Here is a pair of
National Ski Patrol plates courtesy of Matt Ciecka. While
these are not new highs, they do help narrow down when the plates began
using the map outline. Plate number 00242S/P
still had the sticker well. The previously documented
high plate was 00282S/P with the map outline.
Now we know the changeover was between 243 and 250.
This is a
PA Society Sons of American Revolution plate recently spotted by
Matt Ciecka. According to the ALPCA Archives, plates up to R/W00187
still have the sticker well. The plate shown here does not.
Tom Perri's PA Plates shows
R/W00191 as the documented high. The
registered high is R/W00207.
This is a
Pennsylvania DUI Association (Team DUI) photo combo. Thanks to Megan Levis for the use of the photo.
It's a new high on this site, but Tom Perri's
PA Plates shows 00097D/U
still wearing a validation sticker. Vanity check lists the issued
high as 00109D/U. This plate type
dates back to 2005. The question has been raised as to what the
organization does. From their website: It is a professional
organization which is working to address the DUI problem in all of its
many stages — from prevention to enforcement up to, and including,
adjudication and rehabilitation. Through our efforts we create a
healthier and safer environment for all people in the Commonwealth.
Here is a good image of a U.S.
Army (Active Duty) plate thanks to Jordan Irazabal.
These plates have been around since 2017 and plate sales have not been
very brisk, probably because the
Army Veteran plate has been around since 2009, with over 5000
sold. And there are not nearly as many active duty personnel as
veterans. The current registered high on this series is 00043A/D.
word from Preston Turner that he spotted a new style Municipal
Motorcycle plate on a Pittsburgh Police motorcycle. He was
unable to get a photo or the number. These plates were announced
back in February of 2017, but have not been seen until now. The
format would be MG screened on the left followed by an embossed 2-digit
serial number, followed by one letter which advances last, for example
M/G01G. Such plates are used
almost exclusively on police motorcycles, but not on State Police bikes.
This ADP plate is being
eBay, and I knew there were others like it, but never knew its
purpose. Pretty sure it's not a motor vehicle plate, despite its
strong resemblance to some Motorcycle plates and the
Snowmobile Dealer plate. Charles Metz sent me this photo from
eBay seller buch1259, looking for identification. There was also a
discussion on a Facebook plate group where it was thought to be some
kind of Advertising Display Permit. Click the ADP link above to
see other examples. The narrow hole spacing suggests it may be
pre-1985. Anyone know for sure?
are new additions to the Auto Wheel
section. These are not state-issued plates, yet they share some
similarities with PA plates, and are very collectible. Click the
link above to see more about them, or better yet read the August 2012
article by Ned Flynn in Plates magazine. These were issued by Auto
Wheel Coaster Co. of Tonawanda, NY. The 1929 plate shown here from Worthpoint shows a different format than
the one previously displayed.
The 1940 is a new addition from an unknown source.
The www base plate
on the far left was recently spotted by
Bruce Bufalini, who suggests
that it is a remake of an older truck plate number. Light
weight trucks are eligible to receive personalized plates. It
appears likely that the original plate would have been from the period
of the blue on yellow plates, like the example shown here, which would have been on the '78 base.
This is a 1945 U-Weight Class Truck
plate. It represents one of four serial progressions used that
year. These included: U000A, U00A0, U0A00 and U00AA, with this
plate being part of the third group. Still need an image of a plate
from the second group. All 1945 truck plates measured 6" by 11",
and were issued as singles.
These are 1950 Truck plates
representing the U-Weight Class and the V-Weight Class. The U
plate completes the run of all 4 serial progressions of U000A, U00A0,
U0A00 and U00AA. The V plate also completes both serial groups of
V000A and V00A0. With the addition of these two plates, the run
from R to Z is complete, with examples of every serial progression. The
remaining gap would be all of the double letter classes. All 1950 truck
plates measured 6" by 11", and were issued in pairs. These photos
are thanks to Worthpoint.
This combination photo shows an
Associated Alumni of the Central High School sample plate on
top, over the Avery Vinyl sheeting prototype. The vinyl prototype
is shared with the organization prior to actual production of the plate.
