Below you will find frequently asked questions, with answers, that may be of assistance to you. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact our office. Please Note: We are currently open by appointment only.

 

Services FAQs

Yes. We have a number of dedicated staff members that can notarize your documents at no cost during regular business hours. Proper proof of identification is required. Notary renewals for individuals are also processed in our office and may be done by mail or in person.

Have you recorded your original DD-214 discharge papers at the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office? If not, bring in your driver’s license and your original DD-214 and we will record it at no cost. If already recorded with us, come in our office anytime and we will issue you our F.A.V.O.R. Discount Card, good for a discount on goods and services at over 300 businesses in Saratoga County. Veterans can also get a certified copy of their original DD-214 anytime at no charge.

As a U.S. Passport Agent, we accept passport applications for new applicants and take passport photos ($10.00) for your convenience. For information regarding necessary documents and fees please see our complete Passport Checklist.

 

Accessing Records FAQs

The Saratoga County Clerk’s Office maintains many Census Records dating back to 1855. We also possess naturalization records from 1896-1945. These records are available for searching in our office or online. For further research and records availability, contact the County Historian’s Office at (518)884-4749.

Click here to access our Online Records Application. Fill out the application and click on Submit. Upon approval, you will receive an email within 1-2 business days with more information and a link to use the system.

Divorce records are sealed and only available to the persons named in the case of their attorney of record.

In Office: Must provide ID that contains both photo and signature (e.g. Driver License). The fee is $5.00 for a certified copy up to four pages plus $1.25 per page over four.

By Mail: You may send a letter of request along with your notarized signature, a self-addressed stamped envelope and an in-state check (with phone number) or money order for payment.

Birth Certificates are kept at the local Town or City Clerk’s Office where the event took place. This information is also available at the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics in Albany, NY. Go to www.health.ny.gov/vital_records/ for more information.

Death Certificates are kept at the Town or City Clerk’s Office where the event took place. This information is also available at the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics in Albany, NY. Go to www.health.ny.gov/vital_records/ for more information.

Marriage Certificates are kept at the Town or City Clerk’s Office where the certificate was obtained. If you are unaware of the municipality in which the license was purchased, you may obtain a copy from the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics in Albany, NY. Go to www.health.ny.gov/vital_records/ for more information.

You may find a Will at the County Clerk’s Office if the person is deceased and real property was involved. For all other concerns regarding Wills and Probate Records contact Saratoga County Surrogate Court, located in Building 3 of the Saratoga County Complex or call (518)451-8830 for more information.

 

Business FAQs

You must publish in one daily and one weekly newspaper (follow the directions provided by New York State). The daily newspapers include the Saratogian, Times Union, Daily Gazette and Post Star. The weekly newspapers include The Express, Community News and Saratoga Today.

Yes. We have the forms available in our office for a fee of $1.00. You can also print them off our website at no charge. The fee to file a DBA or an Amended DBA is $25.00. A certified copy is $5.00. There is no fee to file a DBA Discontinuance.

 

Land & Property FAQs

You may obtain a copy of your deed by coming into our office. The copy cost is $0.50 per page, or you may apply for free access to our online records. To sign up, click here.

The Saratoga County’s Real Property Assessment Database offers Image Mate Online. The website is saratoga.sdgnys.com. You can click on public access to use the site and then type in the name, address or tax ID/SBL. Map information can be found under the Notes tab.

On December 12, 2019 Governor Cuomo signed into law an amendment to Real Property Law Section 291 that requires County Clerks to notify the owner(s) of record of residential real property when a document is recorded affecting said residential property. The law also allows a reasonable fee to be assessed for said notices, which the New York State Association of County Clerks determined to be $10. This fee is the same in all counties to provide uniformity statewide.

The amendment to Real Property Law (RPL)291 took effect March 11, 2020.

In Saratoga County, the fee applies to residential deeds filed in this office on or after March 11, 2020 and is collected at the time the deed is filed. It does not apply to commercial transactions.

 

General FAQs

Cash, in-state check or money order. Checks must include address and phone number. We do not accept credit or debit cards at this time.

No. There is not an ATM machine on-site at this time.

9:00 am – 4:15 pm for recording papers; 9:00 am – 5:00 pm for researching purposes. We are currently open by appointment only.

Our office is located in Building 1 of the Municipal Complex at 40 McMaster Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020.

Yes. It is important because when you renew here at one of our three convenient DMV locations (Ballston Spa, Clifton Park or Wilton), Saratoga County retains 12.7% of the overall transaction. This revenue helps to support services, jobs and the local economy right here in Saratoga County. Please visit the Saratoga County DMV website to make an appointment.

 

E-Filing FAQs

Mandatory e-filing in New York State requires the filing of legal papers by electronic means with the County Clerk or appropriate court.

Mandatory e-filing is expected to begin November 20, 2019.

Please note: Any new cases issued in the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office for filing on or after Wednesday, November 20, 2019 must be e-filed to avoid rejection, unless you or the documents are exempt from e-filing.

