New York License Plates

New York is issuing a new base plate starting in April 2010 for transactions that require new plates. An additional $25 fee will be added to renewal charges for the new plates. New plates will be issued to renewals starting in May 2010. Registrants may keep their current plate number by paying an additional $20 fee. Although the new plates will replace the current blue on white base for common types such as Passenger, Commercial, Motorcycle, and Trailer, it will not be used for Specials for professions or special groups. Those plates will be replaced later by a different design to be announced at a later date.

Update: Due to public outcry, it now seems possible, or even likely, that the new plates WILL NOT become a mandatory general reissue, but will be issued for new registrations only. Many people have been objecting to the steep fees associated with the planned reissue, which has much more to due with raising money for the state to use in their budget shortfall than just replacing the current base plates. Had the original plan to make the new base a general reissue gone through, it would have generated $129 million for the state. In addition to the new plates, registration and insurance surcharge fees are increasing.

We now have an answer regarding the T800205T format Taxi plates. Felice advises: These plates are issued to NYC Taxis while they wait for the plate with their medallion number to be made. These plates started in the 1970s when they were the standard issue for NYC taxis, around 1989-90 they were replaced with medallion numbers.

The new Empire State base came out April 1, 2010. Ron Ridolph advises that Passenger plates will start out in the FAB, FAC, FAD, and FAE series. FAA was skipped.

Non-Passenger types on the new base will appear in the following formats and number blocks:




BUS: 10000-BB


DEALER: 7000000

FARM: 10000-FR



LIVERY: 10000-LV



SCHOOL: 10000-SH


T & L C: T600000C

TAXI: 10000-TY






13 - black on white (windshield)

black on blue (plate)

14 - black on white (windshield)

black on gray (plate)

Standard Passenger Plates

2020 Series (Excelsior) new

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Dan Bollerman - 18 Mar ’23

2001 Series

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Series not seen yet: AA-, AB-, AI-, AO-, AQ-, AZZ, BF-, BJ-, BS-, and BU-. AA- & AB- reserved for use on paper In Transit plates. Letters I, O, and Q are not used in any position. After AA- & AB- for paper In-Transit plates, the ZA- series is now being used.


Some plates in the DNB 8200 (probably 8250 through 8274 at least) series were produced without the state silhouette between the letters and numbers. They have been seen near Rochester.

EYH-2999 was the last Empire State plate produced. Some higher series plates were made, but they were special registrations, not standard issues.

John Rotella reports EYS-24nn, which he does not think was a special issue, so this remains an open question. The EYS plates spotted by John were embossed, whereas they would have been flat if they were specials.

S.J. Dodd - 19 Jan ’10

2001 Series LOW

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As noted above, the AA- and AB- series were used for paper In Transit plates, so the lowest series on the Empire State base is ACA.

Steven Weinstein - 22 Mar ’11

2010 Series (Empire Gold)

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Seen in Dutchess Co.

This is the new Empire Gold issue that began April 1, 2010.

Low: FAB 1774

John Rotella reports that as of 5/24/10, Cayuga County DMV is offering customers their choice of new Empire Gold or old Empire White plates. Cayuga County's DMV is in Auburn, where the license plates are made at the prison just 4 blocks from the DMV office. The State's official policy was that white plates would be used up before gold were issued in any particular office. John also reports that Cayuga County has been issuing their stock of plates in reverse order.

Rich Daniels reports the following skipped series:

FAG, FAT, FCC, FDA, FDR, FED, FEM, FME were all skipped.

All of the FKx series.

Most FxK series were skipped up through FMK, except for FAK, FBK and FJK, which were produced and issued. FRK, FWK were skipped in the FxK series, but FPK, FSK, FTK, FXK and FYK were produced.

All FxU prefixes were skipped: FAU, FBU, FCU, FDU, FEU, FFU, FGU, FHU, FJU, FLU, FMU.

FNx series also skipped.

FRT, FTA, FTC, and FTD series skipped.

All of the FUx and FVx series were skipped.

All FxU series through FXU were skipped.

