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Genesee County Department of Motor Vehicles

April 7, 2021 - 8:17pm

Resolutions to keep a security guard at the Department of Motor Vehicles and forge a secure arrangement with Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden are on their way to the full Genesee County Legislature.

The board’s Ways & Means Committee today voted in favor of amending a contract with Securemedy Inc., of Waldorf, Md., to continue funding a security guard position at the DMV at County Building I on West Main Street in the city.

Cost of the added expense of $28,800 is expected to be covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency/disaster assist funding connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Clerk Michael Cianfrini, speaking at the committee meeting at the Old County Courthouse (and via Zoom videoconferencing), said having a security guard “has been basically invaluable to us down at the DMV, especially since we reopened.”

Cianfrini said that on a daily basis, between 10 and 50 people come to the office from either outside Genesee County or without an appointment.

“The security guard is able to stop them before they get into the DMV,” he said. “He has actually been there long enough now that he familiar with some of the documents and can answer questions for us. He’ll get the documents for people.”

The clerk said that the presence of the armed guard – his first name is Rich – provides much-needed protection.

“From our perspective, I’d love to see him there permanently. Looking down the road, at some point, the governor is going to lift restrictions. At some point, we’re going to have to go back to being open to the public,” he said.

When that happens, Cianfrini said he expects to be “inundated with out-of-county people coming in. Buffalo and Rochester – just hearing how far behind they (the DMV offices there) are.”

“They’re scheduling appointments – and in some cases, other counties are a month or two out, or more. They’re all going to come here,” he said. “I’s going to be … I won’t say a mess – but it’s going to be very hectic, and the presence of a guard would certainly help keep some order.”

Ways & Means Chair Marianne Clattenburg said the DMV staff has the backing of the legislature.

“You have our total support,” she said. “It will continue even if we have to fund it from our own budget.”

Keeping the ‘Peace’ (Garden)

The committee also voted in favor of a defined memorandum of understanding between the county and the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden -- the volunteer group that services and supports the approximately 11,000 square feet of county property on West Main Street, adjacent to the Holland Land Office Museum.

Barb Toal, FBPG vice president, said she is on board with the MOU’s stipulations and looks forward to continue working with the county to enhance the area that commemorates the peace between the United States and Canada since the War of 1812.

“We’re really thankful for all that the county does for us, and works with us on this project,” Toal said. “We’re just here to help beautify Batavia and make use of that area along the creek. I guess I just want to make sure that you people realize how much we enjoy working with you …”

Clattenburg promptly returned the compliment.

“You do a wonderful job of beautifying that area,” Clattenburg said. “It really does fit well within the property of the Holland Land Office and it is a tourist attraction.”

Toal said the original purpose of the peace garden was to “promote the Holland Land Office, and to try to keep the doors open of that building.”

In related action, the committee approved a contract with the FBPG Foundation to lease 682 square feet of space at the Engine House, 3 W. Main St., for administrative purposes from May 1, 2021 through April 30, 2022 at $100 annually.

October 23, 2020 - 11:23am

Employees of the Genesee County Clerk and Department of Motor Vehicles are knee-deep in work as they continue to deal with COVID-19 mandates that have resulted in longer wait times for those seeking pistol permits and have relegated the DMV office to appointment-only status.

That’s the latest word from County Clerk Michael Cianfrini, who provided an update of the departments on Wednesday at the Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee meeting at the Old County Courthouse.

Cianfrini, in dividing his report into two sections – recording office and DMV, said that on a daily basis, pistol permits are “probably our biggest operation.”

Because of COVID-19 restrictions on the number of people in one place at one time, Cianfrini said he has had to modify the way pistol permit issuance classes are conducted. Instead of one group class per month, he is providing the necessary information on an individual basis in the clerk’s office.

“This is fairly time consuming, but at the end of the class, the applicants receive their permits,” he said. “We want to get people their permits as quickly as we can.”

Cianfrini said the turnaround time in Genesee County from submission of the permit application to the issuance of the permit is about three months. While that may seem like a long wait, he said it is much better than other counties, singling out Monroe County “where it takes 12 to 15 months at a minimum.”

