New license plates are needed for cashless tolling cameras to read them, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters at Lake Ontario on Tuesday as state lawmakers are pushing back against the change.
“Nobody wants to pay any money for anything,” Cuomo said. “I don’t want to buy new plates, either. It’s 10 years. You need a plate that works with E-Z Pass.”
Cashless tolling is already available in parts of the state Thruway system.
Motorists who have the blue-and-white plates, issued more than a decade ago, will beginning in April be required to purchase new plates for $25, along with a $20 fee if they want to keep the current license plate number.
The state estimated there are three million blue-and-white plates in circulation, which could lead to $75 million in revenue for the state in the initial changeover.
The proposal drew comparisons to a broader plan later withdrawn by then-Gov. David Paterson in 2009 that would have required all motorists switch their plates to the current gold-and-blue design.
Republicans and Democrats alike on Tuesday blasted the plan.
“This is a regurgitation of the same, uninspired idea that Governor David Paterson proposed a decade ago, one that failed thanks to strong opposition from County Clerks and Republicans in the state Legislature,” said Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan. “It’s also the latest example of Albany’s nickel-and-diming of hardworking middle-class taxpayers.”