Motor Vehicle Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. My plates are peeling/delaminating.  How do I get new ones?

The registrant can bring in both plates and we will issue a new set at no charge.  The plates will be a different number than your old plates.   If you want to keep your plate number, you can contact the Custom Plate Unit at 1-518-402-4838.  You will most likely have to pay to keep your old plate number. 
Q. Does Genesee County’s DMV issue Enhanced Driver License and Enhanced Non-Driver ID Card?

A. Yes! New York residents now have the option of upgrading their current license, permit, or non-driver ID card to a NYS Enhanced Driver License (EDL) or NYS Enhanced Non-Driver ID (ENDID).  The EDL and ENDID are a secure driver license (EDL only), identity document, proof of U.S. citizenship, and NYS residence, and a Western Hemisphere travel document all in one.  The document can be used for land and sea border crossing only, instead of a passport, as accepted method of entry to and from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.  An EDL or ENID cannot be used for air travel to other countries.

Q.   What do I need to get an Enhanced or REAL ID?

A.  You need your social security card, birth certificate (or US Passport,) your current New York State photo document, 2 forms of residence proof, and any and all name change paperwork (marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc.)  If you don't have your social security card, we can generally accept the most recent (meaning the previous year's) W-2 or 1099 as long as it has your social security number on it and you are verified in our system.
     We can accept birth certificates as long as they have a raised seal and are government issued.  We cannot accept birth certificates from hospitals or souvenir certificates.  We can take a US Passport instead of a birth certificate as long as the passport is not expired.  
     We need to prove your NYS address in order to get an Enhanced or REAL ID.  Here are a couple examples of what we can normally accept:
- NYS License/Permit/NDID (the address must be printed on the front of the photo document; address change stickers are not acceptable as address proof in this case)
- Utility bill (needs the bottom detachable piece and must contain the name and physical address)
- Computer printer pay stub (must include name and address)
- Postmarked mail (must have the postmark in the upper right hand corner and must be dated within 90 days of the application)
- Credit Card Statement
- Bank Statement
- NYS Pistol Permit

Q.   How do I replace a lost or stolen DMV documents?

A. License, Permit, Non-Driver ID card – If your license/permit is not expired and not suspended, and your address has not changed, you might not even have to fill out a form!  We can pull an image up from your lost ID and you can order a new one ($17.50 for duplicate license/permit and $8 for a duplicate ID card.) Form MV-44 may need to be completed if your address has changed and your photo document is a state license.  If your NYS photo document has been stolen, you need to get a MV-78B from your local police department and present that here in the office.  The fee will be waived but you will need to complete the MV-44. It will take 2-3 weeks to receive the photo document by mail.

Registration – Come in with your NYS photo document and your plate number.  We will most likely be able to produce a duplicate for you without you having to fill out a form!  A vehicle/trailer registration duplicate costs $3.00; snowmobile registration duplicates cost $1.00.  Form MV-82 will need to be completed if your registration was stolen.  You will leave the office your windshield sticker and registration card.

NYS Certificate of Title – Form MV-902 will need to be completed and a $20.00 fee will be collected.  You will need the vehicle information (year, make, and VIN number).  It will take 7-10 business days to receive the certificate in the mail

Q.   When I apply or renew DMV documents how long does it take to get them back if processed locally?

A.When applications are processed or renewed locally, the final documents are generally mailed from the state and temporary documents are generated at our office.  (By renewing locally you are also generating revenues for Genesee County which helps keep your tax rate down.)

License renewals – 2-3 weeks (you leave the office with a paper temporary).

Registration renewals – exception - you leave the office with the windshield sticker and registration card.

Certificate of Title – on average it takes 1 month for a NYS Title and 3 months for an Out of State title (you leave with your registration document at the time of processing your title application).

Q.   Can I renew a registration with out a current inspection?

A. Generally no – the computerized inspection system may prevent the renewal from processing if the vehicle inspection is not current.

Q.   How can I avoid waiting in line at the DMV?

A. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a time when lines will be short. However, from experience we can tell you that our busiest days are Mondays and Fridays. Try to avoid the lunch hours, which are between 12 pm and 2 pm daily.

Q. What are the New York State Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Requirements?

A. A motor vehicle registered in NYS must be covered by automobile liability insurance. Coverage of a minimum of $25,000/50,000 for injury, $50,000/100,000 for death and $10,000 for property damage from any one accident. NYS is a no-fault state.

