This site launched on 8 March 2013, and is now officially three years old.
Sure, in places, it shows, but at least it’s all working. I’ve gone through numerous formatting changes, lots of content additions (and subtractions), and even some developer changes in the last few years. As it stands, jaska.me is run and maintained exclusively by me. Just me. For the forseeable future, that’s how it will be.
Currently, I’m working on backend stuff for Diversified Creativity, so the main Jaska site might not be quite up to scratch. I keep uploading license plate stuff (and have another post incoming for January – March 2016), but photography and music has unfortunately taken the back burner for now. I suppose the lack of creative energy really doesn’t help, huh.
This server setup and its config(s) are three years old as well, and I really need to update. However, this could result in substantial downtime if I were to migrate my instance (even if it were possible to do so as an AMI). I cannot afford to have two simultaneous instances, even if only for a few days whilst I sort out the backend on the new server. I’d effectively have to remake anything and everything having to do with permissions and content control. That will likely be necessary regardless, and it would make a huge difference if I could re-build a local staging area instead of putting things together piecemeal on a 2012 MacBook Pro and hoping everything works the same on a virtual Ubuntu server from 2013.
In any case, it’s nice to know I’ve been able to come this far. I know nobody cares, because nobody has ever bothered to donate or even mention that they like my website, but that’s likely because they think I built it from some boilerplate “hosting company” bullshit template. Their loss.
Now, if you’ll excuse me…these databases won’t write themselves, you know.
There are actually plenty of excuses for this being my first plate post since the end of September 2015. None of them are very good, though, so I’ll spare you.
On a serious note: Despite detailed analytics plugins, I am not entirely certain of the extent of my readership. I know there are several other great PA plates sites out there, and certainly plenty of great license plate sites in general. I am not trying to take away from any of these resources and hubs; rather, I would like very much to contribute to the hobby as a whole. That ought to go without saying, but something tells me my setup here is less than ideal. Please view the “license plates” category of my blog as a “fan site” kinda thing. All the photos can be found on my actual plates pages.
Now then, onto a long-awaited update. I haven’t skipped October through December, mind you. Those photos are online and may make an appearance in a post soon enough. This update will focus on December 2015 and January 2016 (the first three weeks of January 2016, anyway).
Let’s start with passenger plates.
JZE-0010 is the first JZ* plate I saw. They had been on the road for a little while already at that point, but I suppose dealers in my area were issued their blocks later.
This JZR plate was the high at the time. It is on a Honda Ridgeline, and has since been replaced with a YBX truck plate. My guess is the owner had to wait for the title transfer to go through properly or something like that, since YBX was issued way back in 2000!
Just a few days later, I saw this high. Parked behind it, actually. I saw plenty of plates in this parking lot, as you’ll see further on in this post.
I see so many expired plates that I wonder if police even care. My guess is no, as they probably aren’t looking at your plate unless you’re arousing suspicion. Or they figure the owner is just forgetful. Probably that.
Here’s a plate from 2010 with no sticker whatsoever. That’s probably even less conspicuous, if you think about it.
I have no idea why this 2014 Hyundai from a high-volume dealer is sporting both an April 2014 plate AND a temporary tag in the window. The plate has stickers for 2015 and 2016. Did the owner really forget for this long? Doesn’t the lack of visibility annoy them?!
Back in time a bit. This is the first Person with Disability vanity I’ve seen on the road. Technically, this serial reads “MWH-1-PD” since the PD is part of the serial itself. Only 5 characters are allowed on these vanities for that reason. If you want the full 7 (or 8 with a hyphen/space), get a normal vanity and a disabled person placard.
The BMW Z3 probably is a fun car to drive. A bit old and outdated now, but that means you can probably pick one up for not much money, and because it’s not all shiny and modern and ostentatious, nobody will look down on you. Well, not metaphorically, anyway.
I don’t know what this means, but hopefully they don’t actually damage this car. It’s a Range Rover, though, so rest assured it will consistently damage itself.
Paging Captain Sisko.
This is a 1993 Dodge Caravan in surprisingly good condition…with a truck plate. I’ve seen people use old vans for construction work before, oddly, and this one’s got its seats taken out, so I guess that follows.
Truck plates are for anything that primarily carries cargo, and without seats, that’s what this box is for. I admit I actually like these old vans quite a bit. They’re effectively full-frame trucks, albeit with a little petrol engine, so I only like them from afar. Dodge’s latest idea of an underpowered and inefficient “workhorse thing” is visible in the back left.
This nearly-16-year-old plate looks fantastic compared to some of its brethren from that era. The DD* series of passenger plates comes to mind. Most I see are illegible. This old truck plate hardly has rust stains, and the Peterbilt it’s on (also from 2000) looks great too.
Then again, I’d feel pretty damn uncomfortable with an oil truck covered in rust and looking rough. This oil company comes very highly recommended, by the way. They’ll apologise for being heavily booked, and then arrive hours earlier than you expected.
Now for some specialty plates.
Less than a block from where I spotted the current high. The organisation’s headquarters are in Wynnewood and they have had a plate program since 2013.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a little over 430 plates on the road.
The plate frame is obscuring the name of the organisation (why do people do this?) but it’s the Delaware Valley Triumphs, Ltd. This is a chapter of the Vintage Triumph Registry. As you may have guessed, these people are enthusiasts, owners, and collectors of vintage and antique British sportscars and motorcycles. They are quite active, probably because Leyland cars are notoriously unreliable and need constant attention. Don’t shoot the messenger.
This is Penn Wynne / Overbrook Hills Fire Company. They have about 30 plates on the road. Maybe only 28 if this is still the high. Remember the issue starts at 00001, not 00000.
You may have noticed by now that quite a lot of these photos are from Ardmore, PA. Specifically, they are all from the same parking lot. For whatever reason, people visiting the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society often have unique plates, vanities, or high numbers. Lucky me.
Not a high, sadly. Radnor Township has had these plates on the road since 2012, but only 16 have been spotted as the high has been 10017 R/F since 2013. That’s odd considering I drive right past the firehouse and their parking lot very often, and have done for years!
I thought this was a high at first. It’s not – that’d be 04242 I/F. Oh well.
OIF should stand for “Occupying Iraq Failed!” If 4242 people truly believe the Iraqi people are better off now than in 2003, that’s just pathetically sad.
Usually, I have to go into Philadelphia proper to spot Limousine (or Taxi) highs. This one’s breaking the law.
Saved the best PA plate sighting for last.
This plate was issued in 1976 or 1977. Let’s just get that point out there right now.
Yes, it’s showing its age. Yes, it’s street-legal.
The current Disabled Veteran high is DV-36267. These plates are for veterans who are disabled, but does not confer handicapped parking privileges – there is another version that does. The owner of this plate likely served in Vietnam. The driver was likely his or her daughter, since she looked to be in maybe her mid- to late 30s – it’s definitely not her plate, is my point. Exceedingly rare to see such an old plate still on the road.
PennDOT never saw the need to include plates like these in the 2000-2002 replate, as the colour scheme was not slated to change. In fact, it’s remained exactly the same since 1976, with only minor changes to the placement of the letters (at one point they were stacked) and legends, and using the keystone separator for a brief period in 2012-2014. The current version of this plate is fully embossed, although it’s eligible for personalisation.
Interestingly, personalised DV plates have only the serial embossed. The “DV-” is present, also screened. My guess is they’re using up the current fully-embossed sequenced plates before switching to the screened-legend plates. But if the “DV-” is screened, will the serial be as well? The screened “DV-” is bigger than embossed letters, making it the size of embossed numbers. Remember, PA letters are slightly smaller than numbers. Could this be hinting at PA’s first fully-screened (“flat”) plate?
I hope not.
Non-PA plates time.
A Jeep from Arizona with a long-expired Nevada plate at a grocery store in Pennsylvania. Okay.
This Colorado plate is from 2013, right before the state started using the “Q” plates for everything. Just a couple parking spaces away from that Nevada Jeep, too. This is the same parking lot where I saw the YJF Dodge Caravan and the JZT PA passenger high as well – all on the same night! Glad I decided to do my shopping when I did.
Kootenai County, Idaho plate right here in Newtown Square, PA. Why?
Another un-Constitutional license plate type. I wish this problem was confined to the historically questionable South, but PA is doing it too. At least PA didn’t shit on our country’s flag by placing insidious and overtly religious text over the symbol of an officially secular nation!
Perhaps it’s for tax reasons…? Ellis Preserve is a misleading name for the place to begin with. They’re turing open space and trees into “luxury apartments,” townhomes, and retail space that nobody wants. It’s disgusting and I can’t believe the Township is allowing them to go ahead with this.
For some reason, their security vehicles are registered in Delaware. Shady.
