visitPA base.  Posted 5/22.



Tom also shares this nice U.S. Coast Guard Veteran plate image.  Posted 5/22.




This is the second image of a Commonwealth Official Use plate showing the alpha suffix.  This series is for use on commercial or truck type vehicles where only a single plate is issued, whereas the non-commercial vehicles get two plates and are part of a different plate number series, but still marked Official Use.  Posted 5/22.


Arnold Cummings shares this #2 Veteran plate.  The 00001 to 00099 series were 'reserve' issue, which I can not fully explain, and a requested explanation went unanswered.  On the other side of things, those Veterans who went to the plate counter were given plates beginning at 00100.  I have ultimate respect and admiration for our veterans, at the same time I have utter disdain for government officials and politicians who hide behind some code of secrecy when it comes to answering a simple question.  Posted 5/22.


This Korean Defense Service plate was provided by Tom Perri.  These plates are not very common.  This is the second image on this website, but I don't recall actually seeing any on the street.  Posted 5/22.



Here's a nice image of a current Albright College plate image provided by Jordan Irazabal.  Posted 5/15.




Jordan also sends along this nice Rails-to-Trails Conservancy plate, which just happens to be the current high plate.  Posted 5/15.




Heather Butera-Howell shares this West Shore EMS plate image  Posted 5/15.




Heather also provided this FFA Association image.  FFA used to stand for Future Farmers of America, now I believe the name has been shortened to FFA Association.  This organization supports agricultural education.  Posted 5/15.



Jordan Irazabal got these two contrasting Apportioned Bus images. The far left image represents the 42nd or 43rd plate made   The near left image is the current high.  Anyone taking bets on ever seeing this plate on the visitPA base?  Posted 5/15.


Here's a first edition National Guard sample plate image from my own collection on the far left, and a LaSalle University sample image on the near left from Jordan.  By comparison some of the early special organization sample plates did not use the word sample.  These plates are posted on the Special Organization Plate History Page.  Posted 5/15.


These next few pictures are from the Northampton Fire Department's Spring Thaw Rendezvous motorcycle event.  The plate on the left is the current reported high on the Live Free... base.  As you may recall this base is part of a run of 60,000 plates to promote motorcycle safety.  As best as I can determine, these plates started at or about 7600L, which means that the run should terminate near the end of the T series.  After that who knows?  I believe there are still unused plates prior to the start of this issue.  If those earlier plates are issued, they will be out of sequence; and it will make tracking the plate progression a challenge.  Posted 5/8.


Speaking of the Live Free Ride Alive base, here's a vanity.  Vanities on this base don't seem too plentiful but there are a few more on this website.  Posted 5/8.



And finally here's a Moped on the www base.  Nothing unique about the plate but the PennDOT statistical report for 2010 shows only 2,898 registered in PA, with only 60 in my county of residence.   The use of MP as the bottom plate legend is the moped designator, whereas motorcycles uses MC.  Also mopeds use a Bx000 format, while motorcycles use xxx00, then 0000x.  Anyone ever see a current Moped Dealer plate?  They do exist, and I need an image of one.  Posted 5/8.


Here's the first image of a Philadelphia Folksong Society.  The image was provided by Tom Perri.  Some of these specialty plates are limited to a small geographical area in which supporters or members buy them, thus making them difficult to find on the street.  Tom has been very persistent in locating many specialty plates.  Posted 5/8.


These BoZo plates always seemed a bit odd or peculiar, after all how many states issue Circus-Carnival Truck plates?  Anyway, these are seasonal with all validation stickers expiring the last day of September.  There really aren't all that many plates in use, the plates pictured being the lowest and highest images I have.  The plate image on the far left was provided by Jordan Irazabal, and while the plate on the near left is not a new image it is the current reported high.  The actual high is believed to still be in the upper 1700 range.  Even with the low number of plates in use, they are fairly easy to find as PA seems to have their share of carnivals, fairs and the like.  Also see history on the Circus-Carnival Truck plate series.  Posted 5/8.


Jordan Irazabal provides this Apportioned (truck) high plate image.  The AE series of Apportioned plates on the www base first came out on May 31 of 2000.  Then in the last few months of 2004 the AE series filled up which brought about the release of the AF series, still on the www base.  That series progressed until about August of 2007 when the plates switched to the visitPA base at AF-50000.  Now about 3 years later, only about 13,600 more plates will complete the AF series.  We are probably 16 to 18 months away from the AG series.  See more history on the Apportioned plate series.  Posted 5/8. 


