New York state is launching a statewide survey to pick a new license plate design. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the survey on Monday, and his website will allow New Yorkers to choose among five proposed designs.
Voting will also be available to the public at the governor's exhibit at the Great New York State Fair starting Aug. 21. The license plate with the most votes will become the state's official license plate and will be available to customers beginning 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."
The new plates will replace the aging Empire Blue & White plates, most of which are more than 10 years old. Once the new plates become available, the Department of Motor Vehicles will also stop issuing the Empire Gold plates and begin fully transitioning to the new design.
The contest kicks off a new 10-year license plate replacement program to ensure all New York license plates on the roadways are reflective and easy to read. Currently, over 3 million vehicles in New York State have aging plates that are 10 years old or older.
The move to design a new license plate comes after complaints in the last few years about some plates that had peeling of their printed coating. The DMV has offered to exchange plates that are peeling free of charge. But if the wear is just due to natural use, the plate owner has to pay to replace them.