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Fact Check: The top 5 questions and answers about the new $25 New York State license plate

August 21, 2019 06:09 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — We have received a number of questions about the new state license plate. 

On Monday, the governor's office released five new design options for New Yorkers to vote on. Click here to vote. The winning plate design will start being issued on April 1, 2020, which is the start of the state fiscal year. 

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A new design plate will cost $25 and you can pay an additional $20 to keep your same number. 

The governor's office and the NYS DMV says if you have an Empire blue and white license plate, which is probably 10 years old, you will have to replace it with the new design. The DMV says there are approximately three million Empire blue and white plates being used right now.

The governor's office and the DMV say the new plates are needed to work with new transportation technology with police and the thruway.

"Replacing aging plates will eliminate legibility issues that hinder License Plate Readers, which are used by law enforcement, red-light cameras, and cashless tolling systems, from correctly identifying the registered vehicle owner," the governor's release says. 

We want to fact check the top five questions. 

1) What if I have an Empire blue and white license plate and my registration is due before April 1, 2020? 

If you have an Empire blue and white license plate and your registration is due before April 1, 2020, you can re-register your car and keep the same blue and white for two years after which you will be issued a new design plate. 

2) What if I have an Empire blue and yellow plate? Do I need to buy a new design plate?

If you have an Empire blue and yellow plate, you can keep your plate for up to 10 years at which point you will be issued a new design plate. Any plate that is 10 years old must be replaced with the new design. The first Empire blue and yellow plates were issued in 2010. Those plates will have to be replaced with the new design on and after April 1, 2020. If you got a new Empire blue and yellow plate this year, your plate is good for the next 10 years.

3) Why do I have to pay $25 for a new plate?

NYS vehicle and traffic law mandates a $25 fee for a new plate. Vehicle and Traffic law 401 actually says "an additional fee, not to exceed twenty-five dollars, shall be paid to the commissioner whenever a set of reflectorized number plates is issued for any vehicle for which a registration fee is normally charged except that, with respect to any number plate which is specifically requested by the applicant, such fee shall be paid to the commissioner upon approval of such request."

Click here to see how often other states have issued new plates in the past 10 years.
 
4) What if I have a personalized license plate? Do I need to buy a new design plate?

If you have a personalized plate, you must replace it when it is 10 years old but can pay $20 to keep the number. That fee is set in Vehicle & Traffic Law Section 403.
 
5) What if I have an Empire blue and white or Empire blue and yellow license plate that is peeling? Do I have to buy a new design plate? 

You can return your peeling plate to the DMV and it will be replaced at no charge unless you want to keep the same plate number. In that case, it's an additional $20, according to state law.

Credits

Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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