Next New York license plate design received 'overwhelming' amount of votes

ALBANY (WABC) -- New York officials asked the public to help choose a new license plate design and they have spoken.

More than 325,000 New Yorkers voted and nearly half of those votes went toward the winning plate.

"The design overwhelmingly selected by New Yorkers showcases some of our most iconic symbols and truly represents what the Empire State is all about-our diversity, our unparalleled architecture and natural beauty, and our unyielding commitment to freedom and justice for all," said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder.

Voting took place on the governor's website for one of five plate designs. Four of the designs included the Statue of Liberty, while one featured the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge over the Hudson River.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state's license plate design is being updated to make the plates more readable at the rapidly increasing cashless tolling plazas across the state.

"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," he said. "As the life span of the old plates comes to an end and we develop new ones that are as easy to read as possible, I encourage all residents to take part in choosing this piece of our state's history and the State Fair is a perfect place to do that."

The current yellow and blue plates -- known as the Empire Gold -- have been issued to every vehicle since 2010, but officials have determined that a white background with darker lettering is most compatible for the readers.

More than three millions vehicles have plates that are more than 10 years old, and officials believe the older the plate, the more deterioration can cause legibility issues that hinder the license plate readers.

A new license plate has a standard $25 replacement, added to the cost of the registration renewal. Customers may keep their current license plate number for an additional $20 fee.

Once the new plates become available in April, the Department of Motor Vehicles also will stop issuing the newer blue-and-gold plates.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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