Central High School is a very old and prestigious Philadelphia
institution. This plate program dates back to 2018 but plate sales
have been slow. The current registered high is 10005C/L. We
do know that at least one personalized plate has been issued. Many
thanks to Paul Barnarol for sharing this image. As you may know,
PA no longer sells sample plates, but produces a few to be used by the
Here's a new, hot-off-the-press,
Friends of Valley Forge Park plate. Thanks to John Clark
for the photo, which is also a new high. This is also the first
plate spotted with the map outline. The previous high, 00089V/F
still had the sticker well. These plates date back to
Here are the same #1,
M Club Foundation, University of Maryland plates. The far
left with a 11-12 sticker, and the other with an 11-17 sticker but was
recently spotted by Bill Ceravola. The early photo was from Tom
Perri & Jordan Irazabal. For what it's worth, there are only 29 of
these plates. The meaning of the L/W suffix is a mystery to me.
While looking through Antique Vehicle
plate photos, I spotted the 9P50 plate on Worthpoint with the map
outline. Previously we listed all of the 0P00 series as not having
the map outline, now it appears that the map outline came about at 9P00,
not the 0R00 series. This is also suggested by a warehouse
inventory from the time period. See Antique Format 11 and
As the Antique Vehicle series
progressed, the sticker well disappeared and the map outline took its
place. After reaching 8P99 the sticker well ended, the next series was 9P00 with the map outline, as described above. (There was no
Q-series.) The series with the map extended through the V-series.
Then the W-series
(Format 14) appeared without the map and without
the sticker well. This photo courtesy of
Bruce Bufalini, shows another
example of the W debacle. After the W-series, the X, Y and Z
plates again had the map.
This is a non-standard issue 1955 Passenger
plate. Standard-issue plates were all 4 or 5 characters in length,
not 3 characters as shown here. 3-character formats could include
000, A00, 0A0, 00A, AA0, 0AA, A0A. Thanks to Jeff Hinkle for
sharing this photo.
In my opinion this tag deserves
'plate of the month' status. If you are new to collecting or
unfamiliar, this is a 1931 Tractor
plate. While the series began at TE-1, this is the lowest number
known to have survived. The TE stood for Traction Engine, an
archaic term for Tractor. That term continued in use
until 1934 when it was changed to Tractor. All such 1931 plates
measured 6" by 15". Thanks to Lee Madigan for sharing this photo.
These photos consist of a 1940
Tractor and a 1942 Tractor plate. All such plates at the time
consisted of 4 characters starting at 0001; however, in 1942 the series
exceeded 9999 and an alpha-numeric series came into use starting at
A000. Both years measured 6 inches by 12 inches. The images
came from Worthpoint.
a 1947 V-Weight Class Truck
plate. It is the second of two V-class serial progressions used
that year, the other being V000A. All '47 Truck plates were issued
in pairs and measured 6 inches by 11 inches. This plate came from
Worthpoint. Still needed are Y-class and Z-class photos for that year.
This Amateur Radio plate
from Preston Turner would get a second look from any Pennsylvania plate
enthusiast. With help from
Bruce Bufalini, who explains
that the first character can be a single letter A, K, N, or W, or a pair of
AA-AL, KA-KZ, NA-NZ, and WA-WZ as shown here. The number 9 designates
the region where the FCC license was originally issued, in this case IL, IN,
or WI. (PA is in region 3.) Then the owner brought the call sign
with him (or her) upon moving to PA. The -2 would be used to indicate a
second vehicle registered with the same call sign.
This is a personalized U.S.
Military Airborne Units plate. It's the first personalized
Airborne plate spotted, and does not have a sticker well. This plate
type dates back to 2013. The current documented high on the standard
issue plates is 20461M/A, while the
registered high is 20581M/A. Thanks
to Jordan Irazabal for the photo.
This is an unused Trailer plate from the
www era. This series started at XK-00000 after ending the previous
yellow on blue plates within or close to the
XJ-series in 2000. Plates
within the series shown here are still valid, although in 2004 the 2-letter
prefixes were exhausted and a new series began at XBA-0000, still on the www
base. A year later in 2005 the visitPA base came into use at XCA-0000,
and continues to this day with minor changes. Thanks to Tom Firth for
Here is a
1978 base Bus plate that has never seen the back of a bus.
This base was issued from '78 to '84 with the starting point being BA-10000;
however, these plates were eligible to be revalidated until re-plating on
the www base. It still has the temporary T-sticker which was used from
new until the official validation sticker was received from the state.
Thanks to Tom Firth for the photo.
This beautiful pair of 1916 Dealer
plates is thanks to Bill Koneski. They appear to be in original
condition but well preserved, with the colors being black on orange.
The plates measure 6 inches by 16 inches with the number X6600 being the
highest known pair that year. Smaller plate sizes were also used for
shorter serial numbers. The use of the 'X' prefix to designate Dealer
dates back to 1911. 1915 was the final year for the use of porcelain,
with 1916 being all painted steel. The plates were manufactured by
Brilliant Manufacturing Company, Phila., prior to the state getting into the
plate making business.
