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Driver's Licenses

How to Obtain a License

Driver's licenses are issued by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
However, the Erie County Auto Bureau is available to assist you at any one of our convenient locations throughout Erie County.

Parental consent is needed if you are under the age of 18. An application for a Driver's License or Non-Driver ID Card is available for download here: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv44.pdf with instructions for completing the application here: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv441.pdf.

You must be at least 16 years old, appear in person, present an original or certified birth certificate with a raised seal, original social security card, and present 4 points of proof of identification in order to obtain a learner’s permit. The 4 points of proof includes a variety of different documents. DMV Form MV-44.1 lists all of the options, and can be downloaded here: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv441.pdf or http://www.dmv.ny.gov/forms/id44.pdf.

In place of the 4 points of proof, if you are under the age of 21, a parent with a driver's license may come to an Auto Bureau Office to complete and sign an MV45 form. An original birth certificate with a raised seal and original social security card for the applicant must also be presented. The MV45 form may be downloaded here: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv45.pdf.

If you are interested in an Enhanced Driver License or Enhanced Non-Driver ID Card, an application is available here: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv44edl.pdf. For additional information on Enhanced Documents, please click here.

Please note that a social security card or letter from the Social Security Administration is now required for all transactions where the applicant does not possess a current photo document (license, identification card) issued by the State DMV as proof of identity.

If you are presenting a Non-driver's identification card as proof of identity to obtain a permit it must be accompanied by an original birth certificate with a raised seal and original social security card.

You must take and pass a written knowledge test in the driver permit classification in which you wish to obtain a permit. Permit testing closes 1 hour before all Auto Bureau offices close.

To schedule a road test to obtain your license, you may either register online at http://www.dmv.ny.gov/roadtest/default.html or call
(518) 402-2100. Please have available your permit ID number and your 5 hour course certificate. Currently, the State Department of Motor Vehicles conducts roads tests in Erie County in Buffalo, East Aurora, Orchard Park and the City of Tonawanda.

Renewing a Driver's License

At the time of renewal, you will be required to present 6 points of identification or current license along with the Renewal Invitation, or a completed MV44 form. In addition, you must also pass a vision test in an Auto Bureau Office or present a visual acuity report which you have received from your doctor within 6 months of renewal. If you have developed new disabilities or an existing disability has worsened, you may be required to present a medical statement prior to renewal.

Duplicate License/License Abstracts

You must apply for Duplicate Driver's Licenses, Permits, Non-Driver ID and license abstracts in person at the Auto Bureau. You will be required to present 6 points of identification.

License Amendments

If you are trying to change or amend your name, your physical description, date of birth or the restrictions on your permit, driver's license or non-driver's ID, you must come to an Auto Bureau in person with the current document and proof of the change to be made, such as a marriage certificate or a court order.

Non-Driver ID

To apply for a Non-Driver ID card you must present an original birth certificate (with raised seal), an original social security card, and 4 points of identification. If you have been married or divorced, your marriage certificate or divorce papers must be included in your proof of identification. The application form can be downloaded here: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv44.pdf. You may also apply for an Enhanced Non-Driver ID.

Moving in From Another State

If you are coming into New York State from another state or Canada and your license has been in effect for 6 months and is not expired more than 1 year, you may apply for a New York State Driver's License. You must have your out-of-state driver's license, original birth certificate or valid passport, original social security card, and at least 2 additional points of proof. You must pass an eye test only. You must surrender your our-of-state driver's license.

Fees - Effective September 1, 2010

  • Amendment: $12.50 - Any type for License or Permit
  • Operator's D or DJ: $64.50/$80.50 - Valid for 8 years
  • Class E or Non-CDL-C: $112.50/$128.50 - Valid for 8 years
  • CDL License: $164.50/ Enhanced CDL $194.50
  • Motorcycle: $64.50- $80.50
  • Duplicate Driver's License or Permit: $17.50
  • Non-Driver ID Card: up to $10; reduced fee of $6.50 for age 62 or older, or those receiving SSI benefits (proof of SSI benefits must be provided)
  • Transferring from another state: up to $55 (operator's license); based on original + $10 extra which waives taking tests
  • Duplicate ID Card: $8.00
  • Abstract: $10
  • Photo Document: DMV-issued - $12.50, Eight-year renewal - $62.50, Five-year learner's permit - $85
  • Title Fee: Original - $50, Duplicate - $20, Mobile/Manufactured Home - $125
  • Data Sales: Electronic search - $7, Manual search - $10
  • Insurance Lapse Buy Back: 8-30 days - $8/day, 31-60 days - $10/day, 61-90 days - $12/day
  • Salvage Vehicle Inspections: $200
  • ATV Registration: $12.50
  • Snowmobile Registration: $100.00 (NOTE: If you are a member of a snowmobile Club, the registration fee is $45.00)
  • New License Plates $25.00 plus $20 to keep same plate number

