Senator Tedisco calls on NYS DMV to inform the public how many defective new license plates were produced, how much taxpayer dollars were spent and whether taxpayers are on the hook to clean up the mess

Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) today is calling on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to provide transparency and inform the public about the real costs to taxpayers of the thousands of defective new license plates that were produced, sent to local county DMVs and then abruptly seized in the past few days by the state DMV

According to Spectrum News, “New ‘Excelsior’ license plates are being sent back to the state Department of Motor Vehicles after a problem with their design manufacturing was discovered.” The DMV claims the new plates are not readable by EZ-Pass toll cameras – which is one of the main stated reasons why the Administration ordered production of the plates in the first place (remember “Plate Gate” last fall). While no license plates have been handed out to drivers because of the closure of local DMV offices during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still a cost to taxpayers in producing the defective plates and making new ones.

Senator Tedisco surveyed his district and surrounding area and found that Saratoga County received 5,500 of the bad plates, Fulton County received 3,000, Herkimer County got 2,000 and Rensselaer County had 5,000 bogus plates.

“Who goofed on these new defective license plates? The DMV has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable to taxpayers and inform the public how many thousands of these now worthless plates were produced. How much did these run of plates cost the state to make? And will taxpayers be on the hook for them or will the vendor, Avery Dennison, be picking up the tab to fix this mess?” asked Senator Jim Tedisco. “And if they just fix the EZ Pass cameras, it’ll still be a huge cost to taxpayers!”

“Given the $13.3 billion deficit, the last thing taxpayers can afford is this kind of incompetence and waste. I may have a new job for the Governor and DMV Commissioner as Chief and Deputy Chief of the Keystone cops!” said Tedisco.

“New York State taxpayers deserve to know who was responsible for the license plate debacle – the manufacturer or the state – how the error was made, and who will foot the bill for the replacement plates? In these uncertain economic times or anytime for that matter, the burden shouldn’t be on the taxpayers. Taxpayers statewide deserve transparent answers from state DMV officials,” said Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner.

Last year, Senator Tedisco successfully led the statewide effort to stop the Governor’s $70 million “Plate Gate” tax grab to charge New Yorkers up to $45 for new license plates they did not need.

According to an analysis by Tedisco’s Office, the manufacture of the New York State “Excelsior” license plates will cost taxpayers $2.3 million per year.