GGG was skipped.

From John Rotella (4-10-12): Four weeks ago the Syracuse office was issuing FXG series. Today they are issuing FSP series. More from John:

Cayuga Co. (Auburn) never stops providing us with interesting information. They routinely issue plates (of all types) out-of-sequence or backwards. Last week I registered 2 motorcycles and got plates 35RH66 and 35RH67. Yet we see nnRTnn plates around town, already registered some months ago. Last September my friend got passenger FSG-1245 in Auburn, while three weeks I ago I was issued FSF-9219 for my sister's car.

From JD Merritt: The FZN series were issued predominately by DMV offices on Long Island in September 2012, while GAx series were being issued on Long Island since May 2012. FZN must have been on the back of the shelf, first in last out. Although not exclusively, many GBx series plates have been issued by New York State licensed dealers to retail customers who did not have valid license plates to transfer from their trade in. NY law requires the Insurance ID card to state "REPLACEMENT VEHICLE" to transfer plates from old car to new vehicle.

Davon Nagy - 4 Mar ’21

Non-passenger Plates


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Cayuga County, which has the largest number of Agriculture and Farm plates. NY plates are manufactured at Auburn which is the seat of Cayuga Co. government.

Probably started at 10000-GR on Empire State. 12042-GR reported as a low.

Sal Dodd informs us that Agriculture plates are for individuals/corporations that are moving farm produce or livestock for the purpose of selling retail or wholesale their own products. Registration rates are somewhat less than Commercial plates. Agriculture plates cannot be used on vehicles "for hire" and the vehicles they are used on must be insured. They were first issued on the "Liberty" base in late 1994. Windshield validation stickers are used for these plates and registrations are staggered, issued for a one year period.

Empire State high: 61782-GR 2014-05-30 Des Elmes

Empire Gold is using the GL suffix.

Low: 10121-GL

Chris Scott - 5 Sep ’22


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Spotted in Albany

Empire Gold

MikeR66 has the lowest plate (Empire State), 10000-ET, in his collection.

Tran Jacinto - 27 Dec ’22


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Empire Gold

Appears to have started at 10000-PC.

Empire State high: 23135-PB

Stanley Zhou - 31 Mar ’21


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Empire Gold plates started at 10000-BB.

Empire State plates started at 10000-BA.

10009-BA reported as a low by MikeR66. This would be the 10th Bus plate issued.

Empire State high: 63337-BA

Tran Jacinto - 21 Dec ’22

Commercial (2001)

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New issue Commercial plates started at 10000-JA, which was spotted by lovefords in Rensselaer Co. Liberty Commercial issues in the 10000-Ax series are being reissued on the new base.

Mike V. notes that it has taken nearly 10 years to get from 10000-JA to 99999-JZ, probably because light trucks may now be registered as passenger cars.

Brett Weisbrot - 24 Aug ’21

Commercial (2010)

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Series began at 10000-MA. John Rotella reports 10207-MA as a low. MF series skipped.

- 30 Jun ’20


7160354 DEALER
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Dealer plates appear to have started at 8100000 on the Empire State base, and 7100000 on the Empire Gold base.

Low: 7100009 spotted by John Rotella.

Empire State high: 8175404

Brett Weisbrot - 10 Oct ’21


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Empire Gold probably started at 600000.

Wheelchair symbol appears to right of numbers and takes up two of the eight spaces available on the plate. Handicapped plates are in the 200000 and 500000 series and are flat. 400000 series plates are also in use, but are listed here separately as Disabled Veteran since they have that legend. 957363 was just issued to a friend of Bird Man, so no idea why the numbers are jumping around so much.

Stanley Zhou - 23 Sep ’21

Disabled (2020)

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Brett Weisbrot - 29 Dec ’22

Division Of State Police

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Mtnrider - 12 Nov ’09

Emergency Management

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Letters are stacked to the left of numbers is the town/village/county entity. Bottom has the county in red. This is the format for Official plate replacements.

