PennDOT Eliminates Vehicle Registration Stickers in 2017

Removal of Registration Sticker Image

Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, PennDOT will no longer issue license plate stickers when drivers renew their vehicle registrations. The sticker elimination is part of a $3 million-plus cost-saving initiative under Act 89 of 2013.

Customers are still required to maintain current vehicle registration, and must present a registration card to law enforcement when asked. A valid registration card is also still required when having a safety and/or emissions inspection completed.

Law enforcement agencies have electronic access to PennDOT’s database from their patrol vehicles, which allows them to verify if a vehicle registration is valid. In addition, many use license plate reader technology to efficiently validate registrations.

Why is PennDOT going to stop issuing registration stickers?
Elimination of registration stickers will result in a significant cost savings for taxpayers. Act 89, which became law November 2013, provided for the elimination of vehicle registration stickers. The elimination of the registration sticker was evaluated as part of a Penn State research study, which concluded that eliminating the registration sticker has no impact on vehicle registration compliance.

Do I still have to register my vehicle?
Yes. Act 89 merely eliminated the requirement to place a registration sticker on your license plate effective December 31, 2016. Customers are still required to maintain current vehicle registration, and must present a registration card to law enforcement when asked. A valid registration card is also still required when having a safety and/or emissions inspection completed

How much money will be saved by not issuing the stickers?
The elimination of the registration sticker will realize a cost savings to taxpayers of $1.1 million per year; it is estimated an additional $2 million will be saved in mailing costs.

How will law enforcement know my car is registered?
Law enforcement agencies have electronic access to PennDOT’s database from their patrol vehicles, which allows them to verify if a vehicle registration is valid. In addition, many use license plate reader technology to efficiently validate registrations.
A Penn State research study concluded that eliminating the registration sticker has no impact on vehicle registration compliance. Find more information here.