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Although license plate covers are readily available for purchase in auto parts stores and online, New York law does prohibit the use of any device that obscures your license plate number.

Many drivers in the New York area have attempted to use them to get out of paying tolls. The covers work by allowing your license plate to be clearly viewed when looking straight at it, but polarizing the light and obscuring the numbers when the plate is viewed at an angle. Since many traffic and toll cameras are positioned at side angles, people have tried to use them to get away with running red lights and evading electronic tolls.

If you are caught using one, you will be issued a ticket and will also be responsible for any tolls and toll-related fines that are unpaid. Police are on the lookout for violators and have stepped up their enforcement. News website DNAinfo reports that in 2015, the NYPD issued approximately 29,000 tickets to drivers using license plate covers.

As camera technology increasingly gets better, however, the plate covers are becoming less effective anyway. Plus, even if officials are only able to get a part of your license plate number, they can still cross-reference those numbers against the make, model and color of the car through DMV records and send you a ticket. So while it is legal to purchase and sell license plate covers in New York, using them on a public road to get out of paying tolls will likely result in even more money coming out of your pocket.

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