These two Syria AAONMS plate images have been added to the Special Organization Plate History Page.  Posted 5/8.



On the far left it looks like Mercyhurst College (Erie, PA) is in the process of giving their plate a colorful facelift.  By comparison on the near left is the current version.  Not sure about the '1' as the first numeric character, Mercyhurst uses a M/C6.  M/C 1 is used by Muhlenberg College.  Time will tell — this is likely an early graphic rendition.  Posted 5/1.


Tom Perri shares this low number Penn State University plate image.  Penn State also has an Alumni Association plate, and if that weren't enough, there is also the Pennsylvania College of Technology (Williamsport, PA), which is part of Penn State, and also has a plate of their own.  And to top it off, there is also an Official Penn State University plate used by university-owned vehicles.  Posted 5/1.


On the Plate History Page the Version 1 of the Taxi plate has been replaced.  Posted 5/1.




Also from Tom Perri is this National Greyhound Adoption Program image he snapped recently.  This obsolete but still-in-use plate should have been replaced long ago.  The image and companion sample will go into the Special Organization Plate History Page.  Posted 5/1.






The Edinboro University (Edinboro, PA) image on the far left was borrowed from eBay and will also be added to the Special Organization Plate History Page.  Posted 5/1.

Posted 5/1.


Tom Perri provided this current Circus-Carnival Truck image with the caption "Tis the season".  This is a seasonal 6-month plate.  Posted 5/1.



It's been a while since I posted anything NASCAR related, but Tom Perri managed to snap this image on the fly of a NASCAR 29 Kevin Harvick Format 2 plate, far left and center.  Note the color difference in the graphic '29' between the two plates, the near left plate being a Format 1.  The format change was the result of a change in sponsors.  The Format 1 plates were issued for the 2004, 2005 and 2006 racing seasons, while the Format 2 was issued for the 2007 and 2008 seasons.  It is not known at what numerical point the plates switched formats, but only about 88 of the NASCAR 29 Kevin Harvick plates were issued.  Great find.  Posted 4/24.


Here is one of PA's rarest general issue plates — Hearing Impaired.  The majority of hearing impaired drivers choose not to advertise the fact on their license plate.  The plate does not provide the holder with any special privileges, unlike the Person with Disability plate.  The image was provided by Tom Perri.  Posted 4/24.


One final item from Tom Perri is this nice Avondale Fire Company plate, not the first image, but a welcome addition.  Posted 4/24.



Jordan Irazabal shares this high number Farm Truck plate image.  It could be quite a while till these advance to the D suffix, or the visitPA base.  The current Farm Truck plates came out in March of 2000 with FM-0000A, so it has taken 11 years to get to the current high.  I’d say it could take a couple of years yet.  Posted 4/24.



This # 1 West Grove Fire Company plate image was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  Again not the first image, but a welcome addition. Posted 4/24.




Could this Limo be using a Limousine plate with only 4 numbers instead of the usual 5?  This image was provided by Steve Ondik who says it's only a passenger vanity plate.  Posted 4/24.




Here are two examples of the loss of plate sheeting — a Passenger plate and an Owl - Conserve Wild Resources plate.  These plates are basically victims of time and exposure.  Following the last major re-plating in 1999-2000 a law was passed requiring the replacement of plates every 10 years.  The reality of what it would cost was weighed against the declining economy and the law was repealed in late 2008; there are provisions however, to replace deteriorated plates.  These images were provided by Steve Ondik.  Posted 4/24.


Two images are always better than one.  The # 2 Warminster Volunteer Ambulance Corps (Bucks County) plate was photographed by me and the # 4 image was taken by Tom Perri.  Posted 4/17.




Here's the first image of a Warwick Twp. Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 plate (Bucks County).  With the addition of these two images, the number of needed fire department plates is lower than it has ever been.  There are still a few tough plates to find.  Posted 4/17.



Jordan Irazabal snapped this very nice image of a rare single character passenger vanity plate.  This plate is on the visitPA base, yet below is the same letter G plate on the www base.  It's not a duplicate number.  The owner likely had the plate remade on the visitPA base.  I did the same thing with my # 30 plate, which I have on the www, visitPA and motorcycle bases.  Of course only one can be in use at a time.





Posted 4/17.


More Transporter plate information has been received from Clayton Moore.  The current high is now DT-11020 and the formatting has returned to using the keystone separator again.  This return to using the keystone separator constitutes another formatting variation.  Posted 4/17.


This very low We The People - Constitution plate image was provided by Bill Ceravola.  These plates date back to 1987, and are the only remaining yellow on blue plate type that is still legal.  Posted 4/17.