Q.   What action does DMV take if I fail to surrender my plates when I no longer have insurance?

A. If you do not have liability insurance coverage and you do not surrender your plates immediately to the DMV, your license and registration will be suspended indefinitely. Avoid this by taking your plates to the DMV before your liability insurance lapses!

Q.  I have had an accident; do I need to report it to DMV?

A. Yes.  If you are in an accident, you must stop your vehicle and exchange information with the other drivers. If the accident caused property damage only, then exchange information about your driver license, insurance, and registration with the other drivers. If a parked vehicle or other property is damaged, or if a domestic animal is injured, you must locate the owner or contact the police.

If the property damage of any person is $1,001 or more, all the involved drivers are required by the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law to file form MV-104 (Report of Motor Vehicle Accident). File form MV-104 with the DMV no more than 10 days after the accident. The DMV can suspend your driver license if you fail to report an accident.

If a person is injured or killed, you are required by the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law to immediately notify the police. All the involved drivers and the police must file an accident report with the DMV. It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident that causes personal injury or death. 

The accident appears on the records of all the involved drivers. An accident listed on your driver record does not indicate that you were at fault. The DMV does not try to determine fault in an accident.

Q.  How do I notify DMV about a name change?

A.You must visit the DMV office and bring your New York State license, Non-driver ID or Permit and the original certified marriage certificate or certified copy of divorce papers to prove your name change.and fill out form MV-44. The fee to receive a new license with the name change is $12.50. You need to change your name on all vehicles registered to you.  Bring in your ownership documents (ie. title) for each and we will change your name on those documents free of charge.  If your vehicle is a lease, you will need to contact your leasing company and have them fax us a certified copy of the front and back of the title, a letter or permission giving you permission to change your name on your NYS registration, and a Power of Attorney letter giving you permission to sign for the leasing company.

Q.   Do I need to notify DMV if I move?

A. You must notify DMV of your move within 10 days. You can do this by using a change of address form MV-232 (Are You Moving?) available at our Motor Vehicle Office.

Q.   Am I required to register my Boat, Snowmobile, Trailer or ATV?

A. Any boat that is powered by a motor and operated on public waterways must be registered in New York State. Registration is required even if the motor is not the primary means of propulsion.

Bring the completed application for a Boat Registration and/Or Title form MV-82-B (Boat Registration/Title Application), complete a Sales Tax form or proof of exemption or tax paid, proof of ownership, ID, and bill of sale to the DMV office. Your trailer must be registered as well.

Any snowmobile operated in New York State must be registered unless it is used exclusively on the owner's private property or on private property that the snowmobile's owner has a contractual right to use.

Bring the completed application for snowmobile registration MV-82SN (Snowmobile Registration Application), complete Sales Tax form DTF-802 (Statement of Transaction - Sale or Gift) or proof of exemption or tax paid, proof of ownership, ID and bill of sale. Your trailer must be registered as well and a helmet must be worn.

Any ATV driven anywhere in New York State, even solely on private property, must be registered (except those used only for agricultural purposes or private, not-for-hire snowplowing). ATV's can only be operated on public lands posted for ATV use and on private property only with the landowner's permission. A helmet must be worn.

Bring the completed MV-82 (Vehicle Registration/Title Application), completed Sales Tax Form or proof of exemption or tax paid, proof of ownership (usually the Manufacturers Statement of Origin or previous owners registration signed over to you) and ID from form ID-82 (Proofs of Identity for Registration and Title). **Insurance is required on ATV's unless driven solely on your own property. Be prepared to show proof of insurance upon request of a judge, police officer or a person claiming to have suffered injury or property damage.

Q.  Can someone else take my registration paperwork into the Motor Vehicle office to process?

A. When a person different from the registrant applies for a vehicle registration at a DMV office, that person (the second party) must show proof of identity for both parties.
The only acceptable proofs of identity are a photo:

  • NYS driver license
  • NYS learner permit
  • NYS non-driver photo ID card

The second party must show:

  • NYS photo document of the registrant (a photocopy or the original), and
  • An original of their own NYS photo document
An expired document is acceptable if the document is expired less than two years.
If either party does not have a photo document issued by the NYS DMV, the DMV will not process the second-party application, and the registrant must apply for the vehicle registration.

The registrant must sign the required forms. A second party must have a Power of Attorney to sign a form for another person.

