Plates update: January 2016

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 spotted 11 December 2015 in Ardmore, PA.

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.

JZR-1018 spotted 7 January 2016 in Ardmore, PA.

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!

JZT-1527 spotted 11 January 2016 in St. Davids, PA.

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.

Expired EVJ-0411 spotted 14 January 2016 in Newtown Square, PA.

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.

Unstickered HMH-3180 spotted 20 January 2016 in Newtown Square, PA.

Here’s a plate from 2010 with no sticker whatsoever. That’s probably even less conspicuous, if you think about it.

JNA-7455 with temp tag spotted 16 January 2016 in Springfield, PA.

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?!

Person with Disability vanity spotted 10 December 2015 in Bryn Mawr, PA.

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.

4FUN CAR vanity spotted 12 December 2015 in Ardmore, PA.

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.

DAMAGE 2 vanity spotted 11 December 2015 in Ardmore, PA.

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.

ST-DS9 vanity spotted 16 January 2016 in Springfield, PA.

Paging Captain Sisko.

YJF-2275 spotted 11 January 2016 in St. Davids, PA.

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.

YAC-2289 spotted in my driveway, 7 January 2016.

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.

00016 A/L spotted 11 December 2015 in Ardmore, PA.

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.

00019 C/H spotted 18 January 2016 in Ardmore, PA.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a little over 430 plates on the road.

00026 T/R spotted 7 January 2016 in Ardmore, PA. This is a high.

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.

00029 P/W spotted 11 December 2015 in Ardmore, PA. This is a high.

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.

100012 R/F spotted 5 January 2016 in Bryn Mawr, PA.

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!

02750 I/F spotted 22 January 2016 in Newtown Square, PA.

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.

LM-29659 spotted 11 January 2016 in St. Davids, PA. This is a high.

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.

DV-1009 spotted 3 January 2016 in Newtown Square, PA.
DV-1009 spotted 3 January 2016 in Newtown Square, PA.

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.

Nevada “Las Vegas Centennial” plate spotted 11 January 2016 in St. Davids, PA.

A Jeep from Arizona with a long-expired Nevada plate at a grocery store in Pennsylvania. Okay.

Colorado 372-ZPZ spotted 11 January 2016 in St. Davids, PA.

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.

Idaho plate spotted in Newtown Square, PA. December 2015.

Kootenai County, Idaho plate right here in Newtown Square, PA. Why?

Kentucky plate – IGWT? Spotted 26 November 2015 in Plymouth Meeting, PA.

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!

Delaware Commercial tag on a security vehicle here in Newtown Square. 7 January 2016.

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.

Plates update: late May through mid-June 2015

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.

My “plate wall” (including some of my photographs and a few other decorations)
My “family plate wall,” reserved for…my family’s plates. Top – our old Suburban and our old TrailBlazer, issued August 2000; Middle – my father’s first Infiniti – which was totaled – issued October 2006; Bottom – my Spark, which was also totaled :’-( …issued August 2013.

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.

Taken with flash – these plates my friend gave me were sitting in a garage for some time, based on the dust and dirt obscuring the reflective sheeting.

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.

Silver Star high, spotted 3 June 2015. The Silver Star is the third-highest US military honor, awarded for “gallantry in combat against an enemy of the United States of America.”
Hard to make out (sorry!) but this is JWS-2705, spotted in North Wales, PA on 15 June 2015. At the time of this post, this serial is the current PA passenger high.
LM-29370 spotted in Newtown Square, PA (my hometown, and a mile or so from my house at that) on 17 June 2015. At the time of posting, this serial is the current Limousine high.

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!

BN-02162 spotted in Norristown traffic on 15 June 2015. These Apportioned Bus plates are not very common, as evidenced by the fact the current high is BN-03102 and the plates are still issued on the old gradient-fade “www base.”
00021-M/S (National Multiple Sclerosis Society) spotted 12 June 2015 in downtown Media, PA. Although this is 60 less than the current high, it’s a relatively uncommon plate (this was most likely issued way back in 2011) and this is the lowest serial yet photographed (that I’ve located.)
As somebody of primarily German descent whose family owns a lakefront cabin in the Poconos, I approve of this vanity plate. ;)
You don’t say?! Also, um…isn’t SE the lowest trim level? I’m currently driving a Dodge Charger SE and feel no need to flaunt it. Of course, that could be because it’s a dreadful car. To its credit, this Focus sold very fast, whilst the BMW that had been there for a week prior is STILL for sale today. ;)
Just a neat vanity – Z-9. Spotted in Rose Tree, PA on 28 May 2015.
Yet another entry into my collection of self-righteous Prius vanities. This particular plate may seem innocuous at first glance, but it takes only a tiny bit of knowledge to know this in fact refers to the Prius’ “regenerative braking” system…just as much knowledge, in fact, as is required to understand the Prius is actually a horrid car that is ironically awful for the environment! :D
Another Prius vanity. “53 MPG.” Uh-huh, suuuuuure. My old Spark cost half what your hideous hybrid demanded, cost less at the pump, and had a significantly lower environmental impact! Oh, and the Spark was also never recalled for trying to kill its occupants with unstoppable throttle activity. ;)
I know I included this in my last plate post, but it just fits so well with the previous two vanities… I’m willing to bet real United States dollars that this person hasn’t the foggiest clue what carbon dioxide actually does to the atmosphere, how it’s produced, and why buying a disgusting-looking hybrid won’t actually offset jack shit. You want to lower CO2 emissions, starting at home? Spay/neuter your pet(s). Hell, neuter yourself. Stop reproducing, stop buying shit you don’t need, and definitely stop giving money to companies like Toyota who are killing the environment AND their customers…at the same time. :o

Well then. Um, here are some plates that aren’t from Pennsylvania.

Maryland House of Delegates plate, Baltimore and Howard Counties, spotted 6 June 2015 at an estate sale in Newtown Square, PA. Coincidentally, the town of Newtown Square, MD is in Maryland district 12A and thus represented by this very delegate (and two others)!
…really? So glad your fetish for the military-industrial complex and dreadful excuses for off-road vehicles has helped you “shed the pounds,” but still, it’s already plastered on the side of your car. Ugh.