In an attempt to reduce lines as people wait to register their cars or pick up new driver's licenses, Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs has started a program of bringing self-serve kiosks to a trio of auto bureau locations.
The kiosks allow customers to self-register instead of going to the customer service window for their first stop in the bureau. The kiosks came from a re-engineering study M&T Bank did for Jacobs, at his request. The kiosks offer wait time receipts for customers.
"The idea is to eliminate the bottleneck we sometimes see around the customer service desk," Jacobs said. "The study found that customers are often waiting longer in the customer service line then they are waiting to be serviced by a cashier."
Customers will have the option of using the kiosk or still going to the customer service desk. Erie County is the first county in the state to offer the kiosk option.
The kiosks have been installed at the three busiest auto bureau locations - in downtown Buffalo, Northtown Plaza in Amherst and the office at George Urban Boulevard and Dick Road in Cheektowaga. The Cheektowaga site is the only Erie County auto bureau location open for Saturday hours.
Other auto bureaus are in Eastern Hills Mall in Clarence, the Evans Town Hall and Erie Community College's South Campus in Orchard Park.
In addition to the kiosks, Jacobs said another technology that is soon to be rolled-out will be "hand-held" mobile ticket devices which will allow employees to go out onto the auto bureau floor to service customers when lines start to get too long.
Also coming later this spring, online reservation for exact times to get a license or auto registration renewed.