This one’s eligible for a white-on-black historical remake, though. That’s kinda neat. And at least the retail space planned isn’t gonna be another bunch of stores that already exist within five miles. You know as well as I do that it won’t last. Come on – our Staples went out of business, for crying out loud!
For those of you unaware, there are a lot of historic buildings on this existing campus that will be preserved (because legally they have to be). That does not include the Square Tavern (ca. 1742), seen at the right in the photo above, since it’s not technically on the “Preserve.” It’s not going anywhere, of course. That place is kept up very well.
If you know the area at all, think of where SAP America’s headquarters are. It’s that place. On the West Chester Pike (PA 3) side, there’s the new Bryn Mawr Main Line Health Center complex (that is, of course, neither in Bryn Mawr nor on the Main Line) and some other office building stuff, which will be expanded. No big deal. I’m fine with developing already-zoned land. I just hope they keep a lot of trees and open space. I don’t need to find any more reasons to move back to the Harrisburg area…or New England…
In other PA plates news, the K-series passenger plates are officially here. I’ve not seen them on the road, and with this snow I won’t be seeing much of anything for a couple days, but they’re out there. Around here, we’re still running through JY* and JZ* plates, but a place in Exton just got a batch of KBB plates so chances are pretty good KBA-0000 through KBA-9999 are out there somewhere…!
Quite exciting, to be honest. This only happens every four years!
Well, okay. It’s exciting to me.
Keep an eye out for future updates. I will also be posting a “master list” of various plate sites I frequent, and with any luck will also have my own plates pages cleaned up and looking better than they do at the moment. This mostly entails fixing image gallery scripts, which is actually something I need to do on the entire website to begin with. That’ll be fun.
Added a link to my Instagram in case somebody happens to care.
A couple still-extant issues to report (meaning please don’t tell me about em – I know!)
Main page (and other root-level) pages do not display menus properly on screens under 1280×768.
Pages may as well not display at all on mobile devices. So sorry about the eyesore(s). 🙁
Any image gallery using the current jQuery lightbox script likely displays images at full resolution, meaning they don’t fit on the screen. Again, see below.
I am currently in the process of converting all existing image galleries to a different jQuery lightbox plugin. This is mostly because Leandro Viera’s site no longer appears to exist, leading me to believe his lightbox scripts are now even more woefully out-of-date than before. I already had to make some edits for compatibility with jQuery 1,9,1 (which was current at the time) as it was written for – I believe – version 1,6.
Ideally, I will be using Lokesh Dhakar’s Lightbox, although I may end up creating something of my own – possibly based on the one I’ve been using, although the wall of text that is the JS backend is…well, awful, to be quite frank.
If an image renders far beyond your viewable area, I apologise. At this point, there’s not much I can do short of re-sizing the original file. I do have scripts for that, of course, but even those operate with original percentages rather than “client-side” percentages. 75% of my screen is probably not the same as 75% of yours, and it’s really unprofessional to have “fixed” image sizing parameters to begin with. So I won’t do it. Either it works everywhere, or it sucks. Currently, it’s unfortunately the latter.
This blog no longer lists two distinct “Political” categories.
The main CSS has been updated and some objects have moved around.
The right sidebar menu now contains my Twitter feed.
The right sidebar menu now does not render properly and may float off your screen. I’m working on that. Bear with me.
I trimmed a lot of unnecessary junk from various PHP and CSS assets across the site. Page load time should be somewhat decreased as a result, ideally.
In the process, I have removed support for most versions of IE. IE 11 should still display pages properly, unless it’s gotten even more finicky and pathetic since I last checked. If you genuinely still use IE 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10, I’m really not sure how your computer is still functioning. Even I’ve stopped using Windows XP, you know.
I tend to avoid making rather personal posts on a regular basis, but this is different – I almost had a severe case of road rage just twenty (or so) minutes ago.
Now, for the record – and I really cannot stress this enough – I do not have “anger issues” in that sense. I used to have a bit of a “control problem,” where I’d fly off the handle pretty quickly if something got me very irritated very quickly. Used to. Not anymore. Okay? Okay.
Anyway, here’s why:
Driving home from dropping off my brother, I was waiting at a traffic light to turn left. Meanwhile, cars were turning the left the other way and thus driving past me. Most are your average Main Line insecurity-mobiles – white Mercedes-Benz GL-class, white Lexus GX-class, white Cadillac ESV, and so on. One was actually dark red, though, and it was a Nissan Armada (which is, of course, just a boxier Lexus GX-class made by a different Japanese carmaker). On the front was a plate that nearly caused the episode of road rage in question.
A standard-enough 6×12″ (~15×30 cm) plate, I guess, but around the border were those insidious “autism awareness” puzzle pieces – and the slogan was easily ten times worse.
“Solve the Puzzle.”
Seriously, fuck you.
Fuck your wealthy, entitled lifestyle, fuck your 13 miles-to-the-gallon, fuck your insecurity, fuck your need to appear “caring” or “compassionate,” and most of all, fuck your willful ignorance.
Just…fuck you. Fuck off. Leave us alone, and fuck off.
Stick to what you know – be a trophy wife, be a “philanthropist,” be on the board of trustees of your child’s $45k/yr private school for all I care.
Just fucking STOP pretending to know what autism is.
You aren’t a psychologist. You aren’t a psychiatrist. You aren’t a neuroscientist. You probably aren’t any kind of scientist.
Hell, if you were, you’d know that autism is anything but a “puzzle.”
Scenario: Let’s say you’re a pretentious and wealthy person, born with a silver spoon in your mouth (and possibly another up your arse, if you’re into that), and instilled with all the grace and refinement of your average White Knight™and/or Social Justice Warrior™.
Obviously not all cases of autism are caused by such deletions, and – as the above-referenced article mentions – nor do these deletions necessarily indicate or preclude a diagnosis.
By this incredibly fucked-up logic, you may as well also join the (ideally non-existent) causes searching for a “cure” for Down Syndrome, Tay-Sachs, Sickle-Cell Anemia, Cystic Fibrosis, and even colour-blindness.
All are caused by genetic deletions and are observable in utero. If you think there’s a possibility of “curing” any of these, do the world a favour and take some actual fucking science classes.
We don’t need scientifically-illiterate people trying to “help” us. If we thought that was a decent idea, we’d go talk to Congress.
A decade or so ago, we hardly even had this sort of “awareness” movement looking for a “cure” – oh, you didn’t know GATTACA was fiction? Aw, poor sheltered baby. 😉
Must be nice in upper-class America. I hear you don’t even pay taxes! I mean, I don’t believe that because I don’t worship Chief Drone Captain Obama as a god, but y’know…I’ve heard.
I am not a fucking puzzle. I will no longer tolerate this form of patronising and overtly discriminatory (read: ableist) treatment that has become so pervasive in our supposedly-enlightened culture and society.
I have had enough.
If you truly believe I’m less than human because my brain doesn’t work quite like yours, that’s fine – as long as you’re open to having that absurd viewpoint challenged. If not, you’re no better than your average Catholic, and that’s pretty fucking bad.
I’ll be the first to say that my brain doesn’t function the same way yours does (unless you have AS too, in which case it probably does, and thanks for reading my blog by the way). Believe me, this has been my life as long as I can accurately remember – I was never like other boys at school, and (surprise!) it’s not just because I liked other boys at school.
The point is that we aren’t totally fucking clueless as to why autism is a thing. We have science, you know. Granted, the “Awareness” movement hasn’t historically been a fan of science, but then again, most of the socially-regressive white-saviour benevolently-intolerant contingent are willfully ignorant of any advance that challenges their perceptions. Hence 9/11 “truthers,” anti-vaxxers, and flat-earthers exist.
This is the world in which we live – rife with science-deniers and (even worse) those who would sooner legislate ignorance than broaden their own knowledge.
I hope the far-right is happy.
If you have any of those stupid fucking “puzzle-piece” stickers, magnets, license plates, or anything in your possession – especially on your car – please do the entire ASD community a huge favour and throw them the fuck away. Thank you.
I’d like to apologise for not maintaining my “monthly update” routine lately, but I won’t. Rather, I should apologise for not informing readers (literally all several of you, and I appreciate each and every one 😉 ) earlier that August was a very slow month for plates, at least for me. My health has not been the best lately, although it is certainly improving now…finally. I think it must be the “back-to-school” season – after all, I’ve still got two siblings (16 and 14) in school locally, and one of them had some kind of cold. Being me, it moved to my chest after about 24 hours, and overstayed its welcome dramatically. Over a year since I’ve so much as touched a tobacco product, and still suffering the consequences. Just a friendly aside. Or warning, whatever.
Anyway, onto plates. First, news! News from Pennsylvania, no less!