Speaking of legal . . . this 77 base Passenger plate should have been replaced in late 1999, but nevertheless, it's still out there.  Ed Coghill snapped this image complete with what appears to be 6/11 and 6/12 validation stickers.  Posted 4/17.




For anyone interested, the Wanted Plate Pictures list has been expanded to include certain older plates.  Help preserve the history of these plates.  Some types, such as the yellow on blue version of the Lincoln University official plate, are believed to be 'extinct', meaning no such plates are known to exist, even in collections.  Without even a picture to show what the plate looked like, the history of this plate may very well be lost.   Posted 4/10.


Based on information received from Clayton Moore concerning the Transporter plate, the changeover point from the keystone separator to the dash separator has been updated.  It is also quite possible that just like the Salvage Yard plates, the latest Transporter plates again use the keystone separator, but this remains to be seen.  The current reported high is DT-10880, unfortunately there is no photo to verify the formatting.  Posted 4/10.


This very low number Save Wild Animals - Tiger plate was photographed by Tom Perri.  Posted 4/10.




Here is a pair of # 1 Governor's sample plates.  Note the reversal of the plate legend between the plates.  These presumably would have been similar to what the Governor would have used in 1987, had the Governor used a # 1 plate at the time.  These sample plates may actually have been produced and sold during the 1990s.  If anyone knows any detail about these plates please share.  Posted 4/10.


So which NRA Foundation plate will it be?  The image on the far left is similar to the image on the PennDOT site, while the image on the near left is on the NRA's website.  In a tip from Tom Perri about the NRA's website "They speak very consistently about 5-digit numbers" being sold thru a silent auction, and other 'premium' . . . 5-digit numbers being sold at $200 each.  If what they are saying is correct, that would create 8-character plates which are not used in PA.  Check the link for more information: http://www.friendsofnra.org/State.aspx?sid=39&cid=754

My guess is the plates will follow the sample image below and have a 0001N/R/A format.  Posted 4/10.






This Wissahickon Fire Company image was provided by Clayton Moore.  Posted 4/10.





The Lock Haven University plate series is supposed to be in the L/H00000 series, but there is a also a run of these plates in the L/H10000 series.  This oddity has been identified as far back as 2006 and photographed as well.  See the 2/20 posting in 2011 Archives.  There are several theories on this, but no official explanations.  This latest image was provided by Nick Tsilakis.  Posted 4/10.


A new section on Municipal plates has been added to the History Page.  Posted 4/10.




D.H. DeLong has provided our first look at an Eagles Youth Partnership plate.  You may recall that the first 100 of these plates were auctioned off, with the highest plate, which happened to be 00001E/P, fetching $4,245.00.  Posted 4/3.



The image on the far left is new; the other is not. These plates are used by members of the PA State House of Representative.  The number, in this case 78, represents the district.  (PA has 203 legislative districts.)  The placement of the HR designator in the prefix position indicates that the vehicle is the first one registered to that owner, while the HR in the suffix position would indicate a second registered vehicle.  Posted 4/3.


Spotted this Transporter plate recently.  Notice the use of the dash separator in place of the keystone.  Earlier plates on the visitPA base used the keystone.  It is not known what the most recent plates are using.  This is not the first of these to be seen, as there appears to be a run beginning at about DT-10250.  Also note the loss of color on the embossed characters.  Posted 4/3.


Here is another example of a Salvage Yard plate on the visitPA base with a dash separator in place of the keystone.  The dash appears on plates from about WL-23000 to between WL-23449 and WL-23749.  The picture was taken in moving traffic, plus the plate looks rough.  Later plates of this type use keystone separator again.  Posted 4/3.



Here's a proposed plate design by the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers Society.  If this plate project makes it to the street, I'm sure it will look somewhat different.  Anyway, here is a link for anyone interested: http://gopatsnepa.blogspot.com/  Posted 4/3.


After these images from Jordan Irazabal were added to this page while editing this week, I received an email from Steve Ondik who spotted a PT-0210S on 3/31 believed to be the current reported high.  See  images from Steve below.  Posted 4/3.









Spotted this nice Ohio State Alumni plate recently.  It's also the current reported high.  Posted 4/3.





Here's a late arrival.  Just got this image from Bill Ceravola who just received the plate, making it the new high for PA Breast Cancer Coalition.  Posted 3/27.



Jordan Irazabal sent this Penn Alumni image.  For anyone not familiar, Penn is actually the University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia.  Posted 3/27.



