Pennsylvania Finally Gets the New License Plate It Deserves

Plus, more Wawa news than you can possibly handle.

The new Pennsylvania license plate design released by Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro

The new Pennsylvania license plate design released by Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro

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Pennsylvania Finally Gets the New License Plate It Deserves

Sixteen months after longtime Philly Mag writer Christine Speer Lejeune wondered why Pennsylvania couldn’t have a better license plate design, we can officially shout it from the rooftops: Pennsylvania has a better license plate design!

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro took to social media on Tuesday morning to showcase the Keystone State’s new license plate. “Pennsylvania is the birthplace of our democracy and our freedom — and in 2026, we’ll celebrate America’s 250th anniversary right here in the Commonwealth where it started,” Shapiro wrote. “With all eyes on Pennsylvania, our new license plates will celebrate that heritage — and remind the country that here in Pennsylvania, we will let freedom ring.”

Shapiro went on to explain that the transition to the new Pennsylvania license plate will actually begin in 2025. Want to be among the first to get the new plate? Sign up here for notifications from the state.

You’ll notice that on the new Pennsylvania license plate, the Liberty Bell replaces the keystone. It appears that the keystone was originally introduced to Pennsylvania license plates around 1910. But the keystone went poof in the 1930s and then resurfaced in the late 1950s. The only time the Liberty Bell showed up on Pennsylvania license plates was in the 1970s. That was for a special Bicentennial State ’76 plate.

Because everybody on social media has an opinion and feels the need to share it, there were, of course, a good number of responses to Shapiro’s announcement. Plenty praised the new license plate design, calling it “such an upgrade” and a “great way to celebrate.” Others seemed to think it wasn’t quite patriotic enough. Some called for a return to the license plate design that existed before the current/soon-to-be-old one. And some suggested that the governor concern himself less with new license plates and more with legalizing marijuana and increasing the minimum wage.

For a more professional opinion, I turned to Philly Mag design director Jamie Leary, who gives the plate a 6 out of 10 score. “I never like a faint or ‘ghosted’ object behind type,” he explains. “Feels amateur. I like the little keystone as a type element in the old plate. I’d prefer to see a bell icon inline rather than the bell ghosted behind.”

I’ll tell the folks in Harrisburg to get in touch with you in 2083 when it’s time for another design, Jamie.

As for whether this means you will finally be able to get that “FUBIDEN” or “ILUVPOOP” Pennsylvania vanity license plate you’ve been dreaming of all these years, I’m guessing the answer is a firm no.

Another Philadelphia Wawa Bites the Dust

Wawa may have been giving out free hoagies in Philadelphia a couple of weeks back, but the chain’s love affair with the city continues to progress toward a divorce. In recent years, Wawa has closed store after store in Philadelphia, and now we learn that Wawa is closing its location at 3230 Richmond Street in Port Richmond … after 45 years!

And Because Some People Just Have Too Much Wawa Time on Their Hands

Meet the local guy who has finally accomplished the ambitious goal of collecting Wawa order slips numbered 0 to 999. I’m hoping Wawa sends this guy a coupon for a free Shorti.

Local Talent

You might not tend to associate Roots co-founder Questlove with the music of the Grateful Dead. But the fact is, the man just loves music and live performances. He went to the much-ballyhooed Sphere in Las Vegas the other day to check out the John Mayer-lead Dead & Company’s new residence there. And it’s fair to say he was impressed.

By the Numbers

$100 million: Budget for the big Avenue of the Arts transformation that’s set to begin next year. That’s cool and all. But should we be worried that they’ve only raised $1 million for this project thus far?

1: Electric vehicle charging hubs in the greater Philadelphia area funded via National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funds that will exist once the first opens this summer. And no, sorry Philly, you don’t get it. Delco does.