It all started about a week ago. First with one, then another. They were slowing popping up on more and more vehicles. When did Delaware change its license plates and why are so many of their drivers in New York?, I thought. Little did I know it was not Delaware that changed its license plates but New York.
From a distance the yellow and blue plates were attractive. After a closer examination of the Empire Gold plates, I had a change of heart; the plates were dreadful. Unless you are a New York Knicks basketball player, why would you want yellow and blue license plates? If the Empire Gold plates clashed with that cute black BMW, I have no confidence that it will look good on my beat-up tan Toyota Corolla. The plates look as if some blind New York State government official approved the design–no offense to David Paterson.
The Empire Gold plates which launched on April 1st, have a lot of New Yorkers talking. Of course about its appearance but also about the timing. In the midst of a recession many drivers are not looking forward to shelling out more money for license plates.
Drivers are also furious that the new plates are mandatory, while the old plates will be phased out over the next two years as drivers renew their registration. The new plates cost $25 dollars a pair, that’s a $10 dollar increase from the Empire Blue which were released in 2001. Drivers who would like to keep their current license plate number would have to shell out an additional $20 dollars.
The state claims the new plates are a necessity because the reflectivity on the previous plates had worn out. I find it interesting that Delaware can have the same plates for 20 years and the reflectivity never wore off. It makes me wonder if this a plan for the Empire State to make “gold” off of its drivers. Just think, if all 12 million registered drivers paid $25 dollars for the new plates, the state will have profited a whopping $129 million dollars.
In my opinion the New York State should be paying drivers to sport the new plates on their vehicles.