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Pennsylvania License Plate Images

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

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News and postings from 2013

Posting 12/29/2013

This new style Severely Disabled Veteran plate picture was provided by Ryan Battin.  The first of these redesigned plate was seen around June of 2013.  The switch from the previous version, on which everything was embossed, to this semi-flat edition likely took place at D/V92500.



1971 saw a new issues of Motorcycle plates that were issued up thru 1976.  This A000A format was the last of the four formats used and is the first time two letters were used on Motorcycle plates.  According to Eric Tanner's website (http://licenseplates.tropikordia.com/) this plate was the last plate of the run and has recently been added to my collection.


These Motorcycle plates are part of the run on the '77 base which were issued until 1985 when a new base was introduced, and like passenger plates of the time, they could be revalidated until the changeover in 1999 and 2000.  The plates shown here represent the 2nd and 3rd format used.  These images are courtesy of Chuck Sakryd.


The plate on the far left is on the 1985 base.  These were used until all plates were replaced during the 2000 to 2002 changeover.  All plates except vanity plates used the 0AA0A format.  This formatting allowed the plate run to be completed without having to reconfigure the layout.  The plate of the far left was again provided by Chuck Sakryd.  I must again thank Chuck for allowing me to use so many motorcycle plate pictures.  His images were a great help in fleshing out a number of M/C plate years.

Motorcycle vanity plate were first seen on this base.   Up to 5 characters, letters and/or numbers, a dash or space were permitted but not both.


This is an early Trailer Dealer plate, sometimes referred to as a Utility Trailer Dealer.  The image is courtesy of Clayton Moore.  These plates may have made their debut as early as 1971 and from then thru the mid-80s used the E10-000E format and also followed the same minor yearly formatting changes that were seen on other plates in the dealer series, i.e. the years from '71 to '74 had embossed years while plates for '75 and '76 were undated and used validation stickers.  Then in 1977 the colors were reversed to blue on yellow and embossed years were used again for '77 and '78.  In 1979 plates were undated and continued to be renewed with stickers up to the time that Trailer Dealer plates were introduced  with that legend in 1995.  It should be noted that some time in the mid-80s the A-series New Car Dealer and B-series Used Car Dealer were running out of numbers so the D (Tractor), E (Trailer) and F series plates were assigned as needed and no longer designated a particular dealer type.


Posting 12/22/2013

Shippensburg University has given their plate a facelift with a color graphic and screened plate legend.  It appears that this revised format dates back to March of this year.  It is unknown if any of these are on the road yet.



The Ohio River Trail Council (Monaca, PA) is offering plates to their members.  These appear to be available on a complimentary basis to those who have paid a $50 or higher membership fee.  No plates are on the road yet.



Here is a better image of a prototype plate from Pinnacle Health System, Harrisburg, PA.  No plates are on the road yet.




These Classic Car / Classic Vehicle plate images are not new, but they do show that the plate design changed between C27370 and C28756.  In fact C27451 was spotted by Jordan Irazabal on the Classic Car base.  Steve Noll recently spotted Classic Vehicle plate C27929.  This would indicate that the change over occurred between C27452 and C27929.  It therefore appears likely that the change took place at C27500, unless it was done at some random point in between.  Both images above were from Ryan Battin.


These very nice images of an Enterprise Fire Company plate were courtesy of Tom Perri.  If you are interested in PA license plates and have not been to Tom's website, www.PAPLATES.com, you need to check it out.  Tom tracks the latest high numbers of every known PA plate type.



This very nice 1958 - '59 Tractor Dealer plate on the far left is a new image.  Click the plate to enlarge it and note the use of the slot for the validation tab to the left of the 58.  It's hard to see but it's there. The '64 Tractor Dealer plate image is an upgrade for one that originally came from eBay.  Both of these plate pictures are courtesy of Jerry McCoy.  Plate formatting during the years from 1959 to '64 was similar in color, as was the use of the TX prefix to designate Tractor Dealer.  The one difference besides the obvious embossed dates is that the '58 plate was revalidated with a sticker thru 1961, while the '64 plate was used for that year only.  There was a 1962 issue which was revalidated in '63 and had similar characteristics.  Anyone have a 62 plate or picture?


This gorgeous Indian restoration might have been a Commercial Motorcycle at one point in its life.  I took these photos at a bike show with its 39 Motorcycle plate.  Indian called this model a Dispatch-Tow and was produced from the early 30s thru 1942.  Commercial Motorcycle plates were issued in PA from 1931 to 1949 and would or could have been used on such a bike.  There are no Commercial Motorcycle plates on this website, but if anyone has any plates I would be happy to post them.


This pair of '75 Motorcycle plates, courtesy of Chuck Sakryd, are part of a sequential run that started in 1971 at 0A000, then went to 00A00, then 000A0, and finally A000A.



Posting 12/15/2013

Here's a new high American Legion plate spotted amidst snowflakes.  It is not known if this plate type will eventually switch to the visitPA base, or with the proliferation of so many newer veteran plate types, if the program will be discontinued.



This Retired Legislator plate image was provided by a contributor who wished not to be credited.  These plates have been around since 2004 or possibly earlier.  Some serial numbers appear to correspond to the legislative district while this can not always be the case where there is more than one retiree from a district.  There is also a Retired Senator plate.  There is also a provision in the vehicle code that allows for plates for retired members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.  I am doubtful that any such plates exist.



Clayton Moore recently received this plate and 3-14 PA0000 validation sticker.  At one time these were used on natural plates but today their purpose or significance is unclear.




A note concerning the History Page.  As stated in the past, the history page was getting too large so it has been split into two pages.  Section 1 contains plates from A to M, and Section 2 is from N to Z.  The old history page will remain for a while since so many weekly postings link to it, but it will not be updated.  The Special Organization Plate History Page will remain unchanged.  If you find broken or missing links, please let me know.


Here's a '75 Motorcycle Dealer plate.  The plates themselves were undated using validation stickers.  It appears that new plates were then issued in 1976 with '76 stickers.  The '75 and '76 plates were similar in appearance but the number series appears to have started at 1000 in '75, while every '76 plate I've seen had a higher number than any '75.  The other indication that new plates came out in '76 is that none of the '76 plates showed evidence of '75 stickers under the '76 sticker.


Here's a pair of '55 Motorcycle plates showing a 3-digit and 4-digit numerical format.  There was also an alpha-numeric format with a letter as the first character followed by up to 3 numbers.  There were 24,016 motorcycles registered that year.  These images are courtesy of Chuck Sakryd.


With the proliferation of motorcycles in the late '50s and early '60s, it became necessary to add more formatting variations.  This need was even greater when plates were used for multiple years.  Five different serial formats were used, with none exceeding four characters on the '63 Motorcycle base.  For 1963 plates again had the year embossed on the lower left, and were revalidated in '64 with a  sticker.  These images are courtesy of Chuck Sakryd.


In 1965 Motorcycle plates used a new undated base which was renewed with stickers thru 1970.  Again the proliferation of motorcycles and the multi-year plates exhausted all the single letter and three numbers combinations resulting in the use of 1A0 and A00A combinations.  When these ran out the first 5-character (0A000) motorcycle plates made an appearance, and with that the stacked M/C was replaced by MOTORCYCLE along the bottom border.  These images are courtesy of Chuck Sakryd.


Posting 12/8/2013

Here's the first plate and the first image of a Heritage Region Jeep Alliance plate.  The image is courtesy of Rick W. and Kristin G.




This rare 1937 Motorbike plate image was provided by John Wunderlich.  It is likely that no more than a few hundred were produced.




This 1918 Motorcycle plate image was provided by Jerry McCoy.  According to an old BMV document 26,621 motorcycles were registered that year.  These plates would have employed an all-numeric sequence starting at 1.  Wonder how many still exist?



Jerry McCoy has been very helpful in providing more images of historic value.  These 1923 and '24 Motorcycle Dealer plates represent the first two years of production of the dealer series.  The letter X was a common denominator on PA's early dealer plates and was used up thru 1933 on motorcycle plates, then in 1934, MCD came into use as a stacked suffix.


In this group of Motorcycle Dealer plates, the 1933 plate on the far left represents the final year for the X prefix.  The source of this plate is unknown.

The center Motorcycle Dealer plate employs the MCD suffix.  This is a '62 base revalidated with a '63 sticker.  The source of this plate is also unknown.

The '68 plate image uses the DLR suffix which came into use in 1967.  This plate image was provided courtesy of fellow ALPCA member Chuck Sakryd.  Check out his website, www.chucksplates.com/ for an extensive listing of sale plates.


This last group of plates for this week includes '48, '50 and  '56 Motorcycle plates.  These plate images were also provided courtesy of  Chuck Sakryd.  These plate are (or were) for sale on his website, link above.

PLEASE NOTE: As stated in the past, the Plate History Page is getting too large and slow to load, so the page will be split into two pages in the near future.


Posting 12/1/2013

This very nice Save Wild Animals - Zoo plate with a very nice number was provided by Nick Tsilakis.  This plate type was released in 1996 and this was likely the first one produced.  At least it was the first of the regular production run.  I've seen a few 3-digit and 3-character plates that may have been test plates or made as favors.


Spotted this low number Harcum College plate recently in traffic.




The huge transportation bill that I highlighted last week, also known as House Bill 1060, has been signed into law by the Governor and will become Act 89.  Click this Legislation link to see the latest on this and other plate-related bills.

In another plate related bill, House Bill 1834 has been introduced to provide for olive drab Antique Vehicle plates for antique military motorcycles or motor vehicles.  Anyone who understands the current PennDOT mindset knows that olive drab license plates will never be issued.  Like it or not (I hate it) all new and redesigned plates must be of the visitPA family of plates.  So I will not even track this bill unless something changes.


Nick Tsilakis spotted an Expeditionary Forces high with a slight format change. The plate was E/F2002, with wide spacing between the EF, the digits, and the vertical VETERAN.  Similar to Format 2, but with VETERAN pushed over to the right a bit. He was unable to take a photo.


This group of Motorcycle plates begins with a 90 year old 1923 plate on the far left.  In the middle is a 1925 plate and finally we have a 1928 Motorcycle plate.  These welcome additions to the plate history page are all from Jerry McCoy.


This pair of Official plate images is from Eric Conner.  On the far left is a 1933 plate, and they just don't get any nicer than this 1935 Official plate on the near left.



This threesome of old Motorcycle Dealer plates has been added to the Plate History Page.  The plate on the far left is a '62 base which was revalidated thru '63.  The center left plates is a 70 issue used for one year.  The plate on the near left is actually a '79 base and was used up thru 2000 with validation stickers. a While they don't don't form a contiguous series, the plates do share some similar and dissimilar characteristics.


Two more plate types have been added to the Plate History Page.  The first is Lincoln University Official plate.  The image shown here is a current plate and it is believed that when the previous plates were replaced in 9/99 all the previous yellow on blue base plates were discarded.  This plate, with its small issue (around 30 plates) and localized usage, may have passed from existence with none of the older plates known to have survived.  I'm hoping that somehow one of these plates found its way into someone's collection, or even a photo, but this appears doubtful.


The other plate where none of the yellow on blue generation is known to exist is the Watercraft Trailer Dealer plate.  This plate first came out in 1995.  While sample plates are useful and generally provide a reasonable representation of what a plate looks like, this sample does not resemble the actual plate.  It is unknown how many of these were issued on the previous base, it could be several hundred, but less than 500.  Anyone have one of theses or know of one?


Posting 11/24/2013

PA Legislature passes far-reaching Transportation Bill.  Bill will be signed into law by Governor Corbett.  The new law, designed to help fund the ailing transportation infrastructure, will increase fuel costs, raise many licensing and registration fees and fines, up certain speed limits to 70 MPH, eliminate validation stickers, and allow for vertical registration plates on motorcycles to name a few provisions.  Click the link above to see additional details or scroll down the page.  Click the link below to read the entire 127-page bill.



SUPREME COURT!  I really didn't know if I'd ever see one of these but out of the blue this plate image arrived in my inbox from an anonymous contributor.  The photo was taken in the dark so it is somewhat grainy; but otherwise it is a good image showing all the characteristics of a current Supreme Court plate.  The number block of SCJ1 to SCJ25 appears to be reserved; however, it appears that only about three of these plates are in use.  These plates can also be formatted with the number in the prefix position.


