Come next April, New York license plates will feature the first new design in a decade.
Officials at the New York Department of Motor Vehicles announced that a design featuring the Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls, the Adirondacks, and the New York City skyline is the winner of the August competition to choose the next plate – New York’s first redesign in a decade.
This comes, according to the Times Union, Nick Langworthy, the state’s GOP leader, made a Freedom of Information Law request for information about the vote.
Why did New York State change the design?
The current design dates back to 2010, when then-Gov. David Paterson revealed the current design – a throwback to the state’s license plates prior to 1986. At the time, there was widespread criticism over the design, resulting in the Paterson administration allowing for motorists to use both the “Empire Gold” and the white and blue “Empire State,” dating back to 2001.
The Cuomo administration argued that the older Empire State plates were too old, as the risk of peeling, corrosion, and further damage was higher. With such damage, the administration stated, it could be harder for plate-reading devices to read the plate – given the state’s move to make all toll barriers along the New York State Thruway cash-less, thus motorists must either use toll-by-mail or E-ZPass.
Critics say the plates can be read by other states (see: Massachusetts), in addition to the $25 new plate fee and additional fee to retain the existing plate number to be onerous.
How often do states change plate designs?
It used to be every year. Today, on average, it’s every five years. Many states, including New York, have reduced the frequency for a variety of reasons.