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Supporting the hobby, conducting research, preserving & promoting the history of Pennsylvania License Plates

John McDevitt and Jordan Irazabal


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

This is a reference-only website, no plate sales.

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  Front Plates

  Old Registration Records

  Old Plates in use

  Plate History, Governor

  Plate History, A to F

  Plate History, G to M

  Plate History, N to Z

  Passenger History, up thru 1936

  Passenger History, 1937 to present

  Plate History, Special Org.

  Plate History, Truck

  Special Event Plates


  Group Displays (old & new)

  Historic docs & misc references



  Validation Stickers (old & new)

  Vehicle Code (Registration)


  2022 Archives

  2021 Archives

  Older Archives

9/25/2022 Posting

Here is another new high Antique Vehicle plate.  Very common, especially at car shows, but less common as the weather grows colder.  This most recent series started at A0AA with the initial A being the last character to advance.  This series was first seen around March of 2020.  Another Antique plate was spotted, H8PA, funny, and actually a higher plate than the one shown above.


How about a new Farm Truck high?  Not sure when these plates added the map outline, appears to be somewhere between FM-2587D and FM-4184D.  Can anyone narrow this down?



And a new School Bus high thanks to John Fedorchak.  The use of the map outline has been in use since SC-82300 which was about 2 years ago.



If you haven't spotted any plates in the new Passenger M-series, here are a few recent photos.  The MBA plate is thanks to Brayden Harnish; MBB is from David Dohan; and MBC is from Richard Than.


Person with Disability plates released on the www fade base ran from PD0000A to PD9999Y before switching to the visitPA base at PD0000Z.  The plate shown here is still on the road, and shows a low number in the S-suffix series.  The suffix letter is the last to advance in this series.  Thanks to David Dohan for the photo.


Here is a personalized Pennsylvania DUI Association / Team DUI plate from Arthur Levine.  It's a little hard to see but this is also the first of these spotted with the map outline.  These organizational plates came out in 2005 and are pretty rare with only 114 serial numbered plates registered.



In addition to this image on the far left from Clayton Moore, and the near left from Ken Samen, see this week's display of personalized and vanity plates.




Here is a pristine, first generation St. Francis College plate photo from John Clark.  The plate appears to be unused.  The St. Francis plate program dates back to 1999.  Up till now, we only had a sample image from this first edition.


The beautiful 1954 Tractor plate on the far left, still showing its original gloss, was a flea market find by Clayton Moore, then passed on to Jeff Hinkle.  The other plate is the alpha-numeric series '54 Tractor high, with that photo coming from Worthpoint.  These plates measured 6" x 10¼". 


It's always nice to be able to fill a gap in one the historic plate progressions.  And so it is with this 1936 U-Weight Class Truck plate.  1936 used two U-class progressions, U000A and U00A0, with the plate shown here being part of the second group.  This plate measures 6 inches by 12 inches.  The image is thanks to eBay user Tagshack.


Like the plate above, this 1956 Truck plate also fills a gap in the U-Weight Class series.  By 1956, four serial progressions were used including U000A, U00A0, U0A00, U00AA with the plate shown here being part of the second group.  This plate measures 6 inches by 12 inches.  The image is thanks to eBay user Tagshack.


9/18/2022 Posting

PA License Plate News - On 8/28 we reported that PA will be replacing all Dealer and Miscellaneous Motor Vehicle Business plates.  The new plates will be the standard colors, but with the addition of vehicle silhouettes.  At this point only limited info is available, but generic Dealer series will be split into New Dealer and Pre-Owned Dealer.  The Pre-Owned Dealer series will start at PR00000, it is unknown how the New Dealer plates will be configured.  Repair Towing will be using 10000RT, currently they use RT-12345.  At this point it does not appear that Motorcycle and Moped Dealer types will be effected.  Anyone know more?


Legislative News - State Representative Sheryl M. Delozier has introduced legislation that would allow vendor-designed license plates for those who wanted them.  Bill was passed in the House, then referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.  Not surprisingly PennDOT is opposed to such a move.  The purpose of the legislation would be to generate revenue for the Motor Licensing Fund, and to offer something more creative to motorists.  The legislation is House Bill 2632.   Link to WHTM Channel 27 news article.


This is a new high Person with Disability plate thanks to Bill Stephens.  This serial format, with the alpha-prefix dates back to February of this year.




Here is an Amateur Radio plate sporting a nice call sign.  The plate does have the map outline.  The plastic cover takes away from the photo quality.




This is a personalized Share The Road plate, which is part of the Special Fund series.  This is also the first of this type spotted with the map outline.  It appears that standard issue Share The Road plates still have the sticker well.  Thanks to Matt Ciecka for the photo.