Jordan also provided this University of Notre Dame image which happens to be the current identified high number.  Posted 3/27.



And finally Jordan sent this St. Joseph's University plate image.  As can be seen this is one of the declining number of plate types still using the www base.




Tom Perri sends this interesting traffic shot of a Clarion University plate.  This plate appears to have two of the digits reversed.  This school is not likely to have 3000 plates on the road.  The series began at 40000.  The plate should probably read C/U40383, with 0 and 3 being reversed, but was part of a run of such plates with transposed numbers.  Posted 3/27.



Tom Perri also sent this William Penn Charter School image.  Both Tom and I have been trying to photograph one of these for a while.  It had been listed on the Needed Images page.  There appears to be some unusual number sequencing with this plate type as well.  After the first couple of plates, the serial numbers appear to advance by increments of 10 such as 20190 then 20200 instead of 20019 and 20020.  Nice find.  Posted 3/27.


And finally Tom Perri also passed along this nice # 1 image of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary plate.  Posted 3/27.




Here's another traffic shot, this one showing a School Vehicle plate.  If you click the above link, you will see that this plate represents another formatting shift.  This time the keystone separator has been dropped.  It's also the current reported high plate.  This kind of change has been common with this plate type.  In fact this latest plate represents the 8th identified format variation since the www plates were first introduced.  Posted 3/27.


Here's a second Nazareth Area Chamber of Commerce plate image.  Posted 3/27.




If you were tiring of so many PA plates that all look alike, how about this very unusual 2003 Governor's Inauguration plate.  Chuck Harrington has provided this unique image and the following information:  There were 15 numbered plates 1 thru 15, and 10 plates with “PA” instead of a number.  All were flat silk-screened on reflective yellow.  Only a few plates with the "PA" on them were actually used.  This image completes the pictorial collection of PA Governors' Inaugural plates beginning in 1963 up thru 2011.  Posted 3/20.


Jordan Irazabal provided this number 9 WHYY plate.  This is the second WHYY plate the first one being number 10 also from Jordan.  Check out Jordan's TheDelaware3000.org website.  It's an amazing site on Delaware plates with an interesting focus on low numbered plates.  After all, low-numbered plates are a way of life for some in Delaware.  Posted 3/20.


Tom Perri sent me a link to a Little League site that is marketing this plate.  What seems a little strange about the image is that the AB suffix with a leading 0 is used by the 82nd Airborne Division Assn., and the white bottom plate legend should be black, nevertheless the organization is taking orders for plates.  It is not yet shown on the PennDOT specialty plate list, so for now I've put it on the Pending/Proposed plate page.  Posted 3/20.


Tom Perri was able to find the number 3 image of an Elizabeth City State Univ. Alumni plate.  This college is located in North Carolina.  PA has no restrictions on out of state organizations qualifying for a plate as long as there is a local chapter.  The addition of this plate also removes one of the plates from the Needed Images list.  Posted 3/20.


Also from Tom Perri is this first image of an Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. plate, although the frame does a good job of totally concealing its identity.  Posted 3/20.



Tom Perri also shares this first image of a Wisconsin Alumni Association plate.  Posted 3/20.




Here's pair of highs from Rob Weis.  Rob recently saw the previous high Classic Car plate, C21215, on this site and realized that he had just received the next two plates in the series.  Posted 3/20.






Here is an image of the current Passenger high number.  The picture was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  Posted 3/13.




Here is another extremely nice and unusual plate image from Chuck Harrington.  This being a '71 Lt. Governor's plate on the Bicentennial base.  Posted 3/13.




And another very unique image from Chuck Harrington.  Chuck describes this as a '77 Governor prototype, which it may be, but it also appears to be on a '65 base.  Maybe a little retro-look?  For now I'll list it as a '77.  Anyone want to chime in on this one?  Posted 3/13.



Here's the number 1 plate image of the Greenfield Twp VFC of Lackawanna County.  The image was provided by Tom Perri.  This website now has the number 1 and 2 images.  Posted 3/13.



Here's the current high number National Guard plate.  This is the only PA plate type to display two logos.  The original National Guard series (blue on yellow) began at NG0001. When these plate were replaced in 2000, the new series began at NG2500; however, those with NG0001 through NG0020 had the option to keep the same tag number.  Some did and some did not; however, I have never spotted one with the original number series.  Posted 3/13.


Jordan Irazabal captured this image of the number 16 plate.  At one time this number would have been part of the plate group reserved for members of the Cabinet.  This group included plates from 3 to 23 inclusive.  It is not known if this Cabinet plate grouping is still valid today; however, without information suggesting otherwise, this plate along with the image of plate number 4 will be placed in the cabinet group.  Posted 3/13.



