ALBANY, NY - The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is alerting affected motorists that it has "identified a defect in the registration documents supplied by a vendor" which had prevented the printing of most registrations and window stickers ordered starting January 1, 2013.
In letters sent to affected customers, the DMV does not identify the defect or indicate how long a delay those affected by the problem may face in receiving their documents.
However, a DMV spokesperson described the problem in an e-mail to WGRZ-TV as a batch of registration documents from a vendor which were not processing through the DMV's high speed printers, thus making them unusable. The specific problem, she said, has yet to be identified.
As a pro-active step, letters were sent to 60,000 customers to assure them that their registration transaction has been processed and their vehicle's registration were in full force and effect. According to Jackie McGinnis of the DMV Office of Communications in Albany, the expense of mailing those letters will be assumed by the vendor.
She added that the vendor had since sent a replacement batch of registration documents which seemed to be printing just fine, and that on Monday the DMV was able to print and mail approximately 10,000 registration documents.
DMV says it has also notified all police agencies and courts of this issue, and advises motorists who received the letter to keep it in their vehicle for presentation to law enforcement should they be stopped, until such time that they receive their new registration documents.
While the 60,000 notifications sent may seem like a large number, McGinnis noted it only represents one half of one percent of 11 million motor vehicles registered in New York State.
Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs, who says the state made his office aware of the issue in advance, also took the opportunity to remind motorists that they also have the option to renew their registrations locally.
"I want to assure residents that it does not impact any of the registration documents issued in any of the Erie County Auto Bureaus," said Jacobs, who hastened to add that renewing your vehicle registration through the local Auto Bureau or utilizing the signature green-postage paid envelopes, can generate up to $1.5 million in additional revenue for the county.
Jacobs also said if motorists who possess the letter are still worried about potential problems, they could have a temporary registration issued at any local DMV office with no additional charge.
Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Norm Fisher from Eden. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2
WEB EXTRA: Two On Your Side's Dave McKinley spoke with Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs about the DMV registration problem. Watch the interview in the video player on this page.