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News and postings from 2018
Back in March the Antique Vehicle plate 3W34 was documented without the sticker well and without the small map outline. This is after plates in the R, S, V and Z series were known to have the map outline. Recently Bruce Bufalini photographed three additional W-series plates at a recent event all with the map outline missing. Not sure what's happening, but plate production is inconsistent. We need to see plates in the T, U-series (if there was a U-series), W, X and Y. The 3W34 plate was from Ryan Battin.
Here's the latest high number Classic Vehicle, also spotted by Bruce Bufalini. These plates added the small map outline at C40900 and it appears that they have stayed the course, unlike the plates above. The difference between antique and classic registration is that an antique must have been manufactured more that 25 years ago, while a classic requires 15 years.
Here's a new high Emergency Vehicle plate. These plates are generally seen on fire department and EMS vehicles, although Municipal plates are also seen. They are fee-exempt. There is also a lower tier of EV plates, those in the EV-30000 range, that are issued when a registration fee is required.
The PA Society Sons of American Revolution plate program dates back to late 2006. The number of these plates registered is under 200. It is unknown if any vanities exist, or if the map outline has made an appearance yet.
This Appalachian Trail Conservancy vanity plate was recently spotted by Jordan Irazabal. This plate type dates back to 2014. Did you know the AT stretches 229 miles mainly through the south east to south central portions of PA? The plates cost $52, more for personalization. The current listed high is AT00325.
Here is a Radnor Fire Company of Wayne plate. Their plate program goes back to 2013. I think this plate would be a new reported high for this series. This plate was recently spotted by Jordan Irazabal.
This is likely one of the very last PA Permanent Fleet stickers issued, that is based on the belief that Fleet stickers were discontinued at the end of 2016 as were other stickers. Thanks to Steve Noll for the photo from a Duquesne Light fleet vehicle.
This photo helped provide a needed image of a 1914 Format 2 plate. Format 2 were all 3-dgit plates ranging from 100 to 999, and all measured 6 inches by 10 inches. The plates were porcelain and were made by the Brilliant Manufacturing Co. of Philadelphia. This was a John Willard & John Anshant plate.
Here's a 1924 Format 2 Passenger plate, which were 5-digit plates. This plate helps narrow the point at which the strap slots were discontinued which is likely somewhere between this plate and the 35000 series. Tim Gierschick comments that he never seen a tractor, trailer, truck, omnibus plate from 1924 with a slot, but he has seen home-made slots on these plates up to and including 1929. Interesting — and one of those things that make the hobby interesting, and deserves more follow-up. Thanks to Pinkocelot for the use of the photo.
Here's a photo of a nicely preserved 1930 3-digit Passenger plate. It's part of Format 1, which ran from 1 to 99999. This plate measures 6 inches by 10 inches. That size was used for 1 to 4 digit plates. 5 digit plates were 6 inches by 12 inches, with that being the largest size used that year on passenger plates. The owner of the photo gave me the OK to use it but did now wish credit.
Back to older Truck plates starting with this 1926 S-Class tag. The weight class series ran from R to Z skipping X, with R being the lightest weight. The S-Class series likely ran from S-1 to above S33-000. The size of the plate depended on the number of characters in the serial number — 6" by 10" for 2 and 3 characters, 6" by 12" for 4 characters, 6" by 13" for 5 characters, although some 5-character plates were 6" by 15", and 6" by 15" for 6 characters as shown here. Thanks to Peter Cohen for the plate photo.
The R to Z lettered weight classification system for 1927 Trucks is similar to the '26 above. The V-Class ran from V-1 to at least as high as the plate shown here. The size of the plate depended on the number of characters in the serial number — 6" by 10" for 1 to 4 characters, 6" by 13" for 5 characters, although some 5-character plates were 6" by 15", and 6" by 15" for 6 characters as shown here. This is another one of those oddities that make this hobby enjoyable. Another nod to Peter Cohen for his generosity in sharing so many truck plates.
Again the weight classification system for 1928 Trucks was similar to the plates above. Here is an R-Class plate with 5 characters. The R progression would have started at R-1 and went to R99-999, then the R prefix was shifted to the suffix position, 1-R, etc. Click the link above to see all three plate sizes and 2 to 6 character serial formats. Another thank you goes out to Peter Cohen.
We finish this week with this 1929 U-Class Truck plate. The U class took its place in the R to Z progression, but a ZZ class was added for heavier weight trucks. The plate shown here being 5 characters in length is also 13 inches in length. There were also 10-inch and 15-inch plates for those with shoeter and longer serial numbers. Again I wish to thank Peter Cohen for this and more plates to come.
This is a vanity edition of a Bronze Star plate. The standard edition is 5 digits plus the B/Z suffix, the personalized or vanity can be had with up to 5 letters and/or numbers with the flat screened B/Z suffix. Vietnam 101st Airborne? You decide. Thank you to Jordan Irazabal for the plate photo.
Here's an interesting pair of sequentially numbered Animal Friends plates. The far left plate, which was spotted back in April, does not have the small map outline, while the other more recent plate photo does. Bruce Bufalini took both of the photos. The graphic organizational plates are produced upon receipt of an order, not produced and kept on inventory.
College and university plate programs are fairly plentiful, but high school plate programs not so much. Here we have a low number LaSalle College High School. These have been on the street since 2005, with the current reported high of L/S00134. The plate shown here was recently spotted by Jeff Lawson.
Here is a pair of low-numbered Villanova University Alumni Assoc. plates. These would have originally issued on the yellow on blue base, then reissued in July 2001. The far left plate was borrowed from Tom Perri, while the near left plate is from Jeff Lawson. There is also a later version of the Villanova University plate on the graphic base, but with the V/U in the suffix position.
To the average driver there may be nothing special about this plate. It's not a high or a low, but a Repossessor plate is definitely not one you see on the road every day. It's also one of PA rarest Dealer types. I thought the name on the side of the truck of 'Financial Adjusters' kind of says it all.
These are recent National Rifle Association plates. The serial numbers are only 13 plates apart, but the 0841 plate has an obvious space between the serial number and the NRA suffix. In fact the 0841 is also shifted to the right. This was not seen in any earlier plates. The 0828 plate is courtesy of Brandon Sowers, while the 0841 plate was previously posted, and was provided by Steve Ondik.
The Ruffed Grouse Society plate program dates back to 2005 with some 140 sequential plates registered. This is the first personalized or vanity edition I've seen. Note that the 5 is the only embossed character on the plate, all other characters are flat screened. It does make you wonder how long until the entire process goes flat. Thanks to Jordan Irazabal for the nice photo.
Probably not much chance of PennDOT running out of these plates anytime soon. After all, it appears that these sequential plates are the latest high numbers in the Teen Driver plate series which dates back to 2013. This is considered an optional plate similar to the In God We Trust plate. The Teen Driver has a bargain price tag of $11, as long as you don't decide to go vanity which adds another $104. On the other hand, the In God We Trust plate goes for $21. Also $104 to personalize it. The In God We Trust plate have over 1000 plates registered so far. I wouldn't be surprised if the Teen Driver plate program was discontinued. Thanks to Barefoot Jaime for the photo.
Here's the latest high Temporary Intransit plate spotted by Jordan Irazabal. The photo was added to the Miscellaneous plates page and the N to Z History page. It may be worth mentioning that there are some fake or counterfeit Temporary plates out there, usually with the wrong font or the an out of range serial number.
First time I've seen one of these Superior Court plates with an embossed keystone and the word JUDGE. It appears that at one time the plate had the state coat of arms in the center of the keystone. At one time I had a Superior Court plate with with a brass keystone and state seal. Click link to see image. Unfortunately there are no photos of actual Superior Court plates prior to 2000. They did exist. Thanks to Lee Madigan for sharing this and other photos.
This week we have a few more older Trailer plates starting with this 1951 Format 4 shown here. Format 4 consisted of the serial progression of 00A0 to 99Z9. All plates were 4 characters that year; however one source indicates that there were 5-digit plates toward the end of production, while another source does not support that. It's one of those mysteries that makes the hobby interesting. All plates were 6 inches by 11 inches. Thanks to Bob Connison for providing this photo.
Next in line is this 1953 Format 6 Trailer plate. Format 6 plates were all 5 digits. Beginning in 1953 the plates were reduced in width from 11 inches down to 10¼ inches as part of a cost saving measure. Even with the narrower plate, 5 numeric characters were squeezed into the available space. Another thank you to Bob Connison for providing this photo.
The final trailer plate for this week is this 1954 Format 5. This is one of 6 serial progressions. This serial format includes 000A to 999Z. This plate is also a continuation of the 6 inch by 10¼ inch plates used during 1953, '54 and '55. This calls for another thank you to Bob Connison for providing this photo.
This is a 1922 Commercial plate. The term Commercial has been used interchangeably with the term Truck over the years. In fact the use of the word Truck was not actually used as part of the plate legend until 1934. Based on research done by Eric Tanner it appears that there were likely 8 truck weight classes which were identifiable by the first digit in the plate serial number, making this a Class 6 plate. The plate colors were brown on cream. Many thanks to Peter Cohen this and other truck plates.
Next in this week's lineup is this nicely refinished 1923 Commercial plate. It is believed that the same weight class system was used up thru 1923, making this a Class 1, or lightest weight class as designated by the 1 at the beginning of the serial number. The plate colors were yellow on dark blue making this the first year for the annual flip-flop of those colors. Again my thanks to Peter Cohen for the plate photo.
The final plate is this 1926 U-class truck. Beginning in 1924 weight classes were changed to the more familiar R for the lightest weight through Z for the heaviest. There was no X class as that was reserved for Dealer plates. The progression for the plate shown here likely ran from U-1 to approximately U25-000. The colors were dark blue on yellow, and sizes varied with the length of the serial number. Thank you Peter Cohen.
I had to look twice at the photo when John Clark sent me this Official Use plate image on the far left. Back in February of 2017 PennDOT announced that they would bring Official Use plates into the 'family of plates' giving them a new look. It was also stated that other state agencies would have the option of using their own logo in place of the generic coat of arms which still has not made its debut. Up to this point only PennDOT has been issuing agency-specific plates. Examples to the left. Now we see that the PA Turnpike has followed suit. Note the logo and U suffix where the PennDOT plates use T. Other state agencies could follow.
Here's a new high number Official Use plate. This is part of the series issued to passenger vehicles which also means that two plates would have been issued. Sometime in the future these are expected to switch over to the visitPA 'family of plates' format with a flat screened coat of arms. Thanks you to Bruce Bufalini for the use of this photo.
Here's a new high Motorcycle plate. The current alpha-numeric progression is 0AA00, but notice the use of the letter I in the serial number. That is one of the letters that is not normally used in serial progressions, but lately the letters I and O have also been seen on Antique Vehicle plates as well. Thanks to Ryan Battin for this interesting photo.
This is the latest high Antique Vehicle plate. These plates have been around since the 1950s with many changes in formatting over the years. The Z on this plate would suggest that this serial format is about to shift. I'm thinking that 00A0 could be the next progression. Another thank you to Ryan Battin for his timely photo updates.
This is a new high Apportioned Bus plate. This plate type switched to the visitPA base at BN-04000. But unlike most other plates that made that switch, these plates retained the dash separator instead of the expected keystone separator. Not sure when the sticker well go away, or the addition of the small map outline.
My crystal ball suggested that by this point the Apportioned Truck series would have been using the small map outline, but not yet. It's hard to say for sure, but the plate does not appear to have a sticker well. This is a new high recently spotted on the dirty rear end of a dump truck.
