ERIE.GOV | Your information resource from the government of Erie County, New York

County Executive Elected Officials County Departments Living In Erie County Visiting Erie County Growing your business in Erie County State and regional municipalities

Certificate of Residence

 Erie County Certificate of Residence Instructions

If you are an Erie County resident attending Erie Community College (ECC), you do NOT need a Certificate of Residence and this process does NOT apply to you.

If you are a US Citizen (or carry a resident alien card), have been a New York State resident for at least one year, and an Erie County resident for at least six months, attending a community college in NYS other than ECC, this process applies to you.

Each community college in NYS has a local sponsor, generally a county, which provides funding to the college. This allows county residents to pay a reduced tuition rate. Students who are not permanent residents of the college’s sponsoring county will be required to pay a higher non-resident tuition rate (generally double). In order to qualify for a reduced tuition rate, one must obtain a Certificate of Residence from their home county.


1. How to Apply

a) Application – Complete all information on application and have application notarized - DO NOT SIGN APPLICATION UNTIL YOU ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE NOTARY. The application can be found on the community college website or click hereThe Comptroller’s Office does have notaries on staff, but there is no guarantee that one will be available at all times for those coming in-person. 

b) Where to send Notarized application and proof of residency (see #2. below): 

i) E-Mail:; (Preferred and Recommended Method) 

ii) Mail Notarized application and proof of residency to the below address:

 Erie County Comptroller’s Office
 Attn: Certificate of Residence Division
 95 Franklin Street, Room 1100
 Buffalo, NY 14202 

iii) Come in person with application and proof of residency to the below address: 

Erie County Comptroller’s Office
Certificate of Residence Division   
95 Franklin Street, Rm 1100
Buffalo, NY 14202


2. Proof of Residency.

Please note: Documents with a Post Office Box address are not acceptable forms for proof.           

a)    You must be able to prove that you were a New York State resident for one year. 

b) You must also prove that you are an Erie County resident for the past six months. To prove the Erie County residency, we will need proof from 6 months ago and from this month. 

                                i.   If you have a NYS Issued Photo ID (Driver’s License, Permit or Non-Driver’s License) issued over one (1) year ago with your current Erie County address, no further proof is necessary.

                             ii.     If you do not have a NYS Issued Photo ID issued over 1 year ago with your current Erie County address, you must provide:

      • One piece of Acceptable ID (see below) from over a year ago proving NYS residency AND
      • One piece of Acceptable ID (see below) from over six (6) months ago proving Erie County residency AND
      • One piece of Acceptable ID (see below) from the past month proving your current Erie County residency.

                           iii.            The ONLY acceptable residency identification is any of the following, in your name with current address:

      • Parent(s) Federal or State Tax return showing student as a dependent
      • NYS Issued Photo ID - Must not be expired
      • Property Tax Bill
      • Utility Bill (Gas, Electric, Phone, Cable, Water)
      • Current Lease Agreement
      • Car Insurance Identification Card
      • Bank Statement
      • High School Identification - MUST be immediate past or current year
      • Pistol Permit
      • Fishing License
      • W-2 Statement - MUST have been issued more than 6 months ago
      • Native American Address Verification

** If you have moved to a different address in the prior 6 months, you must provide proof for each address that you have resided in during the 6-month period.

3. Certificate Issuance Schedule:


Application Submission Period

Fall Semester

July 1 to September 30


November 15 to January 15

Spring Semester

December 1 to February 28

Summer Semester

May 1 to July 30

Mini Courses

Within 5 days of course start date

4. Eligibility:

a) New York State resident for one year AND Erie County resident for six months.

b) Certificate issued for students applying to a two-year SUNY/CUNY Community College located in New York State AND outside of the County of Erie. 


5. Certificate Issuance:

a) Incomplete applications will not be processed until all of the required paperwork is received.

b)     Certificates will be issued while you wait for in-person processing at the Comptroller’s Office. Otherwise, they are issued within 3-5 business days after the required, completed paperwork and documentation is received by the Comptroller’s Office.

c)      Completed Certificates are given (if a walk-in) or emailed (if sent to us at ) to the student to bring to his/her respective school(s).

d)      It is the responsibility of the student to get the Certificate of Residence to his/her respective Community College(s).

 6. Guidelines:

a)      State Education Law, Sections 6301 and 6305, requires you to submit to the college of your choice a Certificate of Residence. This requirement is noted in each college admissions brochure. If you fail to submit the Certificate of Residence, you will be charged the nonresident tuition. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the application for the Certificate of Residence is filed with the Erie County Comptrollers’ Office on or before the deadline.

b)     Certificates are issued no earlier than sixty days (60) prior to the start of the semester and no later than the deadline dates mentioned above.  However, if you are taking a course during a mini-session or a course that begins after the start of the semester, your application must be submitted within five days of the start of the course.

c)      A certificate is valid for one year.

d)     Certificates are issued for a specific school.

1. If you attend classes at more than one school, a certificate is required for each school. Classes taken online at more than one school also require a certificate for each school.

7. Questions:

a)     Email

b)     Phone 716-858-8400 Monday through Friday 8:30am-4:00pm.