Gov. Shapiro unveils new license plates, welcome signs ahead of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026

By Ellen McIntyre / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

New Pennsylvania highway welcome signs and license plates were unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Josh Shapiro, according to a release from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The new design, which reads “Let Freedom Ring” and features an illustration of the Liberty Bell, signifies Pennsylvania’s position as the birthplace of American democracy and comes as the state prepares to celebrate the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026. The last significant plate-design change was in 2003.


Eight welcome signs have already been put up at highway entry points into the state in Adams, Bucks, Erie, Fulton, Monroe, Potter, Susquehanna and Tioga counties, according to the release. Twenty-nine more signs are yet to be added across the state in coming months.

Pennsylvania residents can now register to receive an email update about when the new license plates are ready to order in spring 2025. When the plates become available, an email will be sent detailing the process that vehicle owners can follow to request one from PennDOT.

The unveiling comes after Mr. Shapiro’s launch of the Pennsylvania: The Great American Getaway tourism campaign.

“With all eyes on Pennsylvania as we prepare to host our country’s 250th birthday in 2026, our new license plates and welcome signs will celebrate the best of what the Commonwealth has to offer and show the country why Pennsylvania is the Great American Getaway and the birthplace of American freedom,” Mr. Shapiro said.

The new design, along with the new tourism campaign, highlight the tourism industry as a vital part of Mr. Shapiro’s economic development strategy. A March report by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office revealed that the state’s tourism industry generated $76.7 billion in economic impact in 2022.