What Do County Clerks Do?
County Clerks in New York State have varied duties. All sixty-two (62) Clerks are clerks of their respective Supreme Courts and County Courts (although since the 1977 takeover of most local courts by the State of New York, the County Clerk's role is primarily that of record-keeper.) Outside of New York City's five counties, all County Clerks are elected for a four year term and are also the land records recorders for their respective counties.
New York City's five County Clerks are appointed, and only the Richmond County Clerk (Staten Island) serves as land records recorder in that county. The New York City Register holds the land records for the remainder of that city, and is the only member of our Association who is not a County Clerk.
Fifty-one (51) of the sixty-two (62) County Clerks also operate local offices for motor vehicle registrations and related work as agents of the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles. County Clerks in the many smaller counties are also Commissioners of Jurors in their counties, and other possible County Clerk duties range from Records Management and Public Information to Pistol Permit issuance and Passport Application acceptance. In New York State, County Clerks are not generally involved in the administration of elections.