Registering cars out of state hurts NY taxpayers - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2013 Juniper Berry Magazine

Registering cars out of state hurts NY taxpayers

Restore America, located in Middle Village, registers his commercial vehicles in NJ

As I am sure you have noticed, New York residents fraudulently registering their vehicles out-of-state is no longer commonplace, but has become an epidemic. I came across this on the Daily Kos website:

One night in the section of Queens in which I reside, I counted 21 license plates from states like North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and others within a span of less than ten city blocks.

The only surprising thing about this is that just 21 license plates were out-of-state. This action cheats the state out of revenue and makes the cost higher for everyone else who wants to register their cars legally. It also makes it less likely that the owners will be held responsible for tickets earned in NY. And if you should have the misfortune to get into an accident with the driver of a car with out-of-state plates, receiving compensation becomes less likely.

If I were a state legislator, the first piece of legislation I would introduce would prohibit any vehicle with out-of-state plates from parking on our streets overnight (with reasonable exemptions outlined later in this article). This should become a towable offense. Those owning said vehicles would be forced to either find off-street parking, or register their cars in-state. This would be a win-win for NYS taxpayers because it would free up more street parking for those who obey the law, and create more tax revenue for the state.

In some areas of NYC and NYS, parking spaces can be very hard to come by and residents compete with each other for on-street parking. Creating a situation that forces people to register their cars in NY might lead some people to give up their cars all together. That would make parking easier and also improve the environment. But most will relent and pay the in-state fees, which will fill state coffers and could possibly reduce the amount of future fee increases for everyone.

Now, you're probably thinking, But what about out-of-towners who come to visit for a weekend? What about people who may live in CT or NJ and work overnight in NY? What about those who just moved to NY?

Well, I've thought about them as well. Most tourists are not driving to NYC. And the ones who do would generally not be affected because most hotels have private parking lots. But for those staying at a friend's or relative's house without off-street parking, the tourist permits can be sold which would allow them to park on the street on a specific night. It could be something like $25/night. It would not pay for a cheater to try to take advantage of that because by the end of the month, the cost would add up to $750.

A scannable window sticker for those working in NY but living in neighboring states can also be issued. The NYS tax office knows which workers reside out-of-state. They could be responsible for issuing the stickers upon request of a signed affidavit.

For those who just moved to NY, they have 30 days to register their car in-state. They would apply for a temporary placard from DMV that carries an expiration date to prevent their car from being towed during that time.

The state of California has set up a website where a car with fraudulently registered out-of-state plates can be reported to the California Highway Patrol. [See: www.chp.ca.gov/prog/cheaters.cgi]

Why not set something like that up for NY? Even without the proposed law or website tips, going after commercial vehicles bearing out-of-town plates and the name of a business with a New York address should be like shooting fish in a barrel for local authorities!

It's time that those residents who abide by the law stop letting cheaters snooker them out of hard-earned cash and parking spaces. Since it's not likely that I'll ever be a NYS legislator, let's hope that there's at least one out there that will read this and tackle the issue in Albany.

The owner of Restore America, located in Middle Village, registers his commercial vehicles in NJ