Jordan also provided this unusual single letter Passenger Vanity plate image.  Posted 3/13.




Chuck Harrington has sent a group of very nice Governor, Lt. Governor and Governor related plate images.  Three plates will be featured this week with more to be posted on 3/13.  The plate to the left is unique, at least I have never seen or heard of a Governor's Office plate before.  A Governor's Office plate may have been used by staff of the Governor's Office on the front of a vehicle, or judging by this plate, never on a vehicle.  Posted 3/6.


The next plate image from Chuck is this very nice '65 Governor plate.  Interestingly there is another variation of the '65 Governor plate shown on the Governor's Plate Page.  Click the link to see both images together.  It appears that as early as 1930 there was often more than one plate version in any given year.  Posted 3/6.



Chuck also sent this '65 Lt. Governor plate image.  There are actually three variations on this plate in 1965.  This one has narrow map borders on the left and right.  Click the link to see all three variations together.  As far as I know PA never put Lt. Governor on any plates.   Posted 3/6.  Watch for more governor-related plates next week.  Posted 3/6.


A few words about PA Governors' plates.  This website now has over 45 images of Governor and Lieutenant Governor plates.  To my knowledge, there is no other website which depicts a more complete history of these unique plates.  The plates date from the first Governor's plate in 1912, including a newspaper article confirming that fact, up thru the last of such plates in the 1980s.  It is understandable from the security standpoint, but also unfortunate from the historical perspective, that such plates are no longer in use.  The willingness of the plate owners to allow their plates to be displayed here is very much appreciated.  It is believed that there are additional PA Governors' plates in existence.  Any help in finding additional plates, images or information would be most welcome.  Posted 3/6.


Speaking of unusual plates, Tom Perri provides what is believed to be a Retired State Senator's plate.  The PA senator series runs from PA1 to PA99, with PA1 to PA50 assigned according to the senatorial district, there being 50 districts.  In the past, the over 50 plates were intended for retired senators.  What is unusual about this plate is the formatting which is on the www base with the web address in place of the word SENATOR.  However according to an old source, the senatorial plate was available either way.  This is the first and only senatorial plate ever seen without SENATOR as the plate legend.  This plate unfortunately is in poor condition, was photographed in marginal lighting conditions and is wearing a frame.  It should be noted that since early 2009 there is an actual Retired Senator plate.  Only a very few are out there, and none spotted or photographed so far.  Posted 3/6.


Tom Perri also provides the first image of this website of a Mercedes Benz Club of America plate.  Posted 3/6.




The streets of Pottsville yielded this first image of a Good Intent Fire Co. #1 plate.  Good Intent is one of seven fire companies in Pottsville, Schuylkill County, and the only fire company with a plate, although Pottsville Area EMS has a plate.  Posted 3/6.


Bruce Bufalini recently spotted this #1 Rotary International plate.  So far the Rotary plates have not made the switch to the visitPA base.  Posted 3/6.





Vern Kreckel provided this image of a very recently issued Classic Car plate.  In fact this plate is listed as the current high.  Posted 3/6.



Here's another image of one of PA's rarest modern plates — Auto Manufacturer.  Click the link to read about the history of this plate type, including a picture and article from the July 1979 issue of the Volkswagen Mirror.  These plates were issued to the the Volkswagen Rabbit plant in East Huntingdon Township near New Stanton, Westmoreland County, and were used from about 1978 to 1988.  Posted 2/27.


Recently I acquired this mint condition Implement of Husbandry plate.  All efforts to spot one these plates on the www base have been futile, making this type on the current base extremely rare.  I have spoken to farmers, farm equipment dealers and plate collectors.  Anyone have one of these sitting out in the barn?  According to a PennDOT statistical report, there were 222 of these plates registered at the end of 2009.  By contrast there were only 44 vehicles registered as Commercial Implement of Husbandry for 2009, yet these plates are relatively easy to find.  Posted 2/27.


Here's a '77 base Foreign Consul sample.  I don't understand the 75 sticker.  Foreign Consul plates were issued from 1958 up thru the '77 base which was renewed up to about 1984.  There actually were earlier Consular plates issued from 1929 to 1935.  None of these earliest plates are shown on this site.  Posted 2/27.


I wish I could say that this is an image of the first Antique Motorcycle plate, but it's just a sample.  It is, however, believed to be the earliest version of this type, and somewhat scarce today.  Posted 2/27.



