ALPCA small crestWelcome to PA PL8S / PA PLATES

Pennsylvania License Plate Images

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

 Home  |  About this site  |  Needed Images  |  Website credits  |  Contact


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?

٠ Click thumbnail images to enlarge   ٠ Click links to go to plate galleries



  Antique, Classic, etc.

  Bus, Limo, Taxi, etc.

  Dealer & MV Business

  Miscellaneous & Passenger

  Official Plates

  Political Plates

  Veterans Plates


  College, University, etc.

  Fire, EMS & Police

  Fraternal, Non-Profit, etc.


  Special Fund Plates

  Pending/Proposed Plates


  Governor & Related Plates

  Mystery, Oddball, DCNR, etc

  Special Event Plates

  Front Plates

  Sample Displays, R. Dragon 


  Historic docs & misc references


  Needed Images

  Plate Codes

  Plate Highs (

  Plate History (A - M)

  Plate History (N - Z)

  Plate History (Special Org.)

  Validation Stickers

  Vehicle Code (Registration)


  2014 Archives

  2013 Archives

  2012 Archives

  2011 Archives

  2010 Archives

  2009 Archives

  2008 Archives

  2007 Archives

  2006 Archives (from 7/22)

Posting 8/17/2014

This Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club plate has been on this site before, but this is a better image of the #1 plate.  Thanks to Jordan Irazabal for the picture.



Jordan Irazabal also shared this Delaware County Fallen Firefighter and EMS Memorial Committee plate image.  That long tag line, even though it's been slightly abbreviated on the plate, is just about at the limit for compressing the font.


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 advance.


Pinnacle Health System now has about 19 active plates.




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.


Following the '58 base above is this undated 1965 House of Representatives plate also courtesy of Eric Conner.




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 4" 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.




Posting 8/10/2014

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 Severely 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 these plates.


This #1 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 plate design..


Note 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.


The Birdsboro Union Fire Department is now sporting about 16 first time plates on the road.




More images are being added to the history section of State Representative plates.  Most of these image came from the current State 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 wide REPRESENTATIVE 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 cursive Pennsylvania 'Friend' font.  Thanks to Ned Flynn for sharing this plate picture.



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 9".  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.




Posting 8/3/2014

Here the latest Philadelphia Union Foundation high plate.  The image was provided by Spike Rogan.




This is also a new high Blue Lodge plate from Ryan Battin.




This Lehigh Township Volunteer Fire Company No 1 plate is not a great image but it is the latest high.




Jordan Irazabal 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 organization plate Sons of the American Legion plate.  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 generation 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 cursive Pennsylvania 'Friend' font.  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 this day.



Posting 7/27/2014

No you're not seeing double, and this is not a mistake.  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 sharing this. 

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.




Here 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 Conservancy plate.  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 .


Next week I expect to have a prototype image of another new special organization plate type — Sons of the American Legion.


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.

The plates pictured here are House of Representative plates for 1966 and 1969, while the newest plate has '73 and '74 validation stickers.  The source of the '66 and '69 images is unknown.  The '73-'74 plate belongs to Clayton Moore.

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.



Posting 7/20/2014

As 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 homes.

 • 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 vanity check 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.



Nick Tsilakis snapped this nice image of a U.S. Air Force Reserve plate.




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.


The Lock Haven 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 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 Moravian College 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



The 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 10".



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.



Update 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.


Page Up  |  Home


Images and photos are always welcome.  Please send to:

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

ALPCA #4376