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New York State Considers New License Plate Featuring Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

One the possible new license plates, showing the Mario Cuomo Bridge.
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One the possible new license plates, showing the Mario Cuomo Bridge. Governor's Office

If there’s one thing Governor Cuomo loves it’s a good contest. And if there’s another thing he loves, it’s the colors blue and yellow. First he applied it to the tunnels, next he color-coded the buses, then state vehicles, and finally the subway cars.

Now, it’s time to bring his favorite color scheme to the license plates, and to make it a competition. One that may very well culminate with more exposure for the bridge Cuomo named after his father.

You can vote on a few designs, but the background color on all five choices remains the same white, along with Cuomo’s go-to blue and yellow. Lots of yellow, like a squirt of mustard.

Four out of five plates also include Cuomo’s favorite Latin word, Excelsior, in different fonts.

The one plate that doesn’t have yellow or the word excelsior features one of Cuomo’s pet projects, the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. (Don’t forget the M!)

This comes just 10 years after the introduction of the Empire Gold plates, which were to phase out the Empire Blue and White plates. Those will remain in circulation for now.

"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," Governor Cuomo said in a statement.

So, there are choices, but like getting between Manhattan and Williamsburg on the weekends, not great ones.

Some enterprising folks with access to basic editing software already came up with some alternatives.

The new plates aren’t mandatory, but starting in April 2020 when drivers renew their vehicle’s registration, those with the blue and white plates will receive the new plates. The replacement fee is $25.

In a statement from the governor’s office, another reason to replace the blue and white plates is to make them easier to read: “Replacing aging plates will eliminate legibility issues that hinder License Plate Readers, which are used by law enforcement, red light cameras and cashless tolling systems, from correctly identifying the registered vehicle owner."

You have until September 2nd to cast your vote.

Stephen Nessen is the transportation reporter for WNYC. You can follow him on Twitter @s_nessen.

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