The 2015 “World Meeting of Families” apparently took place this past weekend, ending early yesterday evening, with the Pope leaving the country around 8 PM. As a fervent supporter of queer rights, women’s rights, and …well, human rights, I’m generally very suspicious of anything with “Family” somewhere in the name (except for medical practices – treat all the families you want!). You may know that the word “Family” is present in the names of several hate groups in this country. I can’t tell if these people want to live in 1950 or the Bronze Age, but either way, they are dangerously out-of-touch and their political influence is disturbing, to say the least.
Pennsylvania has already (somewhat recently) joined the ranks of states violating the Constitution by providing an optional “In God We Trust” plate, and being Pennsylvania, also managed to violate basic tenants of graphic design by using an utterly hideous font that makes the unconstitutional slogan nearly illegible. The worst part, though, is that it’s billed as “a plate made available to show pride in America.”
The hell it is. If you want to show pride in your country, put our FLAG on the plate and nothing else, besides “Pennsylvania” and the serial, of course. How hard is that?!
Unless, of course, the intention is actually to show pride in VISA. In that case, fine. 😉
Oh, yeah – that “plate” on the left is actually a currently-available personalised passenger plate. Go ahead and snatch it up if you’d like. I’ve got other ideas for my $76. 😀
Anyway. The “2015 World Meeting of Families” plate will be available very soon, if not imminently, given that it appears on PennDOT’s website under “Special Organisations” (right, because the RCC is totally “non-profit…” suuuuure…no gold or jewels or despicable global legal cover-ups or anything…) and will almost certainly have the serial format 10000 W/M since 00000 W/M is reserved for West Manchester Township Fire Co. plates (of which it must be said there are very, very few).
It is currently possible to order such plates, including personalised versions, through PennDOT, although they do not currently cite an ETA. Why they waited til the whole hyped-up event was over to even list the option (without any fanfare) is beyond me, albeit typically Pennsylvanian. My road was just re-paved to repair damage from the awful winter of 2014 this past week. They tore up some of our driveway + garden in the process. If that doesn’t scream “Pennsylvania” to you, well, yinz gotta a bit t’learn. I dunno.
As John McDevitt rightly points out, special organisation plates in PA are open to literally any non-profit organisation with a presence in the Commonwealth who can get the required number of signatures on their petition to PennDOT. Oh, and I imagine that organisation probably can’t be some bullshit like “Reptilian Hybrids for 9/11 Truth.” Pretty sure PennDOT has to approve the organisation’s mission statement, which means passing a sanity test. Sorry, Alex Jones. Go home.
In any case, such legislation (regarding who can/cannot have their logo on a real and valid PA plate) quite nicely sets up Pennsylvania to be the state/Commonwealth with the largest amount of (currently) available plate types, if we’re not already.
I understand that there are over 500 valid plate types as it is, although I believe that includes a number of discontinued types, such as all the NASCAR ones. Another instance of “it seemed like a good idea at the time,” perhaps?
Enough rambling. You’ve waited how long for a “plates update,” and all I’m doing is calling out PA’s ridiculous violations of our Constitution and basic tenants of aesthetics? It’s like I’m a political commentator or activist or something, right? What are the chances?!
Let’s start with some highs.
First of all, my attention was not drawn at first to the plate, but rather the car. I still feel a pang of wistfulness every time I see a Spark, especially in this colour.
For those who aren’t aware, my first car was a 2013 Chevrolet Spark, which our non-American friends may know better as a Daewoo Matiz, and it was this colour. 🙂 I loved it. It was unique and special and oddly fun.
I put nearly 18,5K miles on it before it suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure at speed, essentially shat itself through the transaxle, and of course caused a 3-vehicle accident on a blind curve. On a road I knew like the back of my hand. On a route I drove weekly, if not more often, for six years. Gearbox shot. Front strut shot. Lighting assembly shot. Unibody damaged far more than most intelligent engineers would expect from a sub-40mph impact. You know, the usual. For GM, anyway.
Estimate exceeded KBB value. GM basically told me to fuck off. USAA was considerably more polite, yet about as helpful. “Oh, GM won’t listen [to us, and certainly not you]. It’s easier to just take the settlement payout and take the hit to your premiums than try and pursue damages from GM.” Are you kidding me? This was back in April and nearly half a year later the case is still not resolved.
I miss my Spark, yeah, but I love my new ride too. More, actually. Much more. I just wish GM would accept that out of the three of their vehicles we’ve owned in the past fifteen years, mine is the first to succumb to their shoddy engineering and “nope, definitely not a death-trap, don’t worry” marketing strategy.
Of course, it was a unibody city car with two-digit horsepower built in South Korea, and it speaks volumes that the other two were USA-built trucks – one with over a quarter million miles on the clock.
When it comes to technology products, I’ll always look to South Korea first, no doubt about it. Then I’ll see what Apple copies and makes themselves, only in white.
Alright, seriously though, what the Spark lacked in power it more than made up for in gadgetry. I had USB and Bluetooth (that worked!!) and even a Pandora app at my disposal, which I used to great effect on many long drives to and from New England until early this year. My replacement car has an iPod dock, which is fantastic, but no touchscreen, no Bluetooth, no Pandora, no hands-free voice-command whatever. (to be fair, it’s a 2009 model)
My new car does, however, boast over 50 MPG on the highway. So…nyaaah!
From their website: “The Philadelphia Union Foundation provides opportunities for children through the power of relationships to offer transformational change in the areas of education, community, health and recreation.”
More on PUF...
That blurb seems to have been written by a PR intern with a strong background in SEO and social buzzwords, yet a severely limited knowledge of the English language. The proper adjective is, of course, “transformative,” and frankly I fail to see how any change could come about without transformation. 😛
Plus, remove the prepositional phrase “through the power of relationships” and the resulting sentence is, in fact, not a sentence at all. To whom are the children in question offering this change? What the hell are “areas of community?” You mean, like, places where people live? Those are “areas of community,” I suppose…although we tend to just call them “communities.” Goodness. I learnt of such rhetorical devices in fifth grade. Yes, including redundancy…namely, how to avoid it.
I swear, I’m part of a dying breed here – yeah, I generally utilise a relatively informal writing style, and I admittedly curse like a 1940s sailor at times, but if some individual or organisation were to request my editorial services, they would not regret it.
I’m the kind of person who finds typos in printed books. Just saying.
Depending on your source of choice, this may or may not be a high. My guess is that it’s actually not, since it’s got a 9/15 sticker on, meaning the plate could have been issued just about a whole year ago. I tend to go by PA Plates, where the most recently photographed high is lower than this one. Then again, I’ve seen lots of these from 52xxx onwards in the span of just a few months. You decide.
I’ve actually spotted a few Dealer highs, but seldom have the chance to photograph them since I am usually driving. Traffic was hardly moving in this photo, however. The current (photographed) high belongs to my hometown’s Cadillac dealer. Well, at least, it does now. 😉
If you check licenseplates.cc for PA plates, you’ll find I also submitted another high a few months ago. Most of the Dealer plates I see are actually in the Hxx-xxxH series, meaning they are very old!
Seeing as I spotted this back in the beginning of August, it’s quite likely to have been surpassed by now. If somebody can photograph a higher number, cool. I don’t get into the city all that often lately, but when I do I tend to see Taxi and Limousine plates a lot. I actually saw LM-29502 a little while ago – end of July, perhaps? – but since I couldn’t get a photo, I can’t prove it.
More on LM and TX plates...
For the record, LM plates are super common in and around Philadelphia proper as they are typically found on cars operated by Über (or Über “Black,” which means you get picked up in an all-black luxury gas-guzzler with black windows and black leather and black blackness, but likely a white driver to balance things out, so you look important or something, whatever, I don’t know, I drive my own car because I’m neither lazy nor rich) or other such services, and are issued to those services because PA does not have a Livery plate and never has.
In fact, I’ve routinely modified the Wiki article on PA plates to remove the obviously fake image of “PA Livery” plates and ended up finally getting the “ALPCA member” responsible barred from editing the page (I think). If this person is truly an ALPCA member, well, you should know better. All the archives and historical information at your disposal, and you still wanna make things up on Wikipedia? Are you 12?!
Spotted this at the PA Turnpike’s largest interchange back at the end of August. Quite possible the current issue is higher still.
I drove my parents to the airport on 25 September. On the way, I saw a JYA (ooh, finally saw a JY* plate!) and then saw this and thought “ooh, that’s a high!” I didn’t have a chance to submit it, however…which is fine, as it turns out. I saw this JYL plate at the petrol station I patronised to fill up the Murano before going back to the airport to pick them up on Sunday (27 September).
