Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers 

Below are questions Auto Bureau customers have recently asked us, along with our responses, which we hope will assist you at this time. 

How do I register a car (vehicle) now?

All vehicle registrations require an office visit in order to complete this transaction. Moving forward, ALL in-person visits are now conducted by APPOINTMENT ONLY.

CLICK HERE to schedule your appointment.

How do I retrieve my license plates that were "stored" at an Auto Bureau office that is not currently open?

License plates that were "stored" at either Evans of Eastern Hills Mall offices are now located at the following locations;

Evans Town Hall - plates are now "stored" at West Seneca Auto Bureau

Eastern Hills Mall - plates are now "stored" at Tonawanda Auto Bureau

If you would like to register your vehicle using your stored plates, please make your on-line appointment for that specific office.

Have vehicle inspection deadlines been extended?

The extension for vehicle safety and emission inspections has ended- ALL vehicles are to be current in meeting this compliance standard.

My driver license is expired or expires this year. I want to get a REAL ID/Enhanced license or non-Driiver ID so I can fly domestically in October of 2020. Is there an extension in the REAL ID compliance? 

To renew or upgrade your driver's License, you will need to schedule an appointment. Please CLICK HERE to schedule your appointment. The Department of Homeland Security has granted an extension for the REAL ID implementation past the October 1, 2020 deadline in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has spread across our nation. This new REAL ID compliance date is May 7, 2025. 

How can I renew my license online when a vision test is required. I do not want to go out and get one.

An eye exam is required for any license renewal. A Motor Vehicle Representative can conduct an eye test for you at any Erie County Auto Bureau FREE of charge.

How can I get a permit now? I need to drive.

All permits require an in-person vist to an Auto Bureau and require a reservation. CLICK HERE to schedule your appointment.

I took my vehicle off the road for the winter. I own the vehicle and surrendered the plates for credit last fall. I was wondering if I would be able to register it online?  I know I can not go to the office due to closure.

The Erie County Auto Bureau is now open to the public. However, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, ALL in-person transactions now require a reservation. CLICK HERE to schedule your appointment.

How do I surrender plates?

You can return your plates using our secure drop-box. 

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 and mail to:

Erie County Auto Bureau- 170 Pearl Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

We will mail YOU the FS6T receipt for YOU to provide to your insurance carrier.

Learn more here.

My driver license expired in March 2020. I could not extend online because I had a name change and was waiting for my Social Security Card to come in the mail. What can I do now since the DMV Field Offices are closed?

The Erie County Auto Bureau is now open to the public. However, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic ALL in-person transactions now require a reservation. CLICK HERE to schedule your appointment.. There is a $12.50 fee to amend your license.

My license suspension was supposed to be done this week. Who can I contact to have my full Commercial (CDL) license restored?

Without knowing the specifics of your license suspension, please see our page on suspensions and revocations to help answer your questions. 

Will road tests be automatically rescheduled when they begin again or will I have to make a reservation?

Reservations are available for road tests statewide. For more information, see Schedule and Take a Road Test.

For the safety of everyone at our road test sites, all customers, which include accompanying drivers and any other passengers in a vehicle arriving at a test site, must wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet of distance from other customers and staff whenever possible.  Face coverings include cloth, surgical masks, N-95 respirators, or face shields.  Customers will also need to disinfect the passenger side of the vehicle with disinfectant wipes that DMV provides upon arrival. DMV road test examiners will wear gloves, face coverings, and will have hand sanitizer.

To maintain proper social distancing protocols, you should only arrive with one accompanying driver.  You and your accompanying driver will have your temperature taken and be screened before beginning the test.  If there are multiple applicants in a vehicle with the same accompanying driver, and one of the applicants, or the accompanying driver, does not pass the screening process, none of the applicants in the vehicle will be tested at that time.  Their tests will need to be re-scheduled.

Does the extension for expiring driver licenses also apply to learner permits?

All driver licenses and permits that expired March 1, 2020, or after continue to be extended by Executive Order at least through March 28, 2021. In addition, the federal REAL ID enforcement deadline has been extended until October 1, 2021. To renew your renew your license, please go to the Driver's License and ID's for complete instructions.

Will there be an extension on 5-hour course expiration dates?

Any course completion certificates that expire during the time of the state of emergency will be honored. The individual will have to schedule their test (not necessarily take it) once they resume scheduling.

Additionally, anyone who schedules a road test will be honored if their certificate expires while waiting for their test date.


DMV field offices

All DMV field offices are closed and all road tests have been suspended until further notice. All reservations have been cancelled. Licenses and registrations expiring March 1st or later have been extended until further notice. You can still renew your vehicle, motorcycle, boat, trailer and snowmobile registrations, without an office visit. Visit for all the details. 


All inspections expiring March 31st or later have been extended until further notice. 

Traffic Violations Bureaus

All DMV Traffic Violations Bureaus (TVBs) are adjourned until further notice. Those who are scheduled to appear during this time will receive an adjournment notice from the DMV.  Please see the Tickets, Points, and Penalties page for many TVB transactions that can be completed online while the office is closed. 

Medical Certifications

DMV has temporarily stopped downgrading CDLs due to expiring Medical Certifications until further notice. The downgrade process will resume after the state of emergency is lifted and normal processing may occur. 
Click here for updated information

Safety and Business Hearings

Click here for complete information.

19-A notification (bus driver)

We are aware that many carriers are having trouble completing their annual and biennial 19-A procedures due to constraints caused by the COVID-19 emergency. While the Bus Driver Unit urges you to make every effort to comply with 19-A procedural requirements, please be assured that full consideration of the circumstances will be given when conducting future compliance reviews.  

Hazardous materials endorsements

Federal hazardous material requirements have been extended by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Individuals with a hazardous materials endorsement (HME) that expired March 1, 2020 or later have additional time to be fingerprinted to complete the background check required for TSA's security threat assessment. Individuals whose HME expired prior to March 1, 2020 are not granted additional time to meet TSA requirements. For more information, please visit the Federal Register

More information

You can find answers to common questions and more information about changes related to DMV's COVID-19 response on our questions and answers page


***This information is current as of 6/162021 2:00 PM***