Nick Tsilakis shares this very unique single character Passenger Vanity plate.  Nice plate, nice find.





This NASCAR plate was one from the Victory Junction Gang.  Victory Junction Gang is not a race car but rather the sponsoring agency for the NASCAR plate series.  For anyone not familiar, NASCAR plates were available from late 2004 until 2010.  Those that are still on the road can be revalidated.


This 3-19 validation sticker and plate images were provided Vern Kreckel of Kreckel Enterprises.  The 3-19 sticker is part of an optional 5-year registration.




The 1933 Legislative plate on the far left and the 1933 Official plate on the near left were provided by Clayton Moore.  These plate types use similar formatting.



Here's an interesting trio.  The plate on the far left is the 1930 front Official plate with a 4-digit serial # 1415.  The next two plates, also with the same serial number are the front and rear plates from 1933.  Also take note that when these plate advance to 4 digits, the keystone that would normally have been to the right of the serial number was dropped.


This very nice image of a 1924 Tractor plate was provided by Jerry McCoy.




Transportation Bill summary of provisions

 * Probably the largest single item will be the gradual increase in fuel taxes.

 * Allows for a 2-year registration period in most cases. §1307. (G) (1/1/2014)

 * Allows for the use of vertical motorcycle registration plates. $20.  §1332 (A.1)

 * Validation stickers no longer required.  §1332 (D) (1/1/2016)

 * Preserve Out Heritage plate fee increase from $35 to $54.  §1353

 * Zoo plate fee increase from $35 to $54.  §1355

 * Occupational Limited License fee increase from $50 to $65.  §1553 (C)

 * Probationary License fees increase.  §1354 (C)

 * Commercial Drivers' License fees increase.  §1617

 * Annual registration fees increase for Motor Homes, Trucks, Buses, Limos, School Buses, School Vehicles, Trailers, Permanent Trailers, Special Mobile Equipment, Implement of Husbandry, Farm Vehicle, Ambulances, Taxis and Hearses, Dealers and Misc. MV Business, Motorcycle Dealers, Motor-Driven Cycle Dealers, Farm Equip. Vehicle Dealers.  §1911, §1913, §1916, §1917, §1918, §1920, §1921, §1922, §1924, §1925, §1926.

 * Legislative Plate Registration fee increases from $20 to $76. §1930

 * Personal (Vanity) Registration Plate fee increases from $20 to $76.  §1931

 * Street Rod Plate fee increases from $20 to $51.  §1931.1

 * Commercial Implement of Husbandry plate fee increases from $76.50 to $110.  §1933

 * Increase speed limit on certain freeways to 70 MPH.  §3362

 * There are also many increases in fines and penalties.


Posting 11/17/2013

Another visitPA clone!  The plate on the far left is the latest rendition of the Classic Car plate now dubbed Classic Vehicle.  Gone are the familiar purple on cream colors and the 'antique' dies.  This change may have taken place at the 28000 mark.  Thanks to Ryan Battin for sharing this.


This low number Mansfield University plate picture was provided by Bill Ceravola.





Spotted this Farm Truck plate on an 18-wheeler hauling corn from the field to the dryer.  Note the 2-99 sticker.  I should have looked to see if the truck had a farm permit sticker on the door which would obviate the need for a current plate.




This '65 Tractor plate is about as low a number and as nice as a plate as they come.  Tim Gierschick provided the image.




Tom Perri spotted this first generation Dickinson College plate, still on the road.  The image is a welcome addition to the Special Organization Plate History Page.

If you want to see all the current PA highs, go to Tom's website: http://www.paplates.com/ .


Here is another pair of 1930 Legislative plates showing a 2-digit and 3-digit format.  The plate on the far left was from eBay and the source of the other plate is unknown.



The far left and center left images represent the front and rear 1934 Legislative plates.  At the time almost all plates were issued in pairs.  Most collectible pares get split up and sold separately.  All of these 1934 plate images came from the collection of Eric Conner.


This 1928 Official plate was also provided courtesy of Eric Conner.  Watch for more plates next week.




This pair of Official Use plate pictures came from Clayton Moore.  The plate on the far left is on the '65 base.  According to the ALPCA Archives this plate format was in use until 1971; however, in 1968 the format on the near left came out.  Were both versions in use concurrently from '68 to '71?

According to DMV information for the '65 base, the authorized series included PA-1000 to PA-9999, then 1000-PA to 9999-PA.  I have never seen a plate from that era with the PA in the suffix position.  Can anyone offer any insight on this?

Watch for more Official Use plates next week.


Posting 11/10/2013

This would be the current high or close to it on Antique Vehicle plates courtesy of Ryan Battin.




In similar fashion here is a sequential pair of new Antique Motorcycle plates also courtesy of Ryan Battin.





Also from Ryan Battin is this Classic Motorcycle plate.  Note that these plates still employ the old map base and non-standard plate size.




Spotted this nice International Brotherhood of Boilermakers plate recently.




This 1928 plate with a 67-J serial number is actually an early Judiciary plate.  This image came from the collection of Ned Flynn.  These plates, without any identifying legend, could easily be passed off as a regular passenger plate or even discarded.  This is likely the first year for this plate type, and beginning in 1929 the plates had the word Judiciary across the bottom.


Here are a couple more very collectible but scarce Judiciary plates.  The '32 plate on the far left is courtesy of Ned Flynn, while the '33 plate image is from Clayton Moore

Anyone have a a plate or picture of a '29, '30, '31, '34 or '35 Judiciary?


This 1928 Legislative plate shares some similarities with the '28 Judiciary plate above.  One uses a prefix and the other uses a suffix to indicate plate type, while neither uses an identifying legend.  This plate image is courtesy of PL8S, and represents the first year of issue.



Here is another pair of Legislative plates.  The source of the nice 1931 plate image on the far left is unknown, while the '33 plate picture came from Eric Conner.



These Official plates from 1926 and 1928 have been added to the Official Use section.  The '26 image is from eBay while the source of the very nice '28 image is unknown.



This pair of Official Use Only plates are on the 1957 base.  The earlier plate with the lower number uses pre-'57 dies and is on steel, the other plate is also on steel but uses the more modern '57 dies.  The 3290 plate image is courtesy of Norm Ratcliff and the 4322 plate is from Clayton Moore.  Eventually the '57 Official Use Only base went to aluminum as seen on later plates.


This 1921 Tractor plate photo was provided by Tim Gierschick.  This series  went from E1 to E999, then E1-000 etc. with this plate being E3-447.



 * NOTE:  If you enjoy these the older plates, check back next week as there will be more images thanks to Eric Conner and Clayton Moore.


Posting 11/3/2013

This trio of Official Use plates is from my collection.  The '57 base marks the return to the use of an identifying plate legend - in this case Official Use Only.  For many years before 1957 Official Use plates came from a reserve block of passenger plates and had no identifying characteristics. This image is of a second edition '57 base.  It was on an aluminum base and used modern dies whereas the first issue on the '57 base was on a steel base and used the older wide dies.  Note the use of the large keystone, and Pennsylvania is embedded in the top of the map border.  I could use an image of the first edition plate.  I recall from my boyhood that these plates were a slightly different color than standard plates.


This next image is an Official Use plate on the '68 base.  It uses the now-familiar PA prefix which was first seen on the '65 base; however, the '68 base now employs a 5-digit serial number and a permanent validation sticker.  The serial number started at PA-10000.  These plates were used up thru 1971.


The last of this group of Official Use plates for this week is this '71 base.  Gone is the map outline and validation sticker.




Here is an image of a 1915 Tractor plate.  The tractor history section for 1915 now shows an E+2 digits, E+3 digits, and an E+4 digits plates.  The number of digits determines the width of the plate which range from 6" to 14".



A new section on Judicial Related plates has been added to the Plate History page.  Judiciary plates have a starting point of at least as far back as 1928, maybe earlier.  They were then issued up thru 1935, after which there was a long gap.  It is uncertain exactly when court related plates were issued again but it is believed that it was some time in the 1990s.  The 1990s plates consisted of Supreme Court, Superior Court and Commonwealth Court.  Those plates continue thru the present.  The source of the 1932 plate image on the far left is unknown while the plate picture on the near left is from Eric Conner.

Watch for more images from Eric in the coming weeks.


Posting 10/27/2013

Bruce Sakson provided this very nice image of a Little League Baseball plate.  What's up with their marketing, or lack of, as this is only the third plate issued over many months which makes it is the current high.



This pair of Commercial Implement of Husbandry plate photographs was taken by Tiger Joe Sallmen on his way to the Hershey car show.  The larger photo shows a commercial fertilizer spreader.  As of the end of 2012 there were only 49 vehicles registered with these plates, by comparison there were 211 Implement of Husbandry plates in use.  Thanks Tiger Joe.



Ed Coghill spotted this first generation Vietnam Vets plate still on the road.






This nice 1927 Official plate image was provided by Jerry McCoy.  Check out this section on Official Use plates.  I have more images to post, but if anyone has plates or pictures especially those in the '20s and '30s they would be appreciated.



Here is a pair of Official Use plates that were issued on the '77 base.  Some of these plates are still in use and still valid, although they are more common on older pieces of equipment at state facilities.  This base is not likely to be seen on State Police vehicles and PennDOT trucks.


These Legislative plates are part of a new section on the Plate History Page.  The 1930 image came from ebay some years ago, while the 1935 plate was provided courtesy of Sarge at Klassy Karz.  It is unknown how many plates were issued but the authorized range in 1930 was from 1 to 500 and in 1935 from 1 to 400.


Bethlehem Township Volunteer Fire Company and Pinnacle Health System have been moved from the Pending / Proposed section to active plates, although neither type has plates on the street yet.


 ~ Legislative Updates ~ 

 ~ Senate Bill 1108 had its first consideration on 10/15.  The bill provides for expansion of the use of Merchant Marine registration plates for those who served during the Korean War, the Vietnam conflict or any of the Gulf Wars, including Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Desert Shield.

 ~ House Bill 89 had its second consideration on 10/2.  The bill would terminate the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Fund at the end of the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

 ~ House Bill 1060 has passed in the House and has been re-referred to Senate Appropriations on 10/22/13. The bill would provide for the use of vertical motorcycle registration plates.

 ~ Senate Bill 1 was passed by the Senate, now moving thru House (removed from table) 10/21/13.  This is a far-reaching bill to raise fees relative to vehicle registration and driver licensing.


Posting 10/20/2013

A new plate type.  PennDOT has announced a new Teen Driver optional plate to help bolster teen driver safety.  Click this link to see the press release from Governor Corbett as he proclaims Oct. 20-26 as Teen Driver Safety Week.  The plate is available for $20 and can be ordered by going to: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/teenDriversCenter/teenDriverLicensePlate.shtml.


Bruce Bufalini recently spotted this high number Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation plate.





Here's the current high Dealer plate.




Speaking of new highs, I recently spotted this School Vehicle plate.





The Arizona State University Alumni Association states on their website that a Pennsylvania plate is coming soon.  This organization has been added to the Pending/Proposed plate page.



Sarge from Klassy Karz has sent several images of older Official Use and Legislative plates.  As a result I will be adding a couple of new sections to the Plate History Page to include those plate types.

While on the subject of Official Use plates, Norm Ratcliff with the help of Allan "Coop" Cooper has put together an outstanding plate website called State Trooper Plates (http://www.statetrooperplates.com/).  If you want to go directly to the Pennsylvania State Police page click the link below to see an extensive list of Official Use plates.


Anyway, below is an image of a 1933 Official and a 57-65 issue Official Use Only plate which are the first entries in the Official Use section.  I will be adding additional images over the next several weeks.





Posting 10/13/2013

St. Joseph's University has announced a facelift for their plate as shown on the far left.  According to their website this new format should be available in November.  An image of the current version is shown for comparison.



Spotted this Format 2 NASCAR 9 Kasey Kahne plate on the far left and center. The Format 1 (N/C/90100) was issued from 2004 to 2008 with 168 plates being issued. Then in 2009 there was a 1-year run from N/C/91101 to N/C/91109 with only 9 plates issued. This is the only one of these I’ve seen. Sorry about the image quality.  An image of the Format 1 version is shown for comparison.


I've seen this Tall Cedars of Lebanon plate several years ago but it was wearing a a frame and a 9-08 sticker at the time.  Anyway, this time there is no frame and it's a nice low number.



