This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers on New York Police Department.  The NYPD is among the oldest municipal police departments in the United States and has grown into one of the largest law enforcement agencies. The New York City Police Department (NYPD), officially the City of New York Police Department, is the primary law enforcement agency within New York.  The NYPD was created in 1845 and is responsible for performing various public safety, law enforcement, traffic management, counter-terrorism, and emergency response roles to further police the city.

The NYPD is divided into bureaus for different functions, including public order enforcement, investigations, and management via administration. The Police Department has  77 police districts known as patrol precincts, with patrol and detective officers encompassing all city areas. The department also has a dozen transit districts that police the subway. In furtherance of ensuring patrol overall public housing, nine police service areas have been appointed to patrol the housing developments. Further, such civilians in uniform work as traffic safety agents on the city’s streets and highways. The NYPD is also responsible for school safety agents required to safeguard the city’s public schools and the students who attend them. 


The Department sees its administration as helmed by the Police Commissioner, who, in turn, is appointed by the Mayor. The Commissioner ostensibly serves at the mayor’s discretion, although the term itself is specified to be five years.   The Commissioner is required to appoint their deputies, who are collectively considered part of the civilian cabinet. The office is sworn into, and the oath renders the Commissioner and their deputies civilians rather than sworn officers. However, a Commissioner who rises from the sword of police ranks retains the same power and authority as an officer while serving in their mayor-appointed post. This affects their pension benefits and their ability to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Some police commissioners are also armed personally, but their security details are full-time.

Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners are administrators who surpass the chief of the department, and they are typically highly skilled in areas like counterterrorism, support services, public information, legal matters, intelligence, and information technology. However, civilian administrators are forbidden from commanding police officers in law enforcement (the Commissioner and the first deputy commissioner may control these situations). However, there are also different positions, such as “grades,” which connote differences in duties, experience, and pay in the ranking hierarchy. Service in a supervisory capacity may only be open to members of the rank of sergeant and above.

The Chief of Police is the highest-ranking member of the NYPD. The Department is divided into twenty bureaus, typically commanded by a uniformed bureau chief (such as the chief of patrol and the chief of housing) or a civilian deputy commissioner (such as the Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology). The bureaus fit under four umbrellas: Patrol, Transit & Housing, Investigative, and Administrative. Bureaus are often subdivided into smaller divisions and unit.


After the COVID-19 pandemic required the sanction of preventative measures against all institutions, the Freedom of Information Law Unit of the Police Department is now accepting New York City Process Service requests for records on an appointment basis only. The Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) pertains to the public’s right to gain access to government records. FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) requests can be made through the Department’s Legal Bureau.

Each city agency must adhere to the rules and regulations regarding the availability of records and procedures to be followed that they have agreed to in the New York Public officer’s law. Such records would usually include [A.]the times and places such records are available, [B.]the persons from whom such documents may be obtained, and [C.]the fees for copies of records (subject to some conditions). However, this is not an exhaustive list. The Freedom of Information Law requests to NY Public Officers may be submitted to examine records, which must be in writing and must include a detailed description of the sufficiently detailed records to enable a search to be conducted. Vaguely worded or too-broad requests for information do not comply with the FOIL requirements and cannot be sustained. 

The ensuing report. From the Officer should arise with that much-known information that would be possible without superseding the FOIL requirements. This would include the report’s type, the story’s date, where the occurrence transpired, etc. Arrest records upon request would need to comprise the person’s complete arrest number or name, date of birth, NYSID, and the date and precinct of the arrest. If records are divulged, the requester will be obligated to satisfy the necessary copying fees under statutory provisions.

Should the requester prefer, the NYPD shall provide non-exempt responsive records by email rather than traditional mail sources. However, electronic documents that exceed the email server’s maximum storage capacity are sent to the email server and transferred onto an electronic medium (like a USB drive)  and may be physically mailed. 

Upon denial of a FOIL request, administrative appeals can be made to the FOIL Appeals Officer. 


The department’s Certificate of Conduct and Non-Criminal Fingerprint Section, Criminal Records Section, and Aided Unit provide different types of records or reports upon request. Some stories are only available online, while bids for Certificates of Conduct must be made in person at Police Headquarters. 