Here's a recent street shot of a new high number Dealer plate. It does not appear to have the small map outline yet. So far the map outline has only been seen on a Dealer vanity plate. I'm not going to speculate on the presence or absence of the sticker well. Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for the use of this photograph.
This is a new high Severely Disabled Veteran plate, now in the 96000 series. Don't look for these plates to take on the visitPA look. The design and coloring of both the Disabled Veteran and Severely Disabled Veteran plates are spelled out in the legislation that authorized these plates. Another thank you to Bruce Bufalini for the use of this photograph.
I took this Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran plate picture back in March, and then missed posting it. The serial number, 1090Y, makes this a vanity plate. The plate features the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. This plate type has been available since 2005. According to Tom Perri's PA Plates website, the high is 01798E/F.
We're adding a few more older trailer plates this week starting with this 1947 Format 1, all numeric (0001 to 9999) plate. There were also three additional alpha-numeric sequences. Click the link above to see examples of the other three serial formats. All trailer plates were 4 characters and all were 6 inches by 11 inches. Thanks to Bob Connison for this photo.
This is a 1949 Format 4 Trailer plate. Format 4 consisted of the run from 00A0 to 99Z9. There was a total of 5 formats used that year. All trailer plates had a 4-character serial number, and all measured 6 inches by 11 inches. Thank you to Bob Connison for this photo.
Here's a complete run of 1950 Trailer plates. The all-numeric Format 1 plate on the far left was provided by Michael Wiener of Bestplates. The G548 is a format 2 plate and is thanks to Bob Connison. These are both new additions to this website. The three remaining plates were previously posted but are being shown here to show all 5 formatting sequences for 1950. Note that the serial progressions starts with all-numeric, then with each succeeding plate the alpha character shifts one space to the right.
Here's the first image of a Eureka Volunteer Fire and Ambulance plate. They are located in Stewartstown, York County, PA. Their tag program has only had plates on the street for a couple months, with about 5 in use. Thanks to Arthur Levine for the plate photo. Unfortunately the photo did not capture the upper portion of the plate.
Here are two National Ovarian Cancer Coalition plates. This group has had plates on the street since mid-2012. The current reported high is 10103C/S. The far left plate was recently photographed by Bruce Bufalini, near left plate picture was taken a couple years ago by Tom Perri, but never posted.
It looks like a new organizational plate is in the works called Mayflower Descendant. Can't find much information on the plate yet, but it may be a creation of the Society of Mayflower Descendants or Pennsylvania Mayflower Society. No prototype photo yet. The serial coding on the plate will likely be 00000M/D.
Back in March of this year it was announced that a new PA National Guard plate would soon be available. Apparently it is now available with about 7 plates registered so far. The image on the left is a prototype and is one of the 'active duty' (AD) series of veterans' plates.
Here's a new high number School Vehicle plate. This plate type has seen a lot of variations over the years. So far ten variations have been identified since they first transitioned to the www base. Note the presence of the small map outline which is believed to have started at SV-26800. Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for sharing this photo.
This is a recent issue Amateur Radio plate — note the presence of the small map outline. These plates have a long history, dating back to 1956. The plates show the radio call letters of the owner, which can have A, K, N or W as the first letter. They always contain a number in the second or third position to indicate the region of which PA is in region 3. For additional information click the link above.
Here's the earliest cardboard Temporary plate photo I have. It's dated 1949. At least for now I'm going to treat this format as being the original design. One feature that makes this design different from the next are the dashes between the Ts and PENNA. The next design had the T's with PENNA without dashes. I'm hoping that as more examples come to the forefront, more details can be recorded. Thanks to ebay seller Pat Damico / Libertysales2 for the use of the photo.
Here's an all-numeric version of Temp tags used from around 1968 to around 1974. When I said all-numeric, I'm not counting the first T which appears to be a static, not advancing character. This version spells out the word TEMPORARY above the serial number, then above that feature are spaces for the following data: Issued; Make; Serial and Expires. Thanks to Bob Connison for the use of this photo.
While this plate may look similar to the Temporary above, the T has been replaced with a number that is now part of the serial number The word TEMPORARY is now at the top between the bolt holes. The data line is now below the word temporary and includes additional fields which are: Issued; Year; Make; Model; Serial; Expires; Dealer I.D. Another thank you to Bob Connison for the use of this plate photo.
This is a 1940 Format 2 Trailer plate. Format 2 plates were authorized from A000 to Z999, which does not necessarily mean the series was fully utilized. Format 1 was all-numeric. All trailer plates were 4 characters, and all were 6 inches by 12 inches. Thanks to Bob Connison for sharing a group of older trailer plate photos.
Next in the lineup is this 1944 Format 1 Trailer plate. That format included numbers from 0001 to 9999, all of which were 4 digits. Note the use of a leading zero. All alpha-numeric formats were also 4 characters, and all plates were 6 inches by 12 inches. Thanks to Bob Connison for sharing his older trailer plate photos.
Next comes this 1945 Format 4 Trailer plate. Format 4 included the serial progression of 00A0 to 99Z9. All trailer plates were 4 characters since 1938; however, for 1945 the plate size was reduced from 6 inches by 12 inches to 6 inches by 11 inches. Again my appreciation for all of Bob Connison's help.
This 1946 Format 1 Trailer plate is the last of this type until next week. Format 1 included 0001 to 9999. Again all plates were 4 characters. There were 4 serial number progressions used that year, and the plates measured 6 inches by 11 inches. Thank you Bob Connison. Check back next week for more older trailer plates.
In the years following World War 2, the increasing number of car registration led to a growing number of serial progressions. For 1948 Passenger plates there were 10 such groupings with this plate being part of Format 6. Some progressions used both 4 and 5 character serial numbers. All plates measured 6 inches by 11 inches.
Here is a 1950 Format 8 Passenger plate. Format 8 consisted of the series AA10 to ZZ999, so both 4 and 5 character serial numbers were issued. All plates measured 6 inches by 11 inches. 1950 used a total of 11 serial format progressions. Click the link above to see examples of each. Still needed are several 4-character examples. Thanks to Michael Wiener for the use of this photo.
Very sad news — long time friend and fellow license plate collector Steve Ondik has passed away after a long struggle. If you didn't know him personally, you will likely recall his name associated with many contributions to this website. Rest in peace Steve.
This is a fairly recent Antique Vehicle plate judging by the number series progression and the map symbol. It is not a high however. The high plate, 3W34, does not have the map symbol and it does not have the sticker well. We still don't know why a later plate would be missing the most current features.
Here's the latest photographed high Collectible Vehicle plate. The first batch of these newer style plates runs from CV1600 to CV1699 and dates back to 2014, but so far only about forty-some plate have been issued. This is why this plate still has the sticker well and no map. The plates will likely remain so until the CV1700 mark is reached.
This Severely Disabled Veteran vanity plate was spotted recently. The standard issue has D/V followed by a 5-digit serial number, the vanity format usess the same D/V with up to 5 letters, numbers, a space or dash. One unique feature of the Disabled and Severely Disabled Veteran plate is the retention of the original plate coloring, no visitPA family of plates here.
Here's the latest high Pennsylvania Hunting Heritage plate as recently spotted by Bruce Bufalini. The plate type dates back to 2014 and appears to have widespread appeal. The plate shown here does not yet have the small map outline. It is also available in a personalized version.
We start this week's oldies off with this 'shorty' Format 3 1939 Passenger plate. Format 3 included the series 1A00 to 9Z999 which included both 4 and 5-character plates. 4-character plates were 6-inch by 10-inch, and 5-character were 6-inch by 12-inch. Thanks to ebay seller Powerfullhammer for the use of this plate.
This is a 1944 Format 9 Passenger plate. Format 9 was the last run for the year and the progression would have been 1AA0 to 1AA99, then 2AA0 to 2AA99, finally ending at 4NB8. 4-character plates were 6-inch by 10-inch, and 5-character were 6-inch by 11-inch. They were issued as singles due to the war. Thanks to Michael Wiener at Bestplates for the use of the photo.
Here is a 1949 Format 6 Passenger plate. That format used a serial progression starting at 000A0 and going to 999Z9. All plates were 6 inches by 11 inches that year. This plate was spotted at a recent car show, and was being used as a YOM (year of manufacture) plate.
This is a 1956 Format 2 Passenger plate. For this format the serial progression ran from A100 to Z9999, so both 4 and 5 character plates were part of the equation. 1956 also saw the standardization of plates at 6 inches by 12 inches. Thanks to ebay user Powerfullhammer for the photo.
This is the earliest cardboard Temporary plate photo I have. This plate is dated 6-26-57. Considering the fact that this plate has progressed to a U-prefix, and an early all-numeric plate in the ALPCA Archives suggests that these plates may date back to 1941, this could be the earliest format for these cardboard temp plates. Thanks to ebay seller Harlots.n.hussies for the use of the image.
The more of these late '50s to late 60s vintage cardboard temp tags I see, the more it appears that the order in which they were made has little to do with the order in which they were issued. I'm going to suggest that this round of plates started with a 6-digit, all numeric format, then when that series became full it went to an alpha character in the first position, then in the second position, for example: 123-456, A12-345, then 1A2-345. I'm only referring to the plates with T PA T as the top legend. For this reason I'm going to group them by alpha-numeric sequence but then also list their known or approximate issue date. Thanks to Bob Connison for these photos, with a couple more from Bob next week.
This is a 1938 Format 1 Trailer plate which included the all-numeric run of 0001 to 9999. There was a second sequence of alpha-numeric plates starting with A000. All plates were 4 characters and all measured 6 inches by 12 inches. Bob Connison sent me this photo and was kind enough to send me a bunch of Trailer images that will be posted over the next few weeks.
This is a nicely refinished 1920 Class 2 Commercial or Truck plate. Information on weight classes is very sketchy; however the first digit in the serial number is believed to designate the class. The term 'Commercial' was used to designate a Truck in the early '20s and then again from 1968 to '77. This plate measures 7 inches by 13½ inches. The extra one inch in height is due to the placement of plate legend at both the top and bottom of the plate. Some 16 inch plates (see below) were 6 inches high since the extra length allowed all of the plate legend to be placed along the bottom, while other 16 inch plates had the legend at both the top and bottom and were 7 inches high — confusing. Thanks to Peter Cohen for the photograph.
This is also a 1920 Commercial plate, but this one is a Class 3. Like the plate above, it contains 5-digits, but unlike the plate above it is on a 6- inch by 16-inch base, and therefore the entire legend fits along the bottom of the plate. Another big thank you to Peter Cohen for the photo.
When PA finally embarked on a major plate replacement initiative in September of 1999, the first passenger plates to be replaced were those 1977-base yellow on blue plates. See License Plate Replacement Fact Sheet. The replacement plates were reportedly the first plates in the U.S. to have a web address on the plate. The plates also used flat screened legend and fading color bands. While the plates were completely new, the alpha-numeric serial numbers picked up at DAA-0000 after the previous yellow on blue base ended at or about CEG-3865. The plate shown here is one of the first issued replacement plates still on the road, and in pretty decent condition. Thanks to Jeff Lawson for the photo.
Here's a unique Penn Alumni, that's the University of Pennsylvania if you're not familiar. Their plate program has been around since 2005. The current reported high is 00448U/P according to Tom Perri's highs website. Thanks to Matt Boyer for this attention-grabbing vanity photo.