Ed Goyda provided this sample image of a Norwin Band Aides specialty plate.  I have this plate listed in the Fraternal & Non-profit group, but maybe it would be more appropriate in with the College and University group since the plate is sponsored by the Parents Support Group of the Norwin High School Band.


This very nice first generation Circus Carnival Truck plate was recently acquired by Manny Jacob.  Sometimes these plates are referred to as Bozo plates due to the BZ prefix.



This low number 1929 Motorcycle plate has been added to the Motorcycle Plate History Section.  These plates were the same colors as automobile plates, but only about 4½" high, while the width varied from 6" to 8" depending on the number of digits.  The source of this image is unknown.


Weekly Posting 9/29/2013

This Passenger plate image was provided by Aaron of Levittown, PA.  This '77 base has a current sticker.  It does appear to be a valid registration number also.



This '49 Tractor plate image has been added.  It's not the first image from that year but shows a low number with a leading 0.  The plate image was provided by Tim Gierschick.



Tim Gierschick also provided this image of a low number '50 Tractor plate.

At this point in time the tractor history section has about 65 images, but plate images are still needed for the following years: 1921, '23, '24, '25, '27, '29, '32 and '33.  Theses years will be hard to come by.


Weekly Posting 9/22/2013

This new high American Cancer Society plate image was provided by Clayton Moore.  Also for more on the latest in PA Plate highs check out Tom Perri's website, http://www.paplates.com/.



This Antique Vehicle plate image from Jordan Irazabal is a new low on this latest format change.  It helps to narrow the transition point from between 4FJ7 and 9FM0.




This new high Expeditionary Forces plate image was provided by Jordan Irazabal.




A new specialty plate has been authorized — Pinnacle Health System — no image yet.  It has been added to the Pending/Proposed list.  In a related note, for some reason PennDOT has not updated their list of Special Organizational License Plates since May 9.  Efforts to inquire about this have been futile.


The NASCAR plate on the far left was shot in traffic by Ryan Battin.  It is also the high number for the N88 Dale Jr. plates.  The next images, also a Dale Jr. plate with a unique number.  These were provided by Bruce Bufalini.




Here's a fairly low number PA Breast Cancer Coalition plate image courtesy of Bill Ceravola.




Tom Perri spotted this old Trailer plate with an 8/18 validation sticker.  Trailers can be registered with a 1-year or 5-year registration.  The plate should have been replaced years ago.




This is the first image of a 1941 Tractor plate.  As with other plates of the same period, the series started at 0001.  The number issued is unknown.  The picture is courtesy of Tim Gierschick.



These '48 and '51 Tractor plates are not the first images for those years, but the '48 is an all numeric issue, while the '51 is a low number.  The pictures were provided by Tim Gierschick.



Weekly Posting 9/15/2013

On a personal note:  On 9/9, I had a total right knee replacement.  The surgery was successful and I am doing well, however, I can't spend more than a few minutes in front of the computer and can't drive for a while.  As a result updates to this website may be very spotty.  Feel free to send images and plate related material as usual.


Weekly Posting 9/8/2013

This is not a good picture but it a a new high Apportioned truck plate.  The AG series was first seen in late May or early June 2012.  That equates to a little over a thousand plates per month being issued.



It's not quite a new high (current high MG40D), and it not the rarest plate on PA roads, but this Municipal Motorcycle is an unusual sighting, and it's one of only a few plates still issued on the PA map outline base.  Anyone know when PA first used the state outline border?  Click HERE to see answer below.


Here's the new Motorcycle high plate spotted at the Lansdale Bike Nite.





Here is a new high on a Philadelphia University plate.  The picture was snapped on the fly by Ryan Battin.  There was supposed to be an updated design with a newer logo but no plates have been seen on the street yet.  Click the link above to see both designs.



This low number Passenger Vanity was submitted by a contributor who wished to remain anonymous.  At one time such plates were reserved for officials and dignitaries, today they are available to any car or light truck owner.  The biggest issue is that low numbers are in demand and seldom become available. 



This very nice 1932 National Guard plate picture was provided by Larry Noble.  These early National Guard plates were issued from 1930 to 1935, after that they were not issued again until 1984 with the advent of the special organizational plate program.  1931 and 1934 National Guard plate images are needed.


This trio of old Tractor plates (left & below) is being provided courtesy of Tim Gierschick.  Tim has done an excellent job of locating old tractor plates by going right to the source.  This is the first image of a 1940 Tractor plate on this website.  Unfortunately the records at the time do not show how many plates were registered since the numbers were combined with trailer plates.  For this reason it is unknown when the use of the alpha prefix came about.  In other words, once the series hit 9999, it could have gone into the A000 series.  It is known that in 1938 plates went at least as high as 5242 and by 1948 they were well into the alpha series with H521.  It is likely with the end of WWII and transition from horse power to tractors that the alpha series came into use around this time.


This is not the first Tractor plate from 1955 but it is the lowest number shown here with a leading 0.  These plates are believed to have started at 0001, then after the all numeric series was exhausted, the alpha-numeric series probably extended at least half way thru the alphabet.


The last plate in this group is this '65 base Tractor with a '70 validation sticker.  This series started at 100-000 or 100-001 so this is a relatively low number.  Registration figures are not available for this year but in the years from 1957 to 1963 the number ranged from 24,429 to 26,385 with a slight downward trend as the years progressed.  Watch for more old tractor plates in the future.


 ANSWER:  Pennsylvania first introduced the state map outline border on motorcycle plates back in 1938 after introducing them on passenger plates in 1937.


Weekly Posting 9/1/2013

This current high number Person with Disability plate image was provided by Ryan Battin.




This Firefighter vanity plate image was provided by Tom Perri.  These plates have a unique history.  The vanity version of the Firefighter plate was only issued for a short time when PA first introduced special organizational plates in 1983.  It was quickly discontinued; however, those who had them were allowed to keep them, and those few remaining were eventually reissued on the www base.


There is nothing special about this Trailer Dealer plate other than it being one of those rare dealer types seldom seen on the road.  When these plates were reissued on the www base the series began at TD1000D.




The same comment goes for this seldom seen Commercial Implement of Husbandry plate.  When was the last time you saw on of these drive down your street?  When these plates were reissued on the www base the series began at CI1500H.



Nick Tsilakis snapped the Passenger plate image on the far left a few days ago showing the first plate issued on the www base.  It would have been issued in 1999.  Nick had also spotted the same plate, near left, back on 5/1/2005.




When one plate just won't do.  This truck had a Vietnam Vets plate in addition to a Severely Disabled Veteran Plate.  It's actually a sad reminder that this person's life has been severely altered by an event that ended some 38 years ago. 




These are not Motorcycle plates as they may appear to be at first glance.  These are Motorbike plates having been first introduced in 1920 and continued to be issued until 1949.  In the early years they were sometimes referred to as Motor Bicycles or Bicycle Side Motors; today they are more commonly referred to as Mopeds.  Also, in the years up thru 1933 the letter O was used on Motorbikes as a prefix to differentiate between them and Motorcycle plates.  Before 1927 the letter O and the number 0 were the same size which makes earlier plates appear to be all numeric.  From 1934 thru 1949 the O was replaced with MB stacked on the left side in '36 & '37, then with the introduction of the map outline in '38 all plates had the MB stacked on the right side.  It should be noted that Motor Boat plates also used the MB designator between 1955 and 1963.  The source of the '22 image on the far left is unknown.  The middle image was from eBay.  If the owner of either plate would like credit please let me know.  The '35 plate is a design image from an old BMV document.  My thanks to Eric Tanner for some guidance with this section. 


Here on the far left is a low number 1934 Tractor plate image.  At this point in the plate evolution the TE prefix is gone as it was last used on the '33 plates and the word TRACTOR is boldly spelled out across the bottom.  The series started at 1 and and ran into 4 digits.  The source of the '34 plate was eBay.  The '53 plate shows a later generation plate with the long-standing map outline.  It also uses the alphanumeric serial format indicating that the all numeric plates from 0001 to 9999 had been issued and the A000 series was now down to M369.   The source of the this image is unknown.  If the owner of either plate would like credit please let me know.  Watch for more tractor plates in the future.


Weekly Posting 8/25/2013

This very nice Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Company plate image was provided by Chris Johns.  It is also the first image of this type and also the current high.



The first photo of a Blue Moon Cruisers Rod & Custom Association plate was shown last week, and here we have another.  This is also the new high.  This one came from the Wheels of Time Rod & Custom Jamboree in Macungie.  They advertise 1500 vehicles on display.  Several additional plate pictures below were from the same event.



Here's the current high on the latest version of the Antique Vehicle plate.





This Collectible Vehicle plate is also a new high.





And here's another new high with this Street Rod plate.  I like to display highs but I don't track them.  For all the latest in highs visit Tom Perri's website http://www.paplates.com/.



Ryan Battin provides this new high number Classic Car plate photo.




Ryan Battin also sends this World War II Veteran plate image, which is also a new high.  Unless this was a replacement plate I can't imagine that many of these plates are issued today for a war that ended in 1945, although PennDOT extends the eligibility period through 12/31/1946.



This Circus-Carnival Truck plate was spotted recently and it also represents a new high.




Bruce Bufalini recently caught this Passenger plate with repeating letters and numbers.





These 1926 and 1928 Tractor plate photos was provided by Tim Gierschick.  Tim has provided quite a few older tractor plate images and with the help of Clayton Moore, they have provided much of the pictorial history of this plate type.  1928 was the first year to use the TE prefix in place of the E prefix which was then needed for passenger plates.  TE was used up thru 1933.  Click the link above to see more detail on the formatting.  Unfortunately the number of plates issued is not available since at the time tractor and trailer registrations were counted together; however, from the 1928 plate it appears that at least 4000 plates were issued.


But wait, there's more!  The photo of an old Massey-Harris farm tractor on the far left was sent to Jordan Irazabal by Julian Marrero.  It shows an old Massey-Harris farm tractor with a '54 Tractor plate.  I cropped the plate image and straightened it as best as I could with Photoshop.



The current Motorcycle bases (www, Live Free, snd visitPA) have been added to the Plate History Page.


Weekly Posting 8/18/2013

Here's the first picture of a Distinguished Flying Cross plate.  The image is courtesy of Bill Ceravola.  Nice find.




On the far left the Special Mobile Equipment plate has finally made the transition to the visitPA base.  It also has a new serial format with SME now in the suffix position and an alpha prefix.  The image was provided by Ryan Battin.  For comparison, the older Z series on the www base is also shown, courtesy of Brendan Sherry.



This seemingly out of sequence Implement of Husbandry plate image was provided by Ryan Battin.  By 'out of sequence' I mean all other IMP plates seen so far have been in the 5000 to 5300 range, and there were only 211 such vehicles registered at the end of 2012, and yet this plate is number 7395.


Here's the first image of a Blue Moon Cruisers Rod & Custom Association.  The picture was provided by Clayton Moore.  Membership is required to get a plate.



Here is another first image, this one of a Gettysburg Fire Department plate from Tom Perri & Jordan Irazabal.




High numbers and low numbers is one of the driving forces in this hobby, and here we have a very nice number 1 Gladwyne Fire Company plate image from Tom Perri



And here's a nice high number image from Bill Ceravola of a Mario Lemieux Foundation plate.




Here's an ATV Dealer plate issued by DCNR.  The plates measure 4" by 7", the same as motorcycle plates.  At one time these dealer plate were actually full size 6" by 12".



Here's a 1919 Tractor plate from Clayton Moore.  I've been focusing some effort on the Tractor section of the Plate History Page.  Unfortunately there are not a lot of resources available for research, and in some cases the information conflicts.  In any case I am very thankful and appreciative of the help received from everyone who has provided images, especially Clayton Moor and Timothy Gierschick.


Speaking of Tractor plates and Tim Gierschick, this 1926 Tractor plate from Tim shows many changes in color, plate length and the formatting of the legend from the above plate.  Note also that this '26 plate has no distinguishing features to indicate that it is a Tractor plate, except for the E prefix. 

Watch for some additional plates from Tim in future weeks.


In news concerning this website, for many years, at least during the '60s, '70s and '80s, reserving certain groups of low-numbered plates for Cabinet members and state officials and dignitaries was pretty much the norm.  In recent years, however, at least since the 1999 -2000 plate changeover, these low numbered plates were more readily available to non-political figures, and therefore became vanity plates.  For this reason I have moved the plate photos into the Passenger Vanity section.  That being said, it is my understanding that plates below 10 are still under the control of the Governor.