This is clearly a used car (as the Caliber has not been sold new since 2012), although in great condition I must admit, and at first I thought I must have read the plate wrong! I believe it belongs to the owner of the establishment, who was clearly a bemused by this long-haired guy with multiple piercings wearing a Vader shirt, black cargoes, and Supras pulling up in what is ostensibly a “soccer-mom car.”
That’d be me, by the way. Hi, I’m Jaska, and I am the embodiment of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Unless you don’t actually wanna read the book. In that case, get off my silly blog. I talk about license plates and RuneScape and feminism. 😀
ANYWAY, this is definitely the current passenger high, and likely will be for a while. Perhaps the vehicle’s new owner has connections at a tag agency? Believe me, when I bought my current car back in July, I tried the whole “can’t you pull a tag from the waaaay back…?” thing, complete with $20 bill wrapped around my DL, and got only a cold-ish stare and “PennDOT doesn’t like us doing that.” Bleh. Don’t worry, though. I won’t be stuck with a JWW plate for long…I hope…
Anyone’s guess as to why we seem to have jumped (judging by posts on various sites, excluding Facebook since I don’t have a profile anymore) from JYA or JYB all the way to JYL already. I just saw JXZ what feels like only a few weeks ago (although it was nearly a month 😛 ) and that was also certainly a high.
Here is a photo of the JXY plate I saw about three minutes earlier. I did warn you about the quality. Also, yes, that person did just recently buy a bright orange Pontiac G6 I mean, GM Cavalier. Frankly I feel at least marginally more sorry for the person who just bought a mid-2000s Chrysler minivan.
Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for ya! I know a place around here that’ll sell you a used-but-well-maintained Honda for under $3K. We all know those don’t break down. Ever.
Well, unless you bolt a fart can to the back and pretend that either it’s a racecar or you have a “crew,” or both. Then you’re just vying for a Darwin award as the first to incinerate a VTech I4 and take the whole city block with it. Ouch. Let’s not.
Oh, anyway, that does it for highs. Sorry. Again – not the best month (or two) for high-spotting, at least for me. But, I do have some other photos to share.
Side note: Depending on how you look up registrations (provided you even do that to begin with) this “44” plate may not even appear to be valid. It is clearly a real plate, at least physically, and there is a (hardly visible) 2015 sticker in the top left. Sorry, it was dark!!
Oddly, I saw this Latin vanity plate at the Greek festival here in Broomall. How about that.
Yes, I studied the Classics – specifically, Latin. I can read some Greek, but trust me, this is not a Greek word. The rough equivalent is agapó.
Admittedly, I had no idea what this was, and of course information online is scarce. I believe it is one of the plates issued by CARES (Council for Amusement and Recreational Equipment Safety) to rides to show they are licensed and inspected, but that organisation is based in Florida and the page says nothing about stickers OR out-of-state use.
In case you can’t tell, it says “US Amusement ID” up top – not “US Amusement 10.” Don’t bother Googling “USAID plates,” though. You’ll only find stuff about charity, and nothing at all about plates of any sort. Oh well.
Anyway, on this plate, there are seven debossed sticker wells, with a couple old GA stickers (04 and 06, as well as a very faded 08) and then a PA validation sticker from 2013. Looks like there’s another PA sticker underneath that. All the stickers are real. Also, this plate is on a cargo van, not an amusement ride. On the back was a normal PA H-series passenger plate (although it really ought to have been a Truck plate).
Just a strange, inexplicable occurrence, or what? Your guess is as good as mine. An Econoline is hardly an amusement ride. Hell, it’s hardly any kind of ride.
It’s always cool to see a low-numbered plate, and this may well be the lowest photographed in recent years. I saw this one at PetsMart. St. Thomas More Academy is a Catholic high school in Magnolia, DE, and has had a plate program here in PA since 1997. That means this #13 plate is most likely a re-issue of a plate previously issued on the yellow-on-blue Keystone State base. If that thought had occurred to me at the time, I’d have waited around to ask the (likely older) owner if they had the old plate and would be willing to sell it to me. 😉
Fun fact: Although STM is located in Magnolia, DE and officially operated by the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware does not offer an organisational plate for the school. PA, meanwhile, has issued at least 1056 of them over the last eighteen years. They re-issued numbers from 1997-1998 on the “www base” starting in 1999, as many organisations did (at the time, there were waaaay fewer such plates as there are now!) and STM is, at the time of posting, one of those organisations who have yet to switch over to graphic plates on the “VISA base,” meaning alumni are stuck with the G/B 00000 format and can’t order vanities. Attempting to do so on PennDOT’s site tells you “This registration plate is not yet available for personalization.” Okay then.
Full disclosure: I know people who have low-number vanity plates on their Volvo(s), and this is not one of them. Still, though, how much patience must it take to sift through all the available three-digit plates? 😮
To be fair, the woman driving looked like she may have been born in January of 1963, which would make sense for this plate. No, I’m not being mean – my mother was born in 1964, although the plate with her month/year of birth is not available. 😛
Driving a diesel means sometimes having to go miles away for cheaper fuel (think, like, a whole dollar less per gallon), and so my detour earlier on Monday from Wayne to KOP back to Newtown Square via Paoli led me to spot this West Catholic High School plate on 252. Maybe it’s a Catholic school thing, but this is also a plate still on the www base even now in 2015 (eleven years after the VISA base was introduced!). The current high, according to Tom Perri’s site, is W/C 01058, spotted 49 months ago. Current issues are also still on the www base, meaning it’s also ineligible for personalisation.
Oh well. Off by 2. Just a few blocks later, I spotted the Person with Disability high (a few images above), so it’s all good.
I don’t usually post YOM plates, but that’s because I don’t often see YOM plates. If I could, I’d go to more car shows!! Thing is, I don’t live in Carlisle anymore, and I don’t have any friends who can call me up and say “hey there’s a car show on, get your ass in gear, see you in twenty.”
That’d be super, though. Seriously. I love cars. How could a serious license plate enthusiast not also like cars? 😮 I mean…it kinda comes with the territory, right?
After all, license plates are typically found on cars. Or so I’m told.
This, I believe, is a very well-kept 1953 Packard Clipper (Deluxe? please correct me if I’m wrong) out for a jaunt on a gorgeous autumn day. Nice piece of American history. His turn signal is on in the photo above – both of the rear lights work – and although I went straight here, I caught up with him a few minutes later and gave the “thumbs-up” of appreciation out my window. 😉
Okay, no, I did not actually run into it. Ha ha.
The brakes on the Murano (which I’m driving above) are so much better than those on the Charger (which, unfortunately, I did drive for a few months). It’s a dreadful car. It does the name itself a huge disservice by so much as existing with a 212 hp naturally-aspirated V6 and front-wheel drive whilst weighing in at two tons. Oh, and the 18 mpg was supposedly “good for its class.” In what, 1960?!
Disgusting. When I returned it, I told Enterprise that “underwhelming” was an understatement, and that they should actively work to remove all American cars from their fleet until our country has learnt how to build them properly.
This School Bus plate was likely issued towards the end of 2000, possibly early 2001. It’s valid, renewed til July 2016, and (given the way bus plates are handled) has been on the same bus for over 15 years. Quite possible this bus (being an older model) once bore a yellow-on-blue plate in the SB- series.
Now, this is clearly a blurry photo. Get it? It’s litotes!
Okay, not really. Here’s a cropped and corrected version.
In the cropped version, you can clearly tell it’s a #1 plate, although it’s not exactly a “clear” photo. Unfortunately, I was driving, so my eyes were on the road and not my phone. For the record, I was moving at about 15 mph when I took this photo, and was quite a ways back to boot.
Even so, it’s always cool to see a #1 plate! This is 10001 R/F, the first Radnor Fire Company (of Wayne) plate to be issued. Given I was in a strictly residential area, I’d imagine this person lives on the dead-end street onto which they were turning.
This brings my #1 plate spotting total to two. I also saw this one a few months back.
My phone – the LG G3 – was marketed as having a superb camera that excelled in low-light environments due to its “laser auto-focus.” In my experience, that is not the case. Sure, I was moving whilst taking this photo, but even when standing still, the resulting image is almost always unacceptably blurry.
“Call Me.” Huh. Well, I can’t really “call” you without being provided a number…plus, you’re driving a Contour…I’ll pass.
Across the parking lot from this – so, to my immediate right – was a serial remake. I love seeing serial remakes, but sadly I wasn’t able to get a photo (see above excuses).
I mean, I did get a photo of the car…it’s a dark gray Honda Pilot, but then again, so are at least 9% of the cars on the Main Line. In any case, take my word for it – it bore a www-base remake in the ABC-123 format (as seen on the “You’ve Got a Friend” base, for instance) that started with either ZBG or ZGB and ended with 4nn…there was a 2 in the last bit as well. Meh.
