FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. Where do I find records relating to real property?
a. Deeds and mortgages are held by the County Clerk.
b. Tax and assessment records are held by both the town and village, as well as county, officials associated with these functions.
c. Building, planning and zoning records are held by town and village officials associated with these functions.
d. Some additional genealogical sources related to real property are available at the New York State Archives web page. Click here
2. How do I find out my court date, location and/or any changes to the court schedule?
Per New York State statute, the Onondaga County Clerk’s Office is Clerk to the Supreme and County Courts as custodian of their records only and does not schedule court cases. To find out a court date or any other information related to a case please contact the appropriate court that has been assigned.
For more additional information visit https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/5jd/onondaga/index.shtml
|County - Court of Claims
|| (315) 671-1030
|County - Criminal
|| (315) 671-1020
|| (315) 671-2000
City of Syracuse:
|Syracuse Community Treatment Court
|| (315) 671-2795
|Adolescent Diversion Part
3. Where do I file for custody?
To file for custody contact Onondaga County Family Court at (315) 671-1200.
4. What court do I have to get an order of protection from?
Visit the New York State Uniformed Court System website for an explanation on what is an order of protection and the different criteria needed to obtain one from Family, Criminal or Supreme Court.
5. How do obtain a copy of a birth certificate or death certificate?
Onondaga County Health Department's Bureau of Vital Statistics is responsible for maintaining both death and birth certificates for the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County. Some of the municipalities keep some birth and death records but certified records are obtained through the County.
Requests for certified copies of birth and death records can be made by mail, fax, online or by visiting the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Their office is located at:
421 Montgomery Street
Room 20, Civic Center basement level
Syracuse, New York 13202
Phone (315) 435-3241
Proper ID is required. The fee for a birth or death certificate is $30.00. Additional copies of the same certificate are $15.00 each, when ordered at the same time. Regular mail requests will take about 7-10 business days. Express shipping is available for an additional fee.
Express Shipping (for birth and death certificates):
Express Mail (delivery in 2 to 3 days): add $20.00
Next Business Day Delivery: add $25.00
Office Hours (no appointment necessary):
Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
For additional information and to print an online request form for a birth or death certificate, please visit:
Additional information can also be found on the New York State web site:
New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Section
Corning Tower Building/ESP
Albany, NY 12237-0023 Phone: (518) 474-3077
6. Where can I get a marriage license?
A marriage license may be obtained from the City of Syracuse Clerk’s Office or at any Town Clerk’s Office. The County Clerk’s Office does not issue marriage licenses per New York State statute. The current cost of a marriage license is $40.00. A government photo issued identification card, a certified birth certificate and if previously married, proof of dissolution of marriage (Certified Judgment of Divorce or Certified Death Certificate) is required to obtain a license.
7. I became ordained via the internet to perform wedding ceremonies. Am I qualified to do so in New York State?
The NYS Domestic Relations Law, Article 3, Sections 11 & 12, states who can solemnize a wedding and how a marriage is solemnized:
§ 11. By whom a marriage must be solemnized. No marriage shall be valid unless solemnized by either:
1. A clergyman or minister of any religion, or by the senior leader, or any of the other leaders, of The Society for Ethical Culture in the city of New York, having its principal office in the borough of
Manhattan, or by the leader of The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, having its principal office in the borough of Brooklyn of the city of New York, or of the Westchester Ethical Society, having its principal
office in Westchester county, or of the Ethical Culture Society of Long Island, having its principal office in Nassau county, or of the Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Society having its principal office in Bronx
county, or by the leader of any other Ethical Culture Society affiliated with the American Ethical Union; provided that no clergyman or minister as defined in section two of the religious corporations law, or Society for Ethical Culture leader shall be required to solemnize any marriage when acting in his or her capacity under this subdivision.
§ 12. Marriage, how solemnized. No particular form or ceremony is required when a marriage is solemnized as herein provided by a clergyman or magistrate, but the parties must solemnly declare in the presence of a clergyman or magistrate and the attending witness or witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife. In every case, at least one witness beside the clergyman or magistrate must be present at the ceremony. The preceding provisions of this chapter, so far as they relate to the manner of solemnizing marriages, shall not affect marriages among the people called friends or quakers; nor marriages among the people of any other denominations having as such any particular mode of solemnizing marriages; but such marriages must be solemnized in the manner heretofore used and practiced in their respective societies or denominations, and marriages so solemnized shall be as valid as if this article had not been enacted.
8. What do I need to know to obtain Birth, Death, and/or marriage records?
(As per as per http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/)
No information shall be released from a record of birth, which has been placed in a confidential file pursuant to Public Health Law Section 4138.
No information shall be released from a record of birth unless the record has been on file for at least 75 years and the person to whom the record relates is known to the applicant to be deceased.
No information shall be released from a record of death unless the record has been on file for at least 50 years.
No information shall be released from a record of marriage unless the record has been on file for at least 50 years and the parties to the marriage are known to the applicant to be deceased.
The time periods specified in (3b), (3c), and (3d) are waived if the applicant is a descendant or has been designated to act on behalf of a descendant of the person whose record is being requested. A descendant is a person in the direct line of descent. The applicant shall provide documentation of descendancy prior to the release of information in those instances where a waiver of the waiting period is requested. A party acting on behalf of a descendant shall further provide documentation that the descendant authorized the party to make such application.
All uncertified copies, abstracts, or information issued for genealogical research purposes shall be clearly marked with the statement "For Genealogical Purposes Only."
9. How do I obtain a certified copy of my marriage license?
If you remember where you obtained it (City of Syracuse Clerk’s Office or a Town Clerk’s Office, you can get a certified copy at that location. If you are not sure of where you first obtained it you can contact the New York State Department of Vital Statistics where all original marriage licenses are filed in New York State.
For additional information visit: http://www.health.ny.gov/vital_records/marriage.htm
10. Where do I find old newspapers?
a. New York State Library Newspaper Project, http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/nysnp/
b. Local Libraries
c. The local newspaper offices
d. A website to locate newspaper publications in Onondaga County is: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/nysnp/134.htm
11. Do you have tax records/vouchers?
Tax and assessment records are held by both the town and village, as well as county, officials associated with these functions.
Some additional genealogical sources related to real property are available at the New York State Archives web page at:
12. Where do I find wills and estates?
Surrogate Court at Courthouse
401 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, New York 13202
13. What are the designated newspapers for LLC Publication?
Publication Requirements click here
The Post Standard (Daily) 315.470.0011
Eagle Newspapers (Weekly) 315.434.8889
Syracuse New Times (Weekly) 315.422.7011