Clerk changes process to return license plates

Buffalo, N.Y. (WIVB) —Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs is changing the way motorists turn in old license plates. Beginning June 1st, motorists may put the plates in an envelope, sign their name and address on the envelope, and put it in a drop box found at all Erie County Auto Bureaus.

In the past, drivers had to wait in line and pay a one dollar fee to return old plates. Starting June 1st, Jacobs is eliminating the one dollar fee and providing specially-designed envelopes that will accommodate license plates.

Drivers should put their name and address on the envelope and place the envelope in an auto bureau drop box. The clerk’s office will process the plates and mail the driver a confirmation receipt accepted by insurance companies.

Jacobs did some research before dropping the one dollar fee and found it was originally meant to cover the costs of recycling the license plates.

In a news release Jacobs says, “Since the fee was adopted, scrap metal has significantly increased in value and the County, in fact, makes thousands of dollars from the recycling of plates, so there is no reason to continue to charge the $1 fee.”

Jacobs says the new return process is designed to make it easier on customers by eliminating the need to stand in line and reducing the wait times for other auto bureau customers. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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