New Law Eliminates Need for PennDOT to Replace License Plates Every 10 Years

HARRISBURG – A state law that takes effect today will save the commonwealth $59 million over the next three years by eliminating a mandate requiring PennDOT to replace license plates every 10 years, Transportation Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. said.

The last time license plates were replaced on all registered vehicles in the state was in 1999.

“Thanks to the use of higher quality, more durable materials in the manufacture of license plates in recent years, it’s possible to eliminate the mandatory 10-year replacement cycle,” said Biehler. “By replacing license plates on an as-needed basis, the commonwealth will realize significant cost savings during this time of fiscal uncertainty.”

Under the law, PennDOT is required to replace illegible license plates, free of charge, but only when a license plate has been deemed illegible by a certified mechanic during inspection, or by a law enforcement officer. An illegible license plate is defined as one or more letters or numerals not recognizable from 50 feet.

More information on the replacement of an illegible license plate, a fact sheet and frequently asked questions are available online, under the Motor Vehicle Information Center.

The new law also allows PennDOT to waive the Commercial Driver’s License Skills Test for Pennsylvania residents who are active duty military or recent honorably discharged veterans with at least two years experience operating a commercial motor vehicle as part of their military job requirements. The waiver applies to CDL applicants who will be operating vehicles similar to those they operated in the military. CDL applicants who are active duty military or recent honorably discharged veterans must still complete all applicable knowledge tests.

“Waiving the requirement for the CDL Skills Test offers a time savings in obtaining employment for our active duty military and veterans as they transition from military service to their civilian careers,” Biehler said. “It is yet another way we can help support our military and veterans who have sacrificed so much for our commonwealth and our nation.”

For more information about the CDL Skills Test Waiver or to find out if you are eligible for the waiver, a fact sheet is available on PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services Web site under the Military Personnel/Veterans Information Center.

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