Format for State replacements: State Agency name on left in Blue. Stacked 2 numbers, and 4 more (regular size) - former vehicle plate number (in red). "STATE" at base (blue) "EM" (blue) top left; sticker with four letter County code of use in top right corner. Red banner "New York."

Brett Weisbrot - 5 Sep ’21


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Cayuga Co.

Farm plates are for moving equipment between farms, migrant worker buses, or from farm to dump, or any other farming activity. Vehicles with Farm plates do not require insurance. They are registered for one year and all expire in December. Plates are validated with a plate sticker. A legitimate farm or livestock operation must be owned in order to qualify for these plates, and specific information regarding the use of the vehicle must be provided to the DMV. FA suffix was used on the Empire State base, and the FR suffix is on the current Empire Gold base.

Brett Weisbrot - 17 Oct ’20


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Flat - Empire Gold

Cars in their 26th model year are eligible for Historial Plates.

Brett Weisbrot - 29 Aug ’21

In Transit Permit

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Issued in Cortland Co.

This is the paper permit that began at AAA-1000 because of a computer glitch, which made it necessary to begin the Empire State base at ACA-1000. In Transit permits have been changed to the Z-- series.

Thomas Beck - 17 Jan ’23

Limited Use Auto

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Spotted on an electric vehicle owned by the NY State Park Police. A Limited Use Auto is defined as a motor vehicle, other than one registered or capable of being registered, which has a maximum speed of not more than forty miles per hour.

Jim S. spotted the first of the series, 10000-LU on an electric vehicle of NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation.

Empire State high: 22283-LU 2012-09-11 Mike Vickers

The LS series is on the Empire Gold base.

Geoffrey Gallagher - 30 Nov ’13


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Spotted in Toronto, Ontario

Chris Scott - 14 Oct ’20

Motorcycle (2001)

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Series started at 10DA00. Mopeds use same format with 10AA, 10BA, or 10CA depending on weight class. ATV/ORV use same format with red lettering in the 10XA series. Mtnrider reports 46YD36 on 2006-02-24.

Mike Vickers - 25 Jun ’10

Motorcycle (2010)

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Started at 10RA00.

ATV/ORV: 67JF40 2013-08-20 Willie C. Brock, Jr.

Ross Day - 4 Oct ’20

Motorcycle (2020)

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Brett Weisbrot - 13 Dec ’21

Motorcycle - Dealer

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Empire Gold started at 00MT00.

Chris Scott - 1 Jul ’12


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This type was used on the "Liberty" plate from A-10000 through the D-nnnnn series. The "Empire State" series started at K-10000. The "Empire Gold" series started at R-10000.

Empire State high: M-75533

Kevin Gallagher - 19 Jul ’19

Official PSD

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This is a new type of Official plate that denotes the Political Sub-Division. The town, county, or agency name is spelled out to the left of the numbers, and the county name appears at the bottom. The format is a two letter stack to the left of the four digit number.

Low: A/A 1110 2015-05-14 Eric Forand

Plates for the City of New York have that on the left, but have "NYC" where the county name normally appears on the bottom. (The City of New York is comprised by 5 counties.)

Chris Scott - 21 Nov ’20

Official PSD (2020)

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Brett Weisbrot - 12 Mar ’23


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Used on smaller school buses not school owned.

"Empire Gold" appears to have started at 10000-SH.

Tran Jacinto - 21 Dec ’22


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Earlier numbers in this series have the state silhouette as a separator between letters and numbers. This and newer issues are printed with no separation.

From Sal Dodd:

Semi-Trailer is a five year dated plate. First issued in Nov. 1989 on liberty base for 1990 model semi-trailers, with a 1995 expiration. Only 1990 or newer trailers can be registered with these plates. The numbering format was 1234A5, with the A5 appearing as a constant on all 1995 expiring plates, the lowest number being 1000A5. Each year a new series is started, generally appearing in November for the next 5 year term, i.e. 1991 trailer = 1996 expiration. The format on this plate would be 1234A6. 1992 trailer = 1997 expiration. Format 1234A7 and onward. The year of the trailer from 1990 onward makes little difference in what plate is displayed though. A 1993 trailer may have displayed a standard trailer plate for two years, then get a five year plate if desired, and expiration will reflect 5 years from issuance, with no relationship to model year.

