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New York's New License Plates Stir Resentment Over Fees

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New license plate design to be issued by New York State in 2010

New license plate design to be issued by New York State in 2010

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Obviously you have to replace license plates now and then. Among other reasons, the reflective material wears off. And besides, that way cops can tell if a car hasn't been re-registered in, ohhh, several years.

Like many states, New York is grappling with major budget deficits. Now it has turned to a slew of new fees to fill the gap.

Following a $50 surcharge on vehicle registrations and a $16 fee on driver's license renewals, the state plans to charge car owners $25--up from $5.50 nine years ago--for a new license-plate design that will start arriving for car sales and renewals next April.

But many states charge nothing at all for redesigned license plates. At least the state is honest about it; the DMV press release headline notes it will "generate needed revenue." The new and clearly retro design harks back to the bright yellow plates used from 1973 to 1986.

The state will also charge owners a further $20 to retain their existing plate number (except for vanity plates, which pay a separate fee). Otherwise, they'll be issued a new one, which hasn't happened since the state had to replace 6-character plates with 7-digit ones in 2001. That $20 fee, however, stayed at its 2001 level.

Residents from the poorer upstate region, which has always been at odds with wealthier New York City and its suburbs, are fighting back. Patricia Ritchie has founded a website against the change, called NoNewPlates.com.

Notably, she's also the president of the New York State Association of County Clerks, whose members administer plates for each county. She is charged to uphold state law, of course, but she's far from happy about it.

And we suspect that will likely be how New Yorkers will react. They will pay the money and mount their new plates--with or without a new number--while grumbling about it. Some things never change.

[The New York Times, New York State DMV press release and FAQs]

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Comments (26)
  1. Citizens are relatively reasonable about temporary fees, to help government out in a tough spot. The evil is that they become permanent. Politicians are always surprised taxpayers chuck them out of office for taxes that are perceived as small or inconsequential. As Grey Davis about how well HIS car "tax" turned out.
     
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  2. Why would anyone want to keep the randomly assigned existing plate number? That just seems foolish.
    Either get a vanity plate with whatever approved message you want on it, or live with the randomly assigned plate.
    I'm sure that lots of fools will pay the $20 fee to keep their existing randomly assigned plates though.
     
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  3. @James: I know a few people who've committed it to memory for those few times when they need it.
    Not to mention your locating YOUR silver Honda or Toyota minivan in a big-box parking lot where there may be three or four of 'em in any give row.
     
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  4. As a life-long New Yorker, I love the state. But my beloved state has been poorly governed for years and downstate residents,like myself, have been called upon for generations to support the outlandish excesses of a liberal entrenched system. Like a number of other similar states,polititions have spent us into fiscal bankruptcy. WARNING!!! Don't Move Here !
     
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  5. No. Just no. They're absolutely hideous and cause such a misconvience for us just because they need to make money. If they're going to do this, at least make them decent looking!!!
     
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  6. F THISSSSS!
    a yellow-gold? really new york? NO. Yellow=jersey, and we are NOT JERSEY.
    i hate this, and so does 23456789876543456 other people.
    bring back the white plate with the red statue of liberty!!
     
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  7. In view of the unemployment rate; people losing or have lost primary employment; rising costs of absolutely everything; no raises, the threat of the end of social security; unemployment funds being depleted; global warming; rogue asteroids; terrorism; war, etc.; how will we support ourselves, support the out of touch politicians, bear the burdens of the banks and the world? The average citizen has nothing left to give and there's nothing left to take. Sure hope the welfare system can support us all, seems that's where we're headed.
     
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  8. While I appreciate bringing back the theme from a historical plate, I agree with #6 that the State of Liberty plates were a more appealing design. As for complaints about fees: buying, maintaining, fueling, and insuring a vehicle are rather expensive. I don't see why anyone who can afford the luxury should complain about the comparatively small plate fee.
     
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  9. If they're going to charge us 25 dollars at least make the plate good looking! This is downright HIDEOUS. The current one looks great. There has to be a way to stop this plate from being issued. I'd take my old plate anyday.
     
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  10. Its a shame that people don't really stand up and be heard when outrages such as this one occur. There clearly is no justified reason for this new plate issue, other than to raise money. We NY'ers continue to bear the brunt of some of the highest taxes in the nation. I for one, will most likely leave this state ... its just not worth it to me anymore. And to add insult to injury, if the state's citizens have to endure this new fee, the State could have come up with a design that would be far more attractive. But instead, we get this mindless, awful color plate that says nothing good about NY. At least the current plate shows on the skyline .. the diversity across our state .. from NYC to Niagra .. and the beauty in between. The new plate just shows ugly colors .. which won't even look good on most car colors. This is an outrage .. and NY citizens should boycott and refuse this!! Stop being herded like sheep by Albany!
     
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  11. @John #3: thankfully, I don’t have any trouble finding my minivan in the mall parking lot because i got a bunch of CarTatts on it. I got them at cartatts.com -- cheaper than custom paint and easy to remove!
     
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  12. As of complaints about fees. I disagree with #8 I understand its a luxury but, for some of us it's transportation. Its bad enough they have raised fee on registration , renewing of lic plates, and inspection...Our tax-payers money can only stretch but, so far..Its not like we're in recession already. Let the rich people pay.
     