Additional Information

Conditional License.
If you have been convicted of an alcohol-related offense, you may be eligible for a conditional license. You are required to sign up for the drinking driver program at the time a conditional license is issued. To check eligibility, please bring proof of identity and any correspondence given to you by the court or the State Department of Motor Vehicles to any Erie County Auto Bureau Office. Our enforcement specialist will review your record and advise you accordingly. Our enforcement section closes 1 hour before the end of Auto Bureau business day. The fee for a conditional license is $75.00.

Restricted License.
If your license is suspended or revoked for a non-alcohol related offense, you may be eligible for a restricted license. To check eligibility, please bring proof of identity and related correspondence issued by the State Department of Motor Vehicles to any Erie County Auto Bureau Office. Our enforcement specialist will review your record and advise you accordingly. Our enforcement section closes 1 hour before the end of Auto Bureau business day. The fee for a restricted license is $87.50.

Graduated Licenses for Teen Drivers.
New York State law makes full drivers' licensing privileges for those under 18 contingent on a period of demonstrated safe driving. Under the law:

  • They must hold a learner's permit for 6 months before scheduling a road test.
  • They must record 50 hours of supervised driving practice, 15 of those after dark.
  • No more than one non-family passenger under 21
  • They are prohibited from using ipods, game players and other electronic devices while driving.

Delinquent Child Support Suspension.
If a parent has a court order to pay child support and it is determined that no payment has been made for 4 months, a warning notice is sent from the Department of Social Services (DSS). This notice informs the parent to contact their DSS Support Collections Unit. If the parent does not respond within 45 days, DSS will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles to have the parent's driver's license suspended. The Department of Motor Vehicles will then issue a notice of license suspension. This suspension will remain in effect until the obligations are satisfied or payment arrangements are made with the DSS Support Collection unit. The phone number for the Erie County DSS Office of Child Support is 858-8000.

Insurance Lapses.
If the Department of Motor Vehicles receives information that your vehicle has had its insurance coverage terminated, the Department will send you an inquiry letter. Failure to respond with proof of continuous coverage may result in the suspension of your registration. Should the lapse exceed 90 days, your driver's license may also be suspended.

If you have not maintained insurance coverage, you must surrender your license plates for the required period, depending on the length of the lapse. If your license is suspended, it also must be surrendered. No new registration may be issued in your name until the suspension period has been served.

You mayhave the option of paying a civil penalty of $8, $10 or $12 per day for the period of the lapse, providing you have not used this option in the past 3 years and the lapse is not over 90 days.

Proof of insurance coverage can consist of a letter on the insurance company's letterhead showing the period of coverage and a full description of the covered vehicle. Proof can also consist of an insurance card issued by a company other than the one notifying the Department of the lapse. Some lapses may only be cleared electronically or by surrendering plates.

Surrendering License Plates.
You may bring license plates and $1.00 to any Erie County Auto Bureau Office to surrender license plates. You will receive a receipt for the items you have surrendered. If you do not have the plates to surrender, obtain Form MV78b (Report of Lost or Stolen Registration or confiscated Items) from your local police agency and submit it along with $1.00 to any Erie County Auto Bureau Office.

Payment of a Civil Penalty.
If you are eligible to pay a penalty rather than serve the suspension period, you must pay in cash, money order or certified check. The amount due is dependent on the actual term of lapse, therefore it is best to do this transaction in person. Once you opt to pay a civil penalty, you are prohibited from this option for a period of 3 years, and must surrender your plates on a second offense or more than one lapse on the same plate.