Here is another Mass Transit high from Brayden Harnish.  Brayden provided M/T50464 a couple weeks ago.  Makes me think they were from the same batch plates issued to the same bus company.



Check this out — Rob Baran snapped a photo of a utility trailer with a Railroad - Preserve Our Heritage plate.  Legal — yes.  Unusual —  also yes.  It's PA's only remaining full graphic plate.  PA says “Requests for Special Fund registration plates are restricted to passenger cars, motor homes, trailers or trucks with a registered gross weight of not more than 14,000 lbs.” The plate registration number is valid.





In addition to this image from Nick Tsilakis, see this week's display of personalized and vanity plates.






Chris Van Zandt snapped the photo on the far left of a single digit Antique Historic Car plate.  The photo is from a recent car show.  It is my understanding that this plate series dates back to 1956, beginning at plate 1, which is also shown on this website.  In 2005 the series went to the family of plates base, with a new plate legend Antique Vehicle.  Both styles of plates continue to be in use, and are very common at car shows.





Here is a new high 1907 Passenger plate.  This white on red porcelain plate measures 6½ inches by 10½ inches; however, 1 and 2 digit plates were 6 inches tall since the PENNA 1907 legend was along side rather than on top.  Click the link to see examples.  The manufacturer was Ing-Rich also known as Ingram Richardson of Beaver Falls, PA.  This photo came from Worthpoint.


This 1912 Passenger plate appears to be a new high, unfortunately it no longer has the aluminum keystone emblem with the maker's number.  This white on wood-grain porcelain plate measures 6 inches by 14 inches.  The manufacturer was Brilliant Manufacturing Co., Phila., PA.  This photo came from Worthpoint.


I finally decided to bring the section on Dept. of Forests & Waters watercraft plates to life.  For most plate enthusiasts these boat plates don't seem to rise to the same level of collectibility as plates used on highway vehicles.  These were plates issued to watercraft which were used on lakes or bodies of water under the ownership or control of the Department of Forests and Waters.  The plates measured 3½" by 4½", and are believed to be issued as early as 1937 and up to 1970.  Plates were all-numerical with the serial progression going from 1 or 2 digits up to five digits.  Later the Department of Forests and Waters became part of the Department of Environmental Resources. 

Last week I posted the 1945 and '47 images seen to the left from Worthpoint.  These photos of the 1963, '64 and '65 plates are from eBay user Themudlarks. 

Several years ago Jason Michaels maintained an extensive display of such plates on his website.  Sadly Jason passed away in March of 2020, and the website has been taken down.  Previous efforts to contact someone associated with the website have been futile.


9/11/2022 Posting

Today marks the 21st anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States.  Let us never forget what took place that day, the losses suffered and the sacrifices endured since then.  Nearly 3000 lives were taken that day, among which were 343 firefighters.


Here is a personalized Gold Star Family plate from Eric Conner.  Eric captions this photo with "A special and somber vanity on a plate base that many parents don't really want."  Plate check shows that 852 serial numbered plates have been registered to date.  Sad.



Here is a a new high Silver Star plate thanks to Nick Tsilakis.  These plates have been around since 2012, with only 60 serial numbered plates issued to date.  The Silver Star Medal is the United States Armed Forces' third-highest military decoration for valor in combat. The Silver Star Medal is awarded primarily to members of the United States Armed Forces for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States.


Next up is this personalized U.S. Military Airborne Units plate, also thanks to Nick Tsilakis.  These plates have been around since 2013, with some 650 serial numbered plates issued to date in addition of those personalized.



This is a low number Conserve Wild Resources plate on the small graphic base.  This base dates back to November of 2017, after the full-graphic base was discontinued.  Thanks to Nick Tsilakis for the photo.  The latest reported high on this base is R/C04999.



This is a new high Delaware Valley Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America, thanks to Richard Than.  These plates date back to 2011, with the map outline first seen at 00174B/W.  The name of this organization, with its 54 letters and spaces, appears to be the longest of any PA plate.



Another new high from Dickinson College, and another thank you to Richard Than.  The Dickinson plate program dates back to 1998 on the yellow on blue base.




Here is a new, slightly higher, Bus plate from Mike Alfonse.  This was in use on a limo-type vehicle, not an unusual combo here in PA.  Here is a link to a Fact Sheet that describes all of the many types of Bus, Limo, Taxi, etc. plates offered in PA.



This is a new high Apportioned Truck plate.  The AH-series was first spotted in December of 2020 and advances almost 30-thousand plates since then.  Thanks to Richard Than for the photo.



