Empire Gold Plate Issuance

News from Clerk's Office, Posted on Fri, 02/26/2010 - 4:25pm

New York State License Plates

Per Dave Swarts, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles for New York State

This month, let me share with you some news about the pending issuance of new style license plates.

Since 1901, New York State has been registering motor vehicles and requiring the display of license plates. Back then, plates were constructed of wood or leather, and eventually steel. Today, plates made of aluminum are currently displayed on almost all vehicles.

Periodically, the Department conducts a plate reissuance, requiring most vehicle registrants to obtain redesigned plates. For example, the last full plate reissuance occurred in 2001-2003, replacing the then current Statue of Liberty style plates with the now current blue and white Empire plates.

Last year, anticipating a change in design for the next decade, DMV’s graphic artists researched previous New York State plates and those currently in use in other states to create several plate designs for consideration. The new plate—selected by the
Governor’s Office—incorporates the official state colors of blue and gold, exhibiting a “retro” design that recalls the look of plates from the seventies, but with more contemporary styling.

NYS License Plate to be released in 2010

Soon, we will begin issuing these new Empire Gold plates. When renewing their registrations, customers may choose to keep the blue and white plates they have or purchase new Empire Gold plates. With these options, both blue and white Empire and Empire Gold plates will be on display for many more years.

Here’s our current plan for issuing Empire Gold plates. In April, Empire Gold will be introduced in certain classes (PAS, COM, MOT, TRL) over the counter in issuing offices only. At the same time, blue and white Empire plates will continue to be issued, until remaining stock is exhausted. Because of legislation approved last year, plate fees for any style plate will increase from $15.00 to $25.00 for two
plates, and from $7.50 to $12.50 for a single plate.

In Mid-May, in addition to visiting an issuing office, registrants will be able to obtain Empire Gold plates by mail, or by calling the Call Center. Besides ordering new style plates, registrants can keep their current plate number for an additional $20 fee. This “keep your same plate number” option continues a practice that was introduced during the last re-issuance and was selected by more than a million New Yorkers.

In January 2011, we will cease issuing blue and white Empire plates, providing Empire Gold plates exclusively after that date.

We are still analyzing options and timetables for the adoption of Empire Gold plates in other plate classes and for replacing custom plates.

New style plates will begin to arrive in the issuing offices in March. More detailed “mailbags” will be available in the near future. Not long after that we will all see the new Empire Gold plates on the road.


For more information on these plates, please stop at your local Cattaraugus County DMV Office.

  • Delevan DMV Office, 716-492-3750

  • Little Valley DMV Office, 716-938-2299

  • Olean DMV Office, 716-373-8044

News from Clerk's Office

Filed under: DMV