This is likely the second National Wild Turkey Federation plate issued when the program started back in 2002, and it's still on the road today. This plate program has never moved into the next generation of graphic formatting, and I have never seen an actual sample plate. Thanks to Nick Tsilakis for sharing this image.
Here's the latest image of a Rosedale Technical College plate. This plate program has an interesting history. The program began back in 2012 with the legend 'Rosedale Technical Institute'. Then in 2016 the facility changed its name and logo. It is unconfirmed, but possible, that both the original 2012 format and the 2016 update are in use. Both styles of the plate use the same serial progression of 00000R/I. Click the link above to see photos of both variations. Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for sharing what is also the current new high.
Here's a new high number Villanova University plate, now sporting the small map outline. The previous high, according to Tom Perri's PA Plates website, was 00442V/U and did not appear to have the small map. You may also recall older Villanova University Alumni Assoc. plates on the www base. They had the V/U in the prefix position. Many of those older plates are still in use. Thanks to Jaska Börner for the use of this plates
This is a 1956 Miscellaneous Dealer plate with the X-identifier in the first position. The X could also be in the second or third position, click the link above to see variations. Also plates toward the end of the run began using narrower dies often referred to as '57 dies. Thanks to Arthur Levine for the plate photo.
This is a needed 1935 Format 8 Passenger plate. The serial progression ran from 0AA to 9BD99, which would have allowed for 3, 4 and 5 character versions. The 3 and 4-character plates measured 6 inches by 10 inches, while those with 5 characters were 6 inches by 12 inches. Thanks to ebay user Powerfullhammer for the photo; however, I recently purchased this plate from him.
Not beautiful, but it does show the short version of a 1937 Format 8 Passenger plate. Short version means 4 characters with the serial format from AA10 to ZZ99 and 6" x 10" while 5 character plates had an additional digit and measured 6" x 12". Another thank you to Powerfullhammer for the use of the photo.
Here's a 1947 Format 7 Passenger plate. This series went from 0000A to 9999Z. Some other series had 4-character plates; however, both 4 and 5-character plates were 6 inches by 11 inches in size. Thanks to Arthur Levine for this photo. Still need a Format 9 (1AA00 to 9ZZ99) plate to complete the '47 run.
This Temporary Cardboard 1970-issue has been added. I'll be the first to admit my knowledge of these temp-tags is limited, but they do deserve coverage. Since these plate don't have any natural date legend, and since they may lie on a dealer's shelves for an extended period, it's not easy to give the plate a year unless the hand-written portions are legible. This plate is dated 1970 and was issued on to a Cadillac ambulance. The image came from Andy Vereen.
This is a 1939 Format 1 Trailer plate. Format 1 included the serial progression from 0001 to 9999, then the next progression started at A000 with the letter advancing last. All serial numbers contained four characters and all plates measured 6 inches by 12 inches. Thank you to Peter Cohen for sending me a group of older trailer plates.
Next is this 1949 Format 2 Trailer plate. Format 2 included the series A000 to Z999. The first series was all-numeric from 0001 to 9999. All together there were 5 serial formats used that year. From 1945 through 1952 trailer plates were all 6 inches by 11 inches. The source of this photo is unknown.
Next is this very nice 1951 Format 2 Trailer plate. The Format 2 progression again ran from A000 to Z999, and followed the initial all-numeric run. By 1951 five digit plates came into use toward the end, it is unknown if any were issued prior to 1951. I have no 5-digit photos. Again thank you to Peter Cohen for the older trailer plates.
Here's the latest Conserve Wild Resources - River Otter plate. I thought it was strange that the only two plate photos I have are well over 01000. I did some checking and find that very few plates below R/C01000 have been issued. I'm not going to speculate as to why this is the case, but it does suggest that plate sales have not been as brisk as the plate number shown here might suggest. Thanks to Steve Ondik for the photo.
This Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society plate photo was provided by Jeff Lawson. I only have two additional images of this plate type, as a result, this is the low number. These plates date back to 2015. Somewhere around 164 of these plates have been issued so far.
This Teen Driver vanity plate was spotted recently by Bruce Bufalini. Apparently not too many teen drivers want to be identified as such. This plate type made its debut in 2013, and since that time only about 70 plates with a numeric serial number have been issued. With sales that weak, I'm surprised they are still available.
This recently spotted Permanent-Trailer plate is the latest reported high. Note that this plate does have the small map outline. That feature was previously spotted as far back as August of 2017, and is believed to have come about at PT-500D0. Vanities are not permitted. Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for the use of the image.
This pair of plates was spotted on the front of a vehicle. Apparently the owner likes PA rail trails and Delaware beaches. The PA Rails to Trails Conservancy plate program dates back to 1997, then they were reissued on the www base in September of 2001. Again in 2007 the plate was given a facelift and now appears on the visitPA base with color graphics. Of course those who choose to keep their plate on the www base could do so. The newest edition is also available as a vanity. The photo shown hers is courtesy of Jeff Lawson.
This is a 1927 Bus plate. The first character is the letter 'O'. Between 1926 and 1929 there were actually two types of Bus plates. There were plates with the 'O' prefix as shown here, and there were also plates with an 'H' prefix. From 1926 to 1929 omnibuses that carried passengers for hire and not required to have a certificate of convenience were designated by an "H" prefix. This also included buses that were not registered for hire before 1/1/1914. In 1929 a new law was passed requiring all buses to have this certificate and thereby ending the "H" prefix plate. After this, all common carrier and for hire buses used the "O" prefix until 1968 when the "BA" prefix came into use. Thanks to Drewski for the use of this photo.
These are two very welcome additions to the 1934 Passenger display. On the far left is a Format 2 plate which consists of the progressions A to Z999, in 6" x 10", and A1000 to Z9999, 6" x 12". The near left plate is a Format 8 which consists of series of AA100 to ZZ999, all of which are 6" x 12" in size. I want to thank ebay user Powerfullhammer for the use of these photos.
Here is a pair of 1949 U Class Truck plates. While these are both from the same weight class, they represent two of the four serial progressions used that year. Click the link above to see additional '49 truck plates and an additional U-class format. The far left plate is thanks to Jde609 and the other is from Peter Cohen.
Here's an addition to the 1951 Truck plate display. It's a Class T weight class of which there were two serial progressions including T000A, T00A0, with this plate being a part of the second group. Still need photos for the W to the ZZ class. Thanks to ebay-er Suzelush1 for the use of the photo.
Truck plates for 1952 were very similar to the '51 series with the obvious reversal of the colors, and plates were issued as singles rather than in pairs. The plate shown here shows one of the six serial formatting progressions - R0AA0 to R9ZZ9. Thanks to ebay user Bennyjoebob for the use of this photo.
Here's a U-weight class 1957 Truck plate Several changes are evident here, for starters the serial numbers of all truck plates are now 6 characters, thus simplifying the serial progressions. The additional space for 6 characters came from the plate width being standardized at 12 inches, and the use of a narrower font. Thanks to from Suzelush1 for the use of this plate photo.
This is the first photo-documented International Association of Fire Fighters (aka IAFF) plate with the map outline. It is also a vanity plate since it has only 4 character instead of the usual 5. Personalized plates with the map outline are often spotted before that feature is seen on the standard-issue plate. This photo was taken by Jordan Irazabal.
Here's a low-number vanity on the www base. At one time plates between 3 and 23 were reserved for cabinet members, and 24 and 999 were held in reserve for state officials and dignitaries. Could this plate be a carryover from that era? While today they are considered vanities, good luck getting a number under 100. The number 1 and 2 plates are unissued but are held in reserve for the Governor and Lt. Governor but have not been used as such in a number of years. Thank you Ryan Battin for sharing the photo. By the way, Tom Perri has a web page that features plates up to 100.
This low number Friendship Hook, Ladder, Hose & Ambulance plate was spotted recently. This fire company's plate program dates back to 2009. It appears that about 14 plates have been issued, and somehow we have photos of # 1, 2 and now 3. Thanks to Steve Ondik for the photo.
Here on the far left is a nice example of a Classis Car plate with the wrong serial number font. Next to it is a Classis Car with the correct font for reference. Classic plates date back to 1977, with the serial number likely starting at 10000. There was a series of 1000 plates between 20000 and 20999 that were stamped with conventional or passenger dies in place of the 'antique' dies. Who really knows what goes on behind prison walls? Thanks to Jeff Hinkle for sharing this photo.
This 'shorty' is a 1926 Format 1 Passenger plate. That group includes the numerical progression from 1 or 2 to 999 and measure 6" by 10". Click the link above to see a 2-digit plate and most of the additional seven formats with the exception of Format 5 which includes A to C-99 and Format 7 which includes A1-000 to C9-999. Thanks to Mike at Pl8source for the use of the photo.
Here is a very nice pair of 1937 Passenger plates that should not have the keystones flanking the plate legend. There was a run of these toward the end of production in the M, N and P-series. 1937 was also the first year to use the state map outline. Thanks to Peter Cohen for sharing these photos.
This seems like the week for 1917 Truck plates. I have been fortunate enough to acquire three new images this week. While the images are helpful in documenting the progressions and variations in formatting details, they also create new questions. This 1-star weight class is the first I've seen on the longer base and with the shorter legend of PA over 17 instead of PENNA over 1917. The S indicates solid rubber tires. Thanks to ebay-er 51jnj61 for the use of the image.
The two far left images are new postings. The plate on the near left is a previous posting shown for comparison. They are all a 3-star weight class 1917 Truck plates. The far left plate is S+4 digits and measures 6" by 14". The center plate is also S+4 digits but measures 6" by 16". Both use PENNA over the embossed keystone with the maker's number over 1917. The S+5 digit plate is also 6" by 16" but uses a shortened legend of PA and 17 in place of the above. So we're seeing three variations of 1917 3-star truck plates. Credit for these plates from left to right goes to Charlesgilbertantiquetoys, Peter Cohen and Bob Connison. If all of this weren't enough, the ALPCA Archives (members only) also shows a 1917 3-star S8799 plate with the shorter legend, making a total of 4 format variations for the 3-star series.
This is a 1938 Class R Truck. It is also part of the the fourth and last serial progression of R-series plates starting at R00AA. The use of two letters in the 4th and 5th position made it unnecessary to go to longer 6-character plates as was done in the previous several years. Thanks to Mitzipinehigh for the use of this photo.
Here is a pair of 1939 R-Class Truck plates. They represent the first and the third of the four serial formats used that year, which include R000A, R00A0, R0A00, R00AA. All plates were limited to 5 characters and all were 6" by 12". The far left plate is thanks to Peter Cohen, and the other is thanks to ebay user Likesandclicks.
This is a 1941 S-Class Truck plate. For that year there were four serial progressions within the S-weight class. These included S000A, of which this plate is a part, then S00A0, S0A00 and S00AA. As with other Truck plates of that era, all plates were 5 characters and all were 6" by 12" in size. This plate was provided thanks to ebay user Mg000000.
Here's a very nice photo of a Slippery Rock University plate. This is also a new high plate number. Slippery Rock has not moved their plate program into the 'family of plates' with the graphic formatting. I'm not being critical, many plate enthusiasts prefer the older, all embossed formatting shown here. This photo is thanks to Jordan Irazabal.
Here is a recent highway shot of a PA State Senator plate. Unfortunately when the image of the plate itself is cropped and fully zoomed in, the the image becomes a bit grainy. Anyway, the plate reads PA 21 and appears to be on the www base. A few plates have been seen on the visitPA base, none so far with the map outline. Thanks to Jake Vincent for sharing this photograph.
