New NY License Plates: Empire Gold For The Empire State

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Though New York’s new “Empire Gold” license plates aren’t opening the same constitutional can of worms as South Carolina’s recently-rejected “I Believe” plates, they’re still generating some feisty political opposition. By next April, every licensed vehicle in the state will have to switch to the new plates, at $25 a pop. That’s ten bucks more per plate than the previous models, and keeping your previous number or vanity plate will cost an additional $20. The switch is estimated to raise $129m for the state, which is currently facing a $5b budget shortfall. But according to Newsday, some 57,000 New Yorkers have signed a petition at, expressing their displeasure with the new plates and their fees. Best of all, the new plates will mean new jobs for 120 inmates in New York’s penal system. The inmates will be paid 42 cents per hour to produce the plates.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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4 of 13 comments
  • Ddr7 Ddr7 on Nov 12, 2009

    I don't care if you charge me $20 but let me design the plate, the new one looks ugly!

  • Lokkii Lokkii on Nov 12, 2009

    Uhm, you think the UGLY plate is an accident? Silly rabbits. First it will encourage more people to buy vanity plates, and second after a bunch of complaints about how ugly it is (and it is)... people will get to buy another new plate -like it or not- that is LESS ugly. That's how pro's play the game, kids.

  • DangerousDave DangerousDave on Nov 12, 2009

    Florida has done basically the same thing recently. There was a 35 percent increase in the cost of annual registration fees. Replacing a license will cost $25, up from $10. The most dramatic price increase is the initial vehicle registration fee, which jumps from $100 to $225. This not only applies to cars, but to boats, trailers and anything else the requires registration. It amazes me how government in general can't control spending and always comes up with a new tax or tax increase to cover their excessive spending habits. I wish I could grant myself a raise if I wanted to spend more.

  • Mikein08 Mikein08 on Nov 13, 2009

    Just one more small reason I don't live east of the Mississippi river anymore. Even though I do have to work there on occasion. But I certainly am happy that enough of you like it in the east enough to stay there.