State to replace flood victims’ papers for free

Residents who lost important documents to the recent floods can get them replaced now at no charge,

Residents who lost important documents to the recent floods can get them replaced now at no charge, Department of Motor Vehicles officials said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently issued an executive order waiving DMV fees for replacement documents, stickers, plates and titles for victims of the floods caused by tropical storms Irene and Lee.

Nearly three dozen counties were named in the order, including Schenectady, Montgomery, Schoharie, Saratoga and Albany counties.

The residents must only fill out a brief form certifying the documents or IDs were damaged or lost as a result of the flooding.

In most cases, the waived fees are $20 or less, officials said.

“It does save them some money,” Schenectady County Clerk John Woodward said.

Woodward said Tuesday he has instructed his clerks to watch for applicants who may qualify.

His office has seen an increase in customers since the flood. The DMV office in Schoharie County remains closed, and for residents there, Schenectady’s is sometimes the closest open office.

DMV customer traffic has increased as much as 15 to 20 percent since Irene rolled through the area, flooding out and destroying homes and property in the Schoharie and Mohawk valleys.

Many of those coming in related to the flood are either turning in license plates from their flood-damaged vehicles or looking for replacement titles for their cars.

Woodward said he gives credit to Cuomo for implementing the order. He said he doesn’t remember the state responding to another disaster in a similar way.

Woodward’s office is also allowing flooded-out residents to get certified copies of their deeds or mortgages for free, waiving the standard $5 fee.

People who have already paid to have their documents replaced due to flooding can apply for a refund. They can fill out a form at the DMV or call to have a form sent to them.

The DMV has also set up a dedicated phone number for residents with questions or looking for information on the program: 474-9800.

Categories: Schenectady County

Leave a Reply