Here's a nice Marywood University
plate which is also the current high. Ryan Battin provided the picture.
Speaking of new highs, this Person with
Disability - Motorcycle plate is also the highest reported to date. The
small flat screened PD is not a part of the registration number, and large
embossed P is part of the registration number but at least so far is a static,
non-advancing character. The last alpha character is also the last to
The consensus of several friends who watch
the patterns and trends of PA
plates is that there is little chance that this prototype will make it to
production as depicted here. There will be a PA Monuments -
Gettysburg 1863 plate around October 30, but most likely it will be
on the all-too-familiar family of plates visitPA base. Click this link to see a news article on State Representative Harry Readshaw's plans to celebrate the debut of this new plate.
The plate will fund the
maintenance of the Gettysburg Battlefield monuments. Thanks to Ned Flynn
for sharing this article.
Here is a very nice 1958 base State House of
Representatives plate from
Eric Conner. These plates could be
revalidated with stickers up thru 1964. The tab slot seen on early issues
was never used. The HR, used here in the suffix position, could also be
configured as a prefix. The number represents the legislative district.
Here is a pair of 1951 Motorboat
License plates. Note the 4-digit and 5-digit displays, while 1, 2 and
3-digit formats were also utilized. These plates measure 4½" by 8"
and the colors are white over blue. The far left plate is mine while
the 5-digit plate is from Jerry McCoy. Jerry has kindly sent photos of
almost all of his very nice Motorboat plates, including a number of Motorboat
Dealer plates which I will gladly post over the
next several weeks.
Here are a 5-digit '61 Motorboat plate. Note the similarity of the colors
to street vehicle plates sometimes causing confusion between the Motorboat and
Motorbike plates, but there were no Motorbike plates
after 1949. Thanks to Jerry McCoy for the image.
And finally here's a nice 3-digit '63 Motorboat
plate. These plates were issues with up to 5 digits. Again many
thanks to Jerry McCoy for sharing his collection.
Here it is — the Holy Grail of PA
license plates. The Collectible
Motorcycle plate type has been available since 2000 and this is only
the 3rd plate issued. And it is the first plate of this type to be
photographed. For reasons unknown, some of the lower numbered plates
appear to have been skipped. Many thanks to
Daniel Selin for all his
efforts in getting this plate registered to a bike he recently acquired, and a
special note of appreciation to Ryan Battin for helping to spearhead this
monumental effort. Jordan Irazabal
and I also played a supporting role. This plate definitely helps fill a
long-standing void in the history of Pennsylvania license plates.
Here's the current high Disabled Veteran
high. Unlike its counterpart, the
Disabled Veteran, this plate type is still being issued on the fully
embossed base. Both of these plates are likely to retain their current
color format into the future since the vehicle code specifies the design of
Blue Mountain Jeep Alliance plate with a 6-15 sticker was spotted by
Jim McDevitt. The same plate was spotted some years ago with a 6-09
sticker. Take notice that the #1 Jeep plate happens to be on a Ford.
This the first image of a NASCAR 21 Ricky
Rudd plate. These were only available for the 2004 and 2005
racing seasons and a total of only 15 were issued. Many NASCAR type
variations were issued. Some sold well, some poorly while others sold no
plates at all. I'm still listing about 16 NASCAR plates, where plates were
sold in such small quantities that no photos have been taken to document the
the use of the standard font on the serial number on the Classis Car
plate in the center. This was part of a run of only 1000 plates in the 20000 series, and
could be considered error plates. The plate on the near left shows the
typical antique font which was used up until the plates were redesigned to give
them the generic 'family of plates' look.
More images are being added to the history
State Representative plates. Most of these image came from the
Representative plate section but the HR170 plate in the center is
courtesy of Tom Perri.
Note the use of HR in both the prefix and suffix position, as well as the narrow and
legend. The number represents the legislative district.
Following last week's Air Force Reserve plate
comes this first generation
U.S. Army Reserve plate.
This plate also uses the
Thanks to Ned Flynn for sharing this plate
This is a 1941 Motorboat plate.