Ever since I was made aware of the existence of serial remakes on new(er) bases, I’ve seen a few. Not many, mind you, but certainly a few. For example, here’s one I saw back at the end of March.
Note the use of the keystone separator. Although drivers were required to submit requests for serial remakes as “vanities” (using PA DMV form MV-904), those plates were simply re-made using the new (at the time) “www” or “gradient” base and the owner was thus able to retain their current plate number.
Here’s an even older re-make! 😀
This serial was likely issued in either 1977 (on the blue-on-yellow “Keystone” base) or even as early as 1970 (on the “Bicentennial” or “Liberty Bell” base), as those are the two most recent years PA has issued all-numeric plates of this format.
Of course, PA has issued all-numeric plates before, and in fact for for most of our history, but with so many general re-issues (not to mention the fact we issued new plates nearly every single year until the 60s or 70s), it’s highly unlikely anybody could possibly hold onto a serial from the 1950s…say, 1958, for example – I have such an all-numeric plate from 1958 – no, it is not for sale – and it’s highly unlikely PA will ever issue all-numeric plates again.
In fact, the only states still doing so are Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Both states have relatively small populations and thus many fewer registered vehicles. Additionally, New Hampshire has a downright weird history of issuing unnecessarily long serials when they run out of available combos in their current series…and Rhode Island, of course, is just completely batshit in every way. I’m told that even though the “official story” is that they’re currently issuing AB-123 plates that were “never issued,” they are in fact simply re-issuing inactive plates as they have for the past decade. Of course, they were also supposed to have had brand-new flat plates on the road for about a year now, so who knows what’s in the water up there…
That’s all for now. Hopefully it won’t be another two months before I have more to share.
For the last forty-eight hours, I have been unreachable via Facebook. This is intentional.
Depending on how you’re actually getting to my Facebook profile – specifically, the URL – you may be seeing “Oops, this content is unavailable,” which is a generic error page displayed when Facebook’s backend thinks you’ve clicked an expired link or a link to content that’s since been deleted, or you may be getting a simple pop-up like this:
At this point, I’d usually say something along the lines of “long story short…” but in this case, I can’t.
It’s not a long story at all. I’ve deactivated my Facebook account. I created it 20 March 2007 and deactivated it 18 September 2015. That’s over eight years of constant social media presence. To put that in perspective, that’s nearly a third of my life.
Social media is great. It keeps us together, keeps us in touch, lets us know who’s doing what, whenever, wherever – and, naturally, therein lies the problem.
Who is this “us?”
At the time I deactivated my account, I had 724 Facebook friends. I’ve kept track over the past few months, but regretfully haven’t actually plotted data points to create a graph – that would have been an excellent idea, considering I meticulously keep track of all sorts of other data in my everyday life. Oops. Oh well.
I can say, however, that the number was significantly higher even just a month or two ago (in the 760 range). What happened? Did I go through my friend list and delete all the people I didn’t really know, with whom I didn’t keep in touch, about whom I frankly don’t give a damn?
Nope. In fact, I’ve never “un-friended” or “blocked” anybody. Ever. I let the other party make that call, should they choose to. And, apparently, the “other parties” have been more than willing to block or “un-friend” me fairly consistently.
Now, obviously, I don’t give a fuck. If they’re petty enough to think “un-friending” or even blocking me is somehow “making a statement,” then they’re no friends of mine regardless. No, my real problem is with the aftermath of some, uh…encounters.
I’ve been targeted, slandered, harassed, “cyber-bullied,” whatever you wanna call it, on multiple occasions, and certainly not just via Facebook. At some point, though, even a disabled queer autistic kid with PTSD needs to grow the fuck up and accept that this is how the world is today. I can’t fight them, but I can make them stop – sometimes permanently.
I’ll give ample warnings. Of course, nobody ever listens. Why should they? If they can say whatever the hell they want online, well, so can I! Short of “I’ll fire-bomb your fucking house at 555 Elm Street, Townsville, PA*,” there’s a whole load of cryptic semi-threatening stuff I can say, completely legally, to a potential stalker or anybody who poses a threat to me via the internet.
Now, for (hopefully) obvious reasons, I can’t say stuff like “I know where you live.” Even if it’s true, and that information was obtained through totally legal, publicly-accessible systems (such as Google – seriously), it’s still mighty fucking suspicious. The fact is, though, you’re never anonymous online. I tried that whole “anonymity” thing a long while ago. Obscuring one’s identity is actually really difficult, and (more importantly) in many cases, motive. For whatever. Think about it.
I’m not stupid, so I don’t sink to that level. If somebody harasses me online, such as the debacle with my ex’s cronies and bodyguards or fuckbuddies or whatever the fuck last June – yes I curse a lot, so sue me – I fight back.
Again, I’m not stupid. I’m certainly not going to call the police, because that’s possibly the dumbest thing I could do. Plus, what police? Call the ones here in Affluent Suburbia, PA? They’d just laugh at me like the last time (when they attacked me and left me to die – not the topic at hand, though).
So…what, call the ones in Millville, NJ, the city to which I’ve traced the harassing messages? Even if I gave them the street address (which I approximated within 100 metres), the make and model of the device used (a smartphone, the make and model of which I knew exactly), the make, model, year, and plates of the car the offender drives (a piece of crap 2011 sedan, all of which I also know exactly), and of course the IP address (which I obviously knew, seeing as that’s never hidden from a site administrator, derp) used to obtain this information (except the car – that I knew because I have a good memory and was threatened in person to begin with)…they would not have done anything.
Nobody takes cyber-threats seriously, especially when it’s a “male” accusing a “female” of abuse, and subsequently her male “friend(s)” of harassment.
In short, nobody believes a “male” can be abused.
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have therapists and doctors who do not think this way, and have been more than willing to help me cope with the trauma I’ve endured throughout my life.
Most of that trauma, of course, has been self-inflicted, internalised, what have you – for example, I was never, ever “abused” by my parents in any way, yet took everything they said to heart and practically beat myself into submission over it. I think they’ve stopped blaming themselves by now – about time, too. I was a failure then, and I’m still pretty much a failure now. At least now we know it’s not entirely my own doing. Small comfort, right? 😛
So, then – why deactivate my Facebook? Well then.
See, here’s the thing. I don’t trust myself. It’s not other people. It’s not what they say or do. Other people are shitty. We know that. In fact, in many cases, we damn near take it for granted!
Fact is, I don’t trust myself not to say things I won’t ultimately regret. There’s a good reason, I’m sure, for having lost so many “Facebook friends” in a relatively short amount of time.
I know there are people who hate what I have to say about religion. Tough shit. You don’t like my presentation of facts? Well, why the fuck are you my friend?
I know there are people who hate what I have to say about gender and sexuality. Tough shit. Again – don’t like my presentation of facts? Well, why the fuck are you my friend?
I definitely know there are people who despise my posts about science and technology, especially medicine. In this case, I have no desire to associate, even indirectly, with that kind of person. I hope they all die, and considering their absurd resistance to modern advances in medicine (see: Munchausen’s by Proxy, or better yet, Special Snowflake Syndrome**) that’s not a terribly unrealistic or even particularly “offensive” statement.
You know what we call people historically suspicious of advances in medical treatment? Dead.
Finally, I’m well aware that Facebook is very much like prison. You sit around and waste time, all the time. You write on walls, and your words and actions are plotted on a timeline – whether you know it or not. Your profile picture is always viewable by anybody, anywhere – again, whether you know it or not.
That’s an ancient meme (presumably as old as Facebook itself, or at the very least, the Facebook opened to the public on 26 September 2006), but I believe it still applies.
Of course, I’m not one of those “Big Brother” conspiracy nut jobs. I don’t think Facebook is “evil,” nor do I think they’re “spying on me.” Get over yourselves. Nothing you and I do or say online could possibly be of interest to the government, let alone a multi-billion-dollar corporation. I’m not important. You’re not important. We don’t matter, and we never will.
Unless, of course, you’re a powerful authority figure, an officer in the Armed Forces, a wealthy businessperson with serious Wall Street and/or Washington sway. In that case, yes, Facebook and others probably care a whole lot about what you’re doing online, so please, get off my silly blog and get back to work.
I am still on Twitter, but that’s about it. I don’t exactly have a small digital footprint, nor, admittedly, would I ever really want to.
I’m just sick of Facebook. I’m sick of the trouble that starts there and I’m sick of how it ends. I’m sick of the relationships it creates and even sicker of those it destroys.
I have no desire to keep in touch with people who really wouldn’t give a shit if I dropped dead, and realistically, the last forty-eight hours kind of proves my point.
