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State May Be Softening Policy On New License Plates, Reports Say

Some New Yorkers may not have to replace their license plates after all, as lawmakers change their course.
Some New Yorkers may not have to replace their license plates after all, as lawmakers change their course. Photo Credit: New York State

Not so fast.

New York state officials may be hitting the brakes on the new license plate plans that would have required drivers to pay to replace plates that are more than 10 years old.

Under New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan, beginning on April 1, 2020, if license plates are at least 10 years old, drivers will be charged $25 for new plates, regardless of their current condition. Drivers would also be charged $20 to keep their current license plate number.

However, the new license plate, may not be mandatory. The state is now considering letting people keep their current plates as long as they're in good condition.

The governor has said the replacements are necessary to keep up with technology, but is now changing his tune, stating that he “doesn’t want anyone to have to replace the plate if the plate is in fine condition.”

Cuomo noted that the state would need to find a way to inspect a license plate to determine whether it needs to be replaced, possibly adding it to the annual inspection process.

The plan has come under fire, with politicians speaking out against the proposal, including online petitions and a mock vote with faux license plate options disparaging the governor.

“This administration has more angles than a geometry book to get into the pockets of taxpayers," Sen. James Tedisco stated. "This License Plate Tax is truly highway robbery for the over-taxed and over-burdened taxpayers of New York State in the form of a new $70 million tax.

“Where is this $70 million windfall going and why should taxpayers not only have to foot the bill for the shoddy and inferior license plates created by 3M that are peeling but also for whatever other mystery projects this tax grab is funding. The Governor and DMV should do the right thing for taxpayers and revoke this license plate tax now.”

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