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

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

ALPCA #4376

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

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

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  2021 Archives

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  Older Archives

 4/4/2021 Posting

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 U.S. 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.


Received 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 offered on 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 1974 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?  


These 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. 


 3/28/2021 Posting

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 organization.


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 2007.


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.  Anyone?


NO PHOTO, but Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran plate 05217I/F with the map outline was spotted by Bruce Bufalini.  This would also be a new high.  These plates date back to 2005.


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 Format 13.


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.


This is 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.


 3/21/2021 Posting

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 letters including 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 a personalized Honoring Our Veterans plate which is part of the Special Fund series.  Funds from the sale of this plate benefit the Veterans Trust Fund. As a personalized plate they are eligible to have 1 to 5 characters plus the H/V suffix. There is also an Honoring Our Veterans Motorcycle plate, and an Honoring Our Women Veterans plate.


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 the photo.


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 Worthpoint.


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.


 3/14/2021 Posting

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.  Confusing, yes.


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 Association photos are 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 been issued.


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.


 3/7/2021 Posting

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.


This Carpenter's 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.



The 1925 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.


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Images and photos are always welcome.  Please send to:

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

ALPCA #4376













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