Peeling New York license plates still on the roads

August 09, 2017 05:34 PM

There are the ones that are starting to bubble, those that are half peeled, and others are just completely metallic. At least three years after the problem started, it is still not hard to find a New York license plate with a peeling problem.

"Spring is when I noticed it. It was peeling along the five. As we stand here and look at it, it's really deteriorating fast," said Ivy Eckler, Schenectady.

We caught Eckler in a grocery store parking lot in Latham. Her plate is proof the problem did not end when the DMV stopped issuing the blue and white plates. The newer yellow and blue plates peel too.

"Why are we making a defective product after we've already made a defective product?," asked Eckler.

That was one of the questions we asked the DMV. Assistant Director of Public Information Rich Meddaugh told us the department was too busy to provide someone for an interview. Instead, Meddaugh sent a press release from 2014. In it then-commissioner Barb Fiala was quoted as saying, “We are continuing our investigation into why peeling is occurring in some of these older plates."

There was no word on the results of the investigation.

Back then, the DMV did start a replacement program.

You can bring your peeling plate in to a DMV office or call (518)402-4838 and you can be given new ones free of charge. If you want to keep your plate number, it is a $20 fee.

Still, we have a list of questions the DMV won't answer. Including, but not limited to:

- Are defective plates still being manufactured?
- How much are the replacements costing taxpayers?
- How peeled is too peeled to be driving around?

New York law requires that officers are able to read your license plate. Troopers say they could ticket you for a violation known as license plate visibility obstructed.

After a daylong back in forth with DMV, Meddaugh finally told us to ask the The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision about the problems with the plates. License plates have been manufactured at Auburn Correctional Facility.



Asa Stackel

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