An Example of a Second-Party Application

A wife brings an application for a vehicle registration to a DMV office for her husband. The wife must show a photocopy (or the original) of the husband's driver license, learner permit, or non-driver photo ID card. The wife must show her own original NYS photo document. The husband must sign all the required forms before they are brought to the office.

Q.  My Child is ready to take their driver permit test, what do I do?

A.    Drivers manuals are available at the Motor Vehicle Office free of charge. They may go onto the New York State web site at Driver’s Manual and Study Guide and take practice tests to prepare them for their test. When the child is ready to take his/her test, they must have the following:

  • Their original birth certificate or a certified copy (Hospital birth certificates are NOT acceptable)
  • Their original signed social security card (make sure the name on the SS card and birth certificate match)
  • Be accompanied by a parent or guardian (proof of guardianship must be submitted)
  • Parent or guardian must show a New York State Drivers License, Non-Driver ID or 6 points of I.D. from ID-44 (Proofs of Identity)
  • Tests are given daily until  3:00 pm

Q.   Can I pay my traffic/parking tickets at your office?

A.    No, traffic and parking tickets must be paid at the court in the location where the ticket was issued. Court Information

Q.   What are some of the new alcohol-related offenses associated with the ’driving while intoxicated‘ laws adopted in 2006?

A. Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a BAC of .18 or more (1192/2a)-increases the penalties when driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated with a BAC of .18 or higher.
Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol (1192/4a)-prohibits operating a motor vehicle while impaired by the combined influence of more than one drug or a combination of alcohol and any drug or drugs.

New Sanctions and Fines:
The first offense of VTL 1192/2a will be a one year revocation with a fine of $1000 to $2500. The second offense with a prior offense (within 10 years) of 1192 (2, 2a, 3, 4, 4a) will be an 18 months revocation and a fine ranging between $1000 to $5000.
The first offense of VTL 1192/4a will be a 6-month revocation with a fine of $500 to $1000. The second offense will be a one year revocation and a fine ranging from $1000 to $5000. A defendant convicted of VTL 1192 (2, 3, 4, 4a) with a prior 1192/2a in the preceding 10 years is subject to an 18-month revocation.
*All revocation periods are minimum revocation periods.

Chemical Test:

A license will be revoked for at least a year upon the first refusal.
The revocation period for a motorist operating a commercial motor vehicle is increased from one year to eighteen months.

If the motorist refusing has a prior alcohol-related conviction, chemical test refusal or zero tolerance finding within the preceding five years, the minimum revocation period is now eighteen months

The penalties for Refusing Chemical Test have also been increased.

A first offense is $500

A first offense for Commercial Motor Vehicle is $550

Permanent Revocations:
A new law 1193 (2) (b) (12) has also been added to create a permanent license revocation for a motorist who is convicted of multiple alcohol offenses. After 5-8 years, the motorist who has been given permanent revocation may request a waiver.

Q.   What is a DRA (Driver Responsibility Assessment) Fee?

A.Effective November 18,2004, Chapter 59 Of the laws of 2004 added new sections 503(4) and 1199 to the vehicle and traffic law that impose a DRA following convictions for certain violations committed in motor vehicles, boats, and snowmobiles (not ATV’S) on or after Nov. 18, 2004. This assessment is in addition to any fines, fees, penalties or surcharges that are already collected by the courts.  DMV (not the courts) is responsible for collecting this assessment from motorists.
DRA is imposed in the following circumstances:

  • When any person is convicted of any alcohol or drug related driving offense, or of a refusal to submit to a chemical test, that does not arise out of the same incident as the conviction.  In these cases, the assessment is $250 each year for 3 years.
  • When any person accumulates 6 or more points on their driving record within an 18 month period. The assessment is $100 a year for 3 years, plus $25 for each additional point accumulated during that 18 month period (does not apply to boats and snowmobiles).
NOTE: Completing a point reduction course will not reduce the number of points for the purpose of the DRA. 

You will receive a statement from DMV that shows the minimum payment that must be paid within 30 days. Only one statement will be issued to a driver in any one year. The statement will show the actual due date, which is the final date that you can pay a DRA to avoid a suspension of a drivers license, permit, or driving privileges. Failure to pay the assessment will result in the drivers’ license or privilege to be suspended.

Payments can be made by mail or in our office by cash, check, money order, and credit card, and a receipt will be printed for you. 

If a DRA assessment remains unpaid for a period of 45 days, and indefinite suspension is issued for failure to pay and can only be cleared upon receipt of payment. A suspension notice is sent to the driver that includes the suspension effective date and the fees that are due. 

