is a list of Departments and Services provided by the Onondaga County
Clerk's Office. Click on the link below for more information.
DBA - Doing Business As...
Uniform Commercial Code
What is contained in this department?
This department contains records from 1794 to the present. It also
supports the restoration and preservation of all maps detailing
the Onondaga County area.
Where can I find information on Military Discharges?
Military discharges for Veterans of Onondaga County, which are filed
by the veterans, are held in the Archives area. Veterans or their
families may file their discharge papers with the County Clerk.
Images of these papers are kept permanently. At any time, the veteran
or their designated agent are able to obtain certified copies of
these papers at no charge to the veteran.
How much research is available in the Records Department?
Storage and retrieval of over 47,320 cubic feet of active files,
both legal and historical. This is a place for genealogical research
and investigation. In fact, Onondaga County is where two major canals
met. Our records show that 90% of the people that traveled west
came through this county and left their mark in various areas of
our historical records.
What are some of the oldest dated documents?
The Miscellaneous records are dated from 1794 to the present. Directories
on the Syracuse area start from 1861 to the present. Census records
are dated from 1850 to 1925. The Clerk’s office has records
of Civil War enlistees and specific regiments, as well as the Revolutionary
War ballot book showing listings of veterans and which parcels of
land they received . The Clerk’s office has marriage records
from 1908 to 1938 for the city of Syracuse, and Naturalization records
from 1808 to the present.
How can I assess the historical value of specific property?
The Miscellaneous Record Department is also a place to date the
historical values of hours of business. The land use over a historical
period of time may be researched as well. There are also many interesting
artifacts to discover, such as the 1938 aerial maps of Onondaga
County, which were filed before the land rush of the Second World
If you know the address of the property:
•Look in the directories for previous owners or businesses,
and check for the area to see historical significance in that area
•Check out tract maps, most early builders filed the tract
maps and built the houses or business buildings in a tract area.
•Check the business certificates, to see who the owners were
and who the sponsors of the business were and the purpose.
If you know the area or town:
•Look in the directories for industries in the area, people
and wealth in the area, what the area is near, and the when the
area was built.
•Check the tract and street maps to see who built the area.
•Check deeds to see who owned the area.
A $210.00 check payable to the Onondaga County Clerk for assigning
an index number, starts a civil action proceeding.
A civil action file may include court orders, affidavits, summons,
complaints or any document pertaining to that action and bearing the
assigned index number. If you do not know the index number assigned
to your action, a $5.00 fee will be charged for every two years searched.
How do I view Civil Action files?
Files can be viewed in person in the Civil Action Department. Cases
are put together on respective files. Confidential files are not open
to the public, however, indexes of these records are available for
viewing. Other Civil Action cases include: orders, summons, judgments,
complaints and foreclosures and are available for public viewing.
Who has access to these files?
All civil action files are open to public view – with the exception
of confidential files, records sealed by court order, and matrimonial
files are available to husband, wife and attorney of record
Hunting and Fishing Licenses Hunting & Fishing Applications are
available at the Onondaga County Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s
office also has Wildlife, Hunting, Trapping & Fishing Regulation
Maps and Guides available. Sporting License Year is October 1st –
September 30th of the following year. Sales Year is from Mid-August
through September 30.
Note: Big Game Hunters must also apply for Deer Management Permits.
Requirements for Licenses:
1. For hunting and bow licenses a previous hunting license or hunter
safety course certificate is needed for proof of eligibility. (Back
Tags are not accepted)
2. Proof of identification, Drivers License or Photo I.D.
3. New York State Residency. (Non Resident Licenses are available.)
Lost Your License?? You must contact agent who sold you your last
license. If they have a record of your sale, they can issue a replacement
license for $5.00 per stamp. Photo I.D. is required. For information
on hunter education courses and certificates contact the New York
State Department of Environmental Conservation at (518) 457-3521.