Pistol Permits are in Demand

And residents continue to apply for pistol permits at an increasing rate, he said, advising that he expects his office to handle about 400 permits this year – the same or more than the number in 2019. From 2009 through 2012, Genesee County handled an average of 206 permits each year.

Numbers: 2009-2012 – averaged 206 permits per year – about 1,400 amendments per year; 2019 – almost 400 permits, and 2,628 amendments – on pace for about 400 permits in 2020.

In response to a comment from Legislator Gary Maha about supply, Cianfrini agreed that currently there is a shortage of guns and ammunition.

Handling motor vehicle transactions at the DMV office is “an even bigger challenge,” Cianfrini said.

“We basically had to change the way we do business,” he said. “Per Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo’s mandate (which took effect on June 22), it’s by appointment only and only for Genesee County residents.”

As would be expected, the amount of phone calls coming into the local DMV is staggering.

“Hundreds per day, requesting appointments, requesting information,” Cianfrini said. “We’re getting calls from other counties, people just going through the phone book. We’re getting calls from Westchester County and Suffolk County, Long Island. We’ll say (to them), “What are you calling here for and they’ll say, ‘I’m just going down the list, we got to the Gs and you answered.’ ”

Listing of In-Office Transactions

Transactions being handled in the office include standard, REAL ID and Enhanced License renewals and transfers from out of state; first-time applications to upgrade to REAL ID or Enhanced licenses or non-driver ID cards; first-time applications for non-driver Identification Cards; applications for passenger, motorcycle or CDL permits; conditional or restricted licenses; vehicle registration reciprocity from another state, and testing and issuance for learner’s permits and commercial driver’s licenses.

Cianfrini said any registration transaction is limited to the drop boxes in Le Roy and Batavia, and he encourages residents to use the drop boxes, which are checked twice a day and are overflowing with paperwork.

“New registrations with license plates issued are limited to Genesee County residents only. Those go into the drop box and we process those as fast as we can,” he said. “We’re currently running 10 days to two weeks to get those processed and get the plates issued. We call the customer and they come in to pick up their plates.”

Vehicle registration renewals and license plate surrenders are pulled from the drop box and processed the same day they are received, with the registrations and/or receipts mailed back to the customer upon completion, he added. 

Cianfrini acknowledged that people do get upset -- calling it an “unfortunate situation,” but signaled that if these transactions were done in the office, the wait for an appointment could be a month.

“Right now, we’re scheduling license transactions out about two weeks, while that some counties are scheduling appointments now for December,” he said.

Other key points of his presentation:

Department of Motor Vehicles

  • Deb Igoe has replaced Leslie Krajewski, who retired, as deputy clerk for the DMV. Cianfrini said Krajewski is missed, but Igoe has “jumped in with both feet and has even exceeded my expectations.”
  • Dealer work at the DMV is through the roof. The local office has taken in more than $150,000 in revenue through dealer work in 2020, just a bit less than 2019, but an impressive total considering that the office took in no dealer transactions for three months. Cianfrini said the five-year average for dealer transactions is $163,000 per year.
  • The county DMV’s procedure for answering the phone is the most efficient, with Cianfrini claiming that online appointment systems have no customer service help and they run the risk of “crashing” and losing previously set up appointments.
  • Overall, DMV revenues are better than anticipated. Vehicle use tax revenue is projected at $400,000 for 2020; the 2019 total was $402,000. Motor vehicle online transactions will reach close to $30,000 this year; the 2019 total was $17,600.
  • The county is requesting the state to provide equipment to add another station at the DMV office, which would be linked to the state DMV server to process transactions. The additional stations could be used to run dealer or drop-box transactions in the near future, and possibly open to the public once the appointment mandate is lifted. Currently, the DMV office has eight full-time and two part-time employees.