The earliest plates issued in 1931 were 6" by 12", then in 1937 the size was
reduced to 5" by 9½". Later 5-digit serial number required longer 5" by
11" plates, then in 1950 another size change took place. More details and
pictures in future weeks.
This pair of 1957 Motorboat
plates is similar in size and formatting to Motorcycle plates of the day.
Serial numbers ranged from single digits well into 5-digits. The colors
are white on blue. The source of these images is unknown.
provided this very nice low number Franklin and
Marshall plate on the far left. The other plate on the near left
is an early Franklin and Marshall sample plate from back in the 1990s.
Their plate program never quite got off the ground at that time, but the picture
proves that they were in the game.
Here is a prototype image of the new special
Sons of the American Legionplate. No plates of this type are
believed to be in use yet.
This Street Rod plate seen at a recent car
show also represents a new
high. More Street Rod highs coming next week.
Thanks to Ned Flynn for sharing this first
U.S. Air Force Reserve plate image. For anyone not familiar,
these were not considered military plates, but rather they were organizational
plates. While they were organizational plates, they lacked a logo or symbol. This holds true for all five of the military reserve plates. Note the use of the
I don't recall seeing this on other military reserve plates before, but there
are very few to compare it to. This is also a very low number, so possibly
later plates used the more traditional PENNSYLVANIA font.
This is the first time I've shown Motorboat
plates on this website. Ed Coghill sent these images with questions about
how to tell these from Motorbike plates. The simplest explanation I can give
is all MBL plates were Motor Boat License plates, and the MBL prefix was used up
thru 1954, after which just MB was used in the suffix position. Motorboat
plates were discontinued after 1963. Motorbike plates on the other hand used MB up thru 1949
after which the plates were discontinued.
Shown here is a very nice '52 Motorboat
plate and a '62 Motorboat plate. I will post one or two plates from my own
collection over the next week or so. If anyone has plates or pictures, I'll gladly
post additional images.
Here's a nice '77 base House of
Representatives / Legislator plate with a 78 and an 80 sticker. The
source of this image is unknown. If it's yours, let me know and I'll give
you credit for it.
Finally this week is this
House of Representatives sample. This sample plate is a
reasonably accurate representation of the plates issued from 1984 until the
plates were replaced in late 1999. Note the plate legend Legislator has
now been replaced with Representative. The use of that term continues to
No you're not seeing double, and this is not
Press Photographer plates are one of only a couple plates issued in
pairs in PA. This is also the first Press Photographer plates photographed on the visitPA base, and it's also
the current high. Thanks to Ryan Battin for
There was a report several years ago of a Press Photographer
on the visitPA base. That particular plate may have been a remake.
So far it has not been photographed.
are the first images of a Moravian College
plate on the visitPA base. The new symbol is the Moravian Star. It
appears that many, but not all, of the earlier plates have been replaced. With the transition
to the graphic base, this plate type is now eligible to be personalized.
This perfect image of a University of
Pittsburgh plate was provided by Tom Perri. It's also a new
high. Be sure to visit Ton's website to see all the latest in PA highs.
This plate type is eligible to be personalized as well.
Here's a prototype image of the new Appalachian Trail Conservancyplate. While this plate was authorized by legislative action, it will
still be considered an organizational plate. The plate application and
information are available on
their website. The cost is $50.00, and the plate can be
personalized for an additional fee. It appears that the the purchase of a
plate does not require membership .
These vertical Motorcycle
plates have been out for several months but this is the first I've actually seen
on the road. It appears that this was the 102nd plate made. Starting
point was M0A0C, with the A being the last character to advance, and M & C are
non-advancing characters, at least for now.
On the far left is an unusual sample that was submitted by Jerry McCoy. On the
near left is a more typical sample from the era. It is not known where the
unusual sample falls on the timeline, while the AAA-0000 format began in 1991.
This beautiful and rare 1915 Trailer
plate picture was photographed by ALPCA member Stephen Tuday at the recent ALPCA
Convention. The plate is owned by PA collector Jake Eckenrode. This
plate is a significant
piece in the history of PA's trailer plates. There are only three
plates known to exist. One of the other plates is T83.
