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State backs down as poll shows New Yorkers not in favor of new license plate requirement

In a recent poll taken by the Siena College Research Institute, 60 percent of New York residents oppose Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new proposal that may cost drivers up to $45 to replace license plates.

Posted: Sep 17, 2019 3:52 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2019 4:22 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. – In a recent poll taken by the Siena College Research Institute, 60 percent of New York residents oppose Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new proposal that may cost drivers up to $45 to replace license plates.

The proposal would require drivers to pay $25 to upgrade license plates that are more than 10 years old to a new design beginning in April 2020. There would also be an additional $20 fee to keep current plate numbers.

After an uproar from residents and some state legislators, Cuomo has backed off of the proposal in lieu of working with legislators to explore alternative plans.

The poll also shows that 75 percent of New Yorkers think the $25 fee is unfair.

The Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark Schroeder says the cost for replacing a new license plate has been $25 since 2009. However, there has never been a mandate to replace license plates that were more than 10 years old.

“The national standard by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators is that 10 years is a license plate's useful life,” Schroeder said in a statement.

He also says that the age-limit on license plates could be reconsidered or reviewed on a case-by-case basis after inspection.

“If the legislature can agree to a cost effective and practical plate inspection mechanism to determine what plates are still in good operating condition after the 10-year life and thus do not need to be replaced we would welcome the opportunity to be cooperative,” said Schroeder in the statement.

Since the state is planning to implement electronic tolling, the concern is that old or damaged plates will not be read by the camera, and tolls will not be properly charged.

Schroeder says there is still time to evaluate other avenues that may be more cost effective for residents, stating “The 10-year life replacement program does not go into effect until next April so we have time to work with the legislature to explore alternatives. We support reducing costs wherever possible."

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