DBA (Doing Business As) Filings
One of the functions of the County Clerk's Office is to accept certificates
of persons conducting business under an assumed business name for
filing. These transactions are commonly called DBA (doing business
as) filings. The General Business Law requires that DBA certificates
are filed by individuals or partners when they conduct commercial
activity under a name that is not their given name. Filing a DBA
protects the name from use by others in the county where it is filed.
The law requires that DBA certificates contain specific language.
It is advised that a filer consult with an attorney to complete
the appropriate forms, particularly if filing a partnership.
There are three basic DBA filings:
These forms are available at the County Clerk’s Office for
$1.00 each., or purchase standard forms from a legal stationary
Prior to filing an original DBA, a review of business names already
assigned to ensure that the desired name is available MUST be completed.
The list is available for public viewing at the Clerk's Office.
Once the filer is sure the desired name is available he/she may
complete the DBA form. Forms are placed on record with a clerk at
the Business Certificate Department. The fee is $25.00 to file a
certificate, $5.00 for one certified copy for proof of filing. A
certified copy is normally required by banks when opening a business
Amending a DBA
A DBA can be amended by filing the appropriate amendment form at
the Clerk's Office. Amendments can only be filed to change the business
address, the business name and to add or remove (withdraw) partners.
Amendments and withdrawals require a reference to the original,
or most recent filing, this information can be obtained at the County
Clerk’s Office. The filing fee for the amendment is $25.00
and $5.00 for a certified copy.
Discontinuing a DBA
A DBA should be discontinued when the individuals or partners cease
to conduct business. Like amendments and withdrawals, a discontinuance
requires reference to the original filing and any amendments, this
information can be obtained at the County Clerk’s Office.
There is no fee for filing a discontinuance.
Incorporation and Partnership DBA's
Two additional business related filings that are recorded at the
Clerk's Office are Certificates of Incorporation and Limited Liability
These records are filed at County level by the Department of State
after you have been incorporated with them. For information please
contact New York State Department of State they will give you the
appropriate filing instructions.
Since August 1991, limited partnership agreements, amendments and
dissolutions are filed with the New York Department of State. Pursuant
to the law, we can not accept discontinuance for limited partnerships
filed here subsequent to August 1991. Please file with the Department
Summary of Filing a DBA:
1) You must purchase a DBA form(s).
They are available wherever legal forms are sold. Or they maybe
requested by mail be sending a self address stamped envelope to
Business Certificate Department, Onondaga County Clerk’s Office,
401 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, New York 13202 with the fee of
$1.00 per form.
2) Bring the forms to the County Clerk's Office, County Courthouse,
401 Montgomery Street, Room 200, Syracuse, NY 13215. You must check
to make sure that the same or similar name you select for your business
is not already on file in our DBA registry. If the name is available,
you must submit the original completed notarized form(s) with fees
3) DBA forms can be mailed to the Clerk's Office.
PLEASE NOTE: An additional $25.00 search fee must be included. All
Business certificates mailed to this office require our staff to
complete a name search of our indexes prior to filing.
4) Changes to DBA's such as the names of principals, withdrawals
& addresses require an amendment form to be filed. This Form
if properly filed out and notarized maybe mailed.
5) There is no filing fee for a Discontinue to a DBA. A properly
filed out and notarized document many be mailed to us.
Our office can notarize your document while you are here. You will
be asked to show valid photo identification..
6) The Onondaga County Clerk’s Office does have DBA form(s)
available the fee is $1.00 each.
See Fees for a complete list of County Clerk Fees.
What does the Judgment Department
Final Judgments from Supreme Court Judges and County Court Judges
are filed within this department.
Where do Judgments
Aside from local judges, many judgments come from out of town/state
and are sent in the form of a transcript. The general public can view
How long do Judgments & Liens last?
Judgment Transactions are good for 10 years against real estate, and
20 years against personal property. A judgment can be renewed against
property for additional 10 years by a court order. Liens are only
good against specified property for year stated on lien.