This is a Format 2 variant of a 1930 Dealer
plate. Dealer plates were made up as follows: Format 1, X1 to X9999,
in 10" & 12" sizes; Format 2, 0X to 9X999, also 10" & 12" sizes; and Format
3, 00X to 99X84, again 10" & 12". This plate image is from Worthpoint.
I've had this photo around for several
years but unfortunately didn't record where it came from. Click it to
enlarge the photo to better see the 1929 U-Weight Class Truck
plate on a dump truck belonging to the Great Allentown Fair, an event I've
enjoyed many times. 1929 used the R through the ZZ letter weight
classification system. Plates varied in size depending on the number
of characters. 2, 3 & 4 character plates measure 6" x 10", 5 character
plates measure 6" x 13", and 6 character plates measure 6" x 15". The
plate shown here would be 15 inches.
This next photo combo is from Rob Baran.
The large photo shows a whole yard full of trucks and other vehicles adorned
with 1931 plates. The small photo is from the 1931 U-Weight Class Truck in the lower left
corner of the picture. The serial number
appears to read U2J97. 1931 truck plates were all 5 characters in
length, with plates measuring 6 inches by 12 inches.
This 1947 R-weight Class Truck
plate is one of 5 serial progressions used that year These include
R000A, R00A0, R0A00, R00AA and R0AA0. Still need a photo of a plate
from the R000A series. Truck plates that year were 6 inches by 11
inches in size, and were issued in pairs. This photo came from
These are welcome additions to the 1953 Truck series.
Beginning with the S-weight class there were 5 different serial
progressions, with two pending for next week. Next the T weight class
completes the second of two serial formats. Finally a pair of U class
plates completes the third and forth serial formats. Plates measure 6"
x 10¼". The first three plates are thanks to Worthopoint, while the
final plate is thanks to Pl8source.
This new Antique
Vehicle plate photo was recently received from Vern Kreckel. Figuring
that this is likely a new high until looking back at the the previous high
of B2ZL, then realizing that the plates were likely not issued in sequence. The
way I understand the serial progression of these plates is that the starting
point for the current series was A0AA, then the number is always first to
advance, next the letter in the 4th position, followed by the letter in the 3rd
position. The letter in the first position is always the last to advance.
The far left Millersville
University of Pennsylvania plate is the lowest number on the graphic
base. It is not known if there were any remakes of earlier plates with lower
numbers. This plate is thanks to Jordan
Irazabal. The near left plate is the current high and also the first plate
spotted without the sticker well. This plate is thanks to Jaska Börner. The
actual registered high is M/U02038.
Here's another high, this one showing a road
shot of a Villanova
University plate. The photo is from Tom
Perri's webpage. Villanova's plate program dates back to 1987 with yellow
on blue plates, then moved to the www base in 2001, followed by the switch to
the graphic base in 2006. Then in 2018 plates starting at 00442V/U, including
the plate shown here, have the map outline.
This trio of National
Police Defense Foundation plates shows a high number plate that once had
a sticker on the far left, then the center plate appears to be devoid of a
sticker well, and the near left plate clearly displays the map. The center
plate is thanks to Tom Perri. The map
plate is thanks to Richard Than.
Any difference? Actually these PA
State Nurses Associationphotosare of the same plate and frame
taken almost 2 years apart. The far left from Jaska Börner, the near left from
Mike Alfonse. At the present time, this is the only PSNA plate spotted with the
new logo, the previous high was RN00147 with the previous logo. Vanity check
shows that plates up to R/N00170 have been issued.
Great plate photo, too bad so much
of it is covered up by the dealer's frame. This U.S.
Merchant Marine plate was recently spotted by Bruce
Bufalini. So far this is the second plate spotted, the other plate being
10030M/M. Vanity check indicates that 41 serial numbered plates have
This is a 1941
Motorbike plate. Such plates were introduced in 1920 but were never
issued in large numbers. 1941 was the first year for plate numbers to exceed
1000, and it was not until 1947 that an alpha series was needed. Such plates
were discontinued after 1949. This image came from Worthpoint. Many plates
during the 1920s are still needed.
This is a 1922
Motorcycle plate from Mike Alfonse. This plate has been beautifully
refinished in the original color scheme of brown on cream. This plate measures
4½" by 8" and was used for 4- and 5-digit serial numbers, while 1- to 3-digit
plates measured 4½" by 6".
