PennDOT will eliminate registration stickers in 2017

Starting in 2017, Pennsylvania drivers will no longer need PennDOT-issued registration stickers on their vehicles.

Automated License Plate Readers will instead verify to law enforcement whether a vehicle’s registration has expired. The technology, according to PennDOT officials, is more efficient than visual inspection of registration stickers.

“License plate reader technology allows a single law enforcement officer to quickly, accurately and reliably check the status of thousands of license plates on a single shift using information from PennDOT’s registration database to determine if there are expired registrations or lack of insurance for the vehicle,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said. “It is a true force multiplier.”

The plate reader technology counters issues with the current system like counterfeiting, selling or attaching stickers to dead or unregistered plates. The ALPR technology also checks for expired insurance coverage. Officers will be immediately notified of any problems with a vehicle’s paperwork.

Along with the elimination of the stickers, PennDOT is proposing a grant program that would move the savings to the purchase and upkeep of license plate readers.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2017, PennDOT customers can renew online and print their permanent registration card at home. There are also future plans to allow customers to upload their registration card to mobile phones, eliminating the necessity for a print copy. However, there is no official timeline for that.

Eliminating the PennDOT mail service of registration stickers and customers printing registration cards at home will save an estimated $2 million per year in mailing costs, PennDOT officials said. PennDOT will also save an estimated $1 million in sticker production costs each year.

Registration stickers will be issued until Dec. 30, but customers will not be required to display them after Dec. 31.

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