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  13. this is pure bullisht all they want is money.draining the poor people the plates now are good as it is,absolutely notin wrong with it.#7
    i totaly agree with u..me and u see things the same way.# 10 people do stand up when things like this happen,but the response we get from the arses who make these rules up just makes us sit right back down...we can whine and cry,bich and moan all we want,when they want to do something they will do it ...it just puts more money in their pockets to have this carried out.
    this is why the rich will always be rich and the poor will always be poor.
    FOR THOSE OF U WHO ELECTED BUSH 9 YEARS AGO AND 5 YEARS AGO...THIS IS THE FINE PRINT...HOPE U ENJOY IT!!!!
     
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  14. I really like the new retro-inspired design of the new plates, however the increased fees are not as enjoyable. I own three vehicles and this fee is going to be rough come April. If the state insists on going through with this, how about making the deal a little easier to swallow. I suggest eliminating the mandatory (and ugly) front plate. This will allow New Yorkers to save a nice bit of cash, as well as allow those of us who vastly dislike the unsightly front plate to remove that blemish from our vehicles. Just an idea.
     
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  15. The new plate is tacky and bland. I also agree with Tom (#6) the Liberty plates are the best plates. An increased few for crap, just like the MTA services. NY has a pattern of charging for more nothing. Surely someone could have come up with something better than this garbage they are forcing us to take. In response to James (2) I will be one of the individuals that will pay the extra fee for my random numbers. There is nothing wrong with keeping that. Its called freedom of choice. lastly if there was a fee to let individuals keep the current plates I would pay that too. In NJ some people have the old Blue ones
     
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  16. Well...I think it would be an easier pill to swallow if the new plates weren't so damn ugly. I mean, the state is asking us to pay to put something hideous on our cars. Bring back the old plates with the Statue of Liberty. This orange and blue....just nasty...I don't want to put that thing on my car.
     
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  17. WTF? You expect me to put yellow plates on my new WHITE mercedes?? Please can someone tell me will these plates look good on a red car? F no, on a white car? F no! They won't look good on ANY car.
    If the city wants to once again put their hands in our pockets, you know what F it! But dont make us discusted for the next 8 years. Thats what we get for having a blind governor, he cant see them what the hell does he care!!!
     
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  18. Hey...I got an idea...instead of punishing us for driving, why not cut the TREMENDOUS SALARIES OF THOSE DAMN IDIOTS IN ALBANY?!?!?!?
     
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  19. When does it end? you work to get ahead and they keep taking more and more. Welfare is sounding better to me all the time. If I could afford to quit my job I would leave our great state in a second. thanks for taxing us through the dmv more and more!!
     
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  20. Not the blue and orange WTF why not leagalize cow horns on the hood with a bow on the roof of the car that would really look nice right governor right mayor this is new York the greatest city in the world at least that's what I thought we should do better than this go back to the old statue liberty plates don't embarass us were new yorkers and we have class mr. Mayor and mr. Goernor .
     
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  21. I like the new plate, if anything because I hate the terribly designed, white-and-blue Niagara/Skyline plates.
    New York had yellow plates for over three decades total, if you add them up over the past hundred years. The last big chunk of yellow plates was a thirteen-year run, from 1973-1986 (remember the ECTO-1 plate in Ghostbusters?). The plates after those were the Liberty plates, which had a fourteen-year run.
    I like that the new 2010 plates are an homage to the old plates. Yellow plates are my #1 fave. Lady Liberty is my #2 fave, for its classy simplicity. But the yellow plates are distinctly '70s and '80s New York.
     
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  22. When I went to renew my license last year, I was charged an "MTA fee," and I didn't even live in NYC, nor did I ever use the high-priced MTA. I now live in N.C., and I'm glad I moved. New York may one day convince everyone to move out. I don't know why New York never has enough money, someone please enlighten me.
     
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  23. @James, if you don't pay the $20 to keep your old plate number, you'll pay another $50 to re-register your new randomly assigned plate
     
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  24. These plates are definitely UGLY. NY is the only state that changes plate designs as often as we do and the real reason boils down to filling the state coffers. It is sickening what New Yorkers have to put up with, but we do it because 1) we have no choice and 2) we're a docile group who can't be bother to voice our outcry.
     
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  25. The new plates remind of the ones my father had when I was a kid. I think are great because the orange and blue are the state colors. To the guy with the mercedes who thinks it won't look good I have one thing to say - GIVE ME A FREAKIN' BREAK - your car is WHITE it goes with everything. I am more upset with the MTA fee. Why can't the people who use the MTA(are you listening NYC?) pay for what they use and not be subsidized by the rest of us. It's bad enough that tolls and surcharges on our cel phones are already going to keep prices down on the buses and subways why are we being charged again? They won't be satisfied until NY comes to a stop everywhere except the five boroughs, Westchester and Long Island. They don't give a rats ass about the rest us anyway.
     
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  26. These new plates are UGLY!!!I would pay a little to keep the current plate but I agree w/many previous comments~~BRING BACK THE STATUE OF LIBERTY PLATES!tHEY WERE THE BEST!!!These new plates are totally tacky! Who decides on the colors anyway? BTW, the comment@ our blind gov. was also tacky, mean and disrespectful. I admire him for all he's managed to achieve in spite of his disability!!!
     
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