In a move that will reportedly make the state of New York $129 million over the next two years, the Department of Motor Vehicles announced yesterday that effective April 1, new license plates will be required for every car registered in the state. The new plates will carry a charge of $25, plus an additional $20 to keep your old plate number. The newly designed plates were unveiled yesterday as well. They’re dark yellow with dark blue text, a dark blue bar across the top, and “Empire State” written on the bottom—immediately reminiscent of the design used in the 70s and 80s.
The added cost is a lot to swallow, especially considering the state just voted to raise license and registration fees by 25% in September. A county clerk from upstate has started an online petition to fight the new charges. Currently 57,000 people have signed.
The worst part of this whole thing, aside from the fact that the plates are fucking hideous looking, is the way the state is trying to justify it.
Periodic re-issuance of vehicle plates is important for overall highway safety, law enforcement and the general integrity of the vehicle registration system. The visibility of reflective vehicle plates decreases with time. The legibility and reflectivity of the current Empire plates, introduced in 2001, was only guaranteed for a maximum of five years. The current plates will have been in use for 10 or 11 years when they are replaced by the new Empire Gold plates. Vehicle plate re-issuance also helps to ensure compliance with motor vehicle registration and insurance requirements.
Basically, I have to pay $25 to replace my plates, which happen to be shiny and new, mind you, and which I paid for eight months ago, so that the police can catch bad guys. Got it.