New York State begins issuing red license plates for government emergency response vehicles

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles said on Friday that it will begin issuing red license plates for emergency management vehicles registered to state agencies, counties and communities.

The new red license plates are intended to give emergency management vehicles priority and immediate access to disaster locations.

"New York has lived through the new reality of repeated extreme weather and natural disasters and we are reimagining every part of how our state responds so that when the next storm comes, we are ready," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "We are distributing the new red emergency license plates to local governments and agencies free of charge to help prioritize response efforts statewide. This will help law enforcement and first responders respond faster and keep New Yorkers safe when the worst happens."

The New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will decide how many plates will be available to agencies and communities. Vehicles will need to be owned or controlled and registered in the name of a state agency or locality to receive a new plate. The red plates are free of charge.

"We are sure that providing these emergency plates to the various state and local entities will benefit all New Yorkers in time of emergency or significant storms," Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Barbara Fiala said. "We will be working with DHSES and the various localities to make sure that these plates are distributed in a timely manner."