Weekly Posting 8/11/2013

Last week I reported  that a redesigned Antique Vehicle plate was coming.  Love it or hate it, here it is on the images to the left.  The far left  pair of images was provided by Bruce Bufalini and shows the lowest serial number so far.  The 4FP0 was provided by Jerry McCoy and the next image, 7FR6, was provided by Ryan Battin.  Looks like the effort was to make the plates more like the old purple and white plate (example below), but the plate legend is a bit redundant with both PA & PENNSYLVANIA, and the words ANTIQUE and HISTORIC used twice.

Below is the most recent high on the previous issue.  As can be seen the changeover took place between 4FJ6 and 3FM6, or more precisely between the J and the M as the F did not advance.  The other image below shows the earlier use of the PA ANTIQUE HISTORIC CAR legend.





Pennsylvania's Prisoner of War plate is getting a new look.  PennDOT has announced that the redesigned plate will follow their 'family of plates' color scheme.  The plate will also display the Prisoner of War Medal where the keystone used to be.  Existing plates will remain valid and renewable; however, those who wish can replace their old plate with the new design.


Ryan Battin sends this new high Honoring Our Veterans plate image.  This plate is a member of the Special Fund group which includes the Tiger, Owl, Otter, Dare, Flagship Niagara, and Railroad, some of which are no longer available.



Here's a nice Waynesburg University sample plate image courtesy of Paul Bagnarol.  PennDOT no longer markets sample plates, but they do make a limited number available to organizations for display and marketing purposes.



Here's a new high Motorcycle Dealer plate.  It was spotted at the recent Glenside bike and car show.





These two Motorcycle plate images have been added to the Plate History Page.  The image on the far left is a '53 plate and the near left plate would be a '71 base with a '76 sticker.



These are not good images.  The plate, which is a '26 Motorcycle, was in a store window and I took the picture thru the plate glass window at a very obtuse angle, not really expecting it to come out.  The close-up image is the same picture after a session with Photoshop.  I will attempt to get a better shot when the place is open.  For now at least it provides a usable image.


This week we have another image from fellow ALPCA member Timothy Gierschick.  The '36 Tractor image on the far left is from Tim.  Nice number.  Watch for more tractor plates from Tim in the coming weeks.  The other image is a '48 Tractor plate.   


Here's a group of YOM plates seen at a recent car show.  Far left is a '55 passenger, followed by a '69 passenger, and finally a 72 dealer.



  - Next week there will be a preview of a new Special Mobile Equipment plate on the visitPA base, an out of sequence Implement of Husbandry plate, more old tractor images, new highs, and whatever get caught on camera in the meantime.


Weekly Posting 8/4/2013

Clayton Moore made an astute observation by comparing a recent Antique Vehicle plate with an earlier issue.  It appears that plates in the E and F series (second serial character) show a slightly bolder plate legend font than plates in earlier series.  The second character is the last character to advance and is therefore the primary indicator of the plate progression.  The Antique Historic Car - Antique Vehicle section has also been reformatted somewhat to improve appearance and flow.

In a related news item, PennDOT will be giving the Antique Vehicle plate a facelift. The image of the red antique vehicle on the left side of the plate will be replaced with the words, “PA ANTIQUE HISTORIC VEHICLE”.  Does that sound kind of familiar?  Hopefully we'll have an image soon.


Here is the current high Apportioned Truck plate and a 5-14 Apportioned sticker.  Apportioned plates have their own stickers and all have an annual May expiration.  Thanks go to Ryan Battin for the great images.



Here's the latest Municipal high plate also courtesy of Ryan.  Wonder if these plate will eventually join what PA calls the "Family of Plates" where all plates use the same color scheme of blue, white and yellow.



Here's the first image of a Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association plate.  The image was provided by Tom Perri.  It was taken under low lighting conditions.



And here's another first image from Tom Perri.  This is of a Gilbertsville Fire & Rescue Company plate.




Here's the latest high number Korean Defense Service plate.  The image was provided by Jerry McCoy.




Here is a pair of gems from Timothy Gierschick.  These 1916 and 1917 Tractor plates are only a few years short of being 100 years old.  The '16 plate is the first year not to use porcelain.  The E is a non-advancing prefix which stood for Engine, which was short for Traction Engine, an early term which was gradually replace by Tractor.


This pair of first generation special organization plate image was provided by Arthur Levine.  There are a number of images of first generation organizational plates still needed.  The far left is a Kutztown University plate image and the other is Widener University.


In other plate news, the Indiana County Humane Society now has plates on the street, and  Bethlehem Township Volunteer Fire Company, Bethlehem, has been added to the list of Pending Proposed Plates.  No images available yet.


Weekly Posting 7/28/2013

This Classic Motorcycle high image was provided by Bill Houser.  Having been to many bike shows, I can say that these are rare compared to Antique Motorcycle plates.



Speaking of Antique Motorcycle plates, here's the new high from Ryan Battin.  It is believed that this new series began at 01000  This new plate style was first seen in May of 2013.



Also from Ryan Battin is this Antique Vehicle plate which is also a new high.  The first letter, in this case the F, is the last character to advance.



Here's an Amateur Radio plate with a -2 after the call letters.  The '2' is part of the plate serial number but not part of the call sign.  This formatting allows the owner to use the K3YD on more than one vehicle.



It's a motorcycle plate for sure, but is it a vanity or what?  The 110AV does not seem to fit any known motorcycle serial format, so at least for now it appears to be a Motorcycle Vanity plate.



This Lower Macungie Fire Department plate was spotted and photographed by Steve Ondik.




This high number Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue plate picture was provided by Nick Tsilakis




This Press Photographer plate was recently spotted on the road by Alec Hussey.  The number appears to be valid and these plates would have been replaced on a plate for plate basis; however, the owner likely choose not to put the newest set of plates (www base) on the vehicle. 




On the Special Organization Plate History Page, I still need a number of images.  Arthur Levine was kind enough to provided a number of these yellow-on-blue plate images.  These include a Barbershopper (far left) and a  PA Association of Realtors images.  The Barbershopper was first came out in 1999 and the Realtor plate was first issued in 1995.

I will post additional images next week.


I recently acquired these two old Tractor plates.  The plate on the far left is a 1955.  Plate formatting was very similar from 1938 up thru 1956.  In 1938 the use of the state outline began on Tractor plates, in 1941 the expiration date (EXP. 3-31-YY) was added to the top border.  The plate legend thru these years was always the 2-digit year on the upper left, the word TRACTOR in the center flanked by 2 keystones and PA on the right.  The serial formatting was always a 4 digit number, and after 9999 was reached an alpha character was used in the first position, such as A123.  As far as I know the plates during these years always measured 5⅞ by 10¼ inches.

The other plate is a 57 Tractor, while much of the earlier formatting was carried over, the plate uses a 6-digit format and moved to the now standard 6 by 12 inches.

Look for more Tractor gems from Tim Gierschick next week.  The tractor history section has also been reformatted somewhat to improve appearance and flow.


Weekly Posting 7/21/2013

This Philadelphia Union Foundation is the first image of its kind and was spotted recently by Jordan Irazabal.  One interesting fact about this plate is that it doesn't even appear on PennDOT's list of organizational plates.



This very nice Conserve Wild Resources - Otter plate image was provided by Alec Hussey and is the new high for this plate type.




Spotted this U.S. Army Reserve plate recently.  These were never common, but it seems that with all the newer veterans’ plates that are now available, that these Reserve plates are becoming less common. Nice number though.  Also, when these plates were first introduced back around 1987 they were grouped in with the organizational plates rather than veterans' plates.  They are still listed as organizational plates.


On the far left is a picture of a Moped.  Nothing unique about the plate, they are just far less common than Motorcycle plates, at least here in PA.  Note the presence of foot pedals.  A moped is actually a motorized pedacycle, thus the term moped, and to be licensed as such in PA it must have operable foot pedals, be limited to a 50 cc engine and 1.5 HP.  Moped plates also use MP near the bottom of the plate and a 2-letter, 3-number format.  Most mopeds are sold by Motorcycle Dealers (MCD), but there are a few dealers that are strictly Moped Dealers (MPD), thus the use of Moped Dealer plates with MPD as the designator.  Partial credit for the Moped Dealer image goes to Jordan Irazabal.


This Motorcycle Dealer high number was spotted at a recent bike show.




These two Tractor plates belong to Tim Gierschick.  Tim had them recently restored.  Note the use of the E prefix on the 1922 plate, which stood for Engine.  After E999, 1922 Tractor plates used E1 or E2 followed by a dash and the three remaining serial numbers, for example E1-123.  The 1922 plate colors are brown on cream.  From 1914, the first year for tractor plates, until 1922 there was a different color combination every year, same as passenger plates.  Beginning in 1923 the colors became the more familiar yellow/gold and dark blue, and they began to alternate each year thereafter, again the same as passenger plates.  The 1942 plate is an interesting low number helping confirm that the series likely began at 0001, and employed leading zeros.


You know you live in the country when you go to a car show and there are more farm tractors on display than cars.


Weekly Posting 7/14/2013

The following group of 4 plates was provided by Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal.  These image were taken during their recent western Pennsylvania trip. This is the first image of a Rosedale Technical Institute plate.  The facility is located in Pittsburgh.  Note that it's also the number 1 plate.


As you can see these are all outstanding images from Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal with no plate frames, no shadows, etc.  This next image is a Thiel College plate.  Thiel is located in Greenville (Mercer County), PA.  Greenville is about 80 miles north of Pittsburgh.



This excellent example of a Waynesburg University plate was also provided by Tom and JordanThe facility is located about 60 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.



And finally this week from Tom and Jordan is this Action for Animals Humane Society.  This organization is located in Latrobe, PA, which is southeast of Pittsburgh.



The plate images on the far left and center left are from a road shot taken by Bruce Bufalini of a '77 base Amateur Radio plate still in use.  The plate appears to be in good shape considering its age.  Comparing old and new, the picture of the new plate on the near left was provided by Brendan Sherry.  The plate legend on the '77 base reads KEYSTONE STATE, while the newer plate uses AMATEUR RADIO.  The AMATEUR RADIO legend was not added until 1988.  See more history by clicking this Amateur Radio link.


Back on 6/23, I posted the image on the near left of a redesigned Severely Disabled Veteran plate.  The new plate featured a flat screened tag legends, wheelchair symbol and stacked DV prefix.  Since that time I spotted the plate on the far left which provides more evidence that the changeover point was likely D/V92500


Added these images of a 1924, a 1957, and 1966 Motorcycle plates.  The '24 plates were all-numeric, while the '57 plates started with an all-numeric format, then went to an alpha and alpha-numeric format beginning with A  and going up to Z999.  Finally the '66 plate is actually on a '65 base.  The use of validation stickers began on the '58 base the same as passenger plates.  During the time the '65 base was was in use, eight different formats were used to accommodate the 327 thousand registrations.   


Weekly Posting 7/7/2013

Here's the first image of a Pocono Mountain Volunteer Fire Company plate.  These have only been out a short time and there are about 12 plates in use.



Vern Kreckel of Kreckel Enterprises sent these images of a 1974 Ford Gran Torino Elite with a YOM Plate.





Here is a pair of recently issued Classic Car images in the C27000 series.  Jordan Irazabal reports seeing C27451, which would be the high, but no picture.  The image on the far left was provided by Bruce Bufalini while the image on the near left is from Jerry McCoy.  Jerry informs us that there is no longer a requirement to provide pictures for Classic or Antique registrations.  Just send Form MV-11, $97.50, your title, and a copy of your insurance card and you'll get the plate in a week or so.  I registered a Classic Motorcycle several years ago and it took months.


Spotted this Blue Mountain Jeep Alliance plate at a recent open house event the organization was having.  They have stopped offering this plate for unknown reasons.  It is the current high.



Here's another gem from Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal.  This Navy Cross image is a nice companion to the number 1 plate image posted on 5/26.

Tom and Jordan also provided a number of first time images.  I opted not to post the first time images until Tom has a chance to post them to his website.  The plate images and legwork that Tom and Jordan have done have made a significant contribution to the efforts to photograph and document Pennsylvania's ever-growing array of plates.  


Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal also provided this very nice La Roche College plate image




Ryan Battin provides this high number Antique Vehicle plate.  Ryan regularly provides great images of new plates along with many new highs.