Here is a new high Truck plate thanks to Richard Than.  This current series with the map outline started at ZKJ-0000 and was announced by PennDOT on 12/18/2016, but not spotted until April of 2017.



Two weeks in a row we have a new Permanent Trailer plate high thanks to Bill Young.  Last week it was PT-502P2.




Here are a couple of Person with Disability vanity plates.  The WZ plate photo came from me, while the XION photo was from Mike Alfonse.  Not sure what the colorful design is on the XION plate.



This is the first personalized Mario Lemieux Foundation plate spotted with the new logo.  Brendan Sherry spotted the plate and interprets it to mean 66, 68, 87 and 71 in five characters, the numbers of four Pittsburgh Penguins legends.



► In addition to these, see this week's display of personalized and vanity plates.


Here is a very unusual 1953 YZ-Weight Class Truck plate.  The double prefix letters indicates that this is a 3-axle truck plate.  For various reasons very few double letter prefix truck plates have survived.  Probably one reason is the small number issued.  Anyway, thank you to Rick Kretschmer and his website, for the use of this photo.


Here is another unusual plate, this one being a 1956 Y-Weight Class Truck.  Two things make this plate unique, first it represents a new Y-series high (with the previous high being Y09N4), secondly, with this plate nearing the end of production, it uses the thinner '57 5-character dies.  Another thank you to Rick Kretschmer for the plate photo.


9/4/2022 Posting

For a while plate watchers have been pondering the debut of Passenger plates in the M-series.  The expected sequence would start at MBA-0000, etc. since vowels are no longer used in the second position, so no MAA- plates.  Record check as of 9/3 indicates that so far MBA-0000 has not been registered; however, plates from MBA-0820 to MBA-0827 are registered.  Dealers and tag services receive plates in groups, so it's understandable that plates would be registered out of sequence.  Thanks to John Silbert for this image.


Here is a new high Severely Disabled Veteran plate photo thanks to Matt Ciecka.  This new format was first spotted in October of 2021, with the starting point being 80000DV.



Here is a new Mass Transit high thanks to Brayden Harnish.  The use of the map outline likely began at M/T47700.  Mass Transit plates date back to the 1977 base, and were originally blue on yellow.



Here is another new Motorcycle high.  Last week we had 5YD02.  So the sequence is quickly moving toward the end point of 9ZZ99.  Where will it go next — 00AA0?  The current series, 0AA00 dates back to mid-2015.  Thanks to Preston Turner for the photo.




Here is a new high Municipal Government plate on a police SUV.  The plate was spotted by Bill Young.  This "family of plates" base was first spotted in February of 2017, and took the place of the white on blue, all embossed Municipal plate.  Many of those older plates continue to be in use, including some of the previous blue on white issue.





It may not be a perfect shot, but it is a new PennDOT Official Use Commercial Vehicle high.  The final character on the plate would be a T.  Thanks to Bill Young for the photo.




Here is a new high Permanent Trailer plate thanks to Bill Young.




Last week we had a new high pair of Pennsylvania State University official plates.  This week we have another new high thanks to Brayden Harnish.




Here's another Penn State University plate, also from Brayden Harnish.  This plate type is available to any Penn State fan, there is no need to be an alumni.  There is also a Penn State Alumni Association plate which does require alumni association membership.  Click this link to see more about Penn State plates.


Speaking of organizational plates, there are several organizations with full-size plates where a motorcycle version is also available.  These include International Association of Fire Fighters (no plates photographed),  Blue Knights Int'l Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club (1 vanity photographed), Fraternal Order of Police (no plates photographed).  The IAFF prototype shown here was provided by PennDOT; however, none of these motorcycle prototypes are shown on PennDOT's webpage showing the artwork for such plates.  The downside of these motorcycle plates is that the organizational logo has been reduced to the size of a postage stamp.


► See this week's display of personalized and vanity plates.


This is an unused NASCAR 19 Jeremy Mayfield plate.  Thanks to Tom Firth for the photo.  These NASCAR 19 plates were issued for the 2004, 2005 and 2006 racing seasons, with a total of only about 21 plates being issued.  The NASCAR program had its start in late 2004, and as of 5/1/2010 PA NASCAR plates were no longer issued but still renewable.  There are still about 15 NASCAR plate types for which plates were issued but no photos are known.  A number of types had no issued plates.


Last, but certainly not least, is this 1925 Format 1 Dealer plate thanks to Bill Koneski.  For many years plate size depended on the number of characters in the serial number.  For 1925 Dealer plates could be a 6" by 10" shorty as shown here, also 6" by 12" and 6" by 15".  The shorty plates would have been configured as X-1 to X-99, then X100 to X999.


