Peeling or damaged license plates

 This page was updated for COVID-19.


We are aware that some older license plates may show delamination (peeling) of their printed coating. 

We will exchange plates that are peeling for a new set of license plates free of charge.  If the plates show natural use, fading, chips or crash damage, you must pay to replace them. You may be asked to submit a photograph of the peeling plates.  


Peeling Plates

Examples of coating delamination (no fee required):

empire blue peeling plate                     

 Empire Gold Peeling Plate



You can request a replacement set of plates with a standard number (free of charge) by calling
1-518-402-4838 or by email. Please include your plate number in the subject line of your email. The DMV will continue to issue Empire Gold style vehicle plates until current supplies are gone.

Send the following information to [email protected]

  • Name
  • Address
  • City State Zip
  • Daytime Telephone Number
  • Peeling Plate Number


If you would like to keep your same plate number, a $20 fee applies. You must complete the Application for Replacement Plates - Keep Same Plate Number (PDF) (PP-7) and mail the application to:

6 Empire State Plaza
Room 414A
Albany, NY 12228

Expect an additional 3 to 5-week delivery time if you choose to keep your same plate number.

Peeling IRP Apportioned Plates

You may request a new set of plates by submitting a completed Schedule A&C (IRP-6) (PDF). Select the Replacement Plate option in Part 1 of the application and include a photograph of the peeling plate. The information can be mailed to the International Registration Bureau (IRB), faxed to 518-486-6579, or emailed to [email protected]. If you have any questions about the replacement of an apportioned license plate, contact IRB at (518) 473-5834.



Damaged Plates

Examples of aging or damage (fee required):

Empire Blue Damage Plate         

 Empire Gold Damage Plate


If your plate shows damage from use, fading or cracking, and not delamination the DMV will issue you a new registration and replacement plates. 

You will need to pay $25 for the new plates, and a fee of $3.75 to issue a new registration, plus another $20 if you want your new plates to have your old plate number. 

Visit your local DMV office or contact the Custom Plates Unit at 1-518-402-4838 between 8:00am - 4:00pm, Monday through Thursday.  


Before you go to an office

Office procedures have changed due to COVID-19.

We recommend you conduct your DMV business at the office or by mail in the County where you are a resident.

See instructions for your county


Can I keep my same plate number?

Yes.  If you want to keep your same plate number you will be charged a fee of $20.  

Call the Custom Plates Unit at 1-518-402-4838 between the hours of 8:00am - 4:00pm, Monday through Thursday, or complete the Application for Replacement Plates - Keep Same Plate Number (PDF) (PP-7) and mail the application to the address on the form. 


What to do with your old plates

Do not return your old plates to DMV. Destroy your old plates so that they cannot be reused. If your plates are not destroyed and someone else uses them, you could be held responsible for any traffic tickets written against the plates and for any fines resulting from the tickets. When disposing of the old plates, please follow the recycling guidelines for the area where you live. We recommend that you use a permanent ink marker to cross out the plate number or otherwise deface the plates. For your own protection, separate the plates and put them in the recycle bin during different weeks.

For a statewide list of local recycling coordinators, visit the website of the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation.