This is an early edition of the Disabled Veteran
with 11-85 and 11-86 stickers. After all of the first edition 4-digit
(DV-0000) plates were issued, the 5-digit series was next. Both
versions so far had sticker wells in the upper left and right corners as
seen here, making this plate the observed series high. The next group beginning at
DV-22000 had the sticker well moved to the bottom left.
Irazabal spotted this plate on ebay, and the owner, Darren Bianco, gave
me the OK to use it. Some of these early plates are still on the road.
Here are two recently spottedEmergency Vehicle
plates. The EV-36580 may be a new high. They are both from the
lower tier of plates issued to paying customers, as opposed to non-profit
organizations who receive the upper tier (plates above EV-50000) at no cost.
These lower tier plates still have the sticker well, unlike the plates above
EV-71000 that now have the map outline.
This pair of Vertical Motorcycle
plates were posted by Tim Martin. They represent a move to a new
serial format. The first format was M0A0C, with only the three
characters in the center advancing. The M and the C are static
non-advancing characters. After the series above hit M9Z9C, a new
format was introduced starting at MA0AC. Again only characters in the
2nd, 3rd and 4th positions advance. The progression is such that the
number advances first, then the letter in the 4th position, and finally the
letter in the 2nd spot. These are also eligible as vanity plates with
up to 5 characters.
Nothing all that special about this Penn State
University plate, but thanks to
Tom Perri, it does help establish the approximate high on the this
series prior to the addition of the the map outline. The low number
spotted with the map was 11110P/S, also
thanks to Tom Perri.
This is only the second photo of a Saint Francis
University plate displaying the color graphic format. This
plate may actually be the low point on this base. No plates without
the sticker well or with the map outline have been spotted yet. The
history of these plates dates back to 1999 with the yellow on blue base.
These were about 335 issued for which I have no photos. Thanks much to
Bruce Bufalini for providing this photo.
This is a 1946 Format 1 Motorcycle
plate. This format started with 1 and ran to 9999, then switched to
Format 2 which was alpha-numeric format as A, A1 to A999, then B, B1, etc.
All motorcycle plates measured 4½ inches by 8 inches. Thank you to
eBay user Spillercb21 for the use of the photo.
This very nice 1954 Format 5 Passenger
plate image came from Shane Oake. Format 5 consists of plates from
000A to 999Z, so only 4-character plates in this group, while some other
groups had 5. Plate size was 6 inches by 10¼ inches regardless of the
number of characters.
Not quite sure what to call this plate.
The owner, Jeff Hinkle, suggests that it's a prototype, so I'm going to
agree. Anyway it appears to be a 1965 (to '70) base,
and I have placed in with the passenger series. There were samples at
that time but configured with SAM-PLE.
This group shot of Validation Stickers below was
recently acquired by Tom Firth and shared with this website. As you
may know the sticker colors are cyclic, and repeat themselves every 8 years
as shown in the table below. The individual stickers have been added
to the Sticker page. You may also be aware that PA discontinued
issuing stickers at the end of 2016; however, stickers as far ahead as 2022 were issued
vehicles such a small trailers with a 5-year registration.
Here is a pair of recent photos of Antique Vehicle
plates. The letters F and L mark the progress as the letters are
always the last character to advance. The far left plate was snapped
by me, and the near left plate is thanks to Jaska Börner. Out of
curiosity I put a table together to show the serial progressions since
the beginning of the Antique Car plate. I can't predict what the next
series will be.
Here's a new high Repair Towing
plate spotted a few days ago. Do you remember the earliest tag legend on
these plates, and the prefix? They were caller REP / SER TOWING and
the prefix was RS. Click to see
Here's a new high Fire Fighter plate
Irazabal. While this plate variation has the Maltese Cross
and the plate legend flat screened, it still has the sticker well.
According to an inventory sheet, a new batch of plates is expected at
FF38950, and according to vanity check, the current high is FF38965.
It is not known if this will show the removal of the sticker well or
addition of the map. While this is an organizational plate, it must be
requested from PennDOT rather than through a fire department; however, the
chief still must sign the application form.