Since fingerprinting requires an in-person presence, fingerprinting services are still necessary to require an appointment physically.  However, to minimize the risk posed by the COVID-19 virus and limit the individual’s gathering, it is necessary to obtain a license before fingerprinting between the scheduled time. It is also necessary to maintain the correct set of documents to prevent rescheduling. 

All Certificates of Conduct will be mailed via United States Postal Service after the completion of processing. Processing and mailing should occur within ten (10) business days.


The individuals applying to obtain Certificates of Conduct and Non-Criminal fingerprints are usually required to comply with specific requirements and are obliged to obtain individual permits or licenses. The Certificate of Conduct was previously known as the  Good Conduct Certificate and functions as background checks that identify the individual requests’ criminal history within New York City’s five boroughs. 

To obtain a Certificate of Conductor of Non-Criminal fingerprint, the applicant must arrive at One Police Headquarters for fingerprinting and the accompanying photograph. Alongside the same, a USD 50 money order or certified cheque is payable to the New York City Police order as long as said money order is not international.  After the purchase of the card for Certificate of Conduct or Non-Criminal Fingerprint is completed, a one-dollar fee is applicable for additional non-criminal fingerprints on a card-wise basis.  

It must be noted that the service is not possible without photo identification. However, if all the relevant documents have been submitted, processing and mailing typically take approximately ten working days. It is necessary to have proof of citizenship along with the original copies of the documents. A verification system wherein the Certificate of Conduct may be given after strict screening, no document photocopies, pictures of documents, or laminated copies will be accepted. All papers for services must be intact.

Non-Criminal Fingerprints may be required for specific permits or licenses obtained from the Certificate of Conduct and Non-Criminal Fingerprint Section.  It must be noted that merely because a non-criminal fingerprint is being obtained does not mean that a Background Check is included: the USD 25 fee applies only to Fingerprinting.  The applicant must submit a money order or certified check (not international) payable to the New York City Police Department. 


The Criminal Records Section stores and maintains reports of crime and lost property and provides information from these files to members of the public and authorized agencies, as required by law and department rules.

Verification of Crime/Lost Property reports is provided by the Criminal Records Section, which stores and maintains crime and lost property reports and delivers information from these files to members of the public and authorized agencies, as required by law and department regulations. A request for a copy of the report may be submitted online or by mail and is available at any police precinct, Housing Bureau public service area, or Transit Bureau district. Messages can only be returned through the mail and are not available at Police Headquarters. Requests for Verification of Crime or Lost Property reports from complainants or victims, their authorized representative, or an authorized third party are completed free of charge.   However, these individuals must complete and submit a notarized authorization letter if they design an authorized representative. 

If mailed, the report must include two copies of the completed form along with a self-addressed stamped envelope. There is no fee associated with the Verification of Crime/ Lost Property report.    It must be noted that to find the sought record, all information requested must be furnished, particularly the complaint number and precinct of description (occurrence). Verification of the request cannot be made without this information.

Aided Records involve occurrences when a person is injured (not involving a motor vehicle) or becomes sick or lost, and the New York City Police Department renders service. Aided Records can only be obtained through the mail and are not available at Police Headquarters. 

The above documents are a small part of the NYPD’s responsibilities.  The NYPD has a broad array of specialized services, including the Emergency Service Unit, K9, harbor patrol, air support, bomb squad, counter-terrorism, criminal intelligence, anti-gang, anti-organized crime, narcotics, public transportation, and public housing. The NYPD Intelligence Division & Counter-Terrorism Bureau has officers stationed in eleven cities internationally. 


Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed, or uploaded to our website. We do require prepayment and accept all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is processed, your sales receipt is immediately emailed for your records.

Drop-offs must call and make an appointment first to be added to building security to permit access to our office. Documents for service must be in a sealed envelope with payment in the form of a money order or attorney check (WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH) payable to UNDISPUTED LEGAL INC.; All documents will be received by our receptionist.


