What are 'ghost cars,' and why is NYC cracking down on them?

New York state, as well as NYC officials, are launching a new crackdown on so-called "ghost cars."

What are ghost cars?

"Ghost cars" are identified as vehicles that have forged or altered license plates, making certain ones untraceable for traffic or toll cameras.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and MTA Chair Janno Lieber announced on Tuesday the launch of one of the largest multi-agency city and state task forces dedicated to identifying and confiscating the cars.

The task force started on Monday and authorities said they impounded 73 cars, issued 282 summonses and arrested eight people.

"There's a body of people who have made up their minds that they think that they can escape the law, and it's not going to happen," Adams said. "As well as they want to invade accountability because serious actions that they use in these ghost vehicles, such as shootings, robberies, and hit-and-runs."

How are the drivers doing it?

"Some people are fixing pieces of tape to obscure one of the letters, or two alternate, or if you have like a ‘p’ they putting a piece of tape that makes it look like a ‘b’ or a ‘6’," said NYPD Chief of Transportation, Phil Rivera.


NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said currently, the task force will operate once a month, but they are hoping to eventually ramp it up to every other week.

"This just started yesterday," Caban said. "They're doing monthly, but hopefully during the summer months, see more vehicles out there, more mopeds.


NYC battling $100M toll evasion crisis: Lawmakers call for crackdown on hidden plates

New York City is reportedly losing approximately $100M a year due to obscured license plates and toll evaders, and lawmakers are calling for a crackdown.

Hochul is also proposing legislation that would increase the fines and penalties of those driving with "ghost plates" and those who sell covers that hide license plates.