Here are some recent Person With Disability plates — one with numbers, one without. They both have the small map outline. The 72245PD is the latest reported high — there is no tracking of vanities, but the combinations are sometimes attention-grabbing. Thanks to Steve Ondik for the personalized plate photo.
Here is a recent photo of a Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue plate. It's the lowest number on this website. The current high is listed as 00210G/R on Tom Perri's website. These plates date back to 2013 — popular plate, popular dog. This plate photo came from Steve Ondik.
This is a Combat Action Ribbon plate. The number is 1 shy of the current reported high. This plate is part of a series of five Combat Action plates that came about as a result of Act 109 of 2014. Thank you to Steve Ondik for the plate photo.
We just showcased a pair of these last week. This Share The Road vanity was spotted this past week. It still has the sticker well. The one plate from 4/8 did not. Brendon Sherry suggests the owner might be saying, "I'm a triathlon". Anyway, the vanities seem popular. The numerical high is listed as under 500.
The Official Use - Commercial plate photo on the far left changes the the cutoff point for the use of the word COMMERCIAL. That word should never have been used on Official Use plates for trucks to begin with, but since it was used, it gets tracked. Previously it was believed that dropping the 'COMMERCIAL' legend and going back to 'OFFICIAL USE' took place at PA-2500A; however, the change took place between PA-2627A and PA-2996A.
Compare these two 1925 Passenger plates. Based on the serial numbers, both plates were produced toward the end of production for that year, yet the B series, which would have been closer to the end, is on a decidedly narrower font. The far left plate is from an anonymous ebay-er, while the 'B' plate was provided by Tim Gierschick a while back.
This is a photo of an interesting plate. It's a 1920 Commercial plate, which is the first year for that term to be used to designate a truck plate. That term was then used through 1923. It also has legend on the top and the bottom which caused the plate size to be increased to 7 inches high instead of the usual 6 inches. It should be noted that some 16-inch Commercial (Truck) plates from 1920 had all of the plate legend on the bottom line, thus enabling the plate to be 6 inches high. Click the link above to see additional formats. It was also the first year that truck plates did not use stars to designate weight classes. Instead, the first digit of the serial number is believed to indicate the weight class. By 1924, the weight classes were switched to the more familiar letter prefixes starting with R, S, etc. The plate is thanks to ebay user Charlesgilbertantiquetoys.
Here is a 1935 S-Series Truck plate. For many years the truck series ran from 'R' to 'Z' for lightest to heaviest single rear axle trucks, and 'RZ' to 'ZZ' for lightest to heaviest with 2 rear axles. Also within the 'R', 'S' and 'T' classes there were several serial progressions. In the 'S' series there were S000A, S00A0 (as shown here), S0A00, SA000 in 6" by 12" size and S00-00A in a 15" length.
This is a 1937 S-Series Truck plate. The '37 run included the following 5-characteer progressions S000A, S00A0, S0A00, SA000 on 12-inch plates and an overflow series of 6-character plates that were 15-inch and used the S00-00A series. Click the link above to see 3 of the 5 progressions. Thanks to ebay-er Nickelsndiamonds1013 for the use of this photo.
During the 1958 to '63 run and the 1964 to '67 Truck run, there were 21 truck classes in use. There was the usual R to Z weight classes for trucks with a single rear axle, RZ to ZZ for trucks with 2 rear axles, of which this plate is a part. Next was WT to ZT for truck tractors with 2 rear axles, and finally YX and ZX for trucks with 3 rear axles. This mint condition plate shown here is thanks to an ebay user who did not want credit. Beginning in 1968 an entirely new truck plate numbering system was used. Truck weight classes and axle combinations were no longer linked to the plate serial number.
You're not seeing double, but these personalized Person with Disability plates were issued as a pair. There is a two-plate option that applies to both standard and personalized Person with Disability plates. Vehicle owners who have a carrier on the rear of the vehicle for transporting a wheelchair or personal assistive device are authorized to be issued two identical plates since the assistive device and carrier may block visibility of the vehicle mounted plate. Standard issue dual PD plates come from the 98000PD series. The two-plate provision is also available to those who use Disabled Veteran plates or Severely Disabled Veteran plates.
Here's a new high number Animal Friends plate. This plate type dates back to mid-2009. Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for snapping this recent traffic shot. These plates cost $36, or if you'd like one personalized, the cost is $140. The organization is headquartered near Pittsburgh.
Here's a recent street shot of a Pittsburgh Harlequins Rugby Football Assoc. This organization has had a plate program since 2008. A plate check indicates they've had about 22 plates registered, vanity plates are unknown. This plate was photographed by Bruce Bufalini.
The Share The Road plate on the far left was recently spotted, while the plate on the near left was previously posted. While the 3-letter vanity arrangement makes them very similar, note the inconsistent spacing between the stacked prefix and the first letter. Thanks to Nick Tsilakis for the SAG image and for making the comparison. Since these vanities are not made as a series, there may not be a standard for spacing. The WNH plate photo came from Arthur Levine.
The Steel Worker plate photo on the far left I took in 2002 or 2003. To my knowledge no plates at the time had a colored logo. Aside from that, the plate appeared normal and legitimate. The plate photo in the near left was a recent shot of what at first glance looks like the same plate. Upon closer examination the fading bands of the www base are now solid like the visitPA base, the PENNSYLVANIA at the top, however, has retained the font used by the www base. It may have been repainted, but then the shape of the zeros is a little different. I really don't know what to make of this plate. Thanks to John Clark for the plate and the mystery.
This is a 1922 Format 1 Passenger plate. Click the thumbnail for a better view. Format 1 plates ran from 1 or 2 to 999, and measured 6 inches by 10 inches. The original colors on this plate were brown on cream. Click the link above to see a 2-digit plate as well as 4, 5 and 6-digit versions. Thanks to Ed for allowing the use of this plate photo.
Here's a pair of 1930 Passenger plates. The far left plate is a Format 3 plate with that series running from 0A to 9Z999. The near left is a Format 4 plate plate with that series going 00A to 99Z99. As can be seen the Format 3 series could be 2 to 5 characters, while the 4 series could be 3 to 5 characters. Either series can be 10 inches in length like the plates shown here, or 12 inches for 5 character editions. The far left plate is thanks to ebay-er Pinkocelot, and the other plates is thanks to ebay-er Powerfullhammer.
This is a 1934 Format 5 Passenger plate. That serial progression consists of 4 character plates from 000A to 999Z, and measuring 6" x 10", and 5-character plates running from 100A0 to 999Z9 which measure 6" x 12". Thanks to ebay-er Jeopardyboy1 for allowing the use of the photo.
Here is a 1945 Format 1 Passenger plate. This format includes the all-numeric progression of 1000 to 99999 Previously I posted a 4-digit plate, now with the addition of this 5-digit plate Format 1 is complete. Even with both 4 and 5 characters, all plates measured 6" x 11". From 1944 through 1946 plates were issued as singles. Again thanks to ebay user jeopardyboy1 for allowing the use of the photo.
Next up is this 1946 Format 3 Passenger. The Format 3 progression ran from 1A00 to 9Z999, so both 4 and 5-character serial numbers were used. Again the plate size was 6 inches by 11 inches, and they were issued as singles. Thanks to ebay user Fruitie1 for the use of the photo. For 1946 there are still three format groups for which I have no images.
The final photo for this week is this 1949 Format 5 Passenger tag. Again, as in other years of this era, both 4 and 5-character plates were issued; however, all measured 6 inches by 11 inches, and again from 1947 through 1951 they were issued in pairs. Another thank you to ebay-er Pinkocelot for the use of this plate photograph.
A short edition this week. Too many other projects and commitments.
This is a high number first generation Combat Infantryman Badge plate. By first generation I mean those plates that were issued prior to the removal of the sticker well and the addition of the small map. Plate 20179C/O was previously spotted showing the map. Thanks to Steve Ondik for the photo.
The U.S. Army Veteran plate on the far left was spotted this past week, and the plate on the near left was spotted a couple weeks ago. Note that the far left plate is now sporting the small map outline. This change likely took place at 13701A/R. Thanks to Tom Perri for both photographs.
Here's a traffic shot of a low number Lower Frederick Fire Company plate. Lower Frederick is part of Montgomery County. Their plate program has been around since 2011. Thanks to Steve Ondik for the plate photograph.
Here's the first image of a regular issue Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics plate. There was a previous image of a vanity. A plate check shows there have been some 45 plates registered since early 2016. This plate was spotted by Bruce Bufalini in Pittsburgh in the rain.
Eureka Volunteer Fire and Ambulance now has 5 plates in use. They are located in Stewartstown, south of York. Fairview Township Fire Dept. has 2 plates on the street. They are located a little south of Camp Hill. It won't be easy to spot plates with so few in use.
Legislative Update — House Bill 215 provides for the creation a special registration plate honoring women veterans, and for a special registration plate for recipients of the Legion of Merit. This bill was passed by the House in 2017, and first consideration by the Senate on March 26, 2018. This bill is likely to be passed.
This is a 1921 Format 3 Passenger plate. Format 3 covers serial numbers from 10-000 to 99-999. The plates measure 6" x 13½". Four sizes were used that year ranging from 6" by 10" for 1 to 3 digits up to 6" by 16" for 6 character plates. Thanks to ebay user Securityautoparts for the use of the photo.
Here's a 1955 Format 9 Passenger plate. I actually posted this on the Passenger page last week but missed posting it here on the home page. Format 9 plates consisted of the serial sequence of 1AA0 to 9ZZ99, allowing for both 4 and 5 character plates. Thanks to ebay user Jukeboxman for the use of this nice plate photo.
This plate might not look like anything unusual, especially since there is no identifying legend except for the year and state. It turns out that this is an R-Class overflow Truck plate. The R-series started at R-1 and after hitting R99-999, the R prefix became a suffix and the sequence started over. I saw this on ebay and the owner, Egostarlynx, gave the OK to use it.
A couple words to those who visit this website: As time goes on the, number of plate types continues to grow, and with that growth comes variations in formatting. Some variations are planned, some are unexplainable. In any case, it makes tracking the changes a growing challenge. On the plus side, this website would be nothing without the support of so many generous viewers, and members of Facebook and eBay.
Case in point. These are both recent Antique Vehicle issues. The far left plate in the V series would (or should) come before the the W series on the near left, but somehow the V-series has the map outline as expected, while the W series does not. At this point we don't know if the W without the map is one of, or if more of the series is like this. Thanks to Vern Kreckel of Kreckel Enterprises for sharing the V series photo, and thanks to Ryan Battin for the W plate which was previously featured.
In a previous post I had indicated that it seemed likely that Apportioned Truck plates would add the map outline at AG-67500. Obviously that didn't happen. I really don't like to make predictions, but when I do, they are usually based on some kind of data, not just on a wild guess. Anyway, it now appears that the change to the map will likely be at AG-72500. Thanks to Tom Perri for the use of his photo.
Here's the latest high Severely Disabled Veteran plate. This semi-flat version was first seen around June of 2013. Noteworthy is that this plate has escaped being brought into the family of plates. To the best of my understanding this is because the design of this plate is spelled out in the law that enabled the plate. Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for the photo.
This is also a new high U.S. Army Veteran plate. This series started at 10000A/R, and dates back to the latter part of 2009. It's a little hard to tell if this plate still has the sticker well but it does not have the small map outline. Thanks to Tom Perri for the use of this photo.
The continuing effort to locate pictures of older plates is becoming more of a challenge. As photos of the many format variations are found and posted, those remaining have become increasingly difficult to find.
These three Motorcycle Dealer plates have been added. For 1977, DLR plates were a single year issue after the '75 and '76 multi-year plate. Then in 1979, DLR plates were undated and used stickers up thru 2000. That series started at 1000 and likely went at 6999. That series never reversed the colors to yellow on blue as regular Motorcycle plates did around 1985. The 8874 plate is un-stickered, but likely issued toward the middle of the 7000 to 9999 issue which ran from September of 1999 to early 2006. Both blue and yellow plates are courtesy of Dave Lincoln.
Here's a 1923 Format 5 Passenger high number. What's unique about this plate is that Format 4 plates that ran from 100-000 to 852-394 or so were all 6" by 16" plates. Then plates starting somewhere around 883-073 and above were 6" by 15". This was likely done as a cost saving measure by reducing the size. Chuck Sakryd is offering this plate on his website.
This is a 1934 Format 4 Passenger plate. Format 4 consisted of plates from 00A to 99Z99. This format can be further broken down into 00A to 99Z as 6" x 10" plates, then 00A0 to 99Z99, also on 6" x 10" plates, and finally 00A00 to 99Z99 on 6" x 12" plates. The photo gallery now has images of all three sub-formats. Thanks to John Willard for the use of this image.
Here is a 1944 Format 7 Passenger plate. Format 7 was made up of the serial progression of 0000A to 9999Z, all of which measured 6" by 11", although some other progressions using 4 character were 6" by 10". Still needed for 1944 are Format 4 - 10A0 to 99Z99, Format 5 - 000A to 999Z and Format 9 - 1AA0 to 9ZZ9. Thanks to ebay-er Barklywheat for the use of the photo.
This is a 1945 Format 3 Passenger plate. Format 3 included the serial progression from 1A00 to 9Z999. This format includes both 4 and 5 character plates; however, all measured the same at 6" by 11". Still needed for 1945 are Format 5 - 000A to 999Z, and Format 9 - 1AA0 to 9ZZ9. Thanks to Charles Gilbert for allowing me to use this image from ebay.
Here's a 1951 Format 6 Passenger plate. Format 6 was made up of the serial progression of 000A0 to 999Z9, all of which were 6 inches by 11 inches. Still needed for 1951 is Format 10, which is made up of plates from 00AA to 99ZZ. This plate was made available from ebay user Ricksbestbuybooks.
While looking thru vehicle registration records of 1917, I noted that there were two classes of 1917 Traction Engine or Tractor registrations, and a two-tiered plate numbering system. I received help from Jake Eckenrode with the law and from Eric Tanner concerning the registration numbers. First Class traction-engines or tractors were used exclusively for agricultural purposes, road-grading, and transporting the machinery and appliances, which, when at rest, they operate with their own power; and excluding engines used for hauling of freight of any kind. Second Class traction-engines or tractors were used for freighting, which shall include all hauling upon the public highway, excepting such as is specified in [First Class]. The law dates back to 2015. So far there is nothing to suggest that there were physical differences in the plate classes themselves. It is also unknown how long the 2-class system was in effect, but is believed to be in use at least until 1920.
This the first U.S. Marine Corps (Active Duty) plate photographed. While this may seem like the 14th plate issued, plates 60001A/D and 60002A/D have been issued but then none until 60011A/D. It appears that this may be another 2-tiered numbering system, but I can't confirm this. This and other active duty plate types were announced in February of last year. This photo is thanks to Jordan Irazabal.
Here's another first-of-its-kind photo. This is the newest plate version from Saint Francis University, now on the visitPA base with a color graphic, and apparently the new series started at S/F00800. Thanks to Tom Perri's diligent efforts in getting this image. These may have been on the road for a while but a check indicates that there are only about 25 of the newer plates in use. Still need a photo of the first generation yellow on blue plate if anyone has one.
Here's another western PA organizational plate, this one from Point Park University, located in downtown Pittsburgh. Their plate program goes back to 2008. This low number photo is thanks to Tom Perri who indicated that these plates are in use on many of the college's own vehicles. There are about 40 or so plates in use.
Here's a new high Fraternal Order of Police plate. Somewhere between F/P21314 and F/P21420 this plate type made the transition to the small map base. These plates made their debut in 1987 on the yellow on blue base, and after being reissued in 2001 on the www base, they have made several minor changes. Thanks to Jordan Irazabal for sharing this photo.
I have to give a lot of credit to Tom Perri for his diligence and persistence in spotting these recent issue fire department plates now with the small map outline. From left to right these include Berwyn Fire Company, Brookhaven Fire Co. No. 1, and Tinicum Township Fire Company. As new plates are ordered, they are coming thru with the map. For all the latest in Pennsylvania highs, check out Tom's website http://www.paplates.com/.
This is a 1930 Format 2 Dealer plate. Starting in 1924, plates had no legend identifying them as a Dealer plates, the X in the serial number became the identifier. This format had the X in the second position with the serial progression as follows — 0X to 9X999. This also means that 4-character plate were 6" by 10", as shown here. 5 character plates measured 6" by 12". This plate is courtesy of ebay user oldies_museum.
Here is a 1930 Format 6 Passenger plate. This serial format consisted of plates from 0000A to 9999Z and was 1 of 10 formats. Plates with 4 or fewer characters were 6" by 10" and 5 character plates measured 6" by 12". This plate was part of a pair on ebay and was provided courtesy of contorakes1234.
This is a 1931 Format 3 Passenger plate. The serial numbers for this format ran from 0A to 9Z999, which would include 2, 3, 4 and 5-character plates on both 6" by 10" for 2 to 4 characters, and 6" by 12" for 5 characters as shown here. Thanks to ebay user 1bidder for allowing the use of this photo which was a part of a pair.
Here are two nice additions to the 1933 Passenger plate section. The first is a 4 character Format 4 plate which included serial numbers from 00A to 99Z99. As can be seen, plates can be 3, 4 or 5 characters. The 3 and 4-charater plate measured 6" by 10" as shown here. This plate is thanks to ebay user carstuffstore. The KV444 plate is a Format 8 plate with the serial progression from AA100 to ZZ999, all plates being the larger 6" by 12". Credit for this plate goes to ebay seller licenseplatekingcompany.
Here is a nice example of a 1932 R-Class Truck plate. The legend Truck or Commercial was not used at the time; the alpha-numeric formatting was the clue. For 1932 truck plate weight classes went from R to Z, excluding X, for single rear axle vehicles and RZ to ZZ for duel rear axle trucks. All truck plates had 6-characters and measured 6" by 15". Thanks to Troy E. Payson, fellow ALPCA member #8766 from New York who was offering this plate on ebay.
This is a 1936 R-Class Truck plate. For that year, there were five serial progressions for the R-class including R000A, R00A0, R0A00, RA000 all of which were 5 characters and measured 6" by 12". Then there was an overflow series of R00-00A, which because of the 6 characters were on 6" by 15" plates. The plate shown here is part of that overflow series. The photo was provided by ebay user ustho-dffvjx.
This is a 1954 Y-Class Truck. For that year, there were two serial progressions for the Y-class including Y000A to Y999Z and Y00A0 to Y99Z9. The Y was the weight class, see description under the 1932 plate above. All truck plates in 1954 measured 6" x 10¼", and all were 5 characters. The photo was provided by ebay user allmdona.
This is definitely not one you see in your everyday travels — especially the #1 plate. The Retired Legislator plate type was first seen back in 2004. It is believed that the numbers are issued, where possible, to correspond with the legislative district of which there are currently 203 districts in PA. Thanks to Eric Conner for this great plate find.
Another PennDOT anomaly. Beginning in 2005 Antique Vehicle plates went to the 'Family of Plates' format with a sticker well that was never used, then more recently several vanities were seen with no sticker well and no map outline, then regular issue Antique Vehicle plates were seen without the sticker well and with the map outline. Now as the progression continues, we see plates, like the one shown here, without the sticker well and without the map outline. At this point it is unknown if this is an error plate or another formatting variation. Thanks to Ryan Battin for the plate photo.
Here's a recent traffic shot of a Share the Road high number plate. These are part of the Special Fund plate series. Plate sales are intended to fund the position of Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator as well as funding highway bicycle signage. The program dates back to August of 2016. Thanks to Bruce Bufalini for the plate photo.
Here's the latest Expeditionary Forces Veteran high number plate. As can be seen, this series still has the sticker well. Removal of that feature and the addition of the small map is expected at E/F3100. While I'm not a fan of the 'family of plates' look, I do like the the use of a 4-digit serial number over the more common 5-digit format on most other plate types. Thanks to Steve Ondik for sharing this traffic shot.
Added these very nice Motorcycle Dealer plates from the 70s. They are not the first of such plates on display here but they do add some variety and depth to the displays. The far left is a 1970, in the center is a 1974, which is followed by a stickered 1976. All of these images came from Dave Lincoln some time ago.
Here is a pair of Temporary tags from 1960 on the far left and likely 1961 on the near left. Unlike regular registration plates of the time, these were issued as needed and were not likely directly associated with an annual registration period.
Last week we featured a group of 11 plates from 1916 to 1935 all with the same 3000 serial number. This week we have a another group of 10 plates from 1923 to 1935, not all inclusive, but all with 3001 as the serial number. These were part of the same Guy W. Moore estate sale. See last week's article for more details. This week's 3001 plates consist of 1923, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1934 and 1935. Or to view all the plates on the same page click here. Many thanks to Bongocruiser2 for allowing the use of these images.
A pair of 3002 passenger plates from 1934 and 1935 have also been added. They are also part of the groups shown above and last week, and are also thanks to Bongocruiser2. To view all the plates on the same page click here.
Here is a 1940 Format 4 Passenger plate. Format 4 is made up of the series 10A0 to 99Z99, with 4 character plates measuring 6" x 10", and 5-character being 6" x 12". The plate gallery also shows a 5 character plate from this series. Thanks to ebay-er timelesscollections for the use of this photo.
This is a 1951 Format 9 Passenger plate. Format 9 consists of the series from 1AA0 to 9ZZ99. There were both 4 and 5-character versions of this series. In 1951 all plates were 6" by 11". Still need a Format 6 — 000A0 to 999Z9, and a Format 10 — 00AA to 99ZZ for '51. Thanks to hpr4661 for the use of this image. This was on ebay as part of a 3 plate series.
At long last the PA National Guard gets it own plate for current members of the Guard. Yes, there is another National Guard plate also shown here. That plate has been around for many years but has always been listed as an organizational plate rather then a military plate. None of the newer plates are on the road yet, but they are available. It is unknown if the vintage version of this plate will continue to be available. The new plate requires form MV-150AD and $21.
Here's another new organizational plate in the works — Associated Alumni of the Central High School. This refers to the Central High School of Philadelphia. This school has a long history, and very stringent admissions and academic standards. As of now, there are no plates registered.
Here's a hot-off-the-press 2018 Passenger vanity plate showing the new map. This plate is definitely an eye-catcher with its unique serial number. Thanks to Nick Tsilakis for sharing this plate photo.
A photo of this plate type has been a long time coming. These U.S. Merchant Marine plates first hit the streets around June of 2013 but for some reason have managed to avoid the camera lens until now, but thanks to Ed Pfaeffle we now have a photo. This is also the highest number plate registered.
Here's a very nice shot of the latest high Classic Vehicle plate from Bill Stephens. Classic plates have been popular for many years. They date back to 1976 with a starting serial number of 10000 using what I call the antique font. After hitting 99999, The letter 'C' was added as a prefix and the number series started again. Then after reaching C27899, the traditional appearance was replaced with the family of plates look and the redundant use of Classic Vehicle twice on the plate.
