Number Plate History Celebrated

On April 1, the Department of Motor Vehicles introduced the new New York state number plate, “Empire Gold”.

The plate features navy blue writing against a yellow background with a navy decal of New York state located in the middle. The design is a revival of the old blue-and-yellow color scheme that made up various New York plates from the 1960s to the 1980s.

There has been a great deal of opposition to the new number plates, from the colors to the additional fees the DMV planned on charging for them.

When the new “Empire Gold” plates were introduced, drivers were alerted that they would be required to renew their licenses at an escalated fee of $25, which is $10 more than the original renewal fee. If they wanted to keep their original plate numbers, an additional $20 fee would be required. However, the DMV revoked this policy as a result of strong opposition from New York residents.

Both styles of number plates are available for purchase, “Empire Blue” the blue and white plates will be available until supplies run out. Despite many New Yorkers’ distaste for the new yellow and navy blue plates, the previous “Empire Blue” design has overstayed its welcome in comparison to past plates. The “Empire Blue”, which features the New York City skyline and Adirondack Mountains, has been the passenger issue plate since 2001, making 2010 its ninth year in place. Most plates in New York’s history lasted no more than five years; in the early 1900s, they changed on an annual basis.

New York was the first state to require license plates on automobiles in 1901. These early plates were made with the owner’s initials and were personal, rather than state-issued plates. The first stateissued plates were required in 1903 by Massachusetts.