Here's a recent photo of the number 1 Seaton Hill
University plate courtesy of
Bruce Bufalini. Plate enthusiasts always seem have a special
fondness for #1plates. This plate type dates back to 2006, and
likely the plate does also. Seton Hill is a Catholic liberal arts
university located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Here's a Virginia Tech
vanity. We've seen a couple of these in the past; however, this
appears to be the first without the sticker well. Virginia Tech's
plate program goes back to 2006. At this point a little over 400 such
plates have been issued. Thanks to Jeff Lawson for the photo.
Every now and then a single letter
Vanity shows up. This plate with the the map outline would
have been a more recent issue, quite possibly a remake of an older plate.
Don't expect to apply for one of these though, I just checked all single
latter vanities are spoken for. Thanks to Ryan Battin for this
If you are a PA plate enthusiast, it shouldn't be hard to tell the
difference between these Vanity plates.
They are not the same. In PA letters are always slightly smaller than
numbers, in this case the difference can be seen between the number '0' and
the letter 'O'. Thanks to Nick Tsilakis for the photos.
not a new high, and as
Irazabal, who snapped the picture said, it's not a commonly seen type
either. The Korean Defense
Service Medal must have been earned by the individual. This
plate type came out in 2010 and so far the reported high is 00155K/D.
There is an also a
Korean War Veteran plate which dates back to 1993 that still retains its
Prisoner of War
plates date back to 1982, and this was likely part of the first group
issued. This plate has all the signs of having never been vehicle
mounted. I'm sure there is quite a story behind such a plate, the
owner having been held captive in an enemy prison camp. Devan
Ciemiewicz shared this recent acquisition with us.
These 1955 Passenger plates
represent two sample versions. All plates that year measured 6-inchs
by 10¼-inches, and since both 4 and 5-character formats were used that year,
thus the samples. The far left plate is a new addition from Devan
Ciemiewicz, the other plate photo was previously provided courtesy of Jeff
This is a 1941 Truck plate. It
comes courtesy of eBay user Scottketch71. The plate is a Weight Class
T. That group consists of 2 serial progressions including T000A and
T00A0, with this plate being a part of the second group. With the
addition of this plate, the T-series is complete. All Truck plates that year measured 6 inches by 12 inches.
It's finally here — the L-series Passenger plate
that is. LBA-0000 would have been the starting point as no LAA plates
would have been issued since PA no longer puts vowels in the second
position. The J-series was first spotted in early 2016, then the map
outline was added in June of 2017 with KLF-0000. Thanks to Jeff Lawson
for the timely photo.
These two Passenger
plates could actually form
bookends around the plate above. Jay Hughes just forwarded these
photos to me. The far left plate would be one of the last plates of
the K-series, while the near left plate shows the next series LBB following
the LBA plate shown above.
Here's the latest in Bus plates, now with
the map outline. Bus plate BA-81047, without the sticker well, but
prior to the map outline, was spotted back in October of 2018. Click
here to see the
history of Bus plates dating way back to 1924.
Here's an Arizona State
University with the number 1 A/S as
a vanity plate. This was recently snapped on the fly by
Bruce Bufalini. These plates
came on the scene in 2015. Tom Perri's
highs lists 00043A/S as the summit.
Vanity check is a little higher at 56. In any case they are not
Who would have thought that the first
photo of an
Associated Alumni of the Central High School of Philadelphia plate
would be a vanity? It's not the first time. Thanks to Jaska Börner
for spotting and photographing this plate. These plates only date back
to 2018 so it's not surprising that a serial numbered plate hasn't been
This Chatham College,
now Chatham University, plate was probably issued when the program first got
off the ground in 2007. This is one of only a couple plate types that
lists their web address,
part of the plate legend, rather than the name of the organization.
That feature is covered by the plate frame. Thanks to Arthur Levine
for the photo.
This low number California
University (of Pennsylvania) plate was spotted on the highway by
Preston Turner. If you look closely, there is a map outline on this
plate. CU's plate program began in 2007, so a stickered plate with the
same number would have been issued at that time. While many recent
organizational plates now have the map outline, seeing this feature on a
plate with an older number leads to speculation. Was this a remake, a
replacement or something else?
This is the first photo of a
Philadelphia Fire Fighters' Union plate in a vanity format.