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New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Queens: (646) 357-3005 – 118-35 Queens Blvd, Suite 400, Forest Hills, New York 11375
Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
Westchester: (914) 414-0877 – 50 Main Street, 10th Floor, White Plains, New York 10606
Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 – 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, 4 Fl East, Washington DC 20037

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1. Terence Monahan is the 40th person to hold the position of chief inspector, and before 1986, this position was known as the chief of operations.

2. The number furnished [(646) 610-5296] should be called to schedule an appointment.

3. New York City Police Department’s Records Access Officer
Lt. Richard Mantellino
Legal Bureau – FOIL Unit
One Police Plaza, Room 110-C
New York, NY 10038
(646) 610-5296

The FOIL Unit is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. The office is closed on all public holidays.

4. which shall not exceed twenty-five cents per photocopy not over nine inches by fourteen inches, or the actual cost of reproducing any other record by the provisions of paragraph (c) of this subdivision, except when a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute.

5. All Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests to the New York City Police Department should be submitted via NYC OpenRecords ( Select “New York City Police Department (NYPD)” from the agency drop-down menu.

6. by emailing a written appeal to or mailing a written request to:

New York City Police Department’s Records Access Appeals Officer

Sgt. Jordan Mazur

Legal Bureau-Civil Section

One Police Plaza, Room 1406

New York, NY 10038

(646) 610-5400

7. In Lower Manhattan

8. To decrease the spread of illnesses, face masks must be worn inside the building. Applicants will be required to take a temperature reading upon entering the building. To allow for social distancing, it is disallowed to bring additional individuals’ appointments, unless necessary. It is further necessary to pass through two (2) security checks

9. 646-610-5541 from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm to schedule appointments.

10. Applicants must schedule an appointment for services.

11. NYPD Certificate of Conduct & Non-Criminal Fingerprint Section

One Police Plaza, Room 152-A

New York, NY 10038-1497

(646) 610-5541

Hours for processing 7:00am – 2:00pm Monday-Friday

Office hours are 7:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday- Friday.

12. Applicants are fingerprinted and photographed at One Police Headquarters, Room 152-A, Lower Manhattan.

13. Credit and bank debit cards are also accepted (Debit cards must have a Visa or Master Card logo). Credit or debit cardholders must be onsite at the time of payment.

14.A United States citizen is required to submit the following documents as proof of citizenship:

    • Valid US Passport, or;
    • Original U.S. birth certificate ALONG WITH a valid U.S. driver’s license with photo or DMV photo identification card, or IDNYC (New York City identification card) or;
    • Voter’s registration card ALONG WITH a valid driver’s license with photo or DMV photo identification card, or IDNYC (New York City identification card) or;
    • Certificate of Naturalization

15. A non-U.S. citizen is required to submit the following documents when applying for a Certificate of Conduct:

    • Valid passport or Alien Registration Card or Employment Authorization Card, or;
    • The current letter from the Department of Homeland Security (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) requests a Certificate of Conduct, local background check, or non-criminal fingerprints. The letter should indicate the applicant’s name, address, alien registration number, and current status in this country ALONG WITH a valid U.S. driver’s license with photo or Department Motor Vehicle photo identification card (issued in USA), or IDNYC (New York City identification card) or;
    • Current letter on letterhead from the applicant’s consulate or an attorney that contains the applicant’s full physical description (height, weight, hair color, eye color, etc.) and date of birth ALONG WITH a valid U.S. driver’s license with photo or Department Motor Vehicle photo identification card (issued in the USA) or IDNYC (New York City identification card).

16. Accepted types of documentation required for obtaining Non-Criminal Fingerprints are listed below:

  • Valid driver’s license with photo or DMV photo identification card (issued in the US) or IDNYC (New York City identification card) or valid Passport or Alien Registration Card or Employment Authorization Card or Certificate of Naturalization. 

17.NYPD / Criminal Records Section
One Police Plaza, Room 303
New York, NY 10038
(646) 610-5200
The Criminal Records Section is NOT open to the general public.
Operates Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

18. Also to be mailed to:

NYPD / Criminal Records Section
One Police Plaza, Room 303
New York, NY 10038
(646) 610-5200
The Criminal Records Section is NOT open to the general public.
Operates Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.


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