This image on the near left was taken by Tom Perri.  Compare it to the image on the far left.  Note that both are on the visitPA base, but one retains the older embossed logo and stacked prefix letters, and plate legend while the other uses a flat graphic, prefix letters and plate legend.  While this Blue Lodge formatting shift has been seen before, this image from Tom helps establish the point at which the change from Format 2 to Format 3 took place.  The Format 2 plates ran from M/B11300 to M/B11499, a run of only 200 plates.  Posted 2/27.


Here's a last minute addition to this week's updates.  Spotted this Millersburg Fire Company plate during a Saturday trip to pick up some plates.  More on those plates next week.  Posted 2/20.



A few weeks ago we posted the first image of a State Senator plate on the visitPA base.  Not surprisingly, here's an image of a State Representative plate on the visitPA base.  This image provided by Tom Perri.  Posted 2/20.



Back in 2006 I spotted a Lock Haven University plate with a very high number, L/H10036.  This would suggest that over 10,000 plates have been issued since the Lock Haven series started at L/H00000, near left image.  This seems very unlikely judging by the size of this school.  It was not on the visitPA base, and there was nothing else remarkable about the plate.  There appears to be a run from L/H10010 to L/H10080 with this out of sequence numbering.  Since that time Tom Perri has spotted one of these and provided the image on the far left.  Posted 2/20.


Tom Perri managed to get this first of its kind image of a South Newton Twp. Vol. Fire Co. plate.  Posted 2/20.




Here's a new organizational plate — APSCUF.  It stands for the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.  Posted 2/20.



Rutgers University has joined the growing list of out-of-state colleges and universities with a PA specialty plate.  Posted 2/20.




PA's 'Z' Truck series is finally here.  The Yxx-0000 Truck series on the www base and later on the visitPA base has been in use since May 7, 2000.  That series has been exhausted as can be seen from the images.  The first image of a Z series plate was provided by Grant MacKenzie.  Some time ago it was reported that the Z series was going to incorporate a much different format, obviously that did not occur.  Also the Z series began at ZBA-0000, not ZAA.  Posted 2/13.


Pennsylvania's Plate Proliferation.  What started out as a few special organizational plates back in the mid-1980s (actually 1983), increased to about 75 types by the Summer of 1999 just before the changeover to the www base.  Following that, the numbers continued to rise to 83 plates by October of 2002 and 94 by October of 2004.  The advent of the Specialty plate brought color graphics on a slightly redesigned (visitPA) base.  By the end of 2005 the number of plates had jumped to 128, then to 153 in 2006, 180 in 2007, 212 in 2008, 235 in 2009, and 254 toward the end of 2010.  The current PennDOT list shows 259 specialty plates.  By and large all of the plate types are still in use however a few have been discontinued, such as a U.S. Armed Forces Retired and Victory Junction/NASCAR.  Actually the NASCAR series amounted to some 50 plus plate types which are counted as a single type for the purpose of this discussion.  Also worthy of mention is that there are number of approved organizations that have not yet gotten their plates on the street for various reasons.  The Special Organization and Specialty plates are listed on the following pages: College, University, etc., Fire, EMS & Police, Fraternal, Non-Profit, etc., and NASCAR.  Posted 2/13.

Plate Trivia: What was PA's first Special Organizational plate, and the only one to ever be made on the '77 base?  Answer below.

 Fire Fighter


Tom Perri continues to keep this site well supplied with first time images.  In this case an image of a Community for Pittsburgh Ultimate plate.  Posted 2/13.



Tom Perri sends another western Pennsylvania plate, this one from Pittsburgh's Shady Side Academy.  Posted 2/13.




Here's a nice # 1 Therapy Dogs United plate image also from Tom Perri.  Posted 2/13.




This West Manchester Twp Fire Dept (York County) plate was photographed by Tom Perri.  Posted 2/13.




 Farm Truck History Update — Based on information provided by Clayton Moore, the data for Farm Truck has been updated to narrow down the point at which the change from Version 2 to Version 3 took place.  Posted 2/13.


Here's a nice sample image of a new specialty plate type — Pennsylvania Resources Council.  The organization is based in Pittsburgh.  Here's a link to their website: http://www.prc.org/ with details on ordering plates.  It appears that the plates are available to any Pennsylvanian for $45.  Posted 2/6.


In other PLATE NEWS — Watch for upcoming new organizational plates from Rutgers University and APSCUF (Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties).  The Plate Coding matrix has been updated to reflect these additions.  Posted 2/6.


This nice Norwood Fire Company plate image has been provided by Tom Perri.  Posted 2/6.




