New York's new license plate

The new New York license plates will feature stylized views of Niagara Falls, the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline.

New Yorkers have chosen the state’s new license plate, overwhelmingly favoring a design with images of Niagara Falls, the Adirondack Mountains and the Statue of Liberty.

Residents were given a chance to vote for the new license plate in an online competition with five competing designs.

The winning option, announced Friday, received 49.7% of the 325,000 votes cast in the competition, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

“The design overwhelmingly selected by New Yorkers showcases some of our most iconic symbols and truly represents what the Empire State is all about — our diversity, our unparalleled architecture and natural beauty, and our unyielding commitment to freedom and justice for all,” says DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder.

The runner-up in the competition was design No. 1 showing a large image of the Statue of Liberty. It received 16 percent of the votes.

Four of the five designs featured the Statue of Liberty. A fifth showed the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, formerly known as the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Designs No. 2 (a small Statue of Liberty) and No. 3 (showing the bridge) tied for last place with 9.7 percent of the vote.

The new plates are due to go into circulation beginning in April, replacing the existing Empire gold plates and the older blue and white plates.

Some state lawmakers have objected to the $25 replacement fee that will be charged for the new license plates, calling it a money grab by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration.

New York Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy was among those who speculated that the governor had rigged the contest to favor the design with the bridge named after his late father.

Jim Eckstrom is executive editor of the Olean Times Herald and Bradford Publishing Co. His email is