Clerk’s Recording Office

  • The process of back scanning land records and civil records to facilitate online searches of these records on a subscription basis continues. Deed indexes, the actual deeds and mortgage index books are accessible back to 1927, while and the actual mortgage documents are scanned back to 1966. Plans call for those to be scanned back to 1927, but it is an expensive task. Miscellaneous records go back to 1974 and that index goes back to 1926.
  • Through the clerk’s office user accounts for online records, more than $30,000 in revenue is expected for this year.
  • COVID-19 has forced attorneys and title companies to do more electronic filing of legal documents, which has led to a large increase in the office’s electronic-recording. “It is much more efficient to accept these documents electronically versus bringing them in and handing them to us,” he said, adding that the office is encountering a huge increase in E-filing of civil records as well, going through the NYS Courts Electronic Filing program.
June 21, 2020 - 2:00pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Genesee County Department of Motor Vehicles.

dmv_sign_1.jpg

Slowly but surely, the Genesee County Department of Motor Vehicles office continues to shift gears to reach its destination of returning to full strength.

Signs advising people how to enter the office and stay in line have been placed around County Building I on Main Street, Court Street and Ellicott Street.

“It’s a new directional plan so that when long lines form, people will understand how to stay in a queue, come in and interact on an appointment-basis with our motor vehicle staff,” County Manager Jay Gsell said.

County Clerk Michael Cianfrini previously reported that, initially, the in-office appointments will be reserved for Genesee County residents only. Proof of Genesee County residency will be requested prior to entering the DMV.

Accepted license transactions to be conducted in-office include:

-- Standard, REAL ID and Enhanced License renewals and transfers from out of state;
-- First-time applications to upgrade to REAL ID or Enhanced licenses or non-driver ID cards;
-- First-time applications for non-driver Identification Cards;
-- Applications for Passenger, motorcycle or CDL permits;
-- Conditional or Restricted Licenses;
-- Vehicle registration reciprocity from another state.

Social distancing guidelines, including face coverings in order to enter the building, must be maintained.

Cianfrini also advised residents to use the drop box on Court Street (or near the Town of Le Roy office) or U.S. mail whenever possible. Acceptable transactions for the drop boxes are license plate surrenders, new registrations and registration renewals, title replacements and driver’s license renewals with an eye test.

Any transaction that can be done via drop box or mail will not be processed in-office, and DMV staff encourages customers to continue to utilize drop box services whenever possible.

For more information, call (585) 344-2550 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and follow the prompts.

May 21, 2020 - 11:46am

Genesee County Clerk Michael Cianfrini said he is expecting a major traffic jam when the Department of Motor Vehicles office on the lower floor of County Building I opens its doors once again for walk-in service.

“I do anticipate that when we reopen, we’re going to be inundated,” Cianfrini said on Wednesday as he provided an update on DMV/clerk’s office operations to the Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee.

While a specific date for a full reopening has yet to be determined, Cianfrini said he believes it could happen early next month.

“The last I’m hearing is that we should be part of Phase Two (of the four-phase New York State reopening plan) and the date I hear kicked around, but it’s by no means set in stone, is June 8th,” he said.

Cianfrini said that throughout the COVID-19-induced person-to-person lockout, the DMV office in Batavia has kept busy with reduced staffing that also includes Deputy Clerk Leslie D. Krajewski and two or three customer service representatives.

He said that processing transactions for auto dealers has been steady and that citizens have been utilizing drop boxes in Le Roy and Batavia to a greater degree after his office publicized that option.

“Dealers are actually selling a lot of cars right now … and we have been able to maintain a pretty good dealer work flow,” Cianfrini said. “My goal is to try to get caught up on all the dealer work by the time we reopen. We’re close and the dealer work continues to come in.”

He said his office has been processing vehicle registration renewals, registration transfers, driver’s license renewals (if people submit valid eye test results), vehicle plate surrenders and, more recently, issuing license plates for new purchases.

“Originally, we were told we were forbidden from doing that (issuing plates), but the more I was hearing other DMVs were doing it, we started also issuing license plates to Genesee County residents only,” he said. “We have a limited supply of plates and we have not gotten resupplied on that, so we don’t want to run out.”

Financially, revenue is not far off of 2019 levels, he said, with $300,000 coming into the county for the first four months of this year, compared to $353,000 for the same time period in 2019.

