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General Rules for Requesting Information

The documents recorded or filed at the Erie County Clerk's Office cover a wide variety of matters concerning real estate transactions (such as deeds and mortgages), business certificates, corporations, and legal records (civil and criminal court records, judgments and liens). The actual document images are viewable in the Clerk's Office at publicly accessible computer terminals.


Need to find a Document?

We encourage you to visit the Official Online Records Public Search Site as the first step in your records search to obtain the information necessary.  Anyone may log on directly to our website to search thousands of Erie County records by choosing the Advanced Search option in our Public Search Site.  Instructions and information, as well as a list of the document names, are available at the “Log In” screen. When searching online, you will not be able to view the actual images, but may obtain significant information about the document by pressing F2.  There is a fee charged for copies, if requested.  

*We are currently undergoing major changes to our system which will impact anyone new trying to view images online.  All new Registered User account requests are on hold, this means no new accounts can be created at this time.  We are hopeful in another month this will be resolved and we will have better and easier access to the records you want.  In the meantime please use our Online Request Form to obtain copies.

Note: The Clerk's Office does not index, nor allow searches, by address.  If you need a copy of a deed but are unsure of the owner's name you can use the Real Property Parcel Search to search by address. When search results return, you can click “details” to obtain the Deed Book and Deed Page number from their site.

Need to obtain a Copy?

Request Online

To request and obtain an electronic copy of a record by email, please complete the "Online Request Form."  The form should be thoroughly completed so as to avoid incurring additional search charges.  Divorce and Criminal records are not available through the online request.  See "Request by Mail".

Online Request Form

Request In Person

To request and obtain a plain or a certified copy of a record in person, visit the Basement Records.  To request and obtain a copy of a closed criminal record, visit the Actions & Proceedings Office of the Erie County Clerk located at 92 Franklin St. Buffalo, NY between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Public computers are available both in the Basement Records department and on the first floor for your use.

Request By Mail or In Person

To request and obtain a plain or a certified copy of a record by mail, please complete the appropriate Record Copy Request Form below.  Be certain that the form is completed thoroughly. Missing information may prevent the Office from sending your copies and\or incur additional search charges.

Deed Request Form

Copy Request Form (Use this form if you have the book & page of the document)

Search & Copy Request Form (Use this form if you do not have the book and page. Search charges apply)

Divorce Record Request Form (This form must be printed, notarized and mailed)

Closed Criminal Record Request Form (This form must be printed, notarized and mailed)

Local Criminal Searches Form (This form must be printed and completed in full)

If you are unable to print one of the forms above, then please write a letter containing as much detail as possible including:

  • the name of the document you are searching for such as "a deed" or “mortgage discharge”; and 
  • the name of the owner, the property address including the village, town or city; and 
  • the approximate date of the transaction or years you would like searched; and 
  • the Book and Page number if known. (no search fee added if this is provided)
  • contact information for requestor. (name & phone number)

When submitting a request via mail all fees must be included in the check or money order.  The check or money order should be made payable to the Erie County Clerk and mailed, along with your request form and a postage-paid, self-addressed envelope, to the Erie County Clerk’s Office, 92 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY 14202.  It is important you provide the postage-paid self-addressed envelope.  If not provided when paying by check, we will hold your request until an envelope is sent to our office for return mailing.  If you are unsure of how to calculate the fees, you may pay by credit card.  The contact information we collect from you on the form is how we will reach you for payment.  If you reside outside the United States, please contact the Clerk’s Office for special instructions.

Copy Fees (Full Fee Chart)

Copies (first 2 pages) $1.30
Copies  (each additional page) $.65*
Certified Copies  (first 4 pages) $5.00
Certified Copies (each additional page) $1.25*
Certified Presented Copies  (first 8 pages) $5.20
Certified Presented Copies  (each additional page) $.65*
Large Map Copy (36 x 60 to scale) $5.00
Large Map Copy Postage Charge $3.50

Illustration: A Copy of a 5-page record would be $3.25, certified $6.25

*The maximum charge for copies or certified copies of a document is $40.00

Search Fees (if we search for you)

Manual Search records (per 2 year period) $10.00 per name
Digital Search of records (per 2 year period) $5.00 per name

Illustration: To manually search a Deed book for a name spanning 10 years the cost would be = $50.00.

*All fees are calculated per page/per record related to a request.  

**There will be a minimum $2.50 convenience fee charged by the credit card company and applied to your transaction. Payment by Check, Cash or Credit Card are accepted in person.

FOIL Requests

Because the majority of records maintained by the Clerk’s Office are already public records and easily accessible either through the Public Search Site or at the public computers in the Clerk’s Office, there is no need to resort to New York State’s Freedom of Information (“FOIL”), codified as the Public Officers Law, Article 6, §§84-90, to obtain copies of particular documents.

However, for additional records as defined in the FOIL statute, or records that may not be maintained or produced in an easily accessible format, a request may be made to the Clerk’s Office pursuant to FOIL.  More information can be found here.