* this is obviously not real, but for legal reasons I am obliged to point out this address is completely fake, made-up, imaginary, all that jazz. Go ahead, put it into Google Maps or something. You can even try Bing, provided you are a Reptilian or practice Wicca. Satisfied? Good, now get off my back. 🙂
** not officially recognised by the NIH or APA as a legitimate psychological condition with significant diagnostic validity…yet.
The past month has been fairly eventful. I have been in the process of expanding my personal collection of Pennsylvania plates. My goal is to (eventually) complete a display showing the full history of PA passenger plates from the early 70s Bicentennial base onwards, as well as a history of Commercial/Truck (not Apportioned) plates from about the same time period. I figure there’s enough to make for a sizable collection, at least for a start.
Here is a part of my collection as it is right now – there are some old Illinois plates and three other PA plates not pictured. The three absent PA plates are on my “family wall,” as they all belonged to…you guessed it, my cats. Naturally.
You might have noticed I have five motorcycle plates as well. I mentioned several posts ago that my friend’s boyfriend’s father was going to throw away a bunch of old stuff, including license plates, and she said “wait, I know a guy.” I got those motorcycle plates plus three old Illinois passenger plates, the three gradient plates here, and the You’ve Got a Friend plate as well.
I have since added the 1992-issued AAE-1539 plate (which is likely a tad older than I am), and the Bicentennial Z11-354 (which is definitely a lot older than I am). There’s also this…
I can only assume this was on eBay because the seller knew somebody would buy it for some reason. That somebody is me, and the reason has to do with historical significance and not much more. See, when a state does a mandatory re-plate, it’s generally an expensive undertaking, which is why PA decided against doing another in 2009-2010, and why they’re likely to stick with that decision for at least another five years or so.
However, by 1999, there were still quite a number of plates like this one on the road, having been in use by that point for well over twenty years. Given that in Pennsylvania we can transfer our active tag to our new car, or even between immediate family members (say you get daddy’s old car when he got a shiny new one, but didn’t want to pay an extra $28 for a new plate), plates can stay on the road for a very long time – even once they’re effectively illegible, which is of course the main complaint law enforcement brought to the DMV when the latter was considering a statewide re-plate. For all I know, 621-66P above was Exhibit A.
The stickers are piled so high that they are raised higher than the serial itself, and of course the adhesive doesn’t last forever, so I decided to have a look underneath. On top of the right pile is a 2-00 sticker, and on the bottom of that (far as I can tell) is SEP, from when PA issued two stickers for month and year. On the top of the left stack is 2-99, and as you can see in the photo, a partially-ripped 79 sticker is visible way underneath. I believe the blue one directly below that is a 78 sticker, which is probably the oldest one there. That means this plate was in use for over two decades. The owner had this plate nearly as long as my parents have had children. That’s kind of weird to think about.
Of course, it wouldn’t quite be PennDOT without some weird rules, so there are some limitations to transferring active tags. When our Suburban was totaled in Hurricane Sandy, my mother transferred its DFR tag (issued new in 2000) to her replacement, a used TrailBlazer that bore that plate until IT was totaled in March of this year. When she got her new Murano, though, the dealer told her they couldn’t transfer the tag despite it being active and legible. Who knows. It couldn’t be because of total loss of the previous vehicle. Maybe because the TrailBlazer was used? The world may never know.
Well, speaking of plates that have seen better days, there’s this one…
Seriously, how does that happen? It looks like somebody took a blowtorch to the plate. It looks like a geographical contour map or something.
And here’s a plate that didn’t have to be replaced, but certainly needs more stickers. Seven more, to be precise.
A 2008 sticker on an in-use, valid plate in 2015. That’s a new record for my sightings.
Armed Forces Reserve plates like this one are an oddity for Pennsylvania. First, of course, is the fact they’re still issued on the old “www” gradient fade base. The only other plates issued as “new” on this old base are uncommon types like Circus/Carnival Truck, Commercial (and non-commercial) Implement of Husbandry, Apportioned Bus, and Hearing Impaired, as well as the Armed Forces Reserve plates – Air Force (A/F0000), Army (A/R0000), Coast Guard (C/G0000), Marine (M/C0000), and Navy (N/R0000). There are also a number of Special Organisation plates (which these Reserve plates are considered to be) still on the old gradient fade base.
The other characteristic of these Reserve plates that makes them unusual for Pennsylvania is the close spacing of the prefix and serial (actually, there’s pretty much no spacing whatsoever) and the lack of leading zeroes on four-digit serials. Oh, and there’s no logo of any sort. On this base, logos were embossed rather than screened. This probably just means that these plates represent a design scheme that PennDOT turned out not to like as much as they thought, as all other special organisation plates feature a logo far to the left with the prefix directly following, and then a five-digit serial with leading zeroes (or starting with a 1, 2, 3, 4 etc if the prefix exists elsewhere). Alternatively, the logo will be on the left, followed by the serial, and the letters become a suffix on the far right.
I imagine the reason Pennsylvania issues these Reserve plates on the www base is the same as why we issue the other plates I mentioned – they over-estimated demand, and made far too many plates. That’s why the current Apportioned Bus high is only B/N-03102, up from B/N-01777 at the end of 2010. For comparison, normal Apportioned plates (for long-haul trucks, tipper lorries, and such) have progressed from AF-30000 to AG-38834 in about the same time.
There’s also the question of who actually wants these, seeing as I imagine they’re equally eligible for the U.S Marine Corps plate, which comes on the visitPA base, has a full-colour screened logo, and can be personalised as well. Go figure.
Still, uncommon sighting.
Speaking of plates that aren’t very nice to look at, here’s the second-lowest of the redesigned Tiger plate. This “family of plates” VISA card design replaced the old full-graphic version in summer 2013, and nearly 2500 have been issued as of this post. Proceeds go to support the Philadelphia Zoo, hence the P/Z suffix and “Support Your Zoo” legend. I guess the Pittsburgh Zoo drew the short straw?
For reference, here’s an older Tiger plate I saw a few days earlier.
Originally, I thought this was a neat find because it used both a zero and the letter “o,” but realised it was just the sun fooling me and the last letter is in fact a “C.” The letter “o” is typically not used on Pennsylvania’s standard-issue plates, except as a part of a prefix or suffix on special issues, such as the Combat Action Badge (40000 C/O) or International Union of Operating Engineers (O/E 00000).
There was, however, an “o” used on this older (fully graphical) version of the Tiger plate. Since the dies are different sizes, it apparently wasn’t confusing…even though the same dies are used on all the other PA plates that don’t have the letter “o.” Huh.
I drove to Abington and back the other day. It was awful. It would not have been so bad if I had our EZ-Pass (seriously, get one). Whilst stuck at the Mid-County Interchange for about 45 minutes, I saw this. It’s nearly the current high, except it’s not – the highest photographed so far is JXF-9302, and I’m sure we’re higher than that by now.
I really wanted a JX* plate, but the tag agency at which we finalised the purchase of my new (used) car had yet to run through their stock of JW*, so I ended up with this:
Yes, I’ve got a Volkswagen. It’s a lot different from my old Spark, namely in that it is larger and faster, and probably safer and more reliable too, seeing as this has got 125K miles and the Spark hardly made it to 18K before blowing up. My girlfriend also notices it’s quieter at speed, which is cool because even with the big diesel engine there’s less road noise than in the Spark.
This plate is temporary, though, as I plan to finally get my vanity in the near future. Speaking of which, I’ve seen some of those as well.
Gamers love Chinatown.
And now onto New Jersey. I was at Island Beach State Park on the 24th, which was a nice day trip and a nice drive as well. I had some pretty decent luck seeing plates, too, and even managed to photograph one (at the beach itself). On the way, I did see the Temporary high – J700***, but couldn’t get a photo and didn’t get the whole number. I can at least say they’re into the J7***** series, though.
New Jersey seems to move through plate series pretty quickly, or maybe that’s just me since I don’t live there. PA goes pretty fast too, in fairness. The series advanced from Z99-FPZ to A10-FRA late last month, since Q is not used on regular passenger plates. Now we’re in FS*.
Speaking of New Jersey’s passenger issue…they don’t use Q, nor U, I, or O, but they’ll use A and E. With three alpha characters, then, there’s plenty of opportunity to make words. Now, I don’t know about you, but there are some words I wouldn’t necessarily want to have bolted to the back of my car by legal mandate.
Yep, it says FEC. Don’t worry, though – they’ve also issued FAC, FAK, and FEK, all of which I have seen at least in passing. I got cut off on I-295 by a big black Acura wielding a FAK plate. Classy.
Seriously, are people at the New Jersey MVA just more mature or open-minded, or oblivious, or what? It gets kind of hard to justify “mature” when you see plates like this, though:
Yes, that says exactly what you think it does. If you don’t know what it means, go ask a teenage boy.
Well, okay, I didn’t say “twenty-nine f.”