I am starting to add more political plates.
If you recall, political plates up to 1935 were all branded as Legislative.
Then all such plates were discontinued until 1957. With this rebirth in
'57 the plates at first did not have distinctive markings or labels, but used HR
for State House of Representatives and PA for State Senator. They would
later be labeled as Legislator along with the HR identifier, and Senator along
with the PA identifier.
If anyone has plates or images of State
Representative, State Senator, U.S. Congress or U.S. Senate plates, any pictures would
be most welcome.
of July 17, the following changes took place to the laws regulating vehicle
registration or license plates?
Personal or vanity registration plates are
now allowed on cars, trucks up to 14,000 lb., motorcycles (including vertical), trailers and motor
Special organization plates may now be used on
cars, trucks up 14,000 lb., trailers and motor home, but not motorcycles.
• Any registration plate covered under
Chapter 13 of the Vehicle Code can now be personalized for $100 + the regular
registration fee; however, Person with Disability plates and Disabled or
Severely Disabled Veteran Plates are now $50 to personalize. This opens
the door to a large number of types including all 11 dealer types, 28 veteran
types, 19 misc. plates, 4 special fund plates, and most but not all of the
special organization plates. The organizations not eligible are those that have
not transitioned to the newer graphic style. There is also a weight limitation
of 14,000 lb. for personalized plates regardless of the vehicle type.
• Appalachian Trail Conservancy special
organization plates are now available.
A little more on special organization plates. Since
the current fee to register most of these plates is $11, the cost to personalize
the plates will add $100 to make the total $111. The 2-letter, and in some
cases 3-letter (NRA Foundation) prefixes and suffixes will continue to be used.
To personalize the plate up to 5 letters and / or numbers can be used, in
addition a dash or a space can be used but not both. Go to PennDOT's
page to see if the combination you want is available.
This low-number Combat Wounded
Veteran / Purple Heart plate was provided by Nick
Tsilakis. The low number plates are not
nearly as common today as the plates in the 7, 8 or 9 thousand range.
From my basement stash, this Kutztown University
sample plate on the far left was a test plate made up in
preparation for the changeover to the www base. It used the same font in
the legend as the yellow on blue base, whereas the sample on the near left is an
accurate reflection of production plates on the www base. Around 2005
Kutztown switched to the color graphic format.
plate on the far left was a test plate made up in preparation for the changeover
to the www base. It used the same font in the legend as the yellow on blue
base, whereas the sample on the near left is an accurate image of production plates on the www base. Lock Haven also
switched to the color graphic base first seen in early 2010.
The same situation as above for this pair of
samples. The plate on the far left was a test. It was decided to use
the SMALL CAPS
arrangement on the near left. Moravian just recently switched to the
graphic layout on the visitPA base
same situation exists with these St. Vincent Alumni
samples. The test plate is on the far left and the one on the near left
reflects the current issue. This organization has not yet switched to the visitPA base.
Back in April it was announced that this
plate type was being redesigned in favor of the now standard 'family of plates'
layouts. Evidently this has not happened yet as Ryan Battin provided this
recently issued Collectible Vehicle plate.
Here's the first image of a '47 Trailer
plate. The alpha character (letter V) in the third position shows that
this was the 4th of 5 formatting variations to be seen that year. This
plate measures approximately 6" by 11", while the '53 plate below measures 6" x
Here a '53 Trailer
plate showing the letter in the first position indicating that this was the 2nd
of 6 formatting variations to be used that year. The formatting of the '47
and '53 plates is very
similar but there is a difference in the font used for the legend.
on last week's posting. This is not a diplomatic plate. From
information received from Ned Flynn, there was a family in the
Stroudsburg area some years ago that had an affinity for New York City theatre.
They purchased vanity tags with DPL in an effort to appear as diplomats hoping
they might receive favorable parking, and other considerations. It is still unknown how the use of
the keystone separator and a dash came about, possibly some kind of favor.