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Pennsylvania License Plate History & Images

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

ALPCA #4376


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The photos on this website, whether provided by me or other contributors, are intended for use solely on this website, and may not be otherwise used without permission.

What's new in the last 30 days?

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Posting 1/31/2016

This Christian Homeschool Association of PA is hot off the plate press and is a new high.  It appears that the sale of these plates is not limited to those affiliated with this group.  The price of the plate is $50, or it can be personalized for an additional $100.  Thanks to Clayton Moore for sharing this image.


This low number N00 Victory Junction NASCAR plate picture was sent by Jaska Börner.  This series started at N/0/00101 making this the 10th plate issued out of a total of 219.  The NASCAR plate program was ended as of 5/1/2010, however, plates are still eligible for renewal.  The Victory Junction Gang Camp was a place for kids with special health care needs and was the sponsoring agency behind PA's NASCAR program.


Thanks to Jaska Börner for reminding me that I needed a Penn Wynn Overbrook Hills Fire Company prototype image.  I discovered that I had the image, just needed to post it.  It's not a new plate type — came out in 2012.  Click the link to see some issued plates.


Here's a new high Philadelphia Union Foundation plate image from Jaska Börner.  These have been around since 2013.



This very sharp image of a first generation York College plate was provided by Clayton Moore.  The YC plate program dates back to 1995.



The process of expanding the coverage of organizational plates by combining the yellow on blue first generation of organizational plates with the later www and visitPA plates continues.  Coverage is also expanded for those organizational plates that had a two-tier system on the www base.  We begin this week with Emergency Medical Services starting with the E/M00574 plate from Brendan Sherry and the E/M01354.  The source of that plate is unknown.


This first group of Fire Fighter plates has been added to the current Fire Fighter plates.  Note the early Fire Fighter vanities that were available at the beginning of the 1983 plate program.  The vanity option was then withdrawn.  The FF14900 is courtesy of Clayton Moore while the vanities are courtesy of


These additional current Fire Fighter images have been added to the mix.  The FF35639 plate image is courtesy of Tom Perri.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that there is reason to believe that this plate type had been discontinued in the FF38695 to FF38699 range.  Perhaps since there are so many fire companies with their own plates, or maybe the fact that there is no parent fire agency supporting this plate.


These Fraternal Order of Police images have been added to the Fire/ EMS & Police plate gallery.  This plate type dates back to 1987, and has transitioned their plates the color graphic layout on the visitPA base.  These images are courtesy of Clayton Moore, Bill Ceravola and Tom Perri respectively.


This first generation International Association of Fire Fighters plate photo has been added to the www and visitPA base plates.  I realize that I don't have a www base plate image in the range of P/F00000 to P/F002859.  This range represents those plates that were issued on the www base to replace the yellow on blue plates.  Thanks to Clayton Moore for the image shown here. 



Posting 1/24/2016

I have contempt for plate frames, at least those that cover the state and plate type.  I don't understand why the police and the vehicle inspection stations allow frames that totally obscure the state name.  Also, why purchase a plate from an organization you support, only to cover up the

name of the organization?


Then there's this Passenger vanity from Steve Ondik who wonders why people spend money for a vanity plate, put a frame around it and then put the stickers where they don't belong, thus covering up part of the plate they paid extra for.  Well said.


Added this image of a Lower Macungie Fire Department plate.  Lower Macungie Township is in Lehigh County.  This plate type has been around since 2012, and has a reported high number of 00022L/M. according to Tom Perri's highs website.


This Presque Isle Partnership image has also been added.  These plates are available to the public to raise funds for the preservation of the historic Presque Isle Lighthouse.  The cost is $49.50, and with over 1,000 plates issued, the plate program appears to have been beneficial.


The process continues this week to expand the coverage of organizational plates by combining the yellow on blue first generation of organizational plates with the www and visitPA plates.  Coverage is also expanding for those organizational plates that had a two-tier system on the www base.  We begin this week with Villanova University.  The most significant feature is relocation of the V/U prefix to the suffix position on the visitPA edition — a change not seen in other organizational plates.  The V/U01399 and V/U02479 are from Tom Perri.


