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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 4, 2021 02:56 PM
From: Senator Kim L. Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Reinstating Vehicle Registration Stickers
I am reintroducing legislation to reinstate vehicle registration stickers for display on Pennsylvania license plates.

As you are probably aware, Act 89 eliminated the registration sticker requirement beginning in 2017.  PennDOT asserted at the time it would be a great cost-saving measure for the department and Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs) were making it possible for law enforcement to read license plate numbers electronically to determine the registration status of a vehicle.

The actual realized cost-savings in eliminating the stickers have been difficult to calculate because of the registration fee increases as also done under Act 89. However, there was a big enough decline in vehicle registrations in 2017 to question whether people aren't renewing registrations, either by accident because they no longer have a visual reminder to do so, or on purpose because there is no visual cue to law enforcement as to the status of the vehicle's registration. This decline also shows a definite loss of registration revenue.

The use of ALPRs has not been as wide-spread as was anticipated when Act 89 passed. The price of the devices, as well as the expense of data storage they require have made the use of them cost-prohibited for most law enforcement agencies. As an example, the Pennsylvania State Police only had six ALPRs in use as of last year. Even when police have them, a lack of connectivity for them have resulted in ALPRs not being utilized to their fullest benefit.

ALPRs are a great tool for law enforcement in providing public safety, as are registration stickers. Both enable officers to make a quick determination on the registration status of the vehicle which many times leads to the discovery of more serious offenses like stolen vehicles. Without either registration stickers or ALPRs, law enforcement is left to use mobile offices which require them to do data entry while on patrol.  The Commonwealth was too quick to eliminate registration stickers and it is in the best interest of public safety to bring them back.  

I hope you will join me in this endeavor to better ensure safety on our roadways.  This was SB 954 of last session and co-sponsors were Senators Mensch, Stefano, Aument, Bartolotta, Argall, Regan and Baker.

Introduced as SB410