8/28/2022 Posting

With so many friends, plate spotters and facebook posts, it's a real challenge some weeks to keep up with the ever-changing list of plate highs, new types, and occasional plates of historical significance.

PA License Plate News - Your license plate frame is enough to get you cited according to the PA Superior Court.  Both articles linked below say essentially the same thing, that no portion of the plate may be obstructed.  Ironically 3 of the 5 Superior Court plate photos on this website have frames.

► See article from Bruce Bufalini.

► See article from Rob Baran.

In other Plate News - PennDOT to replace all Dealer and Miscellaneous Motor Vehicle Business plates.  The Miscellaneous group includes Repair Towing (RT), Salvage Yard (WL), Transporter (DT), Repossessor (RE) and Watercraft Trailer Dealers (WD). The new plates will be the standard colors, but with the addition of vehicle silhouettes.  Don't know if this change includes Dealer-Multi Purpose, Dealer-Farm Equipment and Trailer Dealer.

Here's a #1 and the first Upper Gwynedd Township Fire Department plate spotted.  Nice find Jaska Börner.  This plate type was added earlier this year, but with only a prototype image.  Plate check suggests there are currently six serial numbered plates issued.



Here's another first.  This is the only PA National Guard plate photographed so far, and is thanks to Nathan Krawzyk.  It is also a personalized plate reflecting the zip code of the owner.  Standard issue PA National Guard plates would be in the 90000A/D series with some 68 of them registered.  It should be noted that these plates are not the same as the National Guard plates with the N/G prefix that are considered organizational plates.


This is a new high U.S. Army Veteran plate spotted by Jaska Börner.




If this personalized Associated Alumni of the Central High School plate looks familiar, it was previously posted in 2019; however, this is a nicer image.  Thank you to Jaska Börner for both images.



Also see this week's display of personalized and vanity plates.


Here is a pair of new high Pennsylvania State University official plates.  The far left was recently spotted by Brayden Harnish, the other is from Jaska Börner.  Then Brayden spotted A4904P but was not able to get a photo.  These plates are used on vehicles owned by Penn State.  The current 'family of plates' format came into use in 2019 at A4700P.


Two weeks in a row we have another Classic Vehicle high.  This photo is thanks to Jaska Börner.




Here is a new high Motorcycle plate thanks to Jaska Börner.  As you can see the current series is not all that far from the end at 9ZZ99.  Where will it go next — 00AA0?  It may be a while, the current series, 0AA00 dates back to mid-2015.



This Person with Disability plate from the A-series also represents a new high.  This photo is thanks to Jaska Börner.




Here's a new Trailer high from Brayden Harnish.  A little recent history on Trailer plates.  In 2000 when plates were replaced, the series started at XK-00000 on the www / fade band base.  Then in 2004 that series was exhausted and a new 3-letter prefix started at XBA-0000.  In 2005 the base was changed to the solid band / family of plates base at XCA-0000.  2018 saw the disappearance of the sticker well and the addition of the map outline at XKY-0000.  And on it goes.



This PA Passenger plate was snapped by Tom Castelli with the caption "Why do people do this?"  Unfortunately not everyone in PA has the fondness for the "Family of Plates" look that PennDOT has.  And unfortunately there is only one full graphic plate that is not part of the "Family of Plates", that being the Preserve Our Heritage - Railroad plate.



This is the latest Motorboat Registration sticker.  There is also a UNPOWERED version.  It is my understanding that these represent a 2-year registration period, with the large number, 24, indicating the year of expiration.



Here is a very nice 1954 Y-Weight Class Truck plate from the Y00A0 serial progression which is the second of two.  I previously posted another of the same progression but this one is much nicer.  Still need one from the Y000A progression, as well as several other classes.  1954 plates measured 6" by 10¼".  Plates were issued as singles.  Photo is from Worthpoint.


Finally found a 1957 W-Weight Class Truck plate.  This plate was on Worthpoint with two photos, neither of which showed the entire plate, so with a little editing, it now does.  By 1957 all plates measured 6" by 12", and all Truck plates contained 6 characters.



The original photos posted for the 1964-67 W- & Y-Class Truck plates were of insufficient size, so these were added.  These photos are from Worthpoint.



Here is a Council plate provided by Sarge from Klassy Karz.  I believe these plates could have been used as front plates on vehicles used by members of a city or borough council.  Not sure of the plate's vintage, although this is the third variation on this website.  Click link to view others.




Images and photos are always welcome. Please send to:

John McDevitt and Jordan Irazabal




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