Tom Perri has also sent this Wissahickon Fire Company image.  Little by little the image gaps on the Fire, EMS & Police Page are disappearing.  Posted 2/6. 



A while back Tom Perri captured this image of a seldom seen plate type — Commonwealth Court.  I have only one other image of this plate type, both use the state coat of arms.  Posted 2/6.



Eric Conner sends this unusual # 1 Bicentennial plate image.  The actual plate owner wishes to remain anonymous.  It's formatted like the 1971-76 issue; however, it does not have any stickers and does not have 71 lightly debossed in the upper left sticker well, as seen on early plates.  The story goes that the owner, as a boy, requested a governor plate from Governor Thornburgh and several others, and this is what he received.  This plate is not formatted like the governor's plates of the era and Governor Thornburgh was not Governor until '79.  I'm not trying to sound skeptical, as other unusual and one of a kind plates do exist.  It has been placed on the Governors' Plates Page.  Posted 2/6.


Here's an image of the current School Vehicle high plate.  Posted 2/6.




Saw this Gwynedd-Mercy College plate in my travels on Saturday, and while it is not a new plate type, it was a nice clean plate and low number.  Posted 2/6.



Also spotted this Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.  This appears to be a new high for the type.  Posted 2/6.




This is not the first Animal Friends image, but it's a nice image and worth posting.  This image was made available by Tom Perri.  If you have not seen my previous postings, Tom has provided a huge number of images in recent months, along with Jordan Irazabal.  He is on a similar mission to provide photograph documentation of all the current PA types, as well as provide a comprehensive PA highs page.  Check out his PA PLATES website.  Our websites have like-sounding names, but the web addresses are slightly different.  Mine is https://papl8s.com/; his is http://www.paplates.com/.  Posted 1/30.


This image, also provided by Tom Perri, is the first Erie Yacht Club image on this site.  Posted 1/30.




And another image courtesy of Tom Perri is this Pittsburgh Harlequins Rugby Football Assoc. plate.  This is another first time image on this site.  Posted 1/30.



Here's a great find and a low number, again from Tom PerriMarshal University Alumni.  Marshall U. is located in Huntington WV.  Posted 1/30.



And one final image from Tom is this Robert Morris University plate.  This is not the first of such plate images, but a much nicer image than the one it replaces.  Posted 1/30.



Here is a very nice image of the 1950 Penna Governor's plate.  The image was kindly provided by Jake Eckenrode.  Check out the Governors' Plate Page.  I don't think you will find a more extensive display of governors' plate images.  Posted 1/30.



First image and the number 1 plate of the East Allen Twp. Vol. Fire Dept. of Northampton County.  The first batch of plates included 33 plates making the high number 20033E/A.  Posted 1/22.



Here's one I have not seen before — a State Senator plate on the visitPA base.  The images were provided by Eric Conner.  In PA the number stands for the senatorial district.  There are 50 such districts in PA.  Posted 1/22.



In this comparison of two State Senator plates.  The images on the far left  and center left (17 PA) show wider separation of the keystone from the number than the image on the near left (19 PA).  The 17 PA images were provided by Eric Conner.  Posted 1/22. 


Here's an image of a 2011 Governor's Inaugural plate.  These are not official commonwealth issue but are the work of the inaugural committee and were intended for use on the front of the vehicle.  The lowest number plates were to be used by dignitaries associated with the inauguration.  A plate with PA in place of a number was intended to be used on the Governor's vehicle.  The inauguration took place on 1/18/2011; however, it is my understanding that there was no parade, procession or motorcade following the ceremony, so it is not known if the plates were actually used.  It was my intention to attend the event as an observer, but emergency duty kept me from traveling.  Posted 1/22. 


Jordan Irazabal shares this image of a National Constitution Center plate.  Posted 1/22. 




This Abington Fire Company plate image was provided courtesy of Tom Perri.  This is the first image of this type on this site.  Tom, along with his colleague Jordan Irazabal (http://www.thedelaware3000.org), have provided many 'first time' images, and helped to fill quite a few gaps especially on the Fire & EMS page.  Check out Tom & Jordan's PAPlates (www.PAPLATES.com) website.  The name sounds the same as this site, PAPL8S, but it is spelled a little differently.  Tom, Jordan and I are all committed to preserving the history of Pennsylvania's many plates.  Posted 1/16.


Here's another first image of its type on this website.  This Brookline Fire Company image is also from Tom Perri.  Posted 1/16.



This Fearnots Volunteer Fire Company plate image I found on my own.  This is my first image for this type.  Posted 1/16.




