New York will have a new official license plate in 2020, and the state's residents will select the design.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday launched a statewide survey to choose the new license plate. There are five designs and New Yorkers can cast their vote on the governor's website, now.ny.gov/page/s/vote-for-the-next-nys-license-plate-design.
In addition to the website, votes will be accepted at the governor's New York State Fair exhibit.
Voting opened Monday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2.
The plate design that receives the most votes will become the state's official license plate. The plates, which will continue to be manufactured at Auburn Correctional Facility, will be available in April 2020.
"License plates are a symbol of who we are as a state and New Yorkers should have a voice and a vote in its final design," Cuomo said. "As the life span of the old plates comes to an end and we develop new ones that are as easy to read as possible, I encourage all residents to take part in choosing this piece of our state's history and the state fair is a perfect place to do that."
Four of the five designs have a white background. Two of the designs are similar and feature the state motto, "Excelsior," in gold lettering. Images of the Statue of Liberty appear on the left side of the two plate designs.
The third plate design has a bluish background and features an image of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The fourth design has a white background with the U.S. motto, "E pluribus unum," in the upper left and a map of the state in the upper right. "Excelsior" appears across the bottom and the Statue of Liberty's torch is in the middle.
The fifth design is similar to the first two, but with images of Niagara Falls, the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline across the bottom.
The new design is part of a state-led 10-year license plate replacement program. The new plates will replace the Empire blue and white plates. The state Department of Motor Vehicles will also stop issuing the Empire gold plates.
More than 3 million vehicles in New York have license plates that are at least 10 years old, according to the governor's office. Due to the age of the plates, many are damaged and peeling. Damaged plates cause legibility issues for law enforcement and cashless tolling systems.
The plates will be replaced when customers renew vehicle registrations. Those with license plates that are at least 10 years old will receive new plates. The $25 license plate replacement fee will be added to the registration renewal, Cuomo's office said.
For an additional $20 fee, customers may retain their license plate number.
"The time has come for New York to have a new license plate, which is why we worked hard to create design options that not only capture the heart of the Empire State, but also that our customers will be proud to put on their vehicles," New York DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder said.
Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.
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