An Empire blue and white license plate is showing signs of age (Jim Franco/Spotlight News)
ALBANY — State residents are being asked to pick their favorite out of five proposed new license plate designs (see below.)
Beginning in April 2020, when a person who has the blue and white Empire State plate re-registers a vehicle they will need to buy a new license plate for $25. It will cost $20 for those who want to keep their current license plate number. Other registration fees will still apply.
“I don’t have an issue with updating the design of New York’s license plates or replacing the plates that are peeling, but taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the inferior product that the state has produced.” said Sen. Jim Tedisco,” R-Schenectady. “More than 189,000 people escaped from New York over the last year and one million over the past decade. These new DMV plate fees will certainly accomplish one goal: getting more New Yorkers to hit the road – permanently.”
Three of the plates feature the Statue of Liberty, one of them has a small silhouette of Lady Liberty as well as a depiction of Niagara Falls and Manhattan and the last has a depiction of the bridge formerly known as the Tappan Zee recently renamed after Cuomo’s father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo.
Four of the plates, with the exception of the one featuring the bridge, has the word “Excelsior,” which is Latin for “forever upward.”
“License plates are a symbol of who we are as a state and New Yorkers should have a voice and a vote in its final design,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “As the life span of the old plates comes to an end and we develop new ones that are as easy to read as possible, I encourage all residents to take part in choosing this piece of our state’s history.”
Currently more than three million vehicles in New York state have plates that are more than 10 years old, many of them are damaged, rusted and/or peeling making it difficult or impossible to read license plate numbers. Having a license plate that is legible reduces a motorist’s risk of being pulled over and cited for having an illegible license plate.
Legibility issues can also hinder license plate readers, which are used by law enforcement, red light cameras and cashless tolling systems, from correctly identifying the registered vehicle owner.
Voting runs to Sept. 2 at 11:59 p.m. Only state resident can vote, and only vote once. Visit