Recently I saw a unique group of passenger plates on ebay and contacted the owner about using some of the plate images to fill gaps. Then I thought, why not show them all. After all this was a run of the same number plate starting with 1916 and going to 1935, with a few years missing. The owner, Bongocruiser2, was good with the idea. Obviously there had to be a story behind this long succession of like-numbered plates. The 1917 plate registry indicated that the number 3000 plate was registered to Guy W. Moore, 296 Wyoming Ave., Kingston, PA. A census search showed that he was 72 years old on the 1940 census, making him 49 in 1917. He was a successful figure in the newspaper and banking business in the area. He also owned a unique Spanish-style home that was built in 1912, and torn down in 2016. Here is a link to a Citizens' Voice article which tells more about his life and home. The plates came from an estate sale which suggested that they had been owned by the same person. The 1917 Passenger plate shown above is the first Format 3, 4-digit plate on this website.
Next in this series are these 1918 Passenger and 1921 Passenger plates. The highlight of this pair is the 1918 plate, which is the first Format 2, 4-digit plate photo on this website. Format 2 is the second of three plate sizes used that year. Also the 1921 plate used a dash separator.
Here is a trio of even numbered year passenger plates including 1924, 1926 and 1928. The odd years in between would have had the colors reversed. The '24 and '28 plates measure 6" by 10", while the '26 plate with the dash is 6" by 12". The '28 also has the legend moved to the top of the plate.
This last group of four #3000 plates shows a 1930, 1932, 1934 and a 1935. Note the 1934 plates uses a new font with a flat top 3. This change actually took place in 1934. The 1934 plate is also the first 4-character numeric plate on this website.
Check back next week for a similar run of 3001 and a couple 3002 plates between 1923 and 1935.
Click the thumbnail for a better image. This is a 1939 Format 7 Passenger plate. This is from the progression 0000A to 9999Z, and measures 6" by 12". For 1939 there were also some 4-character formats that measured 6" by 10". Thanks to ebay user avintagefind for the use of this and other photos. This plate was being sold as part of a pair.
Next up is this 1951 Format 11 Passenger plate, which included the series of 00AA0 to 99ZZ9. In '51 all passenger plates measured 6" by 11", even 4-character plates. There were also 13 format progressions used that year. Thanks to ebay user avintagefind for the use of this and other photos. This plate was being sold as part of a pair.
This is a 1956 Format 6 Passenger plate representing the serial progression from 000A0 to 999Z9. In 1956 all full-size plates were standardized at 6" by 12". Even with the wider plates, no more than 5 characters were used. Toward the end of the '56 run, narrower serial dies (fonts) came into use, all of which helped set the stage for the start of 6-character plates in 1957.
The Barren Hill Volunteer Fire Company is also in the process of establishing their own organizational license plate program. They are located in Lafayette Hill, Montgomery County, a little northwest of Philadelphia. They have no plates on the street yet.
Here's another of the seemingly endless variations of Flyer Wives Charities/Charity plates. So far we've had Charities plural, then Charity singular, then plates with no sticker well and no small map outline, and finally with the addition of small map outline. Each of these variations also came with the standard serial number and as an optional vanity. Matt Ciecka spotted this latest iteration.
Here's a new high number Mount St. Mary's University plate. This plate program dates back to 2010. The facility is a small private Catholic college located in Emmitsburg, MD, just south of the Mason-Dixon Line, not far from Gettysburg, PA.
A recent check now shows that the following facilities, which initially had no plates on the street, now have plates in use: Mount Aloysius College — 2 plates; Eureka Volunteer Fire and Ambulance — 5 plates; Fairview Township Fire Dept. — 2 plates. With so few plates in use, it will be a challenge to find and photograph any of these.
Here's a very recent photo of the latest high Operation Iraqi Freedom plate. This veteran plate type dates back to 2005. This plate still has the sticker well. Bases on some research data, I believe that 04900I/F will have the small map outline. Thanks to Jordan Irazabal for sharing this photo.
Here are a couple pictures I dug out of my photo archives. The far left is a 1947 Motorcycle Dealer plate, near left is a '49 MCD. Their designs are essentially the same with the serial numbers starting at 1 each year and going to at least 367 in '47 and to at least 459 in '49. The 218 is from Dave Lincoln, the source of the 42 plate is unknown. If this is your plate let me know so I can credit you.
We jump ahead to this low-number 1964 Motorcycle Dealer plate. Note the 2-digit stacked year and the MCD designator are the same as above but the PA has been changed to PENNA and moved to the space where the expiration date had been. The source of this plate is unknown. If this is your plate let me know so I can credit you.
Here's a 1968 Motorcycle Dealer plate. Backing up a year to 1967 the MCD was changed to DLR and the word MOTORCYCLE was added to the bottom border. It is also believed that in 1968 the numeric sequence started at 1000 instead of the traditional 1.
This is a 1937 Format 6 Passenger plate. That progression went from 000A0 to 999Z9, and all measured 6" by 12", although some 4-character plates from other formats measured 6" by 10". 1937 was also the year where a short run of plates used a keystone on either side of the plate legend. The most striking 1937 feature, however, was the use of the state map outline to form the plate border. This plate is courtesy of Pl8source.
Here is a very nice 1948 Format 2 Passenger plate with the series running from A100 to Z9999. So both 4- and 5-character plates were used in some progressions. From 1944 until mid-1952 plate size was kept at 6" by 11" regardless of the number of characters. This plate is also thanks to Pl8source.
Here's another 4-character plate, this being a 1952 Format 4 Passenger. Format 4 went from 10A0 to 99Z99. So again 1952 plates used both 4- and 5-character displays. It was also the year of the shrinking plate. Part-way thru the year the plate size was reduced from 6" by 11" to 6" x 10¼". Again thanks to Pl8source for the use of the image. Many of Pl8source plates are available on ebay.
Next we add this 1946 V-Class Truck plate. The truck letter prefixes designated the weight class and number of axles starting with R and going to Z for 2-axle, and from RZ to ZZ for 3-axle trucks. No X class as the X is reserved for Dealer plates. All truck plates that year measured 6" by 11". This plate is thanks to Chuck Sakryd.
We knew that this plate was somewhere in the pipeline. Now we have a plate to put with the name, that being North Strabane Fire Department, and only a prototype so far. As of now there are no active plates. They are located in Strabane Township, adjacent to Canonsburg Borough in Washington County, Pennsylvania, 18 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. Watch for a couple more new plates in the next couple weeks.
This Honoring Our Veterans vanity plate was recently spotted. While this plate benefits the Veterans Trust Fund, it is not a veterans' plate, rather it's part of the Special Fund plate series. This plate type dates back to late 2012 with current serial numbers around 02695H/V. The small map outline has not been seen yet. This is the only Special Fund plate available in a Motorcycle format.
Here is a pair of Bronze Star for Valor plates. Noteworthy here is the presence of a validation sticker on the 00147B/V plate, while the 00167B/V plate has the small map outline. These originally came out in 2012, and so far only about 170 of these plates have been issued. The far left plate is courtesy of Jaska Börner, and other image, which is a recent photo, is from Ryan Battin.
Next is this pair of U.S. Marine Corps Veteran plates. The 13407M/C plate is considered a new high, and was recently spotted by Steve Ondik. This series started at the 10000 mark back in 2009. The SMOKEM/C plate is an older photo of a vanity. That photo is courtesy of Arthur Levine.
This very low number 1927 Motorcycle Dealer plate. There appears to be different opinions as to the size of low numbered M/C Dealer plates. This X+2-digit plate measures 4½" by 8". One thought is that X+1 digit plates measure 4½" by 6". If this were true, it doesn't seem logical that the 6-inch size would be used for only 9 plates — X1 to X9. On the other hand, 4½" by 6" Motorcycle plates were issued that year for 1 to 3-digit plates. Anyone wish to weigh in on this? This plate is courtesy of ebay user sree5440.
You don't see 'em any nicer than this. This 1927 Format 6 Passenger plate was a needed image. Format 6 means the plate is within the series of A10-000 to D99-999, and the 6-characters also means that the plate will measure 6" x 15". There were also 10" and 13" plates where fewer characters were used. A plate photo in the A to D999 range is still needed. The plate is courtesy of Jake Eckenrode.
Here's a 1946 Format 6 Passenger plate. Format 6 plates ran from 000A0 to 999Z9, with the letter advancing last as always. All plates for that year were 6 inches by 11 inches, most were 5-character plates but some were 4-character. This plate and a few others belong to Ray Liller. If anyone is interested in any of his plates, let me know and I can provide contact information.
This is a 1951 Format 13 passenger plate. Format 13 plates included the series D000A to P999Z. It is my belief that the reason this series started at the letter 'D' was because the 'C' series (C123A) would have been reserved for Transit Dealer plates. 1951 is the first year where the series was above 'D' was reserved, meaning A, B and C. It then continued thru 1956, after which dealer plates went to 6 characters. This plate is also courtesy of Ray Liller.
Here's a 1955 Format 7 Passenger plate. Format 7 included plates from 0000A to 9999Z. All plates measured 6" by 10¼". There were some 16 formats that year which were probably pushing the limits of what could be done with only 4 and 5 character combinations. Thanks to Pl8source for the use of this image.
This 1955 Format 3 Trailer plate is actually one of 6 different serial progressions used that year. That may seem like a lot, but all except one of the formats were limited to only 4 characters. The last of the formats is a 5-digit all numeric arrangement. All '55 plates measured 6" x 10¼", this being the last year for these short plates. This very nice plate photo was provided by Steve Ondik.
Here's the latest Amateur Radio plate — that term being used interchangeably with Ham Radio. Note the addition of the small map outline in place of the sticker well. Aside from those anticipated changes, the plate remains essentially the same as previous plates. Click Older Plates to see the history of Amateur Radio plates in PA. This plate image is thanks to Craig Wanner.
This Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue plate was spotted recently. It's not a new high, but it's close with the current reported high of 00210G/R according to Tom Perri's website. This plate program dates back to 2013. This does appear to be an active plate program, and does not require membership as a prerequisite.
This Vietnam Veterans of America organizational plate program dates back to 1992. The original yellow on blue plates were replaced in 2001 on a number for number basis up to V/N01159. When new plates were requested after the completion of the replacement process, the number series jumped ahead to V/N02000, creating a two-tiered system, with this plate being the first issued in the higher group. Since 2005 this organization has also issued a color graphic version for those who wanted them.
This Person With Disability plate photo is the second photo of this plate type with the standard serial number and with the small map outline, the first was seen back in December. Also a P/D vanity with the map was spotted as far back as last June. This addition of the map outline took place at 72000PD.
Here on the far left is the latest high Official Use plate. This is part of the group that is issued in pairs for passenger type vehicles. At some point in the future, this plate type will be redesigned on the visitPA base as depicted in the prototype shown next to it; however, this may not happen until reaching 42000P/A.
Click on this 1911 Dealer thumbnail. This plate may very well be the nicest porcelain plate I've ever seen. At first I wondered if it was a reproduction, but the rear of the plate showed the Ing-Rich manufacturer's marking. It measures 6" by 14". This 108 year old gem was seen at a recent Sporting Collectors Meet in Bellefonte. Unfortunately I did not get the name of the owner.
Here's a 1921 Dealer plate. After 1915 all early plates were steel. This plate, and all '21 Dealer plates, measured 6-inches by 16-inches. The colors were black on yellow. The serial progression that year went from X1 to beyond X11-000. This plate belonged to John Willard and John Anshant.
Here's a needed alpha-numeric 1942 Motorcycle plate. These came along after the all-numeric series of 1 to 9999 was exhausted. There was also a third format of 1A00 to 9A99 of which I have never seen. Thanks to Harry Campbell and Todd Mickinak for allowing me to photograph their plates.
Here's another needed alpha-numeric 1942 Motorcycle plate with a 1943 Motorcycle validation strip. As you may know, there were no plates stamped 43, so the black on red validation strip was added to a 42 plate for 1943. I'm guessing that if you registered a new motorcycle or other vehicle for the first time in 1943, you would get a new 1942 plate + the 43 strip. Again thanks to Harry Campbell & Todd Mickinak.
And another needed alpha-numeric plate. Like the D806 plate from 1942 above, this 1946 Motorcycle also would have been issued after the all-numeric series of 1 to 9999 had been used. All of the motorcycle plates shown here and above measure 4½" by 8". Again many thanks to Harry Campbell and Todd Mickinak for the photo op.
While this 1972 Motorcycle plate appears to be nothing special, it does fill a gap. Some time ago Harry Campbell and I collaborated on a project to categorize the serial ranges of the 1971 to 76 plate run by material — steel or aluminum, and by reverse paint color — blue or yellow. The plate shown here is a Format 1B which means it is made of aluminum, and the reverse color is blue. Again thanks to Harry and Todd.
This 1942 Format 2 Tractor plate represents the alpha-numeric format which was used after the all-numeric format was exhausted. The numeric series started at 0001 and all plates were 4 characters. The actual high is not known. This plate measures 6 inches by 12 inches. Thanks to John Willard and John Anshant for allowing me to photograph their plates.
The final entry this week is a 1951 Format 2 Tractor. Like the plate above, this also represents the alpha-numeric series which followed the all numeric series, which also started at 0001. Unlike the plate above, the size had been reduced to 6 inches by 11 inches. Again my thanks to John Willard and John Anshant for the opportunity to photograph their plates.
Here's a Flyers Wives Charities vanity plate. This series of plates which had its start back in December of 2006, has gone thru a couple variations. The first edition, of which this plate is a part, used Flyers Wives Charities as the plate legend, then came the switch to the singular Flyers Wives Charity. The sticker well was removed, at or around, the same time. The next change was the addition of the small map outline. Not easy to stay on top of all these changes. Thanks to Nick Tsilakis for the plate photo.
While on the subject of Philly sports teams plates, and with it ironically being Super Bowl Sunday, I received a recent confirmation from Ralph Lindken that the Eagles Youth Partnership license plate program has been discontinued. I suspected this back in 2016 and now it is confirmed. This plate type had its start back in 2010, from then until the program ended, about 788 plates were issued. The plates shown here are not recent photos. The 00652E/P is thanks to Steve Ondik.
This is the first Trailer plate spotted with small map base and without sticker well. It is believed that this series started at XKY-0000, after the previous format progressed to XKX-9999. The small map outline had been previously seen on a Trailer vanity plate, and like other plate types, the vanities hit the street before regular issue. This plate was spotted by Bruce Bufalini.
This is a 1942 Passenger plate. For that year there were 10 different plate formats. This is a Format 4 plate which goes from 10A0 to 99Z99. That progression includes both 4 and 5 character plates, so 6" x 10" and 6" x 12" sizes were used. This plate was listed on ebay, and the owner, OldiesMuseum, was kind enough to let me use it.
Next in line is this 1947 Passenger plate. For that year all passenger plates are believed to be 6" by 11". This is a Format 8 plate running from AA100 to ZZ999. This plate is also listed on ebay. Again many thanks to Make at Pl8source for allowing the use of many plate photos.
These 1947 Passenger plates are a Format 2 using the progression A100 to Z9999, and a Format 6 using 000A0 to 999Z9. The the far left plates is thanks to ebay seller Bigspike5100 and the near left plate is from ebay seller Southernstylenc.
Here's a 4-character 1948 Passenger plate. This plate is part of Format 5 which consists of plates from 000A to 999Z. There were 10 different serial formats used that year. Most '48 plates had 5 characters, however all plates measured 6 inches by 11 inches. Thanks to atomicamericana for the use of this image.
This 1957 Passenger plate fills the Format 6 gap which includes the series 000A0 to 999Z9. This leaves one remaining plate format of 00AA to 99ZZ. 1957 had 13 passenger formats consisting of 4, 5 and 6 character. There also three different serial number fonts used. More on the fonts in the near future. This plate photo is courtesy of ebay user SecurityAutoParts.
These 1957 Passenger plates were added as replacement images where the previous photos were of lesser quality. The NN17 plate is thanks to John Willard and John Anshant, the 51AA9 photo is thanks to Pl8source.
These Temporary Transit cardboard tags are from Steve Ondik. The far left tag has a handwritten date of 1977, while the other plate has a 1979 date. The Temp Tags themselves don't correspond directly with a year of issue. If anyone has early Temp Tags from the 1940s thru the 1990s they would be welcome.
Here's a 1958 Class S Truck plate with a 60 validation sticker. There were two serial progressions for the S-class including S00-00A, of which this plate is a part, and S00-0A0, a photo of which had been previously posted. 1958 had more truck classes than ever before including, 2 axle, 3 axle, 4 axle and even several classes for truck tractors. Thanks to Pl8source for the use of the image.
Most of these Antique Vehicles go into hibernation this time of year, but Bruce Bufalini spotted the latest high on this 1988 Toyota that appears to have survived more than a few Pennsylvania winters. The current format of Antique Vehicle plates started at 0R00 and signaled the debut of the small map outline, and this format was first spotted on Antique Vehicle plates back on November of 2017.
Here's a recent photo of an American Legion plate that is showing signs of its age. This number would have been issued originally on the yellow on blue base, and would have been replaced number for number on the www base back on 8/10/2001. So yes, this plate has been around for a while. Plates issued after the 2001 replacement process started at A/L02500.
Here is a 1935 Format 6 Passenger plate from eBay seller 1982boova. The plates are yellow on blue. Format 6 consists of plates from 0000A to 9999Z all of which are 6" x 12", although some formats with 4-character plates measured 6" X 10". This 1935 plate is currently up for grabs on eBay as item 192434828273. Thanks to 1982boova for the use of the photo.
Here is a 1942 Format 7 Passenger plate from eBay seller 1982boova. This is actually part of a plate pair. The plates are blue on yellow. Format 7 consists of plates from 0000A to 9999Z all of which are 6" x 12", although some formats with 4-character plates measured 6" X 10". This 1942 plate is currently up for grabs on eBay as item 192434825262. Thanks to 1982boova for the use of the photo.
This week's installment of Snowmobile Dealer plates or stickers are from 2000 and 2001. The use of these vinyl stickers has been the standard for snowmobile dealers since 1975 up to the present although the most recent one I have is 2005. These images came from Jeff Lesher. Hopefully there will be more of these in the future.
While I don't intend to make Temporary plates a high priority, it has been added as a new plate category to the N to Z History Page. This plate is in nearly-new unused condition. It measures 6" by 11", along the bottom are spaces for the following data: Issued; Expires; Make; and Serial. Unfortunately none of these plates are dated, only a hand-written date at the time of issue which this tag does not have. I'm guessing this plate is from the late 1960s. I do have good photo-documentation of the Temporary Intransit plates from 2000 to today. Those will be added as time permits.
This 1951 Tractor plate has been added. All tractor plates for '51 were four character, which could be all-numeric as shown here, or alpha-numeric such as A123. Presently I have no alpha-numeric photos. All plates were 6 inches by 11 inches. Thanks to Clayton Moore for this photo.
Next is this low number 1953 Format 1 Tractor plate. Like the '51 plates described above, all '53 plates were also 4 characters. This is a good example of a low number plate with a leading zero. The series actually started at 0001. The one difference between the '51 and '53 is that the size has been reduced to 6" x 10¼". Thanks to Tim Gierschick for the plate photo.
With the two different plate sizes above, why not add a third size with this 1956 Format 1 Tractor plate. This plate measures 6" by 12" which had become the standard size. This plate also follows the same serial formatting progressions as the tractor plates above. Again the image is thanks to Tim Gierschick.
While on the subject of tractor plates here's a nice addition of a 1930 Tractor Dealer plate. These plates were 6" by 12" with a likely serial progression of TX-1 to TX-99. Tractor Dealer plate history is very sketchy at best, with plates being scarce or non-existent. I have little information and no plate photos from 1931 to 1949. This photo was provided by Tim Birkmire.
Here's a 1938 S-Class Truck plate. For 1938 there were 4 plate serial number progressions within the S Class, with this plate being part of S000A format. All truck plates were 5 characters with the weight class designated by the first letter. Weight classes started with R and went to ZZ, skipping the X. This plate was made available thanks to Pl8source.
This 1955 S-Class Truck plate also has 5 characters, but for this year there were 5 plate serial number progressions within the S Class, with this plate being part of S00AA format. Weight classes again started with R and went to ZZ, skipping the X. Truck plates with a 2-letter prefix are very rare, as 3-axle trucks at the time were much less common. This plate was made available thanks to from Pl8dog.
Per the request of some viewers, the text color has been changed to a more subdued tone for new postings.
Here's the latest high Emergency Vehicle plate spotted. It appears that the addition of the small map outline came about at EV-71000. This change has not been seen yet in the lower tier of EV plates currently in the 36000 series. That group advances much more slowly than the upper tier. While overhauling the Emergency Vehicle history section, several images were added to the current plate section and a couple were removed. See updates below.
The Emergency Vehicle History Section has been reorganized and enlarged with the addition of a number of photos, too many to show here. That section now starts with the EV-10058 shown here, the lowest number EV plate I've seen. The series started at EV-10000, and 1977 is believed to be the starting year. That plate is thanks to Steve Ondik. At EV-15000 the plate colors were reversed as seen in the EV-23280 plate from Jim Moini. Then for a while the word VEHICLE was pluralized, and later made singular again. When the plates went to the family of plates / visitPA base they were split into a 2-tiered numbering system. And today the plate can even be configured as a vanity.
This is a Format 5 1930 Passenger plate. That progression ran from 000A to 999Z9, so both 4- and 5-character plates were issued. This plates measures 6 inches by 12 inches; however, there were also 6- by 10-inch tags where the serial number was 4 characters or less. Thanks to Shane Oake from Australia for the use of this plate photo.
This 1949 Passenger plate is part of the group I call Format 5 which is made up of plates from 0000A to 9999Z. Some '49 formats include both 4 and 5 character plates, but all are 6 inches by 11 inches, and were issued in pairs. Thanks much to Shane Oake for the use of this plate photo.
This very nice 1952 Passenger plate photo helps fill the Format 4 gap which consists of 10A0 to 99Z99. This group is made up of both 4 and 5 character plates. Early and mid-year plates (Formats 1 to 9) measured 6" x 11", later plates (Formats 10 thru 13) were reduced to 6" x 10¼". 1952 was the first year that PA switched to single plates. Thanks again to Shane Oake for the use of this plate photo.
Here's a 1953 Passenger 4-character Format 9 plate. Format 9 consisted of plates from 1AA0 to 9ZZ99. There were both 4- and 5-character serial combinations; however, regardless of the number of characters, the plates were all 6" x 10¼", and issued as singles. Thanks to Pl8 Source for the use of this plate photo.
