Members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration delivered State of the State presentations across the state on Thursday. In Amherst, Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark Schroeder took questions regarding Medicaid, light rail service and services for the deaf.
But the biggest questions surrounded the implementation of the Green Light Law, which went into effect last month. The law grants non-citizens the right to apply for a driver license. Schroeder said he is not surprised by the growing number of learner’s permit applications.
“Not surprised at all,” he said. “We had some information of trying to identify how many undocumented New Yorkers there are in New York State. So we have an idea of what the number are and we try to use a formula to try to figure out a way that we can be accommodating to all customers who come into our DMV offices.”
Schroeder said DMV office transactions have tripled from the same point one year ago. The influx of transactions has put a strain on county clerks.
“It is true that many of the offices that the clerks are running that are very, very busy,” Schroeder said, “but it is also true that the district offices we run are bust, too.”
The commissioner said when people want something, they will go when it is convenient for them. To that end, Schroeder said county clerks have discretion over when to open and close DMVs in their county. Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns has kept DMVs open on Saturdays.