This new high Persian Gulf War Veteran plate image was also provided by Ryan Battin.




Here's a new high Municipal Government plate.  Brendan Sherry has provided this image, he and Bruce Bufalini often capture images of plates that are more common in the western part of PA.



The final picture this week also comes from Brendan Sherry.  This is another high number Emergency Vehicle  plate.  If you are unfamiliar, EV plates are issued as part of two-tiered system.  The lower tier, of which this plate is a part, are generally those belonging to hospitals, private ambulance companies, privately owned vehicles such as a fire chief's vehicle, etc..  These require and annual renewal fee, while the upper tier are generally issued to volunteer and municipal agencies and are fee-exempt.  Click the link above to see more information and images.  


Legislative Update: There are currently several bill winding their way thru the legislative process which may be of interest to plate enthusiasts.  I only report on bills that appear to have a good chance of passing.

  House Bill 89 which if enacted  would terminate the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Fund at the end of the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

 — House Bill 770 if enacted would authorize the issue of an Appalachian Trail Conservancy Special Registration Plate.  In addition it would raise raise the vehicle weight limit on personal (vanity) and organizational plates from 10,000 lb. to 14,000 lb., and allow the use of such plates on Motor Homes.  And finally it would allow organizational registration plate to be personalized for a fee.  The proposed fee started off at $300 but has be revised to $100.

 — Senate Bill 1 will raise fees relative to vehicle registration and driver licensing.

  House Bill 1060 would provide for the use of vertical motorcycle registration plates such as the Minnesota plate shown below.  Some motorcycles only provide for a vertical mount which forces a conventional plate onto its side.


Weekly Posting 6/30/2013

By the time the Special Mobile Equipment got to the Z series, I thought it would have made the transition to the visitPA base — obviously not.  Thanks to Brendan Sherry for sharing this high plate image.  What happens after Z?  Possibly SME-00A0 or A000-SME, and on the visitPA base.



Brendan Sherry also spotted this high Mass Transit plate.





Here is an image of a Fraternal Order of Police - Survivor sample.  It is my understanding that these can be issued to family members of a police officer who has lost his or her life in the line of duty.  There are no images of actual plates yet.  The picture came from their website via Tom Perri.


This is the current high number Dealer plate.  While Dealer plates have been in existence in PA since 1910, the use of an alpha character in the first and last position can be traced back to 1958.  Of course since that time there have been many changes in designation such as New Car, Used car, etc, also the number of characters went from 6 to 7.  Actually the use of the A and B prefixes predates the '58 series may may go back as far as 1946. 


Here is a very unusual plate image.  It shows PA Retired Senator plate number 1.  It is believed that only three of theses have been issued so far as this series only dates back to 2009.  This image was posted to the ALPCA Face Book page, by Paul Rosenberg and passed on to me by Jordan Irazabal.


Bruce Bufalini shares this Steel Worker plate image, which happens to be the new high.  While this plate may look like a special organizational plate, it is actually a unique plate type made possible by legislation.  To qualify for such a plate an applicant must certify that they are currently or were formerly employed in the manufacture of steel or a surviving member of a steelworker’s family.


This new high Honoring Our Veterans plate shows the slow progression of sales.  I don't think this is the result of the lack of patriotism, but rather the decision by PA to get away from much more uniquely attractive plates such as the Tiger, Owl, Dare and Flagship Niagara, which have all been discontinued or replaced.  The commitment to make all new plates essentially look alike is very disappointing for a state that had some of the nicest plates ever produced.  The image was provided by Ryan Battin.  The editorial comment is my own, but is shared by many others.


This 1968 Tractor Dealer plate was added to the Plate History Page.  Mike, or eBay seller pl8source gave permission to use the image.  I was outbid by 50 cents on the auction. 



Plate Tracking Trivia: There is (or was) an auction of a Disabled Veteran plate on eBay this week.  The plate number is DV-19768.  This plate helps narrow down the point at which the plates switched from two stickers wells in the upper left and right corners to a single sticker well in the lower left corner.  Anyone have a plate or an image of a Disabled veteran plate in the 20000 or 21000 series?


In Other Plate News: The Horsham Fire Company No. 1 has or soon will have 17 active plates and the Pocono Mountain Volunteer Fire Company has or soon will have12 active plates.



Weekly Posting 6/23/2013

Pennsylvania's Severely Disabled Veteran plate gets a makeover.  The new look of the plate on the far left now features flat screened tag legends, wheelchair symbol and stacked DV prefix.  Compare this with the most recent image of the previous version.  The newest image was provided by Ryan Battin, while the previous version was provided by Brendan Sherry.  I'm going to guess that the changeover took place at D/V92500.  Wonder what other plate types are seeing a similar makeover?


Here is another image of the new Support Your Zoo plate.  If you recall, the familiar Save Wild Animals - Tiger plate was replaced by this Support Your Zoo plate.  These became available back in April and I have yet to see one on the road.  It appears that this new series began at 00101P/Z.  The image was provided by Bruce Sakson.


Bruce Bufalini spotted this low number W & J (Washington and Jefferson) College plate.  This plate type is currently available on the visitPA base with colored graphics.




Bruce Bufalini attended a recent car show and caught this high number Street Rod plate image.


I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that PA probably offers more plate types for car enthusiasts than any other state.  These would include: Antique, Classic, Collectible, Street Rod and YOM.  In addition, all except the Street Rod are also available in a motorcycle version.


YOM or NOT?  Not.  On plates of this vintage, numeric characters were much larger than letters.  The EVL68 was probably registered as a vanity plate and the reproduction plate was made up based on that number.  The vanity angle is also probably responsible for the validation sticker.  I have placed it with other YOM plates but noted that it is not the real thing.


Spotted this NASCAR 9 Kasey Kahne plate recently.  It is also the current high.  Around 168 of these were issued starting at 0100 for the 2004 to 2008 racing seasons.  In 2009 there was a different NASCAR 9 Kasey Kahne plate issued due to a change in sponsorship.  Only about 9 were issued and none has been photographed.


Here is a a nice Autism Society of America plate image.  It is also the current high, and was provided courtesy of Jordan Irazabal.




This IUP (or Indiana University of PA) Alumni Association image was provided by Bruce Bufalini.  It's also the new high for this series.




Here a new plate in the planning stages.  Our friend and regular contributor Ryan Battin is the plate project coordinator for the Volvo Club of America.  At this point the proposal is about to go to PennDOT, so the plates will take a while, but if anyone is interested let me know and I will put you in touch with Ryan.


And finally this week these two Motorcycle plates have been added to the Plate History Page.  The first is a 1936 with a very desirable serial number, and the other is an example of a '63 with the letter in the second position.  By 1963 there were enough motorcycles on the road to require many permutations of alphanumeric characters.  In 1936 there were about 12 thousand motorcycles registered and by 1963 this number had shot up to almost 37 thousand.  The source of these images is unknown, so if someone owns one or both of theses, please let me know.


Weekly Posting 6/16/2013

Here's a great image of a Blue Knights Int'l Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club plate from Brendan Sherry.




I love animals too, but the owner of this Animal Friends plate felt it was best to not only cover up the name of the organization, but to cover up the name of the state with a frame.  Anyway it's the current high on this type and was provided by Brendan Sherry.



The Barbershopper plate series has a strange progression.  They started out at B/Q00000, then progressed to B/Q00351.  At that point the initial progression stopped and jumped ahead to B/Q01000 where it has now progressed to B/Q01037.  Is there a logical explanation for this, or did the person handling the number dies get the zero and one confused.  The plate on the far left is an example of the lower grouping and the plate on the near left is the current high, and was supplied by Tom Perri.


Here's a picture of the current high number Trailer plate.  The image was sent by Vern Kreckel / Kreckel Enterprises.




Earlier this year Nick Tsilakis reported seeing a Disabled Veteran with a keystone separator on plate DV-34590.  These plates would normally have a dash separator, not a keystone.  There were no other visible differences noted.  The center picture is the first photo-documentation of this change.  For comparison the picture on the far left uses a dash in the DV-33900 series and DV-34700 series again uses the dash.  It appears that the keystone separator was used on a small run of plates.  The image was provided by Ryan Battin.


Speaking of Disabled Veteran plates, this is the current reported high and was provided by Jordan Irazabal.




Here's a brand new ATV-2 plate belonging to Vern Kreckel.  This means it's a Class 2, which is a motorized off-road vehicle, which travels on three or more inflatable tires and has a width which exceeds 50 inches or a dry weight which exceeds 1000 pounds.  These plates are issued by DCNR, not PennDOT.  There are plenty of Class 2 vehicles around, but most that I have seen did not have plates.  DCNR also issues an ATV (Class 1) and an ATV Dealer tag.  These are all standard motorcycle size 4" by 7" plates.


This nice pair of 1915 Tractor plate images was provided by Tim Gierschick.  Note the difference in plate length depending on the number of characters.  I have an image of E651 which is somewhere between the lengths of these two plates.  Anyone have an image between E1 and E9?


In other plate news, it appears that the Gettysburg Fire Department now has 34 plates in use.  Also the Philadelphia Union Foundation has 20 plates; this organization is not even listed by PennDOT.  The Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Company is showing 2 plates in use; and finally Thiel College is showing 20 plates in use.  No pictures yet.


Senate Bill 1 has been passed by the State Senate, and has now been sent on to the House Transportation Committee on 6/10/13.  It seems quite likely that this bill, or some variation of it, will pass and be signed into law by the Governor.  This bill will raise vehicle registration and driver licensing fees, in some cases substantially.  Click the link above to go to the Bill Information Page, where you can read the bill and follow its progress thru the legislature.


Weekly Posting 6/9/2013

Here's the first image of a new plate, U.S. Military Airborne Units To qualify a person would have had to be a member of one of the following:  Parachutist or Glider Units, Glider Troopers, Paratroopers, Air Assault Troopers, Rangers, U.S. Army Special Forces, USMC Recon, U.S. Navy Seals, U.S. Air Force Special Operations, Troop Carrier Command including Glider Pilots and the 160th SOAR.  Image courtesy of Michael Sherry, thru his brother Brendan.


R is for Ryan, and so it is with this new plate of Ryan Battin.  Nice vanity plate.  Obviously there can't be many of these single letter plates in use.  Does the letter I and the letter O even get issued?



I've seen screen shots before, but this is the first time for a TV screen shot.  Bruce Bufalini managed to capture and download this image from his TV showing the current high University Of Pittsburgh official plate.





This number 2 Robert Morris University plate image was captured by Brendan Sherry.  Robert Morris is located in Coraopolis, a suburb of Pittsburgh.  Anyone have a sample of a Robert Morris plate?




This very nice Children's Hospital of Philadelphia plate image was provided by Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal.  It is the current reported high number.



These very unusual Department of Highways plates (far left & center left) belong to John Willard.  The image on the near left is from an old Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) document showing plate designs for 1935.  It is believed that these plates were first issued in 1930 but this is based on other similar plates from that era rather than factual data.  The '31 plate was probably an issued plate and suggests that at least 10 plates were produced.  The '35 zero (0) plate was likely produced as a sample.  The BMV document from which the graphic depiction indicates that plate numbers 1 to 5 were to be produced.  Unfortunately very little is known about this plate type.  Thanks to Dave Lincoln for the pictures.


Dan Hermann snapped this image of a 2013 U.S. Open golf tournament special event plate.  The event will take place in Ardmore, PA.  This is a issued for a limited period from June 10th to the 16th of this year.  There was a time when aluminum plates were issued for such occasions, but we're not likely to see that again.


In other plate news U.S. Merchant Marine plates are now in use, with about 7 being issued.  Since these are based on service during World War II is is unlikely that many of these will ever be issued, and the number in use will likely decline over time.



Looking for more plate stuff?

  • If you are interested in Pennsylvania license plates, make sure you visit Tom Perri's PA Plates website, not be confused with this website which is PA PL8S.  Tom does a great job for the hobby by documenting plate types with data, photos and their numeric progression.  Check it out!

  • And on the Delaware side of things, take a look at Jordan's amazing website, The Delaware 3000, where he documents almost every low number plate in Delaware.  There is kind of a thing going on in Delaware with low number plates — it's part of the culture.  Jordan regularly contributes to this site as well.

  • Want more PA stuff?  Check out Eric Conner's PennsylvaniaPoliticals.com dedicated to PA political memorabilia which just happens to include a section Governors' license plates.

