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License plate debate rages on

September 02, 2019 06:05 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)- Millions of New Yorkers will soon be forced to buy new license plates.  

A few weeks ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a contest to choose the new New York State license plate. That contest veiled a change that will force many drivers to pay $25 to upgrade their plates to the newer version.  

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New York drivers with the current blue and yellow plates that are less than 10 years old can keep those plates without having to pay the fee, but those with the white and blue version will be forced to upgrade next year.   

The voting on the new version of the plate closes Monday at 11:59pm,  but what wasn’t in the headline of the contest was that fact that many folks will have to pay a $25 license plate replacement fee in addition to the cost of renewing their registration. If you want to keep your old license plate number, that’s another $20.  

“It doesn't look good if we have 4 million new plates coming out at $25 bucks a plate, that's $100 million, so I know a lot of people think it's a cash grab,” says Assemblyman Mark Johns.  

“I think first of all, your viewers need to understand that the law was put in place a long time ago,” says Assemblyman Harry Bronson of the state law that allows the DMV to charge $25 for new plates.  

The DMV has been charging $25 for plates for the past decade but the law does not mandate it be that price.  

“It says you can charge up to $25, so it could be $5 or $10.  Or [it could be] $15 or $20,” says Assemblyman Johns.  

Governor Andrew Cuomo said last week, if the legislature doesn’t like the fee, they should call themselves into special session and change the law.

Lawmakers say this isn’t something that needs to be decided by them. 

“A special session costs money, you're going to have to pay everybody's per-diems to come back for a couple of days, mileage back and forth, it can be regulated at the executive level,” Assembly Johns says.

Even those who don’t believe the new plates are a money grab still think the Governor should consider making a change. 

“If there's a way we can pick up the costs at the state level, I certainly would be supportive of that,” says Assemblyman Bronson.

Credits

Jennifer Lewke

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