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Commissioner of Deeds

Introduction
Fee
Qualifications to Become a Commissioner of Deeds
Qualifications to Obtain a Certificate of Fitness
Examinations
Attorneys or Their Employees
Appointment by the City Council
Limitations of the Office of Commissioner of Deeds

Introduction
A Commissioner of Deeds is a public officer similar to a Notary Public who may administer oaths and take acknowledgements or proofs of deeds and other documents in any part of the City of New York.

Fee

  • The fee to apply to become a Commissioner of Deeds is $26 by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk.

Qualifications to Become a Commissioner of Deeds

  • You must be a citizen of the United States of America or legal resident alien.
  • You must be a resident of the City of New York or an attorney who maintains an office in the City of New York.
  • You must be 18 years of age or older.
  • You must not have been removed from the Office of Notary Public or Commissioner of Deeds.
  • You must be an attorney, an attorney's employee, someone serving a clerkship in a law office, or someone who is qualified to obtain a Certificate of Fitness from the Office of the City Clerk.
  • You must have proper identification.

Qualifications to Obtain a Certificate of Fitness

  • If you are not an attorney, an attorney's employee, or someone serving a clerkship in a law office, you must obtain a Certificate of Fitness.
  • To obtain a Certificate of Fitness, you must:
    • Not have any outstanding tax bills or unpaid traffic tickets,
    • Not have been convicted of any felony or any acts listed in Section 2-02 of the Rules of the City of New York,
    • Have earned a grade of at least 65% on the exam administered by the City Clerk.

Examinations
You must take an exam to obtain a Certificate of Fitness.

  • Exams are offered daily from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm in the Manhattan office.
  • Exams are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm at our Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island offices.
  • You may call 311 in advance for an appointment or walk in to schedule an appointment.
  • You may call 311 to request an application and Commissioner of Deeds handbook or pick both up at any of our offices.

Attorneys or Their Employees

  • Attorneys are exempt from any examinations.
  • Both attorney employees and law clerks are also exempt upon presentation of affidavits as to their competence and clerkship, respectively.
    Download a sample affidavit

Appointment by the City Council

  • Once you have paid the fee and met the qualifications to become a Commissioner of Deeds, your application will be forwarded to the City Council for consideration of appointment.
  • Upon appointment by the Council you will be notified to return to the City Clerk's Office to take the Oath of Office and receive your certificate.
  • Your term of appointment is for a two-year period.

Limitations of the Office of Commissioner of Deeds

  • Once you are appointed Commissioner of Deeds, you may perform official functions solely within the five boroughs of New York City.
  • A Commissioner of Deeds cannot certify any document to a transaction in which the Commissioner has a financial interest or take an acknowledgement or proof of the execution of a will.
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