Liberty base: 1995 =A5 1996 =A6 1997 =A7 1998 =A8 1999 =A9 2000 =A0 2001 =A1

2002 =A2 2003 =A3 2004 =A4 2005 =B5

2006 =B6 2007 =B7 2008 =B8 2009 =B9

These were fairly rare, but needed as those renewing exp 00 plates needed plates before the Empire bases were ready, and some were issued in early 2001 due to Empire base not ready in Jan 2001 for some non pass types that were low in registration levels. New 5 year registrants also needed these if registering during Nov or Dec 2000. NY allows up to 60 days before a registration period starts on trailers.

Empire Base: 2006= B6 2007= B7 2008= B8 2009= B9 2010= B0 2011= B1 2012= B2 2015= C5

Chris Scott - 3 Aug ’21

Semi-Trailer (2020)

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Brett Weisbrot - 3 Jun ’22

Special Commercial

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SC series on Empire State base, SM series on Empire Gold starting at 10000-SM.

Used on bulldozers, concrete pumpers, cranes, farm tractors, etc., any specialized equipment that uses the roads. Embossed plate. "SPEC-COMM" on bottom.

Empire State high: 46504-SC

Brett Weisbrot - 17 Oct ’20

Special Commercial (2020)

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Chris Scott - 5 Sep ’22


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Now in Empire Gold. "15" is now stacked.

2014 update from Jim Schaller: N.Y. is replacing "STATE" plates with a new Empire Gold (flat) agency-specific type. The agency's name is on the left, followed by the original vehicle number - but with the first two numbers (vehicle year) stacked. Also- a small sticker is at the upper right corner, with a four letter code for County of use. "STATE" is at the base. Several different agencies seen.

Former type had white on dark blue at bottom of plate. Flat plate. New York outline on left side of plate, "STATE" in red letters under outline. First 2 digits indicate model year of the vehicle or equipment.

JD Merritt reports a new NY State Government series. He reports 111103 on a silver Toyota Prius in Queens on 1/9/13.

The plate is on the Empire Gold plate with the Seal of New York to the left and the serial to the right. Instead of "Empire State" on the bottom, is inscribed. The plate is flat.

Chris Scott - 20 Jul ’22

State (2020)

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The state agency name is spelled out to the left of the serial.

Chris Scott - 17 Nov ’22

State Park Police

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Empire Gold (flat) Park Police logo to left

First number is State Park District (No. 1-11) then vehicle Radio Call Sign No.

Jim Schaller - 25 Nov ’15

T&LC (Taxi & Limo)

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Flat - Empire Gold

"T&LC" replaces The Empire State bar at the bottom of the plate.

Series originally started with T10000C on the Liberty base, then expanded to 8 characters in 1999 with numbers reaching as high as T34xxxxC. All previous numbers on the Liberty base have been replaced with Empire plates starting at T400000C. All T&LC plates are flat. Our thanks go to Felice Batisti for providing this information.

Empire Gold low: T600004C

Davon Nagy - 28 May ’21

T&LC - Nassau Co.

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This is a new issue only for Nassau Co. Used in conjunction with a checkerboard style (black & red) much the same as the regular T&LC. At the bottom of the plate where "THE EMPIRE STATE" usually appears, this type has "NASSAU COUNTY T&LC" on it. Some "door to door" taxis in Nassau Co. have traded their TX suffix Taxi plates for this new type.

Empire Gold started at N200000C

Low spotted: N200003C

Brett Weisbrot - 19 Mar ’21

T&LC - Westchester Co.

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Similar to the Nassau Co. type, this issue is for Westchester Co.

Empire State high: W104042C

Empire Gold started at W200000C.

Ross Day - 4 Mar ’22

Taxi - NYC

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These were issued in the NXNNA, NXNNB, NXNNC, NXNND, on the Niagara Falls base, and NXNNH and NXNNJ on the Empire Gold base. The end letter is about half the size of the other characters.

