Tedisco Introduces “No New License Plate Fee…Ever…Bill”

Senator Tedisco announces new holistic “Plate Inspection and Fee Elimination Law” to keep the plate cash grab out as a negotiating chip in 2020 state budget

Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville), who has led the fight against the Governor’s plan to charge millions of motorists $25 for new license plates they don’t need, today announced new legislation he is introducing, the “Plate Inspection and Fee Elimination Law,” that takes a holistic approach to ensuring no motorist will have to pay additional fees if they need to obtain new license plates for any reason.

Tedisco’s legislation aims to cement the Governor’s announcement that no motorist will be charged $25 to obtain a new license plate or a $20 fee to keep their current plate number so long as there’s an agreed upon inspection process with the legislature – which is an equivocation as the Chief Executive can make any agreement fail. Legislation previously introduced by other legislators only covers not requiring the $25 fee for a total plate replacement program or establishing a plate inspection process. 

As you’ll see below, Senator Tedisco’s bill makes sure there is no fee charged to replace unreadable individual license plates as well.  The bill also adds a visual inspection and evaluation of the readability of the plates to subdivision c of section 301 of the state’s vehicle and traffic law. 

The difference is Tedisco’s bill takes a comprehensive approach and includes the following:

1)   Eliminates the up-to-$25 fee to obtain new plates due to a change in license plate design.

2)   No $25 fee to replacea peeling or fading individual license plate which are noticed by the owner or via failing an inspection. No other bill has this protection for motorists.

3)   Owners would keep their current individual plate number without paying an additional $20 fee. No other bill has this protection for motorists.

4)   Incorporates individual license plate inspections into the regular annual vehicle inspection process, addressing the Governor’s main concern about people driving around with unreadable plates. The bill prohibits an increase for the $21 inspection feebased on the additional visual license plate inspection. No other bill prohibits an increase in the inspection fee. 

“When the legislature returns in January, among the first items that should be taken up early in the session are transportation reforms to pass a package of limo safety bills to save lives, and legislation to ensure that motorists will not have to pay any additional fees to obtain new license plates,” said Senator Jim Tedisco.  “The Governor can always find a way to disagree with the legislature and make an agreement fail. That’s why it’s imperative the legislature act quickly next year to permanently eliminate the onerous plate fees and put pressure on the Governor to sign the bill to ensure that this does not become a bargaining chip he uses for budget negotiations.”

“Unlike other measures, my legislation takes a holistic approach by ensuring there’s no new license plate fees, ever, and it adds license plate inspections to the annual vehicle inspection process to address the Governor’s concerns.  The $70 million license plate tax grab, as originally proposed, has a particularly negative impact on Upstate taxpayers. Unlike NYC, in Upstate, there’s little to no mass transit for people to get to work, school, doctor’s office, etc.  My bill is a win for millions of motorists who will no longer be on the hook and forced to pay up to $45 for new license plates and a win for traffic safety by creating a process to take unreadable plates off the roads,” said Senator Tedisco.

“I support Senator Tedisco’s legislation for the inspection and replacement of license plates. Since New Yorkers already pay some of the highest vehicle registration fees in the country, it is certainly reasonable for the state to replace damaged or peeling license plates for free. Further, including the visual examination of license plates in the vehicle inspection process is a common sense approach to ensure vehicle plates remain in good, readable condition, that protects the safety of the drivers on our roads as already required by law,” said Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner.