NYS new license plates cost $25: 'Shouldn't we get our plates free?'

August 21, 2019 11:40 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A lot of people are upset about the new state license plates. 

The designs are fine.


It's the fact that you're going to have to pay $25 for a new one. 

A couple of quick facts: The new plate comes out on April 1, 2020 (the start of the state's fiscal year). If you own a current yellow and blue license plate you will have 10 years to buy the new designed plate starting April 1, 2020. 

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 have to buy 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. 

Click here for times and locations of the Monroe County Mobile DMV.

Scroll down to vote on the plate design you like the best.

"So this is our plate right here," Patricia Peters said as she walked me to her truck in the village square in Holley.

When she heard about the new plates and the $25 fee, so got so frustrated, she called me. 

"Let's face it, we've got high taxes in this state. And what are they doing for us?" Peters asked. "If we're paying that high tax, shouldn't we get our plates free?"

The rules laid out by Governor Andrew Cuomo say the plates are coming online next April, and if your plates are the old style blue and white, you must replace them.

Just in the Village of Holley I counted nine bllue and white plates in the village square.  

The governor's office says there are three million of them in New York. One of them belongs to Margie Shenck in Holley.

Friend: "Can you keep your same..."
Margie Shenck, Holley: "Numbers?"
Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "If you pay another $20 on top of the $25 for the new plate."
Shenck, laughing: "Yeah, I think I'll keep whatever they give me."

I asked the govenror's office and the DMV if the same vendor that made the peeling plates is making the new one. The DMV referred me to the NYS Department of Corrections.

Corrections says they'll still be made at Auburn Prison but it hired Avery Dennison, a new vendor.

"DOCCS and all its vendors continually review and evaluate all of its programs for quality and effectiveness," said DOCCS spokesman Tom Mailey. 

I asked if the new plates will work with cashless tolls on the thruway coming next year. In Niagara County Tuesday, the governor said they're specifically designed to do that. 

"And we need a plate that works with that technology," Governor Cuomo said. 

"I don't know," Patricia Peters said. "I guess it just frustrated me and that's why I called you Berkeley. I thought -- this is a good question!"

Her question is: why do we have to pay for the new plates? 

This is the second time New York has changed its plates in 10 years- 36 states have changed at least once in the decade, and18 have changed at least twice. 

Each state charges a plate fee. They are as low as $3 in Nebraska and as high as $82 in Louisiana. Louisiana has a sliding scale for its plate fees, the more expensive the car the more you pay. Louisiana changed its plates four times in the past 10 years. 

Click here to vote on the new plate design.


Berkeley Brean

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