How to Properly Surrender Your License Plates
In an effort to assist motorists who need to surrender their vehicle’s license plates without having to worry about incurring an insurance lapse, a fine or a suspension, my office has introduced a simple and quick procedure at all Auto Bureau locations.
Motorists may utilize our secure drop box station inside the front vestibules of the Buffalo (170 Pearl Street), Cheektowaga, Clarence/Williamsville, Evans, Tonawanda, West Seneca Auto Bureaus or to the Mobile Auto Bureau in Grand Island each Wednesday. Simply fill out the plate surrender envelope with the required information so we can mail YOU the FS6T receipt for YOU to provide to your insurance carrier- then just drop it in the secure green mailbox.
This service is available to ALL motorists during each location's regular operating hours.
PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN PEN so you can fill out the required information on the envelope. Plate Surrender envelopes are available at all drop-off locations.
MAIL IN OPTION: If you no longer live in the area or are unable to get to an office location, we will accept plate surrenders by mail. Place both plates in an envelope along with your current mailing address and mail to:
Erie County Auto Bureau- 170 Pearl Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
We will use the mail postmark date as the date that you surrendered the plates- your insurance carrier will back date accordingly. To be notified by the US Postal Service that we received your plates, send them by registered or certified mail, and request a return receipt.
We will mail YOU the FS6T receipt for YOU to provide to your insurance carrier in 7-10 days. If you do not receive a FS-6T receipt, please contact us at ErieCountyClerkOffice@erie.gov.
NOTE: IF I ORDERED REPLACEMENT PLATES, WHAT DO I DO WITH OLD PLATES AFTER NEW PLATES ARRIVE?
In this case only, DO NOT return or surrender your old plates to your local DMV. Destroy your old plates so that they cannot be reused. If your plates are not destroyed and someone else uses them, you could be held responsible for any traffic tickets written against the plates and for any fines resulting from the tickets. When disposing of the old plates, please follow the recycling guidelines for the area where you live. We recommend that you use a permanent ink marker to cross out the plate number or otherwise deface the plates. For your own protection, separate the plates and put them in the recycle bin during different weeks.
For a statewide list of local recycling coordinators, visit the website of the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Last Updated: 6/1/2022