Let me emphasize again that these are all normal, sequential passenger plates. Pennsylvania, of course, has also issued word plates like this in the past, especially back when we used vowels (A and E, specifically) in the second position – ACT, AWW, BAD, BAE (which was not an English slang term back then), BED, BAT, CAT, CAB, DAD, DEB, EAR, EAT, and so forth. Oh, and YAH, YAK, YAM, YAP, and YAY on truck plates. I’ve at least seen YAK on the road.
Someday I hope to have a decent collection of “word plates.” For now, the closest I have is an Illinois plate from the mid-80s with serial OX-2020, where the same die is used for the zeroes and the “o.” Weird. We were issued APT in 1994 with our brand-new Jeep, but I have no idea where any of the old plates are. My parents don’t either. Knowing my family, they have not been thrown out, but that doesn’t mean hunting them down will be easy. We’re also apparently cleaning out my grandmother’s attic because she’s probably got a lot of junk up there (or just cool stuff), and there’s a chance she has some old plates as well. My aunt might have some Virginia plates from when she lived there, and my brother apparently has a Florida plate somewhere (I don’t know why, and I didn’t ask).
Hopefully, then, my collection will expand. Slowly, probably, but it’s a start.
I’ll leave you with this one. Even though it was only issued in 2008, this plate’s sheeting is bubbling badly. Many older plates from the AAA-10A series still exist on the road in decent condition, albeit with some background fading, and of course there are still some of the “buff-on-blue” plates out there, perfectly legible. I guess 3M must have had a few bad batches of sheeting in the past. Some of the older PA www plates are really looking rough now, mostly in the early D-series. This was slightly before the changeover to Avery sheeting, but incidentally issued around the same time as NJ was issuing 3M-sheeted plates (they still are, of course) of the sort still legible but faded.
The world may never know.
Also – what causes such dramatic bubbling? Long periods of direct sun exposure? It’s New Jersey! People go to the beach! There’s gonna be sun. Go figure.
June was a particularly active month for license plates, even here in Pennsylvania.
We actually had a bill pass (SB 284) that makes possible a new optional plate for motorcycles, Honoring Our Veterans, which is the first such MC plate in PA history. Thanks to John McDevitt and his PAPL8S site for this update – I highly recommend taking a look at the wealth of information on his site if you want to learn more about PA plate history. Most of what I know about the plates of this Commonwealth I’ve learned from his website!
I’d love to see a photo of one of these new plates. I’m sure they will be out there very soon, since the bill takes effect just over two months from now (1 July). This is the first special-issue (technically, special fund) motorcycle plate for PA, and also the first graphical PA motorcycle plate – presumably, anyway, since it’s probably going to have the same image as the current car special fund H/V plate, just smaller. The only other PA plate of non-standard size to feature a screened logo or icon is the Person with Disability motorcycle plate, which features a screened light-blue universal handicapped symbol to the left of the serial.
In non-Pennsylvania news…
I’ve determined that Rhode Island is not actually re-issuing “dormant” serials in the AA-123 format as they had until 2007, but rather running through those in that format which had either expired AND been purged from all state records, or else never issued at all. No idea how the latter would have been possible, but I guess it is. They appear to have started in the EA-series. My ex’s father purchased a used car and registered it at about exactly the same time Rhode Island had issued 399-999 (our neighbor had 399-419). The plate he got is in the EA-series, but other accounts say RI actually jumped first to the EZ-series. To be brutally honest, nothing the Rhode Island DMV does really surprises me anymore. The fact they re-issued expired serials in the first place speaks to their relative lack of foresight and/or resourcefulness.
New York has apparently issued GZZ-9999 and is now moving into the Haa-series. Depending on whom you ask, New York’s general issue is on track to overtake Pennsylvania’s within the next couple years.
This makes sense when you consider that Pennsylvania began issuing seven-character serials in 1992 at AAA-0000, whilst New York started doing so in January of 2001 at ACA-0000. Currently, PA is in the JX-series, but NY is already in the HA-series. For reference, it took PA nearly sixteen years to make that kind of progress; New York needed only about thirteen and a half, and that’s bearing in mind New York readily issues remakes of old serials on new bases (whereas Pennsylvania offered such an option only back in the early-2000s re-plate…but no longer).
New Jerseyis in the nnn-FPa series now. I expect to start seeing nnn-Gaa by mid- to late August. NJ remains the only state with a flat plate using a font that doesn’t suck*.
*excluding Delaware, who have been issuing flat plates for decades and are apparently immune to graphic-design-based criticism because they are Delaware and do things their own way. Good for them. We love Delaware plates.
These RT plates tend to be issued to mechanics and/or towing companies, and don’t necessarily have to be put on a tow truck or flatbed wrecker or what have you, in much the same way as a WL (Salvage Yard) plate can simply be issued to a pickup owned by a guy employed by a scrap yard who goes around doing scrap yard business, whatever that might entail. Thus, you’ll often see tow trucks with normal Truck plates (or occasionally Apportioned plates, if they’re meant for highway tractor recovery and the like).
It’s a bit misleading – as a private citizen, and bearing in mind I’m currently unemployed, I could legally purchase, own, and drive a tow truck on a regular basis. No idea why anybody would do that if they didn’t actually own or work for a towing company, but it’s perfectly legal. However, I would not be legally allowed to register a RT or WL plate – I’d have to use a normal Truck plate.
I guess I understand though – you see a tow truck and you don’t really need to think too hard about the kind of business to which it might belong. 😉
And now for some PA plates that aren’t highs.
Oddly, the trailer to which it’s attached is in significantly better shape than the plate itself, which bears a 2017 expiration sticker. Note it’s held on with a couple zip ties and what looks like bungee cord, and that at least one of the bolt holes is completely ripped and useless…nobody ever said landscaping work was easy.
At around the GRA-series in mid-2007, PA began producing plates using Avery rather than 3M sheeting. This resulted in a very slightly different appearance for the “PENNSYLAVANIA” and “visitPA.com” legends. The vast majority of people cannot see any difference, which was ostensibly the DMV’s intention. However, it also seems Avery got this contract because 3M’s sheeting had already begun to show its age, and it’s all the more evident in plates such as this DWY-series (issued towards the end of 2001) and even some of the mid- to late-Eaa-series plates out there.
I assume it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing the Faa-series plates begin to deteriorate in much the same way. I’ve seen some early Gaa-series plates in absolutely horrid condition, whilst I’ve seen GSa-series plates used on a daily basis up in the mountains that look pristine – and remember the harsh winters we’ve had!!
Speaking of plates starting to show their age, how about this veritably ancient PT plate? Obviously, the “Permanent” in “Perm. Trailer” really does mean “permanent,” as in both the plate and registration are valid for the life of the trailer.
As you may have guessed, this trailer is a petrol tanker, and that’s not exactly something you’d trust if it was all rusty and beaten up! Luckily, the trailer was in great shape – clean and shiny, actually – but the plate looks like crap. This photo doesn’t do it justice, since it was about 2 in the morning and I was using my G3 camera, but it’s pretty obvious that the old 3M sheeting just isn’t as durable as it ought to be. This trailer has presumably done over a hundred thousand miles since this plate was issued (probably 2002 or 2003) and yet only the license plate seems to be succumbing to age-related wear and tear…
This is another one from the end of April I forgot to post. This vehicle’s registration is still valid, but you wouldn’t know it since the plate expired four years ago. How hard is it to open your mail and put a sticker on your license plate?! Apparently, the Commonwealth agrees that it can be quite challenging for its more simple-minded inhabitants, and has decided to do away with registration stickers altogether, beginning in 2017. Sigh.
That makes sense enough. In late 2000, we were issued DFR-5052 (currently decommissioned and hanging on my wall) and maybe five years later, I remember seeing DFR-5051 on the highway. It’s just kinda cool when you realise that means of all the cars with which you could have possibly come into contact, overtaken, or even just seen from a distance, out of the millions on the road today, you saw one that somebody almost certainly bought at the same place on the same day as you.
License plates do say a lot more than most people realise.
On a more personal side note, the trees to the right of the road (PA 252) in the above photo have been cut down within only the last few days. This is to make way for a Whole Foods.
All I have to say here is this: Fuck you, Whole Foods. Newtown Square is not the Main Line, nor do we want to be. Go away. Nobody wants you here. Well…nobody except the developers you’re paying to level some of the last trees remaining on Newtown Township-owned property, anyway.
We are more than capable of driving ten minutesto your location in Devon if we want self-righteous over-priced garbage that makes people think we care about the environment or whatever. Your store’s “mission” is a joke and your marketing is at best a gimmick-ridden farce designed to play on the insecurities of the socially-conscious scientifically-illiterate masses. Anybody with half a brain knows that “organic” does not mean “better” in any way, except in terms of yourwallets.