  • Bruce Bufalini also has a website, Bufs-Plates, featuring plates for all over North America in addition to Pennsylvania License Plates, Amateur Radio Plates and Windshield Stickers.

  • Rick Kretschmer's website, RicksPlates.com specializes in several states including PA.  He also features some plate types that none of the above track like passenger plates history, truck/commercial and motorboat plates. 

  • Consider joining ALPCA — the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association.


Weekly Posting 6/2/2013

It appears that the familiar white-on-purple Antique Motorcycle plates (near left) have been replaced with a 5-digit format (far left) on the familiar visitPA base.  It is likely that the series started at 01000.  Gone are the map outline plates and its 2- and 3-character formats.  Existing plates on the white-on-purple format will likely remain valid.  Thanks to Cody Raspen for the heads up on this change.


This isn't the kind of thing I normally post, but for the first time I put together a minor plate display for the ALPCA meet at Trexlertown, PA on June 1.  I believe most of the plates are shown individually elsewhere on this website.

If you have any interest in license plates, being a member of ALPCA (Automobile License Plate Collectors Association) offers lots of venues to collect, buy, sell, and swap plates.  It also offers a bimonthly full color magazine with lots of pictures, stories, news and classifieds.  For a lot of members the greatest benefit is the many other plate enthusiasts you will come in contact with. 



Finding images of new plate types is usually a challenge but when Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri team up it usually means success.  And so it is with these two Exeter Twp Fire Department plate images.



This North Penn Vol. Fire Co. plate image was provided courtesy of Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.




This first image of a Radnor Fire Company of Wayne plate was also provided by Jordan Irazabal and Tom Perri.




Here's a new high Presque Isle Partnership plate.




Added these images of a 1974 and '76 Motorcycle Dealer plates to the History Page.  While the '74 and earlier plates had the year embossed, the '75 and '76 plates used stickers to indicate the year.  In 1977 the plates again had the year embossed.  '77 appears to be the last year to use embossed dates.


These are the last of the Apportioned Validation Stickers that I have.  The 5-11 sticker image is from Jordan Irazabal.



Weekly Posting 5/26/2013

This very unusual Navy Cross plate image was was sent by Fred Monahan.  He is the recipient of the Navy Cross.  As a Marine he earned this award for extreme heroism under fire in Vietnam.  Click this link to read the account of Frederick G. Monahan, U.S.M.C.  There is only one other Navy Cross plate in PA.

This very nice image is the current high Severely Disabled Veteran plate.  The image was provided by Brendan Sherry.




The image quality is pretty poor since it was taken under less than ideal conditions.  Anyway, it shows the current Apportioned truck high.





This Preserve Our Heritage - Railroad image was provided by James Oldham and is a new high.




This Official Use plate image is from a passenger vehicle, therefore both front and rear plates are issued.  It is also the current high, and was provided by Ryan Battin.







This low number Seton Hill University plate image was provided by Bruce Bufalini.






This beautiful pair of porcelain Motorcycle plates was provided by Tim Stentiford.  They represent plates from the first and second years of motorcycle plate production in PA.  Motorcycle registration was required as early as 1910 but homemade plates were used through 1913.  Note the use of leading 0s (zeros) in both plates.  This practice appears to have stopped in 1916.  All of these plates measured 4½ inches high.  Some of these plates measured 8¾ inches wide, while others varied depending on the number of digits.  After 1915 plates used embossed steel in place of the porcelain.  If anyone has variations on these plates I would love to add them.


These are all Apportioned Validation Stickers.  The 5-93 image is from Clayton Moore.




And finally in other plate news, the Exeter Twp Fire Department now has plates on the street.  I will be posting an image next week.  In addition, there are or very soon will be U.S. Merchant Marine plates in use.


Weekly Posting 5/19/2013

This Korean Defense Service plate image was provided by Ryan Battin.  The current high number is 00091K/D.




Spotted this Bronze Star plate recently.  Unfortunately neither the flash shot nor the shot with ambient light came out well.  This plate is the current series high.



I have made a couple updates to the section on current Municipal plates and also to the Municipal plates section on the History Page.  The image on the far left was provided by Klassy Karz and the image on the near left was courtesy of Clayton Moore.  These plates are on a '77 base and were issued up to 1984; however, these are permanent plates and a number of these are still in use.


The Philadelphia Union Foundation is now offering a plate.  Proceeds from the sale of the plate are to benefit the Philadelphia Union Foundation.  From their website, "The Philadelphia Union Foundation is helping build relationships and change a generation. The mission of the Foundation is to provide opportunities for children through the power of relationships to offer transformational change in the areas of education, community, health and recreation". Visit http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/puf/license-plate.  This organization is now selling plates, but the plate does not yet appear on PennDOT's list.


On the far left and center left is a pair of 65 base Motorcycle plates showing 3- and 4-charactor versions. These were undated and were revalidated with stickers thru 1970. The series began at 1 so there were 1-digit and 2-digit plates such as 12 and A1.  Eventually plates in this series exhausted all the 4-character combinations and was expanded to 5-charactors.  At this time the stacked M/C was removed and was replaced by the word MOTORCYCLE along the bottom border.  See more plate data on the History Page.  The first plate was from ebay, the source of the second plate is unknown and the third plate came from Jeff Francis/ebay.

Watch next week for images of nice 1914 and 1915 porcelain motorcycle plates.


For the next several weeks I will be posting images of Apportioned plate Validation Stickers.  Apportioned Buses and Apportioned Trucks use an annual 5-YY (YY= 2-digit year) where all such plates have a May to May validation year.  The stickers all have PA APPORTIONED across the top.  Since these plates were first issued in 1982, the first validation stickers had 5-83 on them.


The Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association now has active plates in use.




Legislation update: Senate Bill 1 continues to move forward.  As of May 14th it was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.  See the posting from 5/12 for more information on this expansive bill, or click the link above and read all 97 pages of the bill.


Weekly Posting 5/12/2013

Here is an image of the current high Honoring Our Veterans plate from Ryan Battin.





Another new high is this Operation Enduring Freedom from Brendan Sherry.





This amazing find can be credited to Tom Perri.  For whatever reason there are apparently only two Little League Baseball plates in use and here we have a beautiful image of # 1.





This Superior Court plate image was provided by Tom Perri.  This is a great find as these plates are exceptionally rare. 

I have images of a total of 4 Superior Court plates, 3 Commonwealth Court plates, but not a single image of a current Supreme Court plate.  Our research suggests that there are likely only 2 or 3 plates in existence.  Several attempts have been made by a few PA plate enthusiasts to photograph these elusive plates, but so far the efforts have be futile.


Blue Moon Cruisers Rod & Custom Association (Cumberland County) is marketing this brand new plate to their membership.  No plates are on the road yet.



In other plate news, PA Senate Bill 1, if passed, is set to raise the cost of most fees associated with licensing and registration.  it would increase the cost of vanity (personalized) plates from $20 to $76.  It would increase the cost of the standard passenger car registration from $36 per year to $104 for a 2-year registration, the fee for a driver's license would go up as well.  Here is a link to the Post-Gazette Article, and here is a link to Senate Bill 1.  The bill appears likely to pass in the Senate, but is less certain when it gets to the House.

Here's a trio of Motorcycle Dealer plates from 1954, '57 and '71.  There are a lot of similarities but you can see changes as the plates evolve.  The earlier plates have the expiry date along the top border while that feature is missing from the '71 plate.  The '71 plate says MOTORCYCLE along the top border and PENNA along the bottom since the stacked PA from the earlier plates was removed.  The '54 and '57 years used a serial format starting with 1 and and going to 3 or 4 digits, while the '71 series started at 1000.  Note the switch from MCD to DLR to designate dealer.  Watch for additional Motorcycle and Motorcycle Dealer plates in the future.


Weekly Posting 5/5/2013

Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA, has redesigned their plate on the far left.  The new graphic is the Moravian Star.




The Gettysburg College Orange & Blue Club will be hosting a plate program.  It is presumed that this is in addition to the existing Gettysburg College plate.



Thiel College, located in Greenville (Mercer County), PA, is also launching a plate program.  Greenville is about 80 miles north of Pittsburgh.




This first image of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia plate was provided by Tom Perri.




This drive-by image of a Waynesburg University (60 miles southwest of Pittsburgh) was provided by  Brendan Sherry.  It's also the first image reported.





This is very likely the first Ex-Prisoner of War plate issued.  If so, it dates back to 1982.  The image was caught by Steve Ondik in his travels.





A few more Motorcycle plate images have been added to the Motorcycle Plate History Section.  I will try to add a few more each week.



This 1927 Motorcycle Dealer image was provided by Jerry McCoy.  This is the first plate in a new section in the Motorcycle Plate History Section.



And finally in other plate news, it appears that the Delaware County Fallen Firefighter and EMS Memorial Committee and the Gilbertsville Fire & Rescue Company each have or very shortly will have plates on the street.


Weekly Posting 4/28/2013

We knew the redesigned Zoo plate was coming, and were fairly certain it would become a visitPA clone.  The Support Your Zoo plate on the far left (prototype) and center left is the replacement for the Save Wild Animals plate on the near left.  You can form you own opinion of the plate.  Note the placement of the P/Z is now in the suffix location, and a new legend, Support Your Zoo.



The legislation to authorize U.S. Military Airborne Units plates was passed back on October 24 with a 180 day waiting period.  Plates are now available.  The plate images are Jump Wings and Glider Wings.  To qualify a person would have had to be a member of one of the following:  Parachutist or Glider Units, Glider Troopers, Paratroopers, Air Assault Troopers, Rangers, U.S. Army Special Forces, USMC Recon, U.S. Navy Seals, U.S. Air Force Special Operations, Troop Carrier Command including Glider Pilots and the 160th SOAR.  The required form is MV-150 and the fee is $20.


The same piece of legislation that sponsored the above plate also authorized a U.S. Merchant Marine plate.  Any person who served in the U.S. Merchant Marines during World War II may purchase a Merchant Marine registration plate by completing Form MV-150W, and submitting a $20 fee. This plate may be used on a passenger car or truck with a registered gross weight of 14,000 lbs. or less.

As a little side note — more, but not all, of PA's veterans' plates are now permitted on cars and trucks weighing up to 14,000 lb.  There are now about 28 military veteran plates available, not counting the organizational plates such as National Guard and Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard Reserve, and several others.


This first image of an Eastern University plate was provided by Tom Perri.  Very Nice.




This first image of a Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue plate was also sent by Tom Perri.




Here's the current Farm Truck high number plate courtesy of Ryan Battin.  This type progresses slowly and my guess is that they will likely switch to the visitPA base upon reaching the D suffix.



I've said all along that I would not do a Motorcycle History section.  But what am I supposed to do when contributors send great pictures?  LOL.  Anyway, Jerry McCoy has provided this image of a '27 Motorcycle plate on the center left.  He also included a 27 Motorcycle Dealer, so watch for an MC Dealer section coming soon.  The image on the near left was from is a 1916 Motorcycle plate.  As always I welcome images, and have a number of pictures to post over the next few weeks.  


Pennsylvania has at least two more new plates on the launching pad.  These include Gettysburg College Orange & Blue Club and Thiel College, which is roughly 80 miles north of Pittsburgh.  In addition, Moravian College, of Bethlehem, will be giving their plate a facelift.  Watch for images next week.


In other plate news, it appears that the reuse of Antique Motorcycle numbers continues.  We've seen images in recent months of new A45 and C86 plates.  Now from two sources it has been reported that plates X5 and 8G have been issued.  After the A0A to Z9Z filled up, the only remaining 3-character combination appeared to be 0AA (first character is zero), however, this series has not been seen.  Instead older number are being reissued.  Hopefully in the next few weeks we will have a picture of a new 2-character plate.


Clayton Moore saw an older Municipal plate at Carlisle the other day.  This plate was MG-91034 and it was the blue-on-white base.  This helps to better establish the changeover from the blue-on-white to the white-on-blue base.  The changeover point is now thought to be at MG-92000.


Weekly Posting 4/21/2013

Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Company adds its name to the ever-growing list of Specialty/Special Organization plates.




St. Francis University is updating their plate with a color graphic logo and now on the visitPA base.  A prototype of the new plate is on the far left, with a sample of the existing plate on the near left for comparison.