What is in the Miscellaneous
This records department contains Subdivision and Tract maps dating
back to the year 1799. Located on the 2nd floor of the County Court
House, this department holds the other records that don't fall into
the other specific departments of the office such as titles affidavits,
release of lien of estate tax, county & town resolutions, city
tax discharges and death certificates.
Older filing are located in the Photostat/Microfilm dept in the basement
of the courthouse . Not all death certificates are filed with the
County Clerk, only if they relate to property. All death records are
filed with The Department of Vital Statistics, 435-3241
What is a mortgage?
In general terms, a mortgage is an instrument in writing that imposes
a lien on or affects the title to real property with such property
being used as security for the payment of money or the performance
of an obligation. A mortgage includes certain deeds of trust and executory
contracts for the sale of real property.
Who is the
The mortgagor is the borrower under a mortgage loan.
is the Mortgagee?
A mortgagee is a lender under a mortgage loan. Mortgage instruments
must include all mortgagors and mortgagees, their addresses, principal
mortgage amount, legal description of the property (lot #, block #,
tract, city or town) and 1-2 family dwelling clause if applicable.
All documents must be complete, legible & properly notarized.
To record a mortgage:
•The base fee to record a mortgage is $45.50 plus $5.00 for coverpage
Additional pages are $5.00 each
•The cover page is generated by the county clerk.
•Mortgage tax is 1% (less $25.00
if improved by a 1-2 family dwelling and over $10,000.)
that effect a mortgage (for example: discharges or assignments), there
is an additional $ .50 fee for the cross reference.
How far back are the County's records dated?
Onondaga County records date back to 1794. As long as an owner of
land is known ownership may be traced.
Deeds transfer ownership of real property also known as real estate
or parcels of land. Deeds will not tell you specifically what is on
the land. For example, it can not tell you if the land has been improved
by a family home, apartment complex, church, business, or bank.
Whenever something occurs that affects the land in any way, it is
recorded through the County Clerk's deed department.
An easement or right of way gives permission to use the land not transfer
To Record a Deed:
The base fee to record a deed is $45.50
Each page is $5.00
The cover page is generated
Transfer tax is $4.00 per thousand
Note: Documents that effect a deed have an additional $ .50 fee for
the cross reference. (ex. Corrective deed).
else is kept in the Mortgage & Deed Department?
Wills are also recorded in this department for transfer of ownership
to beneficiary. Transfer tax stamps on deeds are used to show purchase
price of parcel. The old 1794 records are very interesting to read,
although very difficult to read as well. All of the post Revolutionary
documents were recorded by hand.
New York State Law requires the licensing and testing of notaries.
The application packet, including instructions, test dates and locations
is available at the County Clerk's Office.
Upon notification of passing the written test, it is your responsibility
to mail the application with the notification to the New York State
Licensing Commission in Albany, with a check for $60.00. Your application
will be reviewed and if a license is issued, it will be valid for
At the end of four years, your notary commission is renewed through
the County Clerk's Office. You may submit your renewal card and
a $60.00 check payable to the "Onondaga County Clerk",
one month prior to the expiration of your commission. You have until
six months after expiration to renew. If not renewed within the
six months, you will need to start the process all over again from
Please note: you will receive your new notary identification card
from Albany in 6-8 weeks from the time you file your renewal at
the Clerk's Office. You may, however continue to notarize in the
If you are a notary in another county and wish to also file in Onondaga
County, we require proof from your original issuing county and a
$10.00 check payable to the "Onondaga County Clerk."
If your name, address or other personal information changes, you
are required to notify the State Licensing Commission in Albany
Passports can be applied for at the Onondaga County Clerk’s
Office Monday through Friday
To Download a passport, amendment or renewal applications visit: http://www.travel.state.gov/download_applications.html
When applying for a passport, please be prepared to provide
1. A completed application, type written or neatly
printed in black ink only. DO NOT sign the form until in
the presence of a Clerk. (applications available at the County Clerk’s
2. Proof of U.S. citizenship in one of three forms:
birth certificate with a raised seal *;
original naturalization papers, or an expired U.S. passport issued
in your name (not canceled).
