"Choose Life" License Plates Stuck In Bureaucratic Traffic

The issue of special license plates in New York is rearing its head again.

In past years, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles created customized license plates for nonprofit groups. However, according to the New York Daily News, “the ‘Take Your Pride for a Ride Program’ [was] halted in 2004 after [a pro-life group], the Children First Foundation, applied to [create] a ‘Choose Life’ license plate.” After the state denied the application, the Children First Foundation went to court; last May, “a federal appeals court ruled the DMV was within its authority to reject the request.” Following the court’s decision, Gov. Andrew Cuomo “ordered the DMV to review the moratorium on customized plates and consider re-starting the program. The governor’s move came after the Legislature passed a bill directing the DMV to issue a plate for the Kiwanis Club.”

Now, the “Department of Motor Vehicles has drafted regulations that — if formally adopted later this summer — would allow the agency to once again provide charities and other groups the chance to create their own custom license plates.” Unfortunately, the proposed regulations would allow the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles to reject an application for a special license plate if the proposed license plate is deemed “objectionable.” New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is concerned that this language would give the DMV leeway to reject future applications to create “Choose Life” license plates.

The proposed license plate regulations are available for public comment; rest assured that New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms will make our voices heard in support of life and free expression.