Press Release - 05-30-2023

DMV news

Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Investigators with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles are targeting the use of fake license plates. Since January, the effort has resulted in 420 citations, include 92 plate violations, 66 traffic tickets, 36 towed vehicles, 29 improper registrations, 26 plates seized, 23 uninspected vehicles, 20 unregistered vehicles and 11 fraudulent temporary registrations.

“When someone uses a fake license plate, that means hardworking taxpayers and motorists are footing the bill for someone trying to cheat the system,” said DMV Commissioner and Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder. “Drivers should know that our investigators are out there working closely with other law enforcement agencies to target this issue and those who break the law can expect to be caught.”

During the campaign, DMV investigators have worked alongside New York State Police, Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, NYPD Highway Patrol, the Taxi & Limousine Commission, the NYC Sheriff, the Albany County Sheriff and the City of Utica Police Department

The use of fake license plates are often used to avoid tolls, vehicle registration fees, evade speed and school-zone enforcement cameras, and avoid detection from law enforcement.

Acting State Police Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said, “By using fake plates, not only are these criminals trying to circumvent the system to avoid paying tolls, but many of them are also trying to evade law enforcement to avoid serious penalties, traffic drugs, or perpetuate other criminal activity. This recklessness puts the public at risk, and it will not be tolerated. State Police will continue to work with the DMV and our local law enforcement partners, to stop these blatant violators, and hold them accountable.”

“Traffic safety is public safety, and this months-long initiative to combat the rise of fake license plates demonstrates our commitment to keeping our roadways safe,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “These fraudulent plates are used for a variety of illicit reasons – all of them illegal and detrimental to the critical work our officers do every day. The NYPD, along with our local and state law-enforcement partners, will continue to ensure that everyone who owns and operates a vehicle in New York is in full compliance with the law.”

New York City Sheriff Anthony Miranda said, “The New York City Sheriff has been conducting targeted enforcement into the possession and distribution of fraudulent license plates.  These fraudulent and counterfeit license plates are being used to evade tolls, speed, school, and red-light camera enforcement operations. These vehicles are typically unregistered and uninsured, causing a serious threat to public safety.  We frequently conduct joint operations with our partner agencies to combat the criminal and violent crimes associated with individuals using fraudulent plates.”

“I am extremely proud of the TLC officers and our fellow law enforcement partners who have been participating in this important campaign,” said TLC Commissioner David Do. “It has been an honor to work with the State DMV to make our roadways safer. Many of the individuals using fake plates should not be driving in the first place, and they use this ploy to circumvent our laws and get onto our roads, where they increase the danger and the cost for everyone else. These ongoing operations are successfully taking the bad actors off the board, increasing the safety for all.”

MTA Bridges and Tunnels Interim President Catherine Sheridan said, “MTA Bridge and Tunnels Officers have no tolerance for fraudulent license plates and are proud to be part of a concerted multi-agency enforcement effort. MTA Bridge and Tunnel Officers are on alert 24/7 for fraudulent plates, as well as covered or obstructed plates, and have issued 1,336 summonses since January and made 11 arrests for criminal possession of forged instruments. Drivers who seek to evade paying tolls by covering or altering their license plates, or simply neglecting to pay, should know they risk serious penalties and fines.”

Albany County Sheriff Craig D. Apple Sr. said, “We noticed that the fraudulent plates were becoming an ongoing issue, so we reached out to our partners to assist with the problem. The NYS DMV Investigators happily partnered with us for proactive patrols to help eliminate the problem. I believe that we have successfully decreased the amount of fraudulent plates in this area; however, we will continue our proactive efforts to crack down on fraudulent plates and other violations.”

Utica Police Chief Mark Williams said, “The Utica Police Department has been very fortunate to work with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles in an effort to combat and educate the public about the increase in fraudulent license plates.  These types of plates have become prevalent over the last several years, and with that comes a host of other public safety issues.  Through our partnership we found that vehicles operating with these plates, along with being not registered, are more often than not uninsured and have operators who are also unlicensed.  These factors pose a safety risk to other motorists and our city streets.  We look forward to continuing our strong joint efforts with the NYS DMV to combat the rise and use of these illegal tags and keeping other motorists safe on the roads.”