Next is the W & J or Washington & Jefferson College series starting with this first generation plate image from Jordan Irazabal.  These plates came along starting in 1993 and are now on the visitPA base with a colorful logo.  What's missing and needed for the display is an upper tier www plate between W/J01200 and W/J01283.


West Catholic High School is one of a handful of high schools with organizational plates.  The West Catholic plate program began in 1997 and has so far not made the transition to the visitPA graphic format.  The early issue yellow on blue plate shown here is thanks to George Kunsman.


The uniqueness of the 4-digit plate has always had a certain appeal.  The West Point Alumni plate is one of only a handful of such plates in PA.  This plate has been added to the later West Point plates.  This group has also not yet moved their plate program into the color graphic format.


Next in order is Widener University.  The Widener program dates back to 1995 starting with yellow on blue plates.  The far left image shown here is from Arthur Levine.  The newer plate is an additional example of the plates reissued on the www base.  This group also has not transitioned their plate program into the color graphic format.


This is a Wilkes University Alumni sample plate.  Anyone have a first generation yellow on blue plate and can share a photo?  This plate program dates back to 1995.  Also needed is an image of a current issue second tier Wilkes plate with W/U21000 or above.



Finally this week this first generation York College plate image has been added to the display of newer plates.  The York College program dates back to 1995.  There are also 2 tiers of plates on the www base, but so far no indication that there will be a switch to visitPA base.  This photo was provided by Arthur Levine.



Posting 1/17/2016

They're here!  First photo of the K-series Passenger plates, thanks to Ryan Battin.





The Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics now has, or soon will have, about 14 license plates on the street.  This organization appears to be based in Pittsburgh.



This image was a traffic shot from Jaska Börner.  It's shows the first picture of an under-100 Support Your Zoo plate.  The general issue of these plates started at 00101P/Z.  Now it appears that there is also a handful of 'reserve' issue plates beginning at 00001P/Z.  This has been seen on a number of other plates where is appears that Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Veteran and Honoring Our Veterans held back low number plates for certain people.  And how about the 3-digit Conserve Wild Resources plates?  Don't try to get an explanation from PennDOT.


This is a traffic shot of a personalized Appalachian Trail Conservancy plate.  There may be moose along some of the northern sections of the Appalachian Trail, but not likely in PA.



This high number National Constitution Center plate was provided by Jeff Lawson.  These plates are very elusive with only a dozen on the road.




This PA State Nurses Association plate on the far left was also courtesy of Jaska Börner while the center left is from Jeff Lawson.  These plates have been around for about 10 years, and about a year ago the plate received a facelift as shown on the prototype image.  So far none of the new plates have been spotted.


The effort to expand the coverage of organizational plates continues by combining the first generation of organizational plates with plates that came later.  The yellow on blue plates are being added in with the www plates and visitPA plates.  I'm also expanding the coverage of those organizational plates that had a two-tier system on the www base.  Starting with St. Thomas Moore Alumni Association the yellow on blue plate and this second tier of the www plate have been added.  The G/B01056 plate is courtesy of Jordan Irazabal.


These two first generation St. Vincent Alumni Association plates have been added to the newer plates.  The far left plate is courtesy of Brandan Sowers, and the near left image was provided by Jordan Irazabal.  On later plates the word Alumni is dropped from the legend.


Next we have these Susquehanna University plates that have been added to the mix.  The plate on the far left is part of the first group issued on the www base that were replacements for the yellow on blue plates.  The other plates were later issues after the replacement process was completed.  The center plate is from Tom Perri and the last plate is from Jordan Irazabal.  Still needed is a first generation yellow on blue plate.


We are fortunate to have added a few older Temple University Alumni plates.  In addition, one second tier www plate has been added.  Credit for the far left plate goes to George Kunsman and Jordan Irazabal provided the T/U01969 plate.