From Felice Batisti: The license plates on NYC Taxis are the same as their medallion numbers. The numbers run from 1A10-9Y99, excluding the letters F, I, O, Q, R, S, X, and Z. All numbers have been issued. On the Empire Gold base plate number 1A10H would be the second plate issued to that taxi. On the Liberty base a small number was used. Numbers 1-6 have been verified. On the Empire State base the letters A-E and G were used. F has not been used on any base. On the Empire Gold base the letters H-K (excluding I) have been verified.

Low: 1A70A

Davon Nagy - 16 Jan ’21

Taxi - NYC (2020)

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Brett Weisbrot - 2 Mar ’23

Taxi Non-NYC

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Now in Empire Gold in the TY series.

Brett Weisbrot - 9 Nov ’20

Taxi Non-NYC (2020)

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Brett Weisbrot - 5 Mar ’23

Thruway Authority

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2014 update from Jim Schaller: N.Y. is replacing the regular "TWY" plates -used on official Thruway Authority sedans, with a new Empire Gold (flat) plate. It has "NYS THRUWAY AUTHORITY, the original vehicle number, and a County name at the base (Maintenance Division HQ, such as "ALBANY")

Kevin G. - 10 Dec ’09

Tow Truck

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Empire high: 35360-TW

Empire Gold started at 10000-TT

Empire Gold low: 10001-TT 2013-01-25 Mike Vickers

Stanley Zhou - 11 Sep ’21


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Assigned to tractor portion of tractor/trailer rig. Flat plate. "TRACTOR" on bottom of plate.

Stanley Zhou - 11 Sep ’21


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The Empire State base began at AA-10000. Low is AA-10181 and the High is AX-37774. AO & AQ series not used. The Empire Gold base began with BA-10000.

Stanley Zhou - 29 Jun ’21


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Flat plate. "TRANSPORTER" in place of "EMPIRE STATE" on bottom. Issued to Businesses (not dealers) involved in transporting vehicles from one location to another.

NOTE: Transporter plates are issued by the state in blocks to branch offices in descending order, or a backwards progression, but the offices issue the individual plates in an ascending order. Therefore, the low is actually the high for this type.

Empire State was in the 3000000 series.

Empire Gold are in the 2000000 series.

Kevin Gallagher - 7 Aug ’20

Van Pool

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Flat, Empire Gold Base. VAN-POOL on bottom of plate

Brett Weisbrot - 1 May ’21

Specialty Plates

Bluebird Plate Environmental

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"Conserve Open Space" on bottom, Blue Bird on left side

Brett Weisbrot - 8 Jun ’22

Conserve Habitat

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Bird flying on left, numbers to right, Conserve Habitat on bottom.

Brett Weisbrot - 29 Apr ’21

EMT- Paramedic

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Same as the "EMT" plates, just for Paramedic Level Providers. The letters EMTP are smaller than the numbers.

"EMTP" are very small letters, apparently the size of stacked letters, but are not stacked. The small letters are to the right of the normal size four digit numerical serial.

Low: 12 EMTP spotted by Mike Russo in Albany.

Mike Russo - 11 Jun ’13

Long Island

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Regional specialty plate available with either Nassau or Suffolk County on the bottom of the plate. Light house to the left of the serial and a graphic map of Long Island water marked under the serial.

Kevin Gallagher - 30 Jun ’20


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While we don't plan to track highs on these, it is worth mentioning Tyler Rotondo's report that the New York version of these plates looks nearly identical to New Jersey's version, and they could easily be mistaken for each other.

JD Merritt - 25 Aug ’13


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New York Press plates, used by members of the news media. Numbered in sequence, NYS does not grant request for low numbers. NYP 1 is usually given to the president of the New York Press Club. Usually seen in New York City area. Weegee reports the NYC Police Department has ceased issuing parking placards to members of the press. NYP plates are now the only method of media vehicle parking. Professional organizations are working with the city to reinstate the placards.

