Skip to content
Home » News » New York State » New York cracking down on license plate fraud to curb toll evasion

New York cracking down on license plate fraud to curb toll evasion

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Across the state, a growing trend of license plate fraud, often called “ghost vehicles,” is costing the New York millions in lost toll revenue. Lawmakers are rallying to address drivers who intentionally obscure their license plates to evade electronic tolling systems. This evasion has sparked a significant response from state officials, including Gov. Kathy Hochul, who are pushing for tougher penalties to deter such actions.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Recent data from the New York Thruway Authority highlights a sharp rise in uncollectible toll transactions due to obscured plates, with losses amounting to about $407,000 last year. Despite these incidents representing a small fraction of total transactions, the financial impact is substantial. The state’s shift to cashless tolling, which was fully implemented by the end of 2020, aimed to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion, but has also made it easier for toll evasion through obscured plates.

The issue extends beyond mere financial losses. State leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, emphasize the broader implications of toll evasion, linking it to increased criminal activity and public safety concerns. As discussions continue, the state seeks to balance enforcement with fairness, ensuring that those wrongfully charged can contest fines, while persistent evaders face stringent consequences.