Here's one from Greenfield Twp VFC of Lackawnna County.  Found this one also in the remote reaches of northeast PA.  Posted 1/16.



Here's another image from Tom Perri — Lansdowne Fire Company.  Posted 1/16.




And the last one from Tom Perri is this North Penn Vol. Fire Co. plate image.  Posted 1/16.




And lastly for this week is a pair of Misericordia University plate images.  This facility is located in Dallas, PA.  Posted 1/16.



The center left (FF36071) is a new image, one of the approximately 100 Fire Fighter plates that were produced during the transition from the regular Fire Fighter on the www base (far left) to Fire Fighter on the visitPA base.  The far left version is the much more common Fire Fighter plate that was produced from FF25000 to FF35999.  Note the use of the smaller Maltese cross and narrow FIRE FIGHTER plate legend compared to the far left plate.  Approximately 100 of these plates have the vsiitPA formatting while still on the www base.  Posted 1/9.


Here is another newly redesigned Knights of Columbus plate.  Nice low number, unfortunately it's wearing a plastic frame which is well coated in PA's most common winter mineral — road salt.    Posted 1/9.



Here's another West Virginia Alumni plate image.  Posted 1/9.




I have updated the image of the Format 4, 30 Day Temporary Intransit cardboard plate. (I don't think intransit is a real word.)  Correction from Chuck Harrington: These are used on vehicles purchased in PA but will be registered in another state.  No sales tax is collected.  Posted 1/9.


Here's a somewhat unusual plate — a 2-character Motorcycle Vanity plate on the Live Free Ride Alive base.  If you recall, the Live Free plates are limited to a 60,000 plate run.  Not many vanities have been seen so far.  This image has been provided by Justin Davis.  Posted 1/9.



Vern Kreckel III has provided quite a few images of older Validation Stickers, beginning with this '59 Trailer, followed by a '61 and a '62 Truck.  Posted 1/9.




Next from Vern is a '63 Truck, a '63 Trailer, followed by a '64 Suburban.  Posted 1/9.




And in the last group from Vern is a '73 Commercial (Truck).  A little hard to explain (for me at least) is this '76 sticker which shows up on a '77 base Handicap plate, and also '77 sticker on the same plate.  See the plate image below  Posted 1/9.



*  *  *  A few words of appreciation  *  *  * 

During this past year, this website has made significant strides in documenting Pennsylvania plates and their history.  Hundreds of images have been added, and many old and new types have been added to the various pages.  Not only are the images important but the history that goes along with some of the plates is invaluable.  So much has been provided by the many kind contributors. Without their support, this site would not be what it is today.  Thank you to everyone who has helped make this site a success.

John McDevitt


Kelly Brewer has provided this Dealer-Multi Purpose plate image for the plate history page.  This somewhat uncommon plate type had its origin around 1991 or 92 and started at MP0000D.  The next generation on the www base began to be issued on 9/1/1999.  This later series began at MP3000D.  To date no plates have been reported on the visitPA base, and the current high is MP4381D.  Posted 1/2/11.


Tom Perri has provided this image of a Lebanon Valley College on the visitPA base.  On Tom's website, PA Plates, you can also see L/V00081 on the www base.  Posted 1/2.



Ed Coghill has spotted several of these School Vehicle plates still in use on the yellow on blue base.  Even though these plates are still in use I have placed the images on the plate history page as they represent plates that should have been replaced.  Posted 1/2.



Here is a better image of Format 7 of the School Vehicle plate.  Format 7 indicates that there have been 7 variations on this plate type since the www plates came along.  Actually it's the 8th format if the yellow on blue plate shown above is used as the starting point.  Go to the current link (same as link above) to see more of the current plate variations and the history link to earliest to the latest.  Posted 1/2.


Vincent Miller sent this number 1 image of a Berwyn Fire Company plate.  He indicated that there are 60 of these plates in use.  Posted 1/2.



Tom Perri shares this Villanova University image (far left) on the visitPA base.  These are in use concurrently with the www base plates (near left). Note the dropping of the words Alumni Assoc. form the legend, although it's a little hard to see with the frame.  Also note the transposed location of the V/U identifier.  This was previously mentioned in a 12/19 posting.  Posted 1/2.


The plate was spotted by Jordan Irazabal and forwarded to me by Tom.  This is the # 1 image of an Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. plate.    Posted 1/2.



And finally Tom shares this Mount St. Mary's University plate image.  This is not the first image of this type but this is a better picture.  Posted 1/2.




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