By Sarina Trangle
State Assemblyman Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven) only wants to see yellow and navy plates when he looks out on the street at night.
Miller said he is finishing a bill that would ban vehicles that are not registered with the state from parking on city streets overnight. He said the prevalence of non-New York license plates in his district has him convinced weeding out unregistered cars would ease parking problems.
“There are some people who look to avoid registration here and New York insurance rates,” Miller said. “It’s not fair to the people who pay to park here. They pay the higher rate and higher fees.”
The measure would apply to any city with at least 1 million residents and provide exemptions for New Yorkers with homes in other states as well as passes for visitors and vacationers.
Drivers that become residents of the city have 30 days to register their cars with the state. Fees for transferring a car registration run from $26 to $140 depending on the weight of the vehicle, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles website.
People who do not register their cars in New York within 30 days of becoming a state resident can be ticketed.
The NYPD said last year it issued 248,038 tickets for drivers with expired New York registration stickers. The violation costs $65, according to the city website.
Police handed out 12,422 moving violations for unregistered cars in 2013.The Department of Motor Vehicles said such penalties can cost between $75 and $300.
The NYPD said it does not enforce registration maintenance for documents issued in other states.
Miller said he has not finished researching how many non-New York cars sit on city streets overnight or put together an estimate of how much registration revenue goes uncollected.
“I know the police officers in my district. They are doing so many other things and looking for these vehicles is just not their priority,” Miller said. “We’re thinking about who can tow the car. We may get the local marshals involved.”
He also has not hashed out the penalty system that would be used to tow unregistered cars and fine their owners.
Community Board 9 Chairwoman Betty Bratton said out-of-state plates are a frequent sight, especially near John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“They’re all over the place,” Bratton said. “We hear more about cars parked for a length of time … the cars may be left there for weeks, sometimes months, and they never move.”
Andrea Crawford, chairwoman of CB 9’s Transportation Committee, said parking woes were common in Richmond Hill and Kew Gardens, but she did not think the streets were clogged with cars from other states.
“I understand that people register in Pennsylvania or New Jersey for insurance purposes, but if they live here, I don’t know if it would change anything,” said Crawford. “When you drive around the streets of Kew Gardens, you’re not seeing out-of-state plates.”
Crawford said CB 9 has been advocating for a residency parking system that would permit drivers to purchase stickers authorizing them to park in their neighborhood while barring others from doing so.
Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.