Thanks to Colin M. for the picture. The plate does not have the map
outline, can't tell about the sticker well. These Philly Fire Fighter
plates date back to 2005. Click the link above to see more.
This is a low number South Newton
Twp. Vol. Fire Co. recently spotted by Nick Tsilakis.
Tom Perri' website shows the highest
plate spotted as 00008S/N, and the vanity
check indicates that about 18 plates have been issued. The fire
company is located in Walnut Bottom, Cumberland County, PA.
It's not a new plate, but it's a new
photo. Brandon Sowers took this photo of a Disabled Veteran
plate. It still has the sticker well but it's also new enough to have
the DV- flat screened. In addition the previous version had Disabled Veteran
in a wide font across the top, and Pennsylvania on the bottom. This
plate helps to narrow down the changeover point. Thanks also to
Irazabal for passing the image along.
This is a 1939 Format 4 'shorty'
passenger plate. That series ran from 10A0 to 99Z99, with the
4-character plates measuring 6 inches by 10 inches and the 5-character plates
being 6 inches by 12 inches. The 4-character plates are usually
tougher to find, but eBay user 3540markb was kind enough to let me use this
This is a 79 year old 1940 Truck plate. It
comes courtesy of eBay user Scottketch71. The plate is a Weight Class
S. That group consists of 4 serial progressions including S000A,
S00A0, S0A00, S00AA, with this plate being a part of the third group.
With this plate, only a plate from the last group is needed to complete the
series. All Truck plates that year measured 6 inches by 12 inches.
Here is the first Honoring
Our Women Veterans plate, "hot off the press" as Jonathan Ortmann
describes his new plate. The plate serial number seemed high for such
an early plate. Vanity check shows plates 00001, and 00166 to 00168 in
use — strange. Also this plate's flag symbol differs from the early
prototype, click the link above to see both. This plate type and the
Distracted Driving Awareness plates were recent additions to the
Special Fund group.
the far left is a sample of the latest issue from Mercyhurst
University. The plate features a new logo, a new name —
Mercyhurst University, a new prefix — M/U, and new number series. It also
has the map outline. Preston Turner spotted one of these on the road
but was not able to get a picture. In the center is an image of an
updated prototype plate from 2011. It is still unknown if this variant
ever made it into production. An example of the original plate is also shown here for
A recent FB posting and discussion about
dual plates for persons with disabilities prompted Nick Tsilakis to share
this image again. On the far left photo you can see the second plate
in the background. This dual plate concept allows vehicle owners who
have a device on the rear of the vehicle for carrying a wheelchair or
personal assistive device to be issued two plates since the assistive device
and carrier may block visibility of the vehicle mounted plate. This
concept is allowed on
Person with Disability (98000PD series) plates as shown
here. In addition it is available for
Veteran (D/V99000 series) plates and
Here's a recent photo of a new high Municipal Government
plate on the far left, followed by a first generation
Municipal plate. The plates have gone through several phases
starting with the yellow on blue plates. These were issued between
1971 and 1976. The early plate is thanks to Tom Perri.
'G' and 'H'-series
plates were recently photographed. The center plate image came from
Preston Turner. This series has
been using the map outline since back in the 'D'-series and was first
spotted in August of 2018. The other
Perm-Trailer plate dates back to the late 1990s, and was part of the
first format used, and shown here just for comparison. The series
itself dates back to 1997.
a recent high Taxi plate
which appears to still have the sticker well. I do have some
information that suggests that the current batch of plates ends at TX-51999,
so TX-52000 could mean a change or two. But I'm not taking any bets.
The blue on yellow plate is another first generation
plate on the 1977 base.
This is the first issue
Commercial Implement of Husbandry plate. It was recently
auctioned on eBay by Geekboy92 who gave me the OK to use it. It is my
Husbandry (IMP) plates came about in 1984, then in 1997 a segment of
those vehicles was split off and then those vehicles were issued Commercial
Implement of Husbandry plates. Both types were reissued on the www
base. Today Commercial Implement plates are generally seen on large
truck-mounted spreaders and sprayers; while Implement of Husbandry plates
are exceedingly rare. Those I've seen were on anhydrous ammonia farm
Yes, the color is wrong on this
repainted 1936 Format 9
Passenger plate, but it's a nice representation of the formatting of
that group which included 1AA0 to 4GN86 according to the ALPCA Archives.
