Newcomers are required to register their cars with New York authorities within 30 days of moving to the state, but many don't bother. As a result, they cheat the state and city out of millions of dollars in revenue while making use of precious free parking spaces.
Neither the city nor the state could provide an exact number of improperly registered cars on the road, but a 2011 state Senate report found that nearly 25% of all accidents in the state involving cars with Pennsylvania license plates occurred in Brooklyn—a number that suggests many of those cars' owners were New York residents, not visitors.
The report also found that motorists who live in New York but drive cars registered out of state cost the city $73 million in unpaid parking tickets and deprive the state of $1 million annually in fees for license plates, titles and vehicle registrations.
But those unpaid tickets and uncollected fees still take a back seat to the loss of potential sales tax revenue. A New Yorker who pays the average price for a new car—$33,560, according to Kelley Blue Book—must fork over about $3,000 in sales tax. Approximately 125,000 new cars were added to state Department of Motor Vehicles registration rolls in 2015. If up to 25% of residents' vehicles were purchased out of state, as the Brooklyn accident number suggests, New York could have lost out on more than $93 million in tax revenue.