The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles unveiled the new license plate design slated to start appearing on vehicles in April 2010.

All vehicles in New York will be transitioned to the new license plates over a two year period, replacing plates that debuted in 2001. The official word is that the current plates are losing their reflectivity and were only guaranteed to last for five years anyway. Unofficially, the extra $25 fee to buy the new plates (which you must do to renew your registration) will add a lot of money to the Empire State.

The new design harkens back to the plates used prior to 1986 and will feature the states official colours with blue characters on a gold background.

The official name of the plate series is the “Empire Gold Plates.” Motorists wishing to keep their existing plate number will be required to pay an additional fee. Like the current plate series, NYSDMV will not identify which county you are from by the letters in the plate number, opting to start with “AAA1000” and moving on from there.

I like the fact that there are no fancy graphics on this plate series and that it appears that a huge amount of money was not spent on the design of these plates, since the Empire State is experiencing an unprecedented fiscal emergency.

The official press release from NYSDMV is here.