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More Erie County drivers expected to renew their licenses over the next three years

Your driver’s license will probably expire within the next three years.

Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs can tell that by the ups and downs of renewals his office has detected over the years.

When then-Gov. George Pataki upped the fees for license renewals in 2000, he placated drivers across the state by allowing licenses to expire after eight years instead of five years. The fee hike brought in a flood of short-term revenue to the state.

But it also led to a lull in driver’s license renewal income in later years.

This year is one of those lulls, Jacobs said.

In 2016, only about 40,000 drivers in Erie County are expected to renew their licenses, Jacobs said. That means less money going to the state, and less money going to the county for drivers who renew their licenses locally instead of mailing their renewal forms to the state. But next year, the number of county residents with expiring licenses is expected to triple to 120,000, Jacobs said.

As a result, the County Clerk’s Office projects a $1 million revenue boost next year, he said. “Over the last few years we were at the low point of renewals, and in 2017 we will be entering the high point,” he said.

Jacobs also credits his “Renew Local” initiative for bringing in more county money by encouraging drivers to renew their vehicle registration locally so that fees collected remain in Erie County instead of going to Albany.

Between 2014 and 2016, the County Clerk’s Office collected roughly $300,000 a year in driver’s license renewal fees. The county expects to bring in about $1 million or more in each of the next three years.

email: stan@buffnews.com

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