These picture perfect images of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation plates were provided by Tom Perri.  Finding the number 1 plate is always a bonus, especially when it's not shrouded by a frame.



First of it kind and first first image of a Little League Baseball plate.  Credit goes to Tom Perri & Jordan Irazabal for this find.




Nick Tsilakis points out that there is a difference in spacing between the Maltese Cross and the serial number on these Fire Fighter plates.  It appears that plates in the 36000 and 37000 series have a narrow spacing while plates in the 38000 series have a wider spacing.  In my opinion this was a matters of inconsistent placement of the number dies rather than an intentional change in formatting.


This new high Perm-Trailer image was provided by Bruce Bufalini.






Tom Perri spotted this Vietnam Vets plate still in use.




I have never tried to present a section on older Motorcycle plates.  That being said, Tiger Joe Sallmen sent me this image of what is believed to be a 1936 Motorcycle sample.  So this is the first image of an older M/C plate.  If anyone has other images of (older) M/C I'll post them.



This license plate handicraft shows a unique use for a license plate, in this case a Conserve Wild Resources - Owl sample plate used to cover a bird house.  This was made at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview.  This is not the same facility that produces license plates.





Weekly Posting 4/14/2013

So where are the new PA Zoo plates?  These Save Wild Animals / Tiger / PA Zoo special fund plates were expected to be unveiled around April 3rd, taking the place of the plates that were originally released in April of 1996, but so far nothing.


This Honoring Our Veterans plate image comes from Jerry McCoy.  It is the current high suggesting that sales have been brisk but not great.  I do believe that Pennsylvania's commitment to basing every new license plate on the visitPA design severely limits its marketing potential.  For example, take a look at the Kentucky plate below.  I'm just saying from 50 feet away there is nothing to make one PA plate stand out stand out from another.  As a result in the long run sales will be disappointing.  The same thing can be said about the DARE plates that went from the distinctive black to the not-so-special visitPA base.





This very low number PA Society of Physician Assistants plate image has been provided by Bruce Bufalini.





I spotted this Pennsylvania College of Technology plate recently.  It's a new high.





Here's a nice low Tinicum Township Fire Company plate image from Tom Perri.




And another low, Purdue University, this one from Eric Conner.  Eric has recently put together a website called Pennsylvania Politicals (http://www.pennsylvaniapoliticals.com/).  The site provides lots of history of PA's Governors, Lt. Governors, Senators etc.  There is even a section on license plates.


The Ohio State Alumni plate image on the far left was recently taken by Brendan Sherry.  It is also the current high.  The photo on the near left was taken several years ago and is a good example of the previous generation plate on the www base.



In other plate news, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia appears to have about 75 tags in use.




And finally: On or shortly after the 22nd of April, we can expect the arrival of new plates for members of the U.S. Merchant Marine who served during World War II, and for veterans and members of United States military airborne units.  These new plates were authorized by Act 158 (formerly House Bill 1830) which was signed into law on 10/24/2012 with the act taking effect in 180 days.


Weekly Posting 4/7/2013

See something wrong with this plate?  Bruce Bufalini sent this image of a Passenger Vanity plate with an inverted S.





This is the current high Purdue University plate, and was provided by Jordan Irazabal.






This International Union of Operating Engineers plate image was courtesy of Jerry McCoy.




Is PA switching to flat plates?  As recently as January 27 in a Trib Live News article the headlines read "State cites security in keeping embossed plates".  Click the link above to read the full article.  Now an unverified source is claiming that the state will be partnering with 3M Motor Vehicle Systems & Service to produce flat plates and thereby reduce costs.  The expected delivery date is May of this year.  I'm not holding my breath.  Also see item below.


There was a similar suggestion about going flat back in 2005 or 2006 when someone with good graphic arts skills put out this image and a story that PennDOT would be test marketing 1000 flat plates.  Where are they?  It was a hoax.



Brendan Sherry provided this image of a Potter County Visitors Association plate, which also happens to be the current high.




In other plates news, there is no news on the new Zoo plates.  The old one have been removed from the shelves of tag services, but the new ones have not arrived as expected.  The order forms have not been updated either.


Elsewhere, Eastern University now has about 19 active plates, while Radnor Fire Company of Wayne has about 17 plate in use.



And lastly this week is this Version 4 Repair Towing Sample image from Paul Bagnarol for the History Page.




Weekly Posting 3/31/2013

Tiger Plates to be Replaced.  These familiar Save Wild Animals / Tiger / PA Zoo plates dating back to April of 1996 will no longer be available within the next few days, but if you have one it will still be valid and eligible for renewal.  A check with my local tag service revealed that their current stock of plates is to be returned to PennDOT and a new style Zoo tag will be available in early April.  No sneak preview of the new tag yet but it will almost certainly be another visitPA clone.


Here's the first image of a La Roche College plate.  The image was provided by Steve Ondik.  There are about 37 of these plates in use.




Tom Perri provided this first image of a Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. plate.  They currently have well over 100 tags on the street.




Here's the first image of an Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation plate from their Facebook page.




Here's the first image of a Blue Knights Int'l Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, from their Pittsburgh chapter website — blueknights.org.



Tom Perri provided this nice Harcom College plate image.




This is the current high Person With Disability Motorcycle plate.




Saw this Motorcycle Vanity plate at a recent bike show.  As can be seen all the finish was removed, just bare aluminum remains. I did a vanity check and it is a valid plate; validation sticker was behind the backing plate facing the front of the bike.






Jordan Irazabal spotted this 1954 plate on what is probably a '54 Chrysler New Yorker, making it a YOM (Year of Manufacture) which is now allowed under the PA vehicle code.  A check of the plate shows that it is a valid number.




This is the final installment on National Guard plate history and represents plates currently in use.  So far no plates have been seen on the visitPA base.  This current series on the www base began at N/G2500; however in an interesting side note, when the yellow-on-blue plates were replaced in 2000, those with N/G0001 through N/G0020 had the option to keep the same number on the replacement plates, while all others got new plates starting at N/G2500.  It appears that about 5 plates from this series are still in use; however, none have yet been documented.


In other plates news, Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue now has well over 100 active plates, and the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association has about 14 plates in use.  Keep watching, and keep your camera ready.


Weekly Posting 3/24/2013

Spotted this high Dealer plate recently.




This is an example of a lower tier of Emergency Vehicle plates.  These are used on vehicles generally operated by for-profit agencies, and they require an annual renewal fee.  The upper tier plates, those above EV-50000, are generally used by volunteer or non-profit agencies.  These have a no-cost annual renewal.   Anyway this lower group was not being tracked, but Tom Perri, of PA Plates, who tracks every PA plate type, says he will begin tracking these.  If you're looking for highs, his site is the place.


Here's a trio of ham radio call sign plates.  The plate image on the far left was recently taken by Jordan Irazabal.  With Bruce Bufalini's help it was identified as an Amateur Extra Class call sign, which is the highest amateur radio class.  The other images were from Tom Perri but were taken some time ago.  The interesting thing about these plates is that they are all Amateur Radio call signs but none have the Amateur Radio legend, making them Passenger Vanity plates.  The same order form (MV-904) is used for vanity and ham radio plates so maybe the applicants didn't complete the form correctly, or maybe an error was made in the processing or manufacturing process, or maybe they just wanted their call sign without the Amateur Radio legend.


Here's the last of the newest group of plates.  Nice colorful logo on this prototype of an Indiana County Humane Society plate.




These plates are not new to this site, but are being added to the section on National Guard plate history.  These were reintroduced as special organization plates in 1984 after a long gap.  These are the only plates in PA to feature two logos.  This series began as N/G0001.


Jordan Irazabal shares this first image of a Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of PA plate.  Nice find Jordan.




Vern Kreckel sends this 75 Truck Validation Sticker image.






Weekly Posting 3/17/2013

Last week a new historic section on National Guard plates was added. This week this 1933 plate has been added courtesy of Jeff Francis.  It has similar formatting to the 1930 plate shown last week.



These 1935 National Guard images are graphic plate designs.  One drawing is clean and the other shows the design specifications.  These came from Bureau of Motor Vehicles sketches of the 1935 plates.  Click these images to enlarge them for a better view.


Several new Specialty/Special Organization plates are coming down the pipeline. 

These include Horsham Fire Company No. 1, Montgomery County.  Note the use of the leading 4 as part of the plate coding.  Normally organizations are assigned blocks of 10-thousand plate numbers.  In this case the use of the HF suffix has already been assigned to Hampden Township Volunteer Fire Co. (00000H/F), Hartsville Fire Company (10000H/F),  Holy Family University (20000H/F) and Harleysville Community Fire Co. (30000H/F).  No Horsham Fire plates have been issued yet.


The next new plate will be Pocono Mountain Volunteer Fire Company, Monroe County.  No plates have been issued yet.



The final new plate will be from the Indiana County Humane Society.  An image will be coming with the next weekly update on 3/24.  No plates have been issued yet.


Just an observation concerning the ever-growing list of Specialty and Special Organization plates: Not every organization that has an approved plate program, has plates on the street.  Check the Needed Images page that lists about 25 organizations with no active plates.  In many cases this is because the organization was recently approved, in other cases quite a few years have elapsed since they were approved.  For example the AIDS Resource Alliance was approved back in March of 2006, which was 7 years ago, and still has no plates on the street.  The Community Academy of Philadelphia, received approval in April of 2007, and the Umoja African Arts Company was approved in August of the same year.  Neither organization has plates.  While each organization may have their own unique reasons for this, after 6 or 7 years it seems unlikely that plates from these groups will ever be forthcoming.  Just my 2¢.


Jordan Irazabal shares this image of a Bronze Star plate.




Weekly Posting 3/10/2013

A new section on National Guard Plates has been added to the Plate History Page.  I'm always open to adding plate types but I prefer to be able to display a number of plates, rather than only one or two.  Anyway, since national Guard plates have a somewhat limited history in terms of years issued, it seemed a logical choice.  Also with the help of Jeff Francis, and Klassy Karz, I was able to get several images.

It appears that these plates were first introduced in 1930 and continued up thru 1935, then later reintroduced in 1984 as part of the Special Organization Plate Program.


This 2-digit 1930 National Guard plate was seen on an auction site several years ago.  It's a very nice example although it may be a repaint.  The numbers on these plates likely ran from 1 to 1000.



For 1931, the legend PENNA and the year 1931 were reversed from the 1930 plate, also the colors were reversed.  No image available.


For 1932 the colors and formatting were the same as the 1930 plate.  No image available.


This 1933 National Guard plate is courtesy of Jeff Francis.  It has similar formatting to the 1930 plate except that the colors are reversed.



Another 1933 plate, this one a 3-digit version, courtesy of Klassy Karz.




Next week's update will feature a 1934 plate as well as a Bureau of Motor Vehicles sketch of the 1935 plate.  Anyone have any Guard plates or images to help fill the gaps?


Here's the new high Antique Vehicle plate.  The image was provided by Ryan Battin.




Also from Ryan Battin is this image of the current high number Mass Transit plate.





This is the current high Taxi plate, courtesy of Jordan Irazabal.




Weekly Posting 3/3/2013

This current high Classic Car plate image was provided courtesy of Ryan Battin.




For the 1975 Governor's Inauguration there were the expected inaugural plates and in addition there were plates issued with the county designation on them.  It is not known if these were issued for all 67 counties or not.  Eric Conner was able to get an image of an Allegheny County plate.  This is in addition to the Cameron and Clearfield County plates pictured on the Governors' Plate page.  Incidentally Eric Conner has started a website called Pennsylvania Politicals, ( http://www.pennsylvaniapoliticals.com ) including license plates.


This NASCAR 3 Dale Earnhardt Legacy plate, while not a new plate, is a new addition to Clayton Moore's collection and is another example of the black and white NASCAR logo that was seen on some but not all of the Dale Earnhardt Legacy plate.  All other NASCAR plates and some Dale Earnhardt Legacy plates used a colored logo.


This '49 Tractor plate was recently seen on eBay.  The image was added to Plate History Page.





From Clayton Moore comes this '63 Trailer Validation Sticker.  Note the T prefix in the serial number.  Buses used B, trucks used C for commercial.





Also from Clayton Moore this week is this September and November 1980 Passenger Validation Stickers.




And the last stickers from Clayton is this 11-12 PA0000 Sticker.





In other Plate News it appears that Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. now has about 145 active plates, and Little League Baseball has1 plate!  I  think it is unlikely that we will ever see plates from the following organizations due to the time lapse since the plate type was approved:

 •  AIDS Resource Alliance, plates approved 3/14/06, that’s 7 years ago;

 •  Community Academy of Philadelphia, approved 4/27/07;

 •  Umoja African Arts Company approved 8/31/07.

Weekly Posting 2/24/2013

Here's the current high Permanent Trailer plate.  This series started at PT-0000A on the www base, then switched to the visitPA base at PT-0000L.  The W-suffix should be the next series.





Here are the first images of Susquehanna University plates on the visitPA base.  These organizational plates were first introduced in 1999 on the yellow-on-blue base, with their assigned block of numbers starting at S/U20000.   Plates as high as S/U21070 were still on the www base.


Brendan Sherry spotted this high number U.S. Marine Corps Veteran plate.  These plates came out in late 2009 and began at 10001M/C.



Ryan Battin contributed this high Truck image.  The progression to the Z series from the previous Y series was first seen in February of 2011, the changeover to the visitPA base was first spotted in May of 2005.



Jay Hughes has provided this nice image of a Delaware County Fallen Firefighter & EMS Memorial Committee sample plate.  While PA no longer markets samples, they do produce them in very limited quantizes for the organizations that sponsor plates.



This very unusual 1935 Tractor plate was recently auctioned on eBay.  The owner of this plate at the time, Woreks Wares from Millerstown PA gave permission to use the image.  Back when this plate was produced most of the plate types started at plate # 1; and since there were no computers at the time, the use of duplicate numbers was not an issue.


Jordan Irazabal shares this 'high' number Temporary Intransit plate image.




Weekly Posting 2/17/2013

Bruce Bufalini's sharp eye caught this first image of a Bronze Star for Valor plate.






Hot off the plate press is this Emergency Vehicle plate making it the current high.






This Goshen Fire Company plate with a 12-13 sticker was spotted recently.  Tom Perri has this same plate on his website but with what looks like a 2-12 validation sticker.





Steve Noll sent this image of a brand new Bloomsburg University plate, which is also the current high.





This Boy Scouts of America plate image is courtesy of Tom Perri.  It is also the current high number.




As mentioned in my last weekly posting, I would be adding some additional NASCAR images.  None of these represent first time images, just additional photos of types already posted.  This first one is a NASCAR 2 Rusty Wallace plate image.  These were issued for the '04 and '05 racing seasons with about 151 plates issued.


This next image is of a NASCAR 3 Dale Earnhardt plate.  These were issued from 2004 until the end of the plate program with about 484 being issued.  Note there was also a NASCAR 3 Dale Earnhardt Legacy plate.



This NASCAR 38 Elliott Sadler image has also been added.  This plate was issued for the 2004 to the '06 racing seasons with about 34 plates being issued.



And finally this week is this nice NASCAR 48 Jimmie Johnson plate surrounded by a hideous frame.  These were issued from 2004 until the end of the plate program with about 221 being issued.



Weekly Posting 2/10/2013

Tom Perri provided this Lancaster Twp. Fire Dept. plate image.




This Twin Valley Fire Department plate image was also provided by Tom Perri.




Not a great image, but these Pearl Harbor Survivor plates are becoming increasingly scarce.  In fact, a person who was 18 years old on December 7, 1941, would now be pushing 90.  It is doubtful that any of these have been issued recently, and some day soon they will likely disappear.  They were first introduced in 1990 and fewer than 500 have been issued.  They are generally considered a type of veteran plate, but they are also available to non-military applicants who can prove they were in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.


While going thru some older documents, I came across this piece of promotional literature for 2004 Victory Junction / NASCAR plates which was the first year of production.  Victory Junction was the sponsoring agency.  There were 33 NASCAR varieties that first year, then in 2005 and 2006 there were 34 and 32 respectively, however, in 2007 and 2008 this number was reduced to 10 each year, and finally in 2009, the final year, there were only 9 types.  Unfortunately a few varieties had no sales and a few others sold very poorly with sales of 1 to 3 plates.  If anyone can help with any of the needed images it would be much appreciated.



While on the subject of NASCAR plates, I'll be adding a few older images from my photo archives.  This first one is a NASCAR 16 Greg Biffle plate image from Tom Perri & Jordan Irazabal.  This is likely the first plate issued in this particular series, and there were only about 13 of these plates issued.


Next on the list is a NASCAR 18 Bobby Labonte plate image.  This series also started at 0101 with about 86 plates being issued.




The next few images are NASCAR 20 Tony Stewart plates.  This were about 368 of these issued making it a popular plate.  It was issued from 2004 thru 2008.



And the last NASCAR item for this week is a couple more NASCAR 20 Tony Stewart images from Brendan Sherry.





It appears that there are now about 30 active (or soon to be) Blue Knights Int'l Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club plates.




Weekly Posting 2/3/2013

This is the first image of a NASCAR 14 Tony Stewart plate.  This plate was issued only for the 2009 racing season, and it appears that around 60 of these plates were issued.  There was also a NASCAR 14 of Sterling Marlin for the 2006 season with only about 5 plates issued (no photo).  The NASCAR plate series was discontinued on 4/30/2010, however, they are still valid and renewable.  There were quite a few NASCAR plate types where no plates were issued and quite a few others with very small quantities being issued, some with as few as 1, 2 or 3 plates.  While I am not a NASCAR fan, I find the plates with all the changes, variations and questions to be an important component in the history and evolution of Pennsylvania's specialty plates.


Here's a pair of new Antique Vehicle images from Ryan Battin.  This series started at 0AA0 so it's pretty easy to follow the progression, or click the link to see an explanation..



This C86 M/C plate appears to be another throwback Antique Motorcycle plate.  There was another one of these seen a few months ago, the plate serial was A45.  It seems like PennDOT is reissuing numbers from the first series of Antique M/C plates. The defining feature is the wide hole spacing on the newer plates and the plate legend is reversed form the original series.  Thanks to Ryan Battin for this submission.


Here is a prototype image of a Radnor Fire Company of Wayne plate.  This plate was announced back on 1/20.




Here's a nice sample image of La Roche College's new plate.




This is the current high number Official Use non-commercial plate.  Official Use in this case means commonwealth-owned.  The non-commercial plates are issued in pairs and generally used on passenger vehicles whereas the commercial version uses single plates, and a different format.




Here's the first image of a National Ovarian Cancer Coalition plate, which also makes it the current high.  The image was provided courtesy of Tom Perri.  Awful frame, does no justice to the plate.



Here's another first image of a Twin Valley Fire Department plate from Jeff Fazekas.  Jeff got this with his cell phone during a recent trip to PA.



Here's a pair of Honoring Our Veterans plate images from Steve Ondik.  (They are the same plate with and without the sticker.)  Steve's plates came in only one number lower than Clayton Moore's 00152H/V



Weekly Posting 1/27/2013

Here is the first image of a Lancaster Twp. Fire Dept. plate.  The photo was provided by Eric Conner.





Here's another first image, this one of an Oreland Volunteer Fire Company plate.  This image was captured by Tom Perri.




And one more first image, this also being the # 1 Harcum College plate.  Again thanks Tom Perri.  If you're interested in PA license plates, take a look at Tom's website (http://www.paplates.com/).  We both do PA plates, but he focuses on tracking all the high numbers and has an interesting format.



This Dealer high number plate image was provided by Ryan Battin.





This Antique Motorcycle plate picture was provided courtesy of Ryan Battin.  The Z6Z indicates that it is almost the last plate in the current series which will end at Z9Z.  The next series is likely to be 0AA, as this is the only remaining 3-character combination of 1 number and 2 letters, or 2 numbers and 1 letter.  Of course PA could always drop the map outline and come up with something new.


Here's a prototype image of a new special organization plate from the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of PA that was posted last week.  It appears that there are, or will be very soon, about 45 active plates.



Here is also the prototype image of the Roman Catholic High School plate.  No plates of this type are in use yet.




Steve Ondik provides this interesting pair of vanity plates to compare and contrast.  Note the differences.  Besides the obvious difference in plate vintage and the use of a space on the older plate, the plate on the visitPA base uses a 0 (zero) as the second character while the older plate uses the letter O.  In PA, numeric characters are taller than alpha characters. 


Weekly Posting 1/20/2013

Clayton Moore sends the first images of the new Honoring Our Veterans Special Fund Plate.  Clayton applied immediately and ended up with plate 152.  It appears that there is a two-tiered system with low numbers (00001 to 00100) going to certain people and general issue (00101 and above) to the rest.  The first five have been issued from the first group and about 62 of the second group.  This practice been seen with some veterans plates as well as the Otter plates.  Attempts to get an explanation of this have been futile.


Here a prototype image of a special organization license plate for the Gettysburg Fire Department.




La Roche College, Pittsburgh, will also be sponsoring a specialty license plate.




But wait, there's more! 

 •  Three additional plates are in the offing, these include Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of PA, Radnor Fire Company of Wayne (Delaware County) and Roman Catholic High School (Philadelphia).  No photos yet, and none of these new specialty plates are on the road yet.


This Classic Car high number plate image is courtesy of Ryan Battin.  (If this image appears a bit distorted it's the result of my attempt to square it up in Photoshop.)




This high number Perseverance Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 was provided by Tom Perri(If this image appears a bit distorted it's the result of my attempt to square it up in Photoshop.)




Jordan Irazabal provides this high number Prince Hall F&AM plate image.




This low number Organ Donors Save Lives image was also provided courtesy of Jordan.




And finally this week is this '77 base Amateur Radio plate image from George Kunsman.  This plate image helped to fill one of the gaps in the Amateur Radio History section.  Still needed to complete the photo run are a 1957 and a 1987 base (yellow on blue) with Keystone State on top.



Weekly Posting 1/13/2013

Here's another new specialty plate.  The plate legend says Delaware Co Fallen Firefighter & EMS Memorial Com, which is slightly condensed for Delaware County Fallen Firefighter and EMS Memorial Committee.



The Exeter Twp Fire Department (Berks County) will also be sponsoring their own plate.




This Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation plate image was provided courtesy of Jordan Irazabal.  If you have never seen it, check out Jordan's TheDelaware3000.org license plate website.



Also from Jordan comes this St. Thomas More Alumni Assn. plate picture.  St Thomas More was a Catholic high school in Philadelphia which has been closed since 1975, but their strong alumni association keeps their plate program alive.



These older Sheriff and State Sheriff's Association front plates were added to the Front Plates Page.




This unusual State Official plate image has also been added.




And finally this Township Commissioner plate has been added.




Weekly Posting 1/6/2013

These first two plates this week represent fantastic finds.  Here's a PA U.S. Congress plate belonging to the representative from PA's 19th Congressional District, which is PA's highest congressional district number.  The owner of the plate did not run for re-election in 2012 due to redistricting or redrawing of the district lines which resulted in the loss of the seat.  Politics aside, a big thank you goes out to Bill Ceravola for spotting this plate and snapping several images.  In a related matter, there are no PA U.S. Senator plates in use at the present time.


This number 3 plate is believed to be lowest number issued in PA as the # 1 Governor and # 2 Lt. Governor plates are no longer used.  Very nice Porsche 911 Carrera 4 also.  At one time plates 3 to 23 were reserved for Cabinet members.  It is not known if that is still in place, but I understand that numbers below 10 are under the control of the Governor.  The photo was provided by Michael Dixon.




Bruce Sakson captured this image of a NASCAR 40, Sterling Marlin plate.  This is an usual find since only about 15 of these plates were issued, and they were only issued for the 2004 and 2005 racing seasons.  Of course some are still in use and they can be revalidated.




Here's an image of the current Municipal high-number plate.






The Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue will soon have a specialty plate available.




The Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association will also have a specialty plate of their own.




In other plate news: 

 •  Besides the two new plates listed above, the following organizations will also have specialty plates: Delaware County Fallen Firefighter and EMS Memorial Committee; Exeter Twp Fire Department (Berks County); Gettysburg Fire Department; and finally La Roche College, Pittsburgh.  No images yet, and none of these new specialty plates are on the road yet.

 •  Nick Tsilakis reports seeing a Disabled Veteran with a keystone separator on plate DV-34590.  These would normally have a dash separator, not a keystone.  There were no other visible differences noted.  There are pictures in the DV-33000 series and DV-35000 series that use the dash, but I have not seen any in the DV-34000 series.  Anyone help?





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