Steven Weinstein reports a strange version of an NYP plate was spotted on 2010-08-20. The plate, NYP 4304 had the new gold type New York across the top and the words Empire State (not The Empire State as in the blue/white plate) at the bottom but the plate has the white (not gold) background with blue letters. Sort of a cross between the old and new plates. The plate was spotted in Dobbs Ferry, NY

Mike Russo speculates that this will be the "Empire Gold" version of all Special Organization plates with small letters and large numbers. He has seen a few NYPs in this style in addition to an Appellate Court Judge (all three words spelled out to the left of a 3 digit number) in Albany.

Also, Mike informs us that the vast majority of the specialty plates have transitioned to this design, although this is the only professional organization that has "EMPIRE STATE" along that bottom.

Brett Weisbrot - 29 Aug ’21

Volunteer Ambulance Service

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Ron Ridolph - 16 Apr ’10

Volunteer Firefighter

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V/F 8 reported as a low by Steven Weinstein.

Chris Scott reports that numbers are being recycled on the new base as of at least July 2012. His neighbor was just issued V/F 14351 as of that time.

Brett Weisbrot - 28 Sep ’22

Military Veteran Plates

Disabled Veteran

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Wheelchair emblem to right of numbers. This also has the new Veteran design with the American flag over the entire backround of the plate.

Brett Weisbrot - 22 Aug ’21

Former Prisoner of War

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Red Small Letters On left Blue Numbers to Right

Mtnrider - 12 Aug ’06

Pearl Harbor Survivor

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Jim Sadler - 12 Nov ’09

Purple Heart

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Purple Heart to the left of numbers, normal numbers, P/H stacked at right.

Jim Sadler reports TJM 518 on a different design. This one has the words Combat Wounded and a Purple Heart image are on the left.

Jordan Irazabal - 10 Feb ’12


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American flag to left of numbers, Veteran in red below flag. Veteran plates have appeared with VET, SVC, SRV, VTN, VTR, MLV, VUS, and AMV. Order of issue is uncertain. VET has been confirmed by Jim S. as being the first used. He had the second plate issued, which was 101VET.

Persian Gulf Veteran - 146PGV

Vietnam Veteran - 515VNV

Steven Weinstein reported a new Veteran design 6/29/12 with the American flag over the entire backround of the plate with the word Veteran on the left.

Brett Weisbrot - 12 Jul ’22

World War II Veteran

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WW II Veteran on bottom in gold

Brett Weisbrot - 4 Sep ’21

Inactive Series (off the road)

1986 Series (Liberty)

GS7 14E
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Sal Dodd reports that Statue of Liberty plates expired Apr. 1, 2003, and that Apr. 30, 2003 was the last date for display.

Sal J. Dodd - 23 Jun ’01

Medical Doctor

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Steven Weinstein reports M/D 90207 on 2012-06-29 with a large Caduceous emblem (snake wrapped around a staff) on the left with the M on the left and the D on the right of the emblem. Letters "MD" are quite large. It has the newer style New York on top and the words Empire State on the bottom. Spotted in Westchester County, NY.

Low: M/D 1 spotted in Queens NY on the Empire State Base (2001-2010) by Kevin Gallagher.

From Mike Russo: This seems to be the new format for all New York special issue plates. They are coded with a "P" on the registration stickers (perhaps standing for picture?), and are dark navy letters on a white background, with the blue "New York" bar across the top from the Empire Gold plates, and a picture of some sort on the far left. Additionally, they have the type ("PHYSICIAN" "NURSE" etc) written out along the bottom of the plate, in between the bolt holes, in navy blue where "Empire State" would normally be. I have seen the RN & MD with the Caduceous, EMT and EMT-P with the Star of Life, and VF with a new design of the maltese cross.

Felice Batisti - 30 Dec ’06

T&LC - Suffolk Co.

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Flat in the same style as the other T&LC plates, but legend at the bottom couldn't be verified because of a plate frame.

Bradley Gallagher - 25 Nov ’07