Office of the Albany County Clerk

County Clerk

PISTOL PERMIT HOLDERS — NEW "NYSAFE" LAW Click here for updated information about this new law, including how to request that your name and address not be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL").

CONGRATULATIONS…

I’d like to begin this message by congratulating my predecessor Tom Clingan on his retirement. For 25 years Tom worked extremely hard handling the day to day operations of this office. He was the ultimate professional and a gentleman at all times. Tom always looked for ways to help support better and more efficient government by keeping up with the most advanced technology for the office. He pioneered many of the current enhancements to this office which are still currently being used. Tom was also a very proud member of the New York State Association of County Clerks. He served as President of this distinguished Association in 1997. Tom’s vast knowledge was an asset to all County Clerk’s across the State of New York. He will be extremely missed by his fellow County Clerk’s. I am personally grateful for the time Tom spent with me during the transition. He spent many hours going over the many issues a County Clerk deals with. Even today, Tom is only a phone call or email away to assist with any question I may have. I now have the opportunity publicly to say THANK YOU to you Tom. You are a true gentleman and someone I’m very proud to call a friend.

Welcome!

Our site is intended to inform the public about our records and our services at our only office, here at the Albany County Court House (corner of Eagle and Columbia Streets in downtown Albany) in Room 128. Together with the Albany County Hall of Records we were the first Albany County department to develop a web site, and we hope that you find this site useful and informative.

If you're a first-time visitor, let me suggest that you start by clicking "Services" at the upper right of this screen. If you need directions to our office or our office hours, click "Driving Directions," also at right. Our "Forms Available Online" include DBA forms and those for requesting Public Information/FOIL. Our most popular website feature is "Deeds and Mortgages Online," which allows you to view most recorded deeds and mortgages since 1980 right from your computer; that link is at the lower right side of this page.

Literally, hundreds of millions of pages of documents are on file or recorded in this office. We are working to place more and more of the most popular of these online, starting with deeds and mortgages, and continuing with the Naturalization records on our Hall of Records website. By law, we charge fees for our services that keep us from being a burden on the taxpayers. (We actually generate a modest surplus every year, which goes to reduce County property taxes.) A copy of our fee schedule is available on this web site for your information.

The people of Albany County have made this page possible. We appreciate their support, and we welcome your electronic visit to the Albany County Clerk's office. We hope that you will have the opportunity to stop in at our office in person.

About Our Department

The Albany County Clerk's office is well-known as the County's record-keeper, from all deeds and mortgages of every property within the county, to every record of Albany County State Supreme Court and County Court, to the inactive records of most County agencies (and City of Albany agencies as well.)

Less well known is the large financial responsibility of the County Clerk: in 2012, a record $33 million in revenue was received in this office, of which nearly $3.5 million was net revenue for the operation of the County Clerk's office (the other millions of dollars in revenue were distributed directly to the State, the County, and the cities, towns and villages within the County.)

The County Clerk supervises 27 staff at the County Court House, and 17 at the Hall of Records. The department's annual expenses totaled $3,123,334 in 2012; which when subtracted from all net 2012 revenues of $3,673,797, means that the department overall returned a surplus of $550,463 to the County to reduce County property taxes that year.

The Hall of Records preserves County records dating back to the Dutch colonial days, as well as assisting County and City agencies in managing over 90,000 cubic feet of inactive records. More and more tasks are being handled online: deeds and mortgages recorded since 1980 are available on our website at no charge, and increasing numbers of court cases are being filed electronically, rather than on paper.

The Albany County Clerk is also the Public Information ("FOIL") Officer for County government, and a member of the Contracts Administration Board. While many County Clerks in New York State have DMV responsibilities, the State operates the Albany DMV office directly (as it does in Syracuse and in the downstate metropolitan area.)

And Some Things That We Don’t Do

The Albany County Clerk's office does not hold birth, death, and marriage records; in New York State, these "vital records" are kept by the City or Town Clerk where the birth or death occurred, or where the marriage license was obtained—not necessarily the same place as where the wedding was performed. We do, however, have divorce records for our county, because divorces are court proceedings.

A second thing that County Clerks and their staffs don’t do (and legally can’t do) is provide legal advice, including advice on filling out legal forms. Please click here [PDF] to learn more about why that is, and click here [PDF] to see a list of places where free or low-cost legal advice is available in Albany County.

The final thing people ask us about that we don’t do: we don’t send out lists of records on file here. For example, we don’t notify credit bureaus about tax liens, nor do we send lists of recent deeds to local newspapers, nor do we create lists of recent DBA or business filings so that people can send you solicitations, or call you to sell you stuff. We never do any of that.

Our records here are public records, however. Credit bureaus send their staff here to look at these records, and newspapers send reporters to look at recent deeds. DBAs and pending foreclosures also attract a lot of attention, but we have no control over what credit bureaus and newspapers and everyone else decide to do about the records they found here. This means, for example, that if a credit bureau worker mistakenly confused your name with someone else’s about a record on file here, you must contact that credit bureau in order to have them correct their mistake.