Plate Update — The
Appalachian Trail Conservancy now has, or very shortly will have,
117 active plates. Even though this plate came about as the result of
legislation, it is still considered part of the Special Organization Plate
this Prisoner Of War plate
on the far left recently which is not far from the current reported high of POW-V67.
With the reduced troop involvement in combat situations, it seems unlikely
that many POW plates will be issued in the future. For that reason I'm
wondering why POW plates have been given a facelift, as a new prototype was announced back in August of 2013.
It seems more likely that holders of current plates may wish to update their plate, but
so far none have been seen.
Nick Tsilakis snapped this Emergency
Vehicle plate photo. It shows a plate that was probably
issued in 1977, and should have been replaced in 2007, and somehow has
survived, and is now on a recent model fire department Ford Expedition.
The link above is to the Emergency Vehicle history section since that is
where this plate belongs. To see current EV plates click here.
This image was provided by Jason Plank
of a plate he has seen in the Pittsburgh suburbs. Click the image to
enlarge it. This plate appears normal
except for the slanted or italic font and the dash separator seems low,
actually below the mid-line of the plate. Also Jason says the RATAN-05 appeared
to be flat rather than embossed, and the normally white background was more
of a dingy grey. The RATAN-05 is a valid registration number; however,
the plate is considered a fake.
This is the last installment of Motorboat Dealer plates. At
this point I only have Motorboat Dealer plates from 1949, '55, '59 and '60.
Most of these came from Jerry McCoy. These plates are pretty hard to come
by, so if anyone has any I'd be happy to post your images. As stated last
week, the dealer plates are essentially the same as regular Motorboat plates but
with the addition of the X prefix followed by 1 to 3 digits as seen in this 1949
Motorboat Dealer plate.
Here's a pair of Motorboat Dealer plates from 1955. The X57 plates
image is from Jerry McCoy while the X122 plate may have come from eBay.
These plates would have started at X1 and extended to X+3 digits as seen
This 1958 Motorcycle
plate is courtesy of Chuck Sakryd and helps to fill one of the gaps for the
'58 to '62 run. Note the tab slots on either side of the 58.
These were never used for metal tabs. Instead validation stickers were
issued. Later plates on the '58 base did not have the tab slots.
Here's a very nice 1931 National Guard
plate. The image is courtesy of Eric Tanner. The early issue of
National Guard plates was from 1930 to 1935, newer plate were issued
beginning in 1984.
This is the first one of these I've seen. This
Classic Car Club of
America or CCCA plates has a date of 1988. I can't say for sure if
this was a Special Event plate or a Booster plate, but since it has a serial
number I'm going to call it a Special Event plate, at least for now.
Note the embossed portion of the plate seems to use same font as PA Classic
and Antique plates did up until a few years ago.
Here's a new Farm Truck
high, and it's also the first image of a Farm Truck plate on the visitPA
base. It appears that the changeover took place at FM-0000D. The
D is the last character to advance. Farm Truck plates were first
issued in 1977 on the blue on yellow base, in a FM-00000 format. Later
they switched to the yellow on blue base but the same number series
continued. With the introduction of the www base all previous plate
were replaced and series began anew at FM-000A. Click this link to see
Farm Truck plate
Here's a new high Trailer plate.
The image was provided by Vern Kreckel, III / Kreckel Enterprises. To
view the progression and evolution of PA's Trailer plates click this Trailer History
link to see the 1914 and '15 extremely rare porcelain beauties.
House Bill 241 expands the definition of a Fire Department
vehicle. I received an email stating that HB 241 has passed both
houses and has been sent to the Governor for his signature. If signed,
it will amend the vehicle code to allow a fire department vehicle owned by a fire relief association
to receive an Emergency Vehicle plate. In the past, PennDOT would not
issue an Emergency Vehicle plate to a vehicle owned by a fire department
relief association. Here is a link to a
Bucks County Courier Times news article.
recently got this first generation Fire Fighter
plate. It only has a single sticker of 2-00 suggesting that it was
issued near the end of the issuing cycle on that base, therefore it is
considered a high. Can anyone top it? Has anyone seen one of these
with a sticker well? This plate type was first issued in 1983, prior
to the introduction of the yellow on blue base. The only Fire Fighter
plate ever made on the blue base were samples.
