Utica Police Warn Drivers: Your Out of State Plates Might Be Illegal
Utica Police are warning area drivers who may have out of state plates on their vehicle that those plates may be illegal.
A posting on the UPD's Facebook page says the department has been working with the Department of Motor Vehicles regarding an increase in the number of temporary out of state license plates seen on area vehicles. They're advising the public that in many instances, out of state plates are not valid in New York State. However, police say that if the increase in usage continues, their education effort will shift to enforcement and drivers will face penalties.
Regarding specific states, the UPD messages reads:
TEXAS:Nearly all temporary Texas license plates are fraudulent and are not able to be utilized on vehicles in NYS. In specific circumstances these plates may be valid, however nearly all are purchased fraudulently on-line and thus have no legal means of registration. If you possess these plates it is likely they will be seized and your vehicle towed.
SOUTH CAROLINA:We have seen a major increase in South Carolina license plates recently. The ones we have come across specifically have been fraudulently registered to a fictitious individual in South Carolina sent to NY for use.Unlike Texas, these plates can be valid if registered to the lawful owner of the vehicle in NYS, however we have yet to come across a valid one.NEW JERSEY:Any vehicle with New Jersey temporary tags must have the vehicle purchased and registered in New Jersey. If the vehicle was purchased elsewhere and has NJ plates, they are fraudulent.
VERMONT:Vermont temporary license plates are valid as long as they are lawfully registered through a Department of Motor Vehicles Office in Vermont.
Again, at this time Utica Police say they're hoping to educate drivers about the issue and say if you've been unknowingly using invalid out-of-state plates, simply throw them out and register the vehicle with an appropriate DMV office.
However, police also noted another related issue that may impact you if you're involved with one of these vehicles:
Many of the vehicles with temporary tags we have encountered do not have valid insurance, and their operators do not have valid licenses. This obviously presents a major issue if one of these vehicles becomes involved in a motor vehicle accident or other vehicle and traffic related incident.
Anyone with questions about registering their vehicle(s) should contact their local DMV Office. Contact information for the Oneida County Department of Motor Vehicles is available here.
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