Plate Mistake?

3:04 AM, Aug 19, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - A Niagara County viewer wrote to our tipline, pointing out what appears to be an error in one of the custom license plates being offered by New York State, and he seeks our help in getting it corrected.

Now, a state lawmaker has agreed to pursue the issue.

The viewer (who asked that he not be identified because he works for the government) was browsing the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) web site in his attempt to procure some custom plates with the Buffalo Sabres emblem on them, to show his allegiance to his favorite hockey team.

It's one of numerous custom plates you can order from the state, indicating you're a fan of any number of New York's professional sports teams, or to indicate your profession, causes you support, your participation in service groups, or that you are a volunteer firefighter, among other things.

Then he stumbled across one which is available to winners of the "Congressional Medal of Honor", if they can prove they were indeed the recipient of the nation's highest military honor.

But, as the viewer pointed out about the award bestowed by the President on behalf of Congress;

"The proper name of the award is the 'Medal of Honor'... Don't get me wrong, I have nothing at all against the US Congress....I just think we should have the proper name of the honor on the license plates."

He wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo and received one back from Associate DMV Commissioner Jackie McGinnis, thanking him for expressing his concern, but stating:

"Unless the Vehicle and Traffic is amended through legislation, we are not able to make any change to wording on the Congressional Medal of Honor custom plate we offer...If legislation is passed and signed into law, we will revise the plate accordingly."

She also suggested contacting a member of the state legislature to ask them to proffer a bill to change it, if he believed this was a matter of importance.

Our viewer claimed he had done that, but without results.

Two On Your Side took his concerns to NYS Senator Mark Grisanti (R-60th District) who promised to look into the matter.

"I appreciate you bringing it to my attention," Grisanti told WGRZ-TV.

"It's something that should be corrected and it's something that should be done pretty simply I would imagine," Grisanti said.

Grisanti said his first step will be to have his staff research the issue and then if necessary draft a bill for which a co-sponsor in the State Assembly would have to be found.

The earliest it might be considered, however, would be in January when the legislative session begins anew.

"There's been a lot more heavy lifting over the past couple of years on other issues that constituents have brought to my attention, so I think this is something we could get done," Grisanti said.

A DMV spokesperson confirmed that there are only two of the plates in question currently issued in New York State.

Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Andy Golebiowski.

Click here to read Dave McKinley's latest blogs.

(Thanks to the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society for its assistance with this story.)


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