A client under suspension for non-payment of the DRA will not be eligible for a conditional or restricted license.  When payment is made, the order is cleared immediately.

NOTE: DMV will not revoke a restricted or conditional license for failure to pay a DRA, but it will suspend it until the payment is made.

Q. What is a Commercial Driver License (CDL) Certification?

A.When you apply for an original NYS Commercial Driver License (Class A, B or C) or a renewal, you must certify that:
  • You did not hold a driver license in any state or in the District of Columbia except NYS in the last 10 years, or you must report every US state (or the District of Columbia) where you held a driver license in the last 10 years.
  • You meet, or you do not meet, the requirements of the Federal regulations in 49 CFR Part 391, which include a requirement for a medical examination. 

In June 2015, all new CDL applicants are now required to present their birth certificate or US Passport.  Any CDL drivers renewing or changing their CDL licenses after June 2015 must present their birth certificate or US Passport in order to renew or change their CDL.  CDL drivers must also always present proof of residence when processing ANY license transaction.

Q. What is the 49 CFR Part 391 certification?

A. The federal regulations include a requirement that a commercial driver have a medical examination every two years and receive a Medical Examiner's Certificate. The Medical Examiner's Certificate can be valid for no more than two years. The Medical Examiner's Certificate includes the license number of the medical examiner who completed the exam, the state that issued the medical license of the examiner, and the expiration date of the Medical Examiner's Certificate.

When you complete your application to for an original or renewal NYS CDL, you must either:

  • certify that you do not have a current, valid Medical Examiner's Certificate, or
  • certify that you have a current, valid Medical Examiner's Certificate, and provide the license number of the medical examiner, the state that issued the medical license of the examiner, and the expiration date of the Medical Examiner's Certificate.
  • If you certify that you do not have a current, valid Medical Examiner's Certificate, you cannot receive or renew your NYS CDL unless:
    • You have a current NYS CDL that has a "K" restrictionand
    • your NYS CDL expires before April 1, 2006, or
    • your NYS CDL was issued before September 9, 1999.

  • You certify that you will operate school buses, municipal vehicles, or both of these types of vehicles, only. If you make this certification, your CDL will have an "A3" restriction that allows you to operate only school buses and municipal vehicles.
  • If you are not qualified to renew your CDL because of these certification requirements, go to a local DMV office for information and to renew your NYS driver license.
  • It is a violation of law to operate a commercial motor vehicle unless:
    • you have a current, valid Medical Examiner's Certificate, or
    • you have a valid "K" restriction and operate a commercial motor vehicle only inside NYS, or
    • you have a valid "A3" restriction and operate only a school vehicle or municipal vehicle. 

Q. Where are the Restriction codes on my driver license document?

A.The codes for your driver license restrictions appear next to the "R:" on the front of your photo driver license document. The codes are explained on the back of your photo driver license document.

Q. How do I obtain a Medical Examiner’s Certificate?

A.To get a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, you must get a medical examination from a licensed medical examiner. Licensed medical examiners include, but are not limited to, doctors of medicine (MD), doctors of osteopathy (DO), physician assistants (PA), or advanced practice nurses (APN).

Contact your primary medical care provider, and ask if the provider can conduct the medical examination for a commercial motor vehicle driver know as a "US Department of Transportation (DOT) physical." You can also find a medical examiner to do the examination through the yellow pages of your telephone directory or an Internet search.

If the examiner does not have the examination instructions and form, download the form (pdf 415 kb) from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration web site. You must have a version number of 4.0 or later of Adobe Acrobat Reader® installed on your computer to download the form. The latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader® is free at the Adobe web site.

You can download the form MV-44.5 (Federal Requirements for Commercial Driver License (CDL) Applicants.  The web site of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FCMSA) has more information about the 49 CFR Part 391 regulation requirements and other Federal requirements for CDL drivers.

Q. What are acceptable proofs of citizenship for the Federal background check for the hazmat endorsement?

  • U.S. Passport
  • Certificate of birth that bears an official seal and was issued by a state, county, municipal authority of outlying possession of the United States
  • Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form FS-545 or DS 1350)
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)
  • Permanent Resident Card, Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  • Temporary I-551 stamp on foreign passport
  • Temporary I-551 stamp on Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record with photograph of the bearer
  • Re-entry Permit (Form I-327)