This week's installment of Snowmobile Dealer plates or stickers are from 1992 and 1999. I've been posting these for the past couple weeks, but if you missed that, these are all 3" by 5" and made of vinyl. Thanks to Jeff Lesher for the use of his photos. Check back next week for a couple more.
This trio of Suburban plates has been added to the Suburban History section, which also received a facelift. Some viewers may be old enough to remember these short-lived plates, with their characteristic 'Q'. These were used on station wagons at the time, which is almost an archaic term today for a sedan with an extended roofline over a passenger or cargo area. They also had tailgates in place of a trunk lids. Today the closest body style would be an SUV or crossover. These plates were issued from 1960 thru 1964 with sticker renewals, and employed some 8 serial formatting progressions from 4 to 6 characters. The far left plate is from Pl8 Source, the center plate is thanks to John Willard, and the 4-character plate is from Drew at Pl8s.com.
These Tractor plates from 1945, 1947 and 1952 were added to the history page. They don't represent any formatting discoveries but they do provide some added variety to the photo displays. The '45 plate likely came from ebay some years ago, while the '47 and the '52 plates were from Tim Gierschick.
Here's a welcome addition to the 1924 Truck series with this S-class plate. Beginning in 1924 the use of the letter truck weight classes came about. Weight classification system ran from R thru Z, excluding X, and with the letter normally in the prefix position. There were three different lengths depending on the number of characters on the plate. This was the largest of the three measuring 6" by 15". I saw this and a number of other very nice older PA plates on Facebook. The owner, Shane Oake, from South Australia, was kind enough to let me use some of his plate photos.
Any guesses? It's a 1933 T Weight Class Truck. Thanks to Tim Gierschick for spotting this on ebay, and thanks to the plate owner, Threelabssalvage, for giving me the go-ahead to use the image. These plates were prison-made, issued in pairs, and measured 6" by 15". The series format was T10-000.
This 1958 U-Class Truck plate is a welcome addition. The R to Z weight classification still existed during the '58 to '63 multi-year plate run, although the weight limits themselves had been raised over the years, and additional classifications beyond the Z have been added long ago. This plate is also thanks to Shane Oake.
Here's a photo of the latest high Passenger plate. Thanks to Ryan Battin for the photo. While I don't track and record highs, I'm usually happy to show them, especially when there has been a large jump in numbers, or when there has been some change in the plate design. This plate does move the bar forward. Go to Tom Perri's website (www.paplates.com/) where Tom tracks highs of all PA types.
While on the subject of Passenger plates,
Arthur Levine sent me a link to a news article from the York Daily Record, "There
are over 1,000 banned personalized license plates in PA." If that link
does not work, try the one below. PennDOT has a team of employees to
review plate requests to make sure nothing potentially offensive finds it way to
the ass-end of someone's car. Oops!
Here's a recent street shot of a Distinguished Flying Cross plate. These plates have been available since 2012. This plate would be considered the current high. There is no map outline showing and it appears to me that the sticker well is still there. This plate was spotted by Jaska Börner.
Here's the latest high In God We Trust plate photographed by Bruce Bufalini. Tom Perri points out that this plate, while being a new reported high, also shows at least 2 stickers. A vanity check suggests the actual registered high is above 00960. Another source suggests that plates up to 05000 are sitting in inventory, and were produced well before the sticker well was removed and replaced with the map outline.
Here's another traffic shot, this one shows the latest high School Vehicle plate. These plates differ from School Bus plates in that they may carry no more than 10 passengers including the driver, whereas School Bus plates allow 11 to 72 persons. Photo courtesy of Jeff Lawson.
Check out the Bus Page to see all of PA's Apportioned Bus, Bus, Mass Transit, School Bus, School Vehicle, Limousine, Omnibus and Taxi registration plates.
Here's a 1950 New Car Dealer with the second letter in the 4th position. The A in the first position is a fixed character and does not advance. There is always a second alpha character, either in the 5th position as shown in the Dealer History Section, or in the 4th position as shown here. These letters do advance as part of the serial number. This plate photo is believed to have come from ebay. Still needed is a 1950 Used Car Dealer photo.
This is a 1956 New Car Dealer plate. The formatting is similar to the '50 Dealer plate above; however, this plate has the second letter in the final position. You may also be able to notice that the plates are different widths. The '50 plate measures 6" by 11", while the 56 plate is 6" by 12" having met the new license plate standard for size. This plate is courtesy of Jeff Francis.
The final dealer plate for this week is this 1962 Used Car Dealer. Except for the 1942-43 war effort, multi-year plates had their beginning in 1958 and again in 1962. '62 plates were renewable thru 1963 with a sticker although this plate has no renewal sticker. Thanks to Jeff Francis for the use of the photo.
Here's a 1922 Motorcycle plate. The plate is the only photo I have of a 5-character M/C plate for '22. The other plates shown include a 3-character and a 4-character. Plates from 1000 to 19316 measured 4½" by 8", plates from 1 to 999 were 4½" by 6". Thanks to Lou Bodie for sharing this and several other early bike plates.
This 5-character 1924 Motorcycle like the plate above also measures 4½" by 8" which size also includes 4-character plates. 1- to 3-digit plates measured 4½" by 6". This '24 and the '22 above are both dark blue on yellow. Thanks to Lou Bodie for sharing these photos.
This is not a new photo, but now I can put the name of Lou Bodie as the owner of this very rare 1929 Motorcycle plate. Being a single digit plate the size is only 4½" by 6". Click the link above to also see 4- and 5-digit plates from 1929 and those measures 4½" by 8". The number of plates issued was likely over thirteen thousand.
Here is another grouping of Snowmobile Dealer plates or stickers from 1989, 1990 and 1991. These are all 3" by 5" and made of vinyl. Again I want to thank Jeff Lesher for the use of his photos. Check back next week for additional photos.
This R-class 1945 Truck plate has been added. Plates that year ran the gamut from R-class for the lightest weight trucks to ZZ at the other end for the largest and heaviest trucks. In addition, the R-class itself utilized four different serial progressions. The plate shown here is from the first progression which included R000A to R999Z. The other three classes started at R00A0, R0A00 and R00AA. Image courtesy of PL8 Source.
This 1948 Truck plate represents another R-class tag. The truck weight classes for '48 were similar to 1945; however, for 1948 additional Class R registrations made it necessary to have 5 different serial progressions. This plate happens to be part of the fifth progression or R0AA0. The others included R000A, R00A0, R0A00 and R00AA. The '45 above and the '48 are both 6" x 11". Again I appreciate the use of material from PL8 Source.
After 1951 plates were issued issued as singles. Also after '51 the plate width was shortened to 10¼" with the height holding at 6". This continued until the plate size was standardized in 1956. Anyway, here is a very well preserved V weight class 1954 Truck plate. This class in included these serial formats: V000A, V00A0 and V0A00. Again I appreciate the help from PL8 Source.
The final plate this week is this 1955 U-class Truck plate. This was the final year for these short 10¼" plates. There were enough registration of this truck class to require 4 serial formats including: U000A, U00A0, U0A00, U00AA, with this plate being part of the second group. Again I appreciate the help from Mike at PL8 Source.
Plate News — PennDOT is announcing a new registration plate reissuance program for older Pennsylvania registration plates that may be weathered, damaged, or unreadable. This process will include standard issue passenger plates starting with ‘D’, ‘E’, ‘F’ and truck plates starting with ‘Y’. This will be done thru the existing network of agents and dealers that participate in the Online Registration and Online Messenger Programs and will replace the plates when a customer transfers one of the above-configured registration plate. Thanks to Ryan Battin for the heads up on this plan.
The two far left photos show another new type of Department of Transportation Official Use plate. Compare this plate with the T0026P/A plate on the near left. These plates have the prefix and suffix letters reversed. The reason they appear different is that P/A0180T is the format used on commercial vehicles or in this case a front end loader. The other plate type is issued in pairs for use on passenger vehicles, SUVs, etc. The P/A0180T plate was recently photographed by Tiger Joe Sallmen in his travels. The other plate was provided by John Clark and previously posted. It is believed that other state agencies may eventually opt to have their own official use plates.
Pennsylvania has been a tough place for plate spotting this winter with the relentless cold and snow. Be that as it may, Brian Feil recently spotted this Passenger Vanity with map. The same rules and restrictions apply to these latest vanities as with previous plates.
This is a 1947 Miscellaneous Dealer plate with the X identifier in the first position, previously I only had a photo with the X in the second position. Beginning with 1946 plates there were new Dealer plate series called New Car Dealer and Used Car Dealer, which used an A- and a B-prefix respectively. Thanks to Mike at PL8 Source for sharing this and many other photos this week.
Next in line is this 1951 Miscellaneous Dealer plate. Like the plate above, this also has the X identifier in the first position, previously I only had a photo with the X in the second position. For 1951 a photo of a B-series Used Car Dealer is still needed. Thanks to Jeff Francis for the use of this photo.
Here's another Miscellaneous Dealer plate. This 1954 plate has the X in the second position. For 1954 plates were 6" by 10¼". This small size was used from 1952 to 1955, after which plates were standardized to 6" by 12". Thanks to Mike at PL8 Source for sharing this photo.
This 4-digit 1919 Motorcycle plate has been added. The plate is part of the Format 2 series which ran from 1000 to over 25000. They measure a familiar 4½" by 8". There was also a Format 1 group starting at 1 and going to 999. This group measures 4½" by 6". I do not have any photos of this smaller format. Thanks to Lou Bodie for sharing this photo which was up for grabs on ebay.
Here's a very nice 3-digit 1957 Motorcycle plate that I found in my photo files. There were basically two formats for '57. The first went from 1 to 9999. After reaching that point, the series started with A was authorized to go to Z999. All plates were 4½" by 8". I do not know where or who the image came from.
This Format 3, 5-digit plate makes a nice addition to the 1916 Passenger run. This 6-inch by 14-inch plate completes the run of all 4 sizes of plates, with the plate series numbers in the display starting at 2 digits and running well into six figures. Thanks to Josh at JK*Antiques for the use of this plate photo.
Up to 1924 passenger plates were all-numeric, but as more and more cars were registered the alpha-numeric format became necessary. 1928 Passenger plates began with single digit plates then after reaching 999-999, the sequence started anew with A or A1 and eventually reached the serial number seen here, and continued on into the E series. The alpha character was always the last to advance. This plate measures 6" x 15", and was part of a pair. Thanks to Mike at PL8 Source for sharing this photo.
Next up is this 1932 Passenger plate, It fills a Format 5 gap which ran from 000A to 999Z9, meaning both 4 and 5-character variations. The 4-character variation measured 6" x 10", while 5 character plates, as shown here measured 6" x 12". There were no 6-character plates for 1932 since plates with 2 alpha characters were used averting the need to go to 6 characters. Thanks to Mike at PL8 Source for sharing this photo.
The final passenger plate this week is this very nice 1933 Format 4 plate which is made up of the series 00A to 99Z99. Again there were both 10-inch and 12-inch plate widths, with all 5-character plates being 12". Click the link above to see some 1, 2, 3 and 4-character variations. A Format 8 plate from AA100 to ZZ999 is still needed. Again many thanks to Mike at PL8 Source for sharing this photo.
I saw on ebay that a number of Snowmobile Dealer plates up for grabs, if you want to call them plates. My section on Snowmobile Dealer plates was kind of weak except for a few years. 1974 was the starting point and the only year that metallic plates were issued, after that year all plates were 3" by 5" vinyl stickers as shown here on these 1996, '97 and '98 plates. I will have more of these over the next couple weeks. Thanks to Jeff Lesher for the images.