Press-Republican

February 2, 2013

Motorists urged to keep vehicle registrations local

By JOE LoTEMPLIO
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County motorists are being urged to process their vehicle registrations and renewals locally instead of sending them to state offices in Albany and Utica.

Keeping the business local would not only help county coffers but could spare motorists from some headaches.

“If they come here, they will get what they need immediately, and it helps the county,” County Clerk John Zurlo told the Press-Republican.

STATE DELAYS

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles recently had trouble printing vehicle registrations at its processing centers and notified about 70,000 motorists statewide that they would not be getting their registrations in a timely manner.

They were told to keep the letters they received in their vehicles as proof that they are legally registered.

Zurlo said the problem affected those who sent registration applications to the state online after Jan. 1. Some drivers had to wait up to three weeks to get their registrations.

CHANGE LABEL

Drivers can avoid delays in getting their registrations by coming into the county DMV office at the Clinton County Government Center at the corner of Cornelia and Margaret streets in downtown Plattsburgh or by mailing the applications to the Plattsburgh office, Zurlo said.

“On the return address envelope they receive, all they have to do is cross out Utica and put Plattsburgh DMV, 137 Margaret St., 12901 and we will get it,” Zurlo said.

“We will send the registration out the next day, so they won’t have to wait.”

A visit to the local DMV will result in getting stickers immediately.

LOCAL SHARE

The county benefits when registrations are done locally, as more of the cost stays in the county instead of going to the state.

Zurlo said the county gets to keep 12.7 percent of the cost of a registration if it is processed locally. The county keeps only 4 percent of applications from county residents sent to Albany online or by mail and only after a threshold is met.

The county’s threshold for 2012 was $667,380.

After meeting that number, it got only $1,921 back from the state.

Zurlo said that if all residents had come into the local office to do their business or mailed it to the local DMV instead of sending it in online or by mail to the state, the county could have reaped about $91,000.

“That’s money that taxpayers wouldn’t have to pay to the county tax levy, so it helps everybody.”

Email Joe LoTemplio: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com