New York Free Public Records Directory


New York Public Record Directory

The State of New York is our 4th most populous state, and it includes our largest city by population. With over 8 million residents, New York City the largest city in the U.S. and is home to about 40% of New York State’s population. The New York Metropolitan Area, which includes parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, is the largest metropolitan area in the world by land mass, and has over 20 million residents – including about 2/3 of New York State’s total population. The balance of New York’s population lives “upstate” in the counties north of the metro area. With a total land area of 54,455 square miles, New York is the 27th largest state by area. Its population of nearly 20 million makes it the 7th most densely populated state. Because most of that population lives in the New York City metro area, the “upstate” counties’ population density is much less.

The divide between New York City and “upstate” is far more than by population or geography. Although there are major industrial cities outside of New York City, “upstate” is mostly rural and agricultural, featuring dairy products, fruit, and winemaking. In contrast, New York City is generally considered one of the most important financial, commercial, and cultural centers in the world. The New York metro area’s location on the Atlantic Ocean gives it a humid subtropical climate, with warm, humid summers and cool, damp winters. Upstate New York has a humid continental climate, with much colder winters; areas near the Great Lakes often receive heavy snowfall in winter.

Lakes Ontario and Erie – separated by the Niagara River and its namesake Falls – form most of New York’s northwestern border. New York borders the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec to the north. States bordering New York include Pennsylvania to the west and south, New Jersey to the west, and Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut to the east. New York has 62 counties. Its capital is Albany, on the Hudson River. Upstate New York includes large forested tracts and parks, the Catskill Mountains, and the Adirondack Mountains with their large wilderness tracts. The largest upstate cities are Buffalo and Rochester.

Upstate New York’s agricultural and industrial exports and New York City’s financial and commercial dominance make the state an economic powerhouse. If New York were a country, it would have the 12th largest economy in the world. The New York Stock Exchange and financial firms centered on Wall Street make New York City the most economically influential city in the world. New York earns its nickname: The Empire State. With its extensive network of state universities, community colleges, and private universities (including Ivy League members Columbia and Cornell Universities), New York is ranked #14 in higher education. It is also #11 in overall business environment and #4 in top company headquarters. Its state motto is Excelsior, Latin for “ever upward.”

To find New York public records, see our directory below of all types, including court records, birth certificates, government record search websites, and official records.

Ny
Abbreviation NY
Capital Albany
Population 19,849,399 (2017 est.)
Area size 54,555 sq. mi
Demonym New Yorker
Primary languages spoken English, Spanish
Governor Andrew Cuomo
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul
U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. House Delegation 17 Republicans, 9 Democrats
Time Zone Eastern: UTC -5/-4
*The map and data in the table are from Wikipedia.

Browse by Public Record Category

There are two types of public records: 1) personal public records that document major life milestones such as birth certificates, death certificates, divorce records, and marriage records, etc.; and 2) government records that are made public such as property tax records, recorded land records, voter records, crime data, jail inmate records, and court records. The Freedom of Information Act is a national law that releases government agency public records and makes it possible to view most public records. Since there are a multitude of records available, it can be difficult to know how or where to access them.

New York’s first public records law was enacted in 1974, and significant amendments have been passed since its enactment. It includes a very broad definition of “records” and permits anyone to request public records for any purpose.

When you are ready to start your search, you’ll find our Public Records Directory website easy to use since all of the records can be searched by federal, state, county, city, town or type of record. The links provided will connect you to the best website for the record search, provide details about the record, or provide contact information for those records without search capabilities.

Find New York Statewide Public Records

Fast access to New York public record sources at the state level.

Additional New York public records links can be found on our New York county and city level pages using the navigation links above.

Other New York Public Records

Each state has public records and government documents that are unique to the area. Some types of public records found in New York include cemetery lists, garment manufacturer registrations, and webcasts of open meetings. More examples of public access records available at the state level in New York may be found below. Many more examples may be found if you search by county.

Laws also differ from state to state. For an example of an unusual law, note that New York makes it illegal to wear a mask or other disguise in public; fortunately, there is an exemption for people who wear masks “in connection with a masquerade party.”

Sources:

New York - Statewide Public Records Links
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