3. Two identical passport photos, 2" x 2"
with a white background and a full front view of your head and shoulders.
Pictures must be taken within the last six months. Pictures are
taken at our office for a $15.00 fee.
4.$110.00 cash, check, or money order payable to
"U.S. Department of State" and $25.00 payable to “Onondaga
5. Required additional Identification may include
a valid driver’s license, a current student or military ID
with photo, or naturalization papers issued to you as an adult for
6. All Applicants under the age of 18 must appear
with parents or legal guardian. Parent or guardian must present
identification, i.e. drivers license.
If you were born in Onondaga County you may obtain a copy of
your birth certificate by contacting the Bureau of Vital Statistics,
Passports for those under the age of 16
Rules governing the issuance of passports to children under the
age of 16 were recently revised by the U.S. Department of State.
Both parents or the child’s legal guardian(s) must be present
at the time of application.
Both parents or legal guardian must:
1. present evidence of the child’s U.S. citizenship.
2. present evidence that they are the parents or
3. show valid identification.
4. sign and take an oath before an authorized passport
5. Show documentation that parent/guardian is in
this country legally.
If the second parent is not available to sign, the appearing parent
must do all of the above and:
1. present evidence that he/she has sole custody
of the child, or
2. present a completed "statement of consent"
form – DS-3053.
If no parent is available to sign, a third party must:
1 appear with a notarized statement or affidavit from both parents
or custodial parents authorizing the third party to apply for a
passport for their child. When the statement or affidavit if from
only one parent, the third party must present evidence of sole custody
of that authorizing parent.
All applicants are required to have:
1. A social security number
2. A parent is to produce photo identification showing
the same last name as the child, i.e. drivers license; guardian is
to bring guardianship document. Supporting documents could include an original
marriage certificate, court ordered birth certificate, or other
documentation that would support the name change, correction or
amendment. No processing fees are required.
Fees for a child 15 and under is $80.00 made payable to the "US Department of State" and $25.00 to the "Onondaga County Clerk".
Lost or Stolen Passports
Lost or stolen passports must be reported to the Onondaga County
Clerk’s Office when you apply for a replacement. A lost or
stolen passport form must be submitted with a new passport application
including as much information as possible about the loss or theft
of your previous passport. If your passport is recovered, it must
be returned to the Office of the Onondaga County Clerk.
Renew A Passport
To renew a passport by mail, submit a completed application, your
most recent passport, two identical passport photos with a white
background taken within the last six months, and a check or money
order for $110.00 payable to "U.S. Department of State" to the
National Passport Center listed on the application.
Please Note: you must have been at least 16 at the time
your previous passport was issued, and it must have been issued
less than 15 years ago. Also, you must use the same name as on your
most recent passport or submit your marriage certificate or court
order if your name has changed.
Now available the Passport Card for those traveling by land and sea only between the US and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. The cost for this is $55.00 for adults and $40.00 for children under the age of 16. This price includes our ($25.00) execution fee.
The County Clerk only files real estate related filings as of
July 1, 2001, all others are filed through the Department of State.
What is a Uniform Commercial Code?
In a credit based economy where people make monthly payments, the
Uniform Commercial Code protects business. When a citizen makes
a purchase on a costly product and establishes a payment plan with
the business, businesses can place a U.C.C. filing in your name.
This document states your agreement with the business to make the
payments. If the agreement is violated, then businesses have cause
for repossession of products.
How long can U.C.C. filings last?
U.C.C. filings can last up to five years and be renewed. The Onondaga
County Clerk's Office has some active U.C.C. filings dated back
What if there is a UCC filing against me?
The public can come to the County Clerk's Office to search our computer
database for all active U.C.C. filings.