Did you recognize this as a 1924
T-Weight Class Truck plate? If you didn't, you're not alone — there is
no legend identifying the type. Letters R through Z (excluding X) in the prefix
position, or R in the suffix position was the identifier. Passenger plates at
the time did not use letters. This welcome pair of plates shows the smallest of
three sizes used that year. This shorty measures 6 inches by 10 inches and was
used on T+1 to T+3 digit plates. The next size was 6 inches by 12 inches on T+4
digit plates. There were also 6-inch by 12-inch size for longer serial numbers
but were only needed on Class R and Class S plates. Thanks to Jeff Fransis for
the use of this photo.
No question about this being a 1936
S-Weight Class Truck plate. There are other serial formats including
S000A, S00A0, S0A00 which are all 6 by 12 inch plates, and S00-00A, as shown
here, which measures 6 by 15 inches. This larger size was only needed in the R
and S class plates. Thanks for this plate also goes to Jeff Francis.
Here is a group of Appalachian
Trail Conservancy plates. The plates span the time period from plate
sticker use to a new high of A/T00377. Plates at least up to A/T00241
had the sticker well, and from A/T00305 to at least A/T00325
do not have the sticker well. By A/T00334 the map outline was
added. A/T00241 and A/T00334 are thanks to Brandon
Sowers, A/T00377 is thanks to Jaska Börner.
Union plate is a new high, thanks to Bruce
Bufalini. This plate type dates back to 2002 and has never transitioned to
the graphic base which means that all of the features are embossed. Of course
the state name is flat and is characteristic of the www base. Organizational
plates which are still on the www base are maintained in stock in a warehouse.
Organizational plates on the visitPA / graphic base are made to order. A recent
inventory indicates that there were some 1,300 plates in stock with serial
numbers extending to C/U01999. Why?
This is a new high American
Legion plate. While it may be a new high, it was recently up for grabs
on an auction site. The owner, Richard Than, gave me the OK to use it. Like
the plate above, this is also an organizational tag that has never moved from
its original design back in 1984. The original yellow on blue plates were
replaced in 2001 with the www base seen here. The registered high is A/L02661.
This is a new high Delaware
Valley Triumphs Ltd. Vanity check also confirms this as the current
high. This plate type dates back to 2009. This photo is thanks to Jaska Börner.
Here is the latest high Therapy
Dogs United, now sporting the map outline. These plates date back to
2010. Plate 00064T/D did not have the sticker well. I borrowed this
photo from Tom Perri's webpage, credit
for the actual photo goes to Craig Nicholson.
Here's the latest high U.S.
Air Force Veteran plate. These plates date back to 2009. I was going
to say that these plates started at 20000A/F or 20001A/F,
but vanity check shows the actual low number to be 20011A/F. A quick
check shows that U.S. Army Veteran plates had only 1 plate below 00011A/R.
Here is a sequential pair of 1919
Format 2 Passenger plates thanks to Jeff Lesher. Format 2 plates ran
from 1000 to 99999, and measured 6 inches by 13½ inches. Note the strap slots
on top, and bolt holes top and bottom. Also note that the 1605 has the maker's
number (today's VIN) stamped into the keystone area, while the 1606 has an
aluminum keystone indicating that the plate was transferred to another vehicle.
That aluminum keystone shows the maker's number of the new vehicle.
S-Weight Class Truck plate on the far left is new. After using
COMMERCIAL as the identifying legend in 1923, the word TRUCK was not used on
plates until 1934. The R through Z prefix (also suffix on overflow R plates),
was the best identifier of truck plates. For the S class the progression is
likely S-1, S-10, S-100, S1000 and S10-000. The use of the dash separator is
not always consistent. The plate shown here does not use a dash, while V5-799,
shown for comparison does use a dash. It appears that the S class plate
measures 6" by 12" while the V class measures 6" by 13", thus allowing space for
the dash. Both plate were from Worthpoint.
These three 1939
U-Weight Class Truck plates represent the three U class serial
progressions used that year. They represent the three serial progressions of
U000A, U00A0 and U0A00. These images are from Worthpoint. Still looking for
Class V, Y and Z truck plates for 1939.
Next is this 1940
U-Weight Class Truck plate. This plate represents the first of three
serial progressions — U000A. The others include U00A0, for which I have an
image, and U0A00 for which a photo is still needed. This image is from
Worthpoint. Still looking for Class V, Y and Z truck plates for 1940. The need
for double letter classes goes without saying.