The correct colors would have been dark blue on yellow. Sizes were 6
inches by 10 inches for 4-character plates, and 6 inches by 12 inches for 5
character plates. Thanks to Wayne Tyler for the use of the photo.
This is a 1940 U-Class Truck plate
which consisted of three serial progressions — U000A, U00A0 and U0A00.
This plate is part of the second group. In that year all truck weight
classes consisted of 5 characters, preceded by the weight class from R to Z
for 2-axle trucks, and 2-letter prefixes for 3-axle trucks. All
truck plates also had another letter in the serial number, and all measured
6 inches by 12 inches..
Here's the latest high
82nd Airborne Division Association plate spotted by Preston Turner.
The previously reported high was 00269A/B,
which was still sporting a validation sticker. These plates date back
to 2007, and are also available in a personalized version.
This Fraternal Order of Police plate was recently photographed by
Irazabal. This plate still has the sticker well and helps to
narrow down the point at which that feature stopped being issued. Then
there was a run without the sticker well, and before the map outline came
State Alumni Association was one of the earliest organizational plates
dating back to 1985, but if you wanted a Penn State tag and were not a
member of the Alumni Association, then the Penn State
University plate, as shown here, was an option. These became
available in 2009, and now with the map outline as can be seen here in this
photo from Tom Perri.
Irazabal also recently spotted 11174P/S
but was not able to get a picture.
This is the only Villanova
University vanity photo I've seen. Thanks to Jeff Lawson for
the image. Note that the plate has the latest feature of the map
outline. Their plate program dates back to 1987. There was a
graphic redesign in 2006; however, the redesigned plates were not spotted
These are the first images of a Severely Disabled
Veteran plate that is part of the 2 plate series intended for use on
a vehicle that carries a wheelchair or personal assistive device. Such
vehicles are authorized to be issued two plates since the assistive device
and carrier may block visibility of the vehicle mounted plate. In the
photo shown here no assistive device or carrier is visible. Originally
I had listed this series as starting at D/V98000. This is not the case
with the starting point actually at D/V99000. Thanks to Preston Turner
for the photo and to Tom Perri
for passing it along.
Here's a recent shot and a new high of
the latest generation Official Use Dept.
of Transportation Commercial plate. In simpler terms it's a
plate on the rear of a PennDOT truck, thus the PennDOT logo on left.
This is also one of the agency-specific plates which also includes a PA
Turnpike edition with their logo and a generic version with the state coat
Back in February Matt Ciecka spotted
this high number We The
Commemorating the 200th anniversary of US Constitution. This plate was only
issued during a 3½ month period in 1987 ending on December 31 of that year
with fewer than 5000 being issued. This is the only remaining legal yellow
on blue plate. The actual high is believed to be U/S04635,
only three numbers above the plate shown here. I am fortunate enough
to have an unused mint condition plate in my collection — sorry, not for
This is a 1945 Format 2 Dealer
plate. This serial group could run from from 1X00 to 9X999, although
according to the Archives, the series likely ended around 8X921.
Format 1 plates included X100 to X9999. The plate size was 6 inches by
11 inches for all plates. Thanks to Pl8source for the use of the
Here is an unused, near mint condition,
1972 New Car Dealer
plate photo from Tom Firth. This series started at A10-000A and went
at least as high as the plate shown here. Other full size dealer
plates at the time included B series Used Car Dealer, C series M.V.
Business, D series Tractor Dealer, and E series Trailer Dealer.
is a 1931 Format 7 Passenger
plate. Format 7 included the serial progression of AA to ZZ999.
So 2, 3, 4 and 5-character plates were part of this group. Plates up
to 4 characters measured 6" by 10", and 5-character plates were 12" as shown
here. The photo gallery has an example of each of the four character
lengths. Thanks to Kenny Kuhns for the use of this plate photo.
This is a 1946 Format 3 Passenger
plate. That group included the series of 1A00 to 9Z999, so again there
are both 4 and 5-character plates. Beginning in 1945 the plate size
became 6 inches by 11 inches regardless of the number of characters.
And again the alpha character is always last to advance regardless of the
number of characters. This photo was from an ebay seller who did not