Cianfrini said that the office is “ready to go” as far as social distancing and other safety protocols are concerned, but did admit that answering the phone may be placed on the back burner at the outset.

“We may have to temporarily turn the phones off when we first reopen … and we may try to change our message to include all the information that we typically get asked when people call -- to just include that in the message -- but on a temporary basis to focus on the people who come in,” he advised.

He pointed out that there will be a lot of 16-year-olds who haven’t been able to get their permits, as well as many, many others seeking service. He also mentioned that employees will continue to encourage people to use the drop boxes.

“If we have the 500 people in line that I anticipate once we reopen … we can’t do the phones and answer the customers that are waiting in line,” he said, noting that the office has received hundreds of calls per day – nonstop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. – mostly from out-of-county residents unable to get through to their DMV offices.

Cianfrini also reported on activity at the County Clerk’s office upstairs, citing the effectiveness of e-recording (land documents) and e-filing (civil filings) software that was implemented last year.

“We’ve been fairly busy … attorneys have made the transition to e-recording very smoothly,” he said.

He said the office receives a couple dozen calls a day about pistol permits, a service that he hasn’t been able to provide.

“But when we do reopen, that’s going to be the thing that really drives us,” he said.

Cianfrini also said he is not worried about a permanent loss of revenue.

“I don’t anticipate a big drop-off beyond the national economic downtown … (as) pretty much anything that would have been recorded is going to be recorded and anything that would have been filed is going to be filed – and anybody that planned on doing a passport or pistol permit transaction will probably still come in anyway once we reopen.”

May 14, 2020 - 4:45pm

From Genesee County Clerk Michael T. Cianfrini:

In light of the recent announcement that Genesee County has been included in the Governor’s Phase I plan to begin lifting restrictions in the Finger Lakes Region, I would like to clarify that unfortunately this does not apply to the Genesee County DMV.

Pursuant to the Executive Orders issued by the Governor in March, every DMV in the state was closed to the public and thus far none have been cleared to reopen.

In recent days we have fielded hundreds of calls from individuals inquiring as to whether we will be reopening to the public on May 18th, so I would like to clarify and state that unfortunately the Phase I plan does not include the DMV.

Therefore, until the state lifts the closure, we must remain closed to the public until further notice.  

However, while we are prohibited from opening our doors to the public at this time, we remain committed to serving the public to the extent possible.

Our office continues to handle a wide range of transactions submitted through the mail or deposited in one of our drop boxes. If you need to do any of the following transactions, please feel free to submit your paperwork either through the mail or preferably through one of our DMV drop boxes located on Court Street in Batavia or Main Street in Le Roy:

  • Registration renewals 
  • Transferring plates from one vehicle to another vehicle owned by the same individual
  • License plate surrenders
  • Driver’s license renewals, provided an electronic eye test has been submitted, or a form MV-619 Vision test is included.

If you drop off or mail any of these transactions to us, please remember to include your full name, physical address and a phone number in case we need to reach you.  

Also, please rest assured that if your driver’s license or registration expired in March they are still valid and you cannot be ticketed for the expiration.

Governor Cuomo, through executive order extended all of those expiration dates “until further notice."

I, along with other County Clerks, have advocated to him and our state Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to continue extending those expirations so that when we do reopen, we can do so in a measured, controlled manner. Otherwise, a situation may be created where maintaining order and social distancing in our office would be extremely difficult with the surge of customers.

Once we are cleared to reopen the DMV to the public, we are putting measures in place to help ensure the safety of both the staff and our customers through limiting the number of customers in the office, identifying safe distancing locations for those in line, and requiring the wearing of masks to enter the building and our office.

Further, we are restricting entrance to only the door on the west side of building, between County Building #1 and the Old Courthouse. The exit will be on the east side of the building on Court Street. This will minimize the risk of contact between people passing in the hallways.  

We appreciate everyone’s patience through this difficult time, and I remain confident that we can get through this together until some semblance of normalcy returns.  If you have any questions, please feel free to send us an email at:   [email protected]

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