Again, kindly get out of Newtown Square. We do not want you here. You are not welcome here.
I’d honestly rather have some goddamn TREES.
I honestly have no idea what this Virginia tag is. It appears to have the same formatting as later POD (print-on-demand) VA temp tags, but they stopped issuing those a while ago. Nowadays, VA issues 30-day temporary permits, to my understanding, which follow a nnUnnn pattern (the alpha character currently being the letter U, not G, nor in the first position.)
If anybody has an idea about this one, please let me know. It’s expired by now and likely supplanted with a normal PA tag, as I happen to know this vehicle belongs to somebody who lives in PA. Still, though, I don’t like unsolved questions – what the hell is this? 😮
This is another “mystery plate” that, thanks to the License Plate Collectors group on Facebook, is no longer a mystery. This is, in fact, a German export tag that expired 25 October 2012.
It’s entirely possible this person bought their 3-series directly from Germany, although I’ve no idea why anybody would do that when identical BMWs are sold right here in the USA. This is, however, a real and legitimate plate, which means this car more than likely embarked on a trans-continental voyage at some point before the end of 2012…:o
I’m afraid that’s all I have for now. June was an interesting month, to say the least, both within and outside of the hobby. Sadly, my time is taken up in the real world a lot more often than I’d like, which means my plate-related posts will likely continue to be relegated to a semi-monthly basis at best.
Given I no longer drive as far (or, indeed, as often) as I did earlier this year, I’m not presented with as many opportunities for plate-spotting. That said, my girlfriend tends to make plans that require me commuting at rush hour, so what I lack in opportunity I make up for in volume…
First, though, I am pleased to say I have finally gotten my very own “plate wall” underway! These two photos show the extent of my collection at present.
You may have noticed there are some Illinois plates there. That’s because there are some Illinois plates there. 🙂
See, I have this great friend who is a fantastic listener and a very understanding, open-minded individual in general. She’s also a scientist and is prodigiously intelligent, but none of that really explains where I got these plates.
In fact, every plate in the first photo (that is, the ones that aren’t from my family’s cars or my car) were gifts from this friend of mine. Her boyfriend’s father – clearly a motorcycle enthusiast – found these in his garage and was going to throw them away. My friend said something to the effect of “wait, I know a guy,” and, well, here we are.
I cleaned them all and now, thanks to advice from a member of the wonderful License Plate Collectors group on Facebook, have (finally) mounted them to my wall. Those binder rings are a genius idea. I used to clip them to my ears long ago before I actually had real piercings, so why I didn’t think of them for this use I’ve no idea. XD
Now, onto my recent spottings. These are in chronological order.
I should note that, within the last several months, I have spotted no fewer than five consecutive limousine highs (according to both paplates.com and licenseplates.cc) – LM-29251 in February, LM-29328 and LM-29344 in May, and now LM-29354 and LM-29370 in June.
Interestingly, all but the latter (pictured above) have been on Über cars. For those who aren’t aware, Über is a sort of app-based black cab service, providing direct competition to more established yellow cab companies. Since yellow is a hideous colour, it’s no surprise companies like Über are so rapidly dominating the market.
Also, your everyday “cabbie” is at best a suspicious sleazeball with a thick accent and a strong smell of at least one kind of spicy foreign food about him. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but…well, it’s a bit odd when you always smell like you’ve spent all day just sitting inside A Taste of India, despite not working there…and not being of Indian descent.
I digress. Oops! Sadly, those are the only highs I really have for now. The last few weeks have been uneventful at best. So, to (hopefully) make up for it, here are some non-high still-interesting plates!
Well then. Um, here are some plates that aren’t from Pennsylvania.
I have not made a post about license plates in some time, for a number of reasons, so this post may be quite long!
I’ve seen quite a few highs lately, as well as some oddballs and a few interesting vanities and nice numbers. Let’s start, though, by acknowledging I am now living in Pennsylvania full-time, as opposed to spending months in Rhode Island (like late 2014 to earlier this year) or New Jersey (like much of last year). This is both good and bad in terms of plate spotting, but on the whole it’s nice to be in a relationship that doesn’t require hours of travel. Take my advice – if possible, date somebody less than an hour away! Seeing other states’ plates is nice and all, but long-distance relationships don’t work out, and license plates aren’t as important as happiness!
Without further ado, then, here’s a long-overdue plate-spotting update.
The plate frame on the BMW, in this case, actually helps, which is unusual – I kid you not, the full text of the caption is “Delaware Valley Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America.”
They’ve somehow managed to fit that in the same space normally occupied by the much-more-succinct “visitPA.com” – naturally, the font kerning is so incredibly thin it’s practically illegible, and serves to explain, at least in part, why BMW owners seem to work in fields like finance and business management rather than graphic design and media. 😉
Side note: for an old 318, this one’s actually in really good shape, so props to the owner for maintaining it so well. This is their daily driver – the owner is local, and I see the car around every few days or so.
This guy – the cop riding the bike with the Municipal Motorcycle high MG57D above – actually cut me off in traffic during morning (school drop-off) rush hour.
If you know who he is – his badge number, whatever – kindly inform Radnor Township that he has no place being a motorcycle patrol officer, since he clearly lacks awareness of basic traffic laws. The blue lights above his indicators also shouldn’t be turned on during the day unless he’s making a traffic stop…which he was not.
I should note, in the interest of fairness, I was driving a white Dodge Charger, which many mistake for an unmarked police vehicle. It’s a testament to their collective stupidity, if anything, seeing as I have Ontario plates.
And now for some other plates that aren’t highs…
Tom Perri informs me this is a fake, which makes sense as the current high is about two thousand numbers lower…and the font doesn’t match.
Should note that in my above shot, the “XCL-R8” vanity is on a Porsche Macan Turbo and the hyphen has been painted red for some reason. Insecure much?
And finally, some non-PA plates. New Jersey plates, to be precise.
The serial FRL-51Y is a valid NJ passenger plate registered to a 2010 Mercedes-Benz ML-350. As you can see, it is clearly affixed to said vehicle. Thus, everything seems to be in order – all legal.
The thing is, though, this serial was issued in 1990. These “buff-on-blue” NJ bases are increasingly rare. The PA equivalent(s) would be the old blue-on-reflective-yellow plates (AAA-000 through GZZ-nnn, 1980-1983), the extremely unpopular “You’ve Got a Friend” gold-on-blue base (HAA-000 through RZZ-nnn, 1983-1987), and the more familiar gold-on-blue “Keystone State” base (SAA-000 through ZZZ-999, 1987-1992).
Although those PA plates – and indeed all PA plates issued from 1977 onwards – could have been re-validated through 2002 and were also eligible for serial re-makes on the then-new “www base,” they are not valid now, and have been illegal since 2002. If you think about it, that makes sense – PA has a history of not building, making, or engineering things particularly well (see: Veteran’s Stadium, I-276, the Salvation Army building, most of Philadelphia, every other state road and highway) and as such there were conceivably plenty of valid plates on the road as late as 2002 that were, at that point, 25 years old. The statewide re-plate, starting at DAA-0000, sought to address that. Even so, you still see early D- and E-series plates (even some of the F-series now) showing significant signs of wear just over a decade later…!
Compare that with the 1990 New Jersey plate above. It is not only still legal to display, but also perfectly legible! I imagine the latter enables the former.
The curious thing about this particular plate, however, is its sticker. New Jersey, historically, has avoided stickers on passenger plates except for a brief stint earlier in the 2000s. You’ll find them on just about every other type in the state, but not passenger plates. Indeed, there are no sticker boxes on NJ plates at all as of several years ago, and the only thing you’re likely to find on them are the red probationary stickers for which the MVA will charge you $4 and, being made by 3M, they will not come off without a fight. I had to put them on my old car, which was licensed in PA! That was not fun…
I digress. My mother knows I like license plates. She was going north on I-95 (she was not driving) when she noticed this old New Jersey plate, and then saw it’s got a sticker on. I think she took a photo just because she knows it’s an old plate and I’d probably appreciate it – I do! – but being a very intelligent woman, she also knows that New Jersey doesn’t use plate stickers…and that this particular sticker says “64,” which is her birth year.
Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s not why she noticed. It’s probably more to do with the fact it’s 2015, and this plate looks way too good to have been issued over fifty years ago.
Plus, I happen to know that in 1964, NJ was issuing plates much more similar in colour scheme (and slogan) to the ones we see today. That, and there were no stickers.
This is likely a commercial sticker on a passenger plate. Jim Moini has a nice collection of such misplaced stickers on his NJplates site. My mom didn’t see the driver, though. Maybe it’s their birth year? Maybe it’s just a sticker? Who knows? It definitely doesn’t belong…