License plate stickers no longer required in Pa., introducing 2 new bills

Pennsylvania

One bill aims to bring back the registration stickers, the other wants to safely utilize other technology

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WKBN) – Drivers in Pennsylvania are no longer required to display a sticker on their license plate verifying their vehicle is registered.

The change in the law led to two bills that were discussed at the state capitol on Tuesday.

The House Transportation Committee discussed House Bills 1509 and 317, both of which were born out of the 2016 decision by PennDOT to no longer require drivers to display a registration sticker on their license plate. The move is expected to save them $3 million a year.

“In the 2017 PennDOT numbers, it shows that PennDOT lost about $22 million in registration renewals,” said Rep. Barry Jozwiak.

PennDOT says those numbers increased in 2018, but Jozwiak wants to bring them back.

So, he introduced HB 1509, creating a new two-in-one sticker that verifies a vehicle is registered and has passed inspection.

Jozwiak says the lack of a sticker has hindered police.

“Police officers cannot tell if the license plates on the cars are registered,” Jozwiak said.

Without those stickers, some law enforcement agencies are turning to other technology like Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) systems.

Steven Wheeler, executive director of the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Society, says it works.

“Without the registration stickers, ALPR devices are a great way to identify vehicles that are stolen,” he said.

Rep. Greg Rothman agrees with their effectiveness but has concerns about privacy. So, he introduced HB 317, limiting how that data can be collected and how long it can be stored.

“Obviously, privacy concerns are an issue for the citizens and we want them to be comfortable with the fact that this technology can be used properly by law enforcement,” Wheeler said.

Right now, both of those bills remain in the House Transportation Committee.

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