Next college plate is the University of Pittsburgh, although this plate started out with a Pitt Bicenntenial tag line on the yellow on blue base back in 1988.  That image is from George Kunsman.  The www plates represent the second tier, or those that were issued after the re-plating in February of 2002.  The U/P03928 is courtesy of Jeff Lawson.


The final college plate type this week is the University of Scranton.  This plate type dates back to 1996.  Still needed is a first generation yellow on blue plate, and also a second tier www plate in the U/S11000 to U/S11095 range.



The last posting for this week is this 1934 Tractor plate from Tim Gierschick.  Click the link to also see 2-digit and 3-digit '34 Tractor plates.  Tim has an amazing collection of tractor plates, but still needs a few, namely, 1923, 1927, 1929, 1932, 1933 and 1935.  If anyone can help, please let me know.



Posting 1/10/2016

First image of a 2021 Validation Sticker.  This one was issued for a 5-year trailer registration.  The color patterns on these stickers follow an 8-year cycle.




I am continuing the process of combining the first generation of organizational plates with plates that came later.  The yellow on blue plates are being added in with the www plates and visitPA plates.  I'm also expanding the coverage of those organizational plates that had a two-tier system on the www base  The first section to be completed this week was Notre Dame Alumni Association, which changed its name to University of Notre Dame.  The 00006N/D image is from Tom Perri.


Next category to be expanded was Ohio State Alumni with the addition of this first generation plate from Ryan Battin.  In separating the early (first tier) www plates from those that were issues after the re-plating in 2001, I need a picture between O/S00700 and O/S00764 which won't be easy to spot.


The largest single group of organizational plates is the Penn State Alumni Association with over 15,000 plates in use.  Even the first generation shown here went at least as high as P/S21344.  Even with the abundance of Penn State plates, an www base image is needed between P/S21800 and P/S24899, which were issued after the re-plating in May of 2001.  The first two plate images above were from Brendan Sherry, the other is unknown.


This first generation Shippensburg University Alumni has been added to the College page together with the current images.  This plate type also had a two-tiered system on the www base.  A plate image is needed on the www base between S/U01500 and S/U1689.



Both of these St. James Alumni plates are thanks to Tom Perri.  Like the above organizations the first generation and later second tier www plates were added to the mix.  The plate on the near left is from that sometimes hard to find elusive upper tier of www plates that ran from S/J11000 to at least the current high shown here.  This organization has not yet moved to the visitPA base.


This first generation St. Joseph's University plate was added to the College page.  This picture is thanks to George Kunsman.  Beside the version shown here, St. Joseph's has now had plates on two groups of www plates as well as the visitPA standard and vanity formats.



These two variations of 1937 Dealer plates have been added to the Dealer History section.  The X was the dealer plate designator, and as can be seen here, could be in the first or second position.  There likely were also 4-character plates such as X123 or 1X23 that measured 6" x 10" compared to the 6" x 12" shown here.  The images are courtesy of Chuck Sakryd.


Here are 1944 Motorcycle and 1956 Motorcycle plates from Bob Connison.  They are very similar in formatting.  For 1944 there were some 11782 plates issued suggesting that the alpha-numeric series would have been used after the series hit 9999, and by 1956 some 24,000 plates were issued.


This 3-digit 1964 Motorcycle Dealer was provided by Bob Connison.  The 1964 plate signaled a return to single year dealer plates after the '58 thru '61, and the '62 thru '63 multi-year plates.  There are still a number of missing years of Motorcycle Dealer plates if anyone can help.



This is the first picture of a 1937 Official plate.  The image is courtesy of Clayton Moore.  The Official Plate section shows that for 1936, 1937 and 1938 the number series appears to be in the 31000 and 32000 series.  Images are still needed for a 1925 and 1934 Official plates.  Plates from 1939 thru 1956 were from a reserved number block of passenger plates but lacked any distinguishing features to identify them as Official plates.  Plates all consisted of 5-digit serial numbers.  See for a listing with images of these plates.  Thanks to Norm Ratcliff and Allan Cooper for a great website on State Trooper Plates.


These two variations of 1952 Trailer plates have been added to the Trailer History section.  Plates that year used the following formats: 0001 to 9999, A000 to Z999, 0A00 to 9Z99, 00A0 to 99Z9, 000A to 999Z, 10001 to unknown high.  The images are courtesy of Chuck Sakryd.



Posting 1/3/2016

Here's the first picture of a ChildFirst PennsylvaniaJordan Irazabal, captured this perfect image.  These first came into use in December 2015.




With the proliferation in the number of plate types allowing personalization, we'll likely see more of these vanities.  On the far left is a Person w/ Disability plate from Nick Tsilakis.  Left center is a Truck vanity from Jordan Irazabal, and finally The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, as a vanity, also courtesy of Jordan Irazabal Act 23 of 2014 is what cleared the pathway to permit so many plate types to be issued in a personalized version.


Nick Tsilakis also captured this traffic shot of a Quality Deer Management Assoc. plate.  This is the of first image of this new plate.  At last check there were some 33 of these plates on the road.



Here's the latest high School Bus plate.  In PA School Bus plates go back to 1956.  The current series started at SC-00000 on the www base back on June 11, 2000.  The change to the visitPA base took place at SC-48000, and were first seen around August of 2006.


I am continuing to combine the first generation of organizational plates with plates that came later.  The yellow on blue plates are being added in with the www plates and visitPA plates.  I'm also expanding the coverage of those organizational plates that had a two-tier system on the www base  The following colleges/universities were updated this week: Indiana University of PA, Kings College, Kutztown University, Lafayette College, LaSalle University, Lebanon Valley College, Lehigh University Alumni, Lock Haven University, Millersville University, Moravian College and Muhlenberg Alumni.




In doing this I had to beg, borrow and steal the above images to help fill some new gaps.  Some of the above images are traffic shots so they're not perfect.  The first Indiana plate is from Bruce Bufalini, the next Indiana plate is from Steve Ondik, the Kutztown and Lafayette plates are from Tom Perri and Jordan Irazabal, the first Millersville plate is from Tom Perri, and the final Millersville plate is from Jordan Irazabal.


This low-number Street Rod plate was spotted by Steve Ondik.  This plate series started at 0001S/R back in 1982 and has a current reported high of 6780S/R.  This plate type is not eligible for personalization.  Many of these plates have had their graphic symbol modified or replaced.


This is the first image on this site of a yellow on blue Steel Worker plate.  The image is courtesy of John Fedorchak.  Did you know that the Steel Worker plate is not an organizational plate, but rather a special class of plate that was authorized by legislation in 1996?  It does, however, share many traits with organizational plates.


CORRECTION — Last week I posted this 1943 validation tab as being for a Motorcycle Dealer plate.  That was incorrect.  It's actually for a Motorcycle plate and has been move to the appropriate location.  Image from Bob Connison.


Again this week several more Motorcycle Dealer plates have been added.  And again thanks to Bob Connison for sharing these photos, starting with this low-number 1944 Motorcycle Dealer plate.  The '44 plate is essentially the same as the '42 plate except for the plate year and expiration date.



Skipping ahead to this 1947 Motorcycle Dealer plate, the formatting again is the similar, except for obvious reversal of colors and the new dates.  The photo is again thanks to Bob Connison.



This 1948 Motorcycle Dealer plate and this 1952 MCD plate are similar in formatting.  It is believed, but unconfirmed, that the plate number series started at 1 and extended high into the 3 digits.  I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that Motorcycle Dealer plates didn't go to 4 digits until multi-years plates came along in the 1958 to '61 period.  Anyone know otherwise?  Images from Bob Connison.





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Images and photos are always welcome.  Please send to:

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

ALPCA #4376