Governor Cuomo is backing away from a previously announced plan to charge New York drivers $25 to replace license plates ten years and older.

A spokesman for the governor released a statement on the issue Tuesday - this via the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:

“As the DMV commissioner said weeks ago, this proposal isn’t going forward as we have committed to working with the Legislature to create a plan that ensures plates are readable by law enforcement and cashless tolling systems and creates a process where plates older than 10 years are inspected and, if still readable, can be kept," Rich Azzopardi, Cuomo's senior adviser and spokesman, said in a statement.

The plan also called for drivers to be charged another $20 if they wanted to keep the same plate number.

Critics called the plan a 'cash grab' as Cuomo argued the older plates - many of them whose paint may have long ago peeled off because of a faulty plate used by the state in years prior - were unreadable by law enforcement and cameras used at cashless toll areas on the NYS Thruway and at toll bridges downstate.

The statement came on the same day Sienna College released a poll that found 75% of New Yorkers believed the additional $25 replacement fee was unfair.

While the state may come up with another plan to address those fading and striped license plates, it does appear the state will move forward with newly designed licensed plates the New Yorkers were asked to vote on earlier this summer.

NY drivers overwhelming selected plate design No. 5, which are colored white with a blue and gold stripe across the top. It has Niagara Falls on one side and the NYC skyline, including the Statute of Liberty, on the other. The Excelsior appears along the lower third of the plate.

photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Office
photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Office

It's still expected that the new-look-plates will be available beginning in April 2020.

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