PA 0 plate has the PA within the keystone indicator that would normally only be seen
on a State Senator plate. This appears to be a one of the 65 bases
after the keystone indicator was added on some '66 plates. The LEGISLATOR plate should have the Keystone / HR
indicator, not the PA. This plate may have been produced as a test
plate, or possibly a sample that was not formatted correctly.
The 33-year run of Motorboat
plates has been completed, and thanks again to Jerry McCoy, I will add a few
Dealer plates. The Dealer series is essentially the
same as the regular series, except the serial number is always preceded by
an X. Obviously the number of dealer plates
issued was likely in the hundreds, not thousands. It is also believed
that the dealer series dates back to 1933 or 34, whereas the regular
motorboat plates began in 1931. The plate shown here is from 1959.
This 1960 Motorboat Dealer
has a low serial number. The series for each year likely started at
X1. Thanks again to Jerry McCoy for the great images.
Nick Tsilakis snapped this rare U.S. Navy
Reserve plate. What's unique about the plate is that it
has a low number which was carried over from the previous generation of plates.
In 2000 when the original series was replaced, those
with NR0001 through NR0010 had the option to keep the same number on the new
plates, while all others got new plates starting at NR1000. Plates
N/R0001, 3, 6 and 8 were also remade.
I tried to get a better picture but traffic and travel lanes would not
permit it. Anyway, this is a new high Multi Purpose Dealer plate.
The plate is reads MP465?D. The consensus among a couple friends is
that the hidden digit is likely a 9. The final D is a given, as it is always a
part of the serial number. Only the 4 numeric characters advance.
These are both U.S. Congressional
plates for the period 1971 to '76; however, the plate on the far left was
probably released in 1971, while the U/S plate came along later in the same
issue. The early plate format on the far left used the Bicentennial
State base with PENNSYLVANIA along top border and BICENTENNIAL STATE '76
along bottom border. The serial number used MC for Member of Congress,
then the liberty bell separator, then the serial number. It would also
have been available in reverse order with serial number first and MC last. On
the near left is a later format also with PENNSYLVANIA along top border but
now with U.S. CONGRESS along the bottom border, serial number had U S
stacked left of center then the number to right. Both variations used
two sticker wells upper left and right. It is not unusual to see
format variations on political plates even within the same issue period.
The image on the far left was from a 1971 BMV/DOT document, the image on the near left is
from a plate in my collection.
A new general issue of plates came out
in1977 and continued until '83. These were blue on yellow,
PENNSYLVANIA along top border and U.S. CONGRESS
along bottom border, serial number had U/S stacked, then full size C, then
number on right. They were also available in reverse order with serial number first
followed by U/S, then C in order to register a second vehicle. The
photo on the far left is from Reid Williamson which came from an old
photograph. That photo was taken at a difficult angle, thus the odd
shape. The photo on the near left is from Michael Wiener.
Each week for the past month-and-a-half
I have posted Motorboat plate images starting with the newest and working
back to this 1931 MBL plate. Almost all of the pictures were provided by
Jerry McCoy, and a special Thank You to Jerry for sharing this great
pictorial resource. This black on yellow 1931 was the first year of
production for MBL plates. These were full size 6 by 12-inch plates.
Note the use of a beveled edge on these early plates which was different from
For the following year 1932 MBL plates
were formatted the same except for the color change to black on white.
There are not a lot of examples of these early plates, nevertheless it
appears that they started with single digit plates and went up to 4 numbers.
Again the image was provided by Jerry McCoy.
This nice 1933 plate, also from Jerry is
a rare 2-digit example. The color is white on either dark maroon or
reddish brown. It's a little tough to say for sure what the original
color when it was produced 81 years ago. The plate picture was
provided by Jerry McCoy.
This completes the run of Motorboat
plates. From time to time I will add additional images usually to show
plates with fewer or more characters on the plate.
This 1931 National Guard
plate picture was sent to me by a C. McCandless. The plate was found
hidden away in an old house covered in dust and dirt. The owner was
hoping to clean it up, and I'm hoping for a better image. In any case
this is the only 1931 image I have.
Snapped this Bronze Star
image while enjoying some of PA's beautiful scenery in our north-central
mountains. As the owner was about to enter his vehicles I asked his
permission to take the picture and thanked him for his service.
It's always treat to spot a number
1 plate, as I'm sure it was for
James (Jaska) Börner
who photographed this PA Choose
Life plate. This plate is also shown on
Tom Perri's PA Plates website
with a 9-11 sticker.
Another plate from Mr.
Börner is this current
Passenger plate he recently spotted.
These 1931 Passenger
images were sent to me by a friend, Deb Kaczmar from one of the Macungie car
shows. Don't know if this is a YOM plate or not, as that could be
determined by what was on the rear of the car. Can someone ID the vehicle?
I don't do a lot with older Passenger plates but when someone sends a nice
pair of older images, well they need to be shown.
No I'm not doing a run of old Passenger
plates (yet), but Charlie Metz sent this unique image of 3-digit 1954 Passenger
plate he recently acquired.
This undated Motor Boat License
(MBL) plate was issued for 1934, and by renewing the registration it could
be reused in 1935 and
1936. Apparently this concept did not work as well as expected and for
1937 plates again were issued annually. Besides being undated, this
plate also measured 6" by 12", with MBL stacked on the left and PENNA
stacked on the right. It is believed that the number series was 1 to 4
For 1937 MBL
plates went to a smaller size of 5⅛" by 9½", and remained this size until
some time in 1947 when plates had to be lengthened due to the need to go to
5 digits. Formatting also remained similar for a number of years
except for the annual change in colors. This '37 plate is white on red
and was provided by Jerry McCoy.
For '38 Motorboat
plates remained much the same except for the white on blue colors and the
year. Again the image was provided by Jerry McCoy.
These are 1957 cardboard templates that were
provided to help facilitate the plate mounting process
on a boat. Don't know what years these were used other than 1957, or
whether the cardboard is left over from the run of '54 cardboard plates.
Also, I understand that it was not necessary to mount the state-issued plates if the
registration number was painted or otherwise displayed on the bow of the boat.
Again I don't know if this rule applied to every year. Any additional information
would be appreciated.
latest style of Antique Motorcycle plates made their debut around May of
2013. They are becoming fairly common at motorcycle shows and events.
This series began at 01000. The plate pictured here is the new high.
This nice image came from Ryan Battin.
Ryan Battin also provided this nice image of
the latest high number U.S.
Marine Corps Veteran plate. These plates hit the street
around November of 2009, with the series beginning at 10001M/C
The next picture is a West Virginia
University (WVU) Alumni Association plate. This is not a
sample plate plate despite the all-zero configuration. Note the 12-97
validation sticker. This plate type likely dates back to 1996 and the
picture was also
provided by Arthur Levine.
The last of these first generation
plates is from
York College. Again thanks to Arthur Levine for the image.
The validation sticker is hard to read but the type goes back to 1995.
This week's Motorboat gems again are
from Jerry McCoy starting with this beautiful 3-digit 1939
Motorboat license plate.
These plates could be 1 to 4 numeric
characters in length and measured 5⅛" by 9½".
For 1940 the biggest change was the colors which were now black on white.
Again Jerry McCoy provided the picture.
1941 wasn't skipped, it was previously posted. For
1942 the only real
change was the color, now being white on blue. Jerry McCoy provided
the plate image.
The final image this week is a 1943 Motorboat
plate. In contrast, for 1943 there were no plates issued to cars and trucks in order the
conserve steel for the war effort. Only small rectangular tags and
strips were issued to renew those registrations, but motorboats still
got plates. They were black on yellow. Image from Jerry McCoy.