All civil actions must be e-filed; there are six exemptions as noted under “What documents are exempt from mandatory e-filing?”.

1. Article 70 (special proceedings/Writ of Habeas Corpus)

2. Election Law

3. Matrimonial

4. All Mental Hygiene

5. Article 78 (against a body or officer)

6. Consumer Credit as defined by CPLR 105(f)

Unrepresented litigants are automatically exempt. Attorneys who lack the knowledge or resources to e-file may file a form with the NYS Unified Court System certifying as such for exemption. All others must e-file.

You can e-file through the New York State Unified Court System website at www.nycourts.gov/efile.

Yes. The New York State Unified Court System offers in person and online training.

Training flyers are available at the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office front counter. Information is also available at www.nycourts.gov/efile.

 

Fraud Alert Service FAQs

Fraud Alert is a free service offered by the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office that helps you protect you and your property from fraud by monitoring the documents being recorded or filed with the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office.

No, this is a free service offered by the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office.

When you sign up for Fraud Alert, the system will automatically email you when a document is recorded or filed with the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office under the name(s) you chose to monitor.

This alert allows you to be informed of any recording or filing activity taking place and to take timely action if you determine the activity is fraudulent.

Fraud Alert tracks all court and property/land documents recorded or filed with the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office. These can include, but are not limited to, deeds, mortgages, judgements, civil actions.

The service can be a useful tool to keep track of the recording of legitimate documents once you finish with a property closing, take out or pay off a mortgage, or for those who wish to monitor vacation homes or an elderly relative’s property.

Fraud Alert is also a helpful identity theft protection tool, as it will notify you if your name appears on any court documents filed in the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office allowing you to make sure your identity is not used by unauthorized individuals.

Signing up is quick and easy. Simply go to https://searchiqs.com/fraudalert/?CC=NYSAR, fill out the form and click submit.

Yes, if a document is recorded or filed with the name you chose to monitor, you will receive an alert. This may be helpful for those wishing to monitor an elderly family member’s property.

No, this service only alerts subscribers of documents being recorded or filed with the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office.

You will receive an email with the date the document was recorded or filed, as well as the document type and an identifying number. To view the referenced document online, you must be signed up with the Saratoga County Clerk’s Online Records Database. Alternatively, you can visit the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office during normal business hours to view the document.

Matched alert name, recording/filing date, document description (type) & identifying number (instrument #, book and page, case # depending on indexing/document type).

The only information you need to provide is your first and last name and your email address. We recommend using your full legal name.

There is nothing that will distinguish one name from another. Therefore, a person with a common name, such as Steve Smith, may receive alerts for documents recorded or filed with the same name. You should view the document you wish to monitor using our Online Records Database to determine if the document is relevant to you or your property.

Yes. If you choose to do this, it is highly recommended that you also enter your name without the middle name and/or suffix so you will get alerts for each name variation.

You can enter up to two names at a time.

Business names should be entered exactly as the business name is spelled. If your business name could have variations in spelling or abbreviations on recorded or filed documents, we highly recommend that you make an additional subscription entry with each variation.

Please note: We do not include punctuation marks when we input information into our system; therefore, to get accurate alerts, we recommend you omit punctuation when inputting your business name in Fraud Alert.

Your name will remain on the list indefinitely or until you unsubscribe.

You can click the “unsubscribe” link on the bottom of any email you receive to cancel your subscription.

If you’d like change your information, you can unsubscribe and then sign up again with the updated information.

 

Property Fraud FAQs

Property fraud, also known as deed fraud or house-stealing, is when someone forges your identity and transfers your property into their name.

The County Clerk’s Office must record or file all documents that meet the requirements outlined in the New York State statutes. When recording deeds, County Clerk Office staff check to see if the format of the deed is proper, the deed is signed, and the signature is notarized. If a document is properly executed and presented with payment, it is the responsibility of the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office to record the document.

Fraud can be committed in a number of ways by recording or filing documents in public records. For example, someone can create a fraudulent document that will deed your home to them and then record that document with the County Clerk’s Office.

If you think you may be a victim of deed fraud, act quickly:

  • Report fraud to the Sheriff’s department immediately.
  • Get a certified copy of the fraudulent document from the County Clerk’s Office.
  • Contact the District Attorney’s office in the county where the property is located and report the crime.
  • You may also want to consult an attorney to confirm your ownership in the property and/or to determine whether you need to take legal action to undo the fraudulent recording.
  • Register for the Fraud Alert program online to get notified anytime a document is recorded related to your property.
  • Check the County Clerk’s records often using the Online Records Database to make sure that there are no deeds or mortgages that you are not aware of recorded on your property.
  • If your property is not occupied, you should check often to make sure it is not occupied illegally.
  • Ask someone you trust to look after your house if you are going to be away for a long period of time.
  • Do not let mail pile up if you are going out of town.
  • Make sure your correct mailing address is on file with the postal service and pertinent government agencies.
  • If you suspect any kind of deed fraud, report it immediately.

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