Joe Robach announced this week that the office of Department of Motor Vehicles will begin issuing the first New York State emergency management red license plates for vehicles registered to State agencies and political subdivisions such as counties, cities, towns, and villages. Vehicles that serve a critical role will be given the new emergency license plates to assure they have immediate access to locations impacted during a state emergency as well as prioritized access for assets such as emergency fuel supplies. The red plates will carry a new Emergency Management (EM) indicator for quick identification.

“Red Plates will assist law enforcement in identifying vehicles during major storms or emergencies,” Joe Robach said. “We are distributing the new red emergency license plates to local governments and agencies free of charge to help prioritize response efforts statewide. “

The new plates will have a white background and a red banner with the “EM” designation appearing in the upper left hand corner. The name of the State Agency or the political subdivision and its county of primary use will also be displayed on the plate. “State” will appear at the bottom of State Agency plates. Sample images of the new plates can be viewed here and here.

Joe Robach went on to explain that the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services office will determine how many red license plates will be available to the various agencies and localities. Initially most localities will be entitled to register for a minimum number of red plates. The vehicle must either be owned or controlled and registered in the name of the State agency or locality in order to be eligible for the new red license plate. Additionally, the highest ranking government official in each locality will certify that the identified vehicles are eligible for this program.

Letters were sent recently to the heads of eligible State Agencies and political subdivisions to advise them of the availability of these plates and to provide them information on how to apply. The new plates will begin to be distributed to the agencies and political subdivisions as applications are received and processed. There is no charge for the new plates.

A political subdivision is defined as a subdivision of New York State that has been delegated certain official functions of state or local government including a government entity created by, or under the authority of, State law. Volunteer organizations are not political subdivisions.

For additional information, on plate availability and use, Joe Robach encourages residents to contact the office of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services at (518) 242