Any regular reader of this blog knows that the Department of Motor Vehicles is routinely used to “tax” residents. New fees are being created all the time and existing ones are increased regularly (sometimes more than once in a year!). For instance, the surcharge on traffic fines was raised to $80 last August after having been raised to $60 in July. Last month, the state increased driver’s license and registration fees by 25%. DMV’s newest money-grab, however, is particularly distressing because it is environmentally un-sound.
Yesterday, the DMV announced that, starting April 1, 2010 (and its not an April’s Fools joke), that owners of the 10 million vehicles registered in New York must replace their perfectly good license plates when their registration expire with the Empire Gold license plate (pictured above). This move is expected to yield $129 million over the next two years and means that ten million perfectly good license plates will have to be removed, turned-in and then replaced, all so that New York can gouge its residents just a little more. This makes absolutely no sense.
The mandatory replacement will cost motorists $25 ($10 more than the current cost to replace plates) and, if you want to keep the plate number of your otherwise perfectly fine plate, you’ll have to add pay $20 extra.
Needless to say, this is a huge waste of natural resources, and an unfair burden of time and money upon motorists. Already, a grass roots campaign against this measure has been started by St. Lawrence County Clerk Patricia Ritchie to continue to use the old plates (pictured on right). Please join me and sign her online petition telling your politicians that you’ve had enough. In just a short time, over 57,000 green-conscious residents have already signed it.
Update (11/24/09): Looks like this measure is dead on the vine. Over 100,000 signed Ms. Ritchie’s petition and Governor Patterson has indicated that he is less than enthusiastic about pursuing this ill-founded initiative. Finally, one for good guys vis-a-vis Albany politics.