Tedisco Calls for Legislative Hearings on New License Plate Fees

Sen. Tedisco writes Chair of Senate Transportation Committee seeking hearing to ask public input on $45 new license plate fees and hold DMV accountable as to the justification for these costs and where $70 million windfall is going

Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) today is calling on the Senate to hold a hearing to examine the plan by the Governor and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to force millions of motorists to pay a $25 tax to obtain a new license plate and another $20 tax to keep their current plate number, creating a $70 million windfall for state coffers.

Tedisco has sent a letter to Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Timothy Kennedy (D-Buffalo) requesting a public hearing to get public input on the license plate fees and also bring the DMV in to justify the costs and ask why the state isn’t recouping taxpayer dollars from the previous license plate vender, 3M, which by many accounts, has produced an inferior product that is causing license plates to peel and fade (letter attached).

“Before the administration fleeces taxpayers any further, the public has a right to give input on this plan to force millions of motorists to turn in their current license plates and buy new ones.  And as legislators, we have a sworn obligation to represent our constituents and hold a public hearing to hold the Administration and DMV accountable and get answers as to what happened with the old plates, why they believe the mandatory license plate fees are necessary, and where the money is going,” said Senator Jim Tedisco.  

Earlier this week, Tedisco released an analysis of the costs to manufacture New York State license plates and found they cost taxpayers $2.3 million per year and projects the state will reap a $70 million two-year windfall with revenue collected from the $25 per plate fee. This does not even consider additional revenue the state would receive from those who want to keep their current plate number and pay an extra $20 per plate for that “convenience.” (See attached fact sheet).

Previously, Senator Tedisco wrote to the Governor and DMV Commissioner urging them not to impose the $25 new license plate fee and the additional $20 fee on those who want to keep their current license plate number. Tedisco also has an online petition drive calling on the Governor and DMV to rescind the $45 in new fees.  

Attached with Tedisco’s letter to Senator Kennedy is a fact sheet on the costs of manufacturing the NYS license plates, and a copy of Part H of NYS budget bill A.159B of 2009 which Tedisco did not vote for that shows the state can charge up to $25, but is not required to levy such a fee. Tedisco noted that there is nothing in this law that says the state has to charge $25 or even replace the plates every 10 years.