Modified: March 26, 2020 4:16pm

March 24, 2020

Drop Box Available for Motorists Amid Auto Bureau Closures Due to COVID-19

Erie County, NY – In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and still assist motorists who need to surrender their vehicle’s license plates, Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns is introducing a new procedure due to the temporary suspension of services at all Auto Bureau locations.

Kearns has set up a drop box station inside the front vestibule of the Rath Building located at 95 Franklin Street where motorists can bring their plates, fill out the plate surrender envelope with the required information and simply drop it in the secure green mailbox. This service will be available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am- 4:30 pm.

“During these unprecedented times there are still some services that the motorists of Erie County may still require,” says Kearns. “By making a drop box available, our customers can surrender their license plates without having to worry about incurring an insurance lapse, a fine or a suspension. In addition, all street parking in downtown Buffalo is free at this time.”

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, surrendering your plates at any of the six area Auto Bureaus or mobile unit was a common transaction. Customers can now complete this simple transaction while the Auto Bureaus are temporarily closed. In order to avoid all unnecessary contact Kearns is asking that customers bring their own pen in order to fill out the envelope.

“The specially designed envelopes will allow motorists to put their name and address on the envelope and we will process the plate return and mail the customer a confirmation receipt that they can provide to their insurance carrier,” said Kearns.

“I fully understand the temporary closure of our auto bureau operations is troublesome to our customers, especially those with transactions that are currently time sensitive,” said Kearns. “Therefore, I believe our plate return envelopes will be of tremendous assistance to many while we all fight to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Kearns. “It’s a win-win solution.”

For more information on this new process please visit LICENSE PLATE SURRENDER or email your questions to