Statement from Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns:
It’s been a very busy time for the management staff in the Erie County Clerk’s Office and our auto bureaus to combat the spread of COVID-19. Nothing has been more serious to this office than ensuring the continuity of operations while preserving the health, safety and welfare of the public and our staff. In light of yesterday’s first revealed community transmission, we are stepping up efforts to limit spread of COVID-19 in Erie County.
For our auto bureaus, effective March 18, 2020, we are closing the Eastern Hills Mall office to the public. This joins the closures of our mobile sites and Evans Town Hall location. All remaining facilities will be subject to a limited closure through the end of the week. Only those Erie County residents with scheduled appointments or those with essential business will be permitted into our facilities.
Essential business means the following services: commercial driver’s license testing; those who have to pay a civil fine to reinstate their license; a currently expired license; a license renewal approaching before the end of March; license plate surrenders; and, vehicle registrations, including renewals. This means, no learner’s permit testing. No reciprocity transactions. No duplicate titles. And please remember, only those conducting business will be permitted inside.
Effective Friday March 20 at 5 p.m., all Erie County Auto Bureaus will be closed to the public. This closure will remain in effect through March 31, 2020. At that time, the closure of the Erie County Auto Bureaus will be reevaluated to determine whether to open or remain closed.
We have been advised by the court system that they will only be handling essential court services. This does not include issuance of pistol permits. Because the courts will not be processing pistol permits we are closing the pistol permit office to the public, effective March 18, 2020. This includes the mobile sites at Elma on Fridays and Cheektowaga on Mondays. Every transaction except for a new application may be conducted through the mail. Please refer to our website to determine whether the service you require may be performed by mail. This is effective through March 31, 2020. At that time, the closure of the Pistol Permit Department will be reevaluated to determine whether to open or remain closed.
At our Land Records Department, we are limiting the number of customers in our closing room by requesting that attorneys sign documents with clients in their office. Some attorneys are abiding by this, some attorneys are not. I commend those that choose to look out for the safety of their colleagues and those employees in the county who they rely on for services essential to their profession. Please abide by those recommendations to keep our community safe.
At our administration office, issuance of passports is suspended effective March 18, 2020. This is effective through March 31, 2020. At that time, it will be reevaluated to determine whether resume issuing passports at our administration office.