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Featuring real estate articles and information to help real estate buyers and sellers. The Nest features writings from Georges Benoliel and other real estate professionals. Georges is the Co-Founder of NestApple and has been working as an active real estate investor for over a decade.

2023 guide to using ACRIS NYC to search NYC Property Records

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The New York real estate world is full of acronyms. Please read our guide to learn how to use the ACRIS New York database and the main options to search for NYC property records and related documents. Therefore, we’ll review how to search for properties by address, block, lot, and borough. Here are the questions and themes we will address:

  • NYC ACRIS property search- what is it?

  • Do you need to register or pay to use ACRIS?

  • What are the main options on ACRIS New York?

  • What are the standard ways to search for ACRIS? How do I use this database?

  • Can you use ACRIS in place of a title report?

  • Are there alternatives to ACRIS? 

  • Is there an ACRIS equivalent for Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, and other NYC Suburbs?

NYC ACRIS- what is it?

ACRIS, which stands for Automated City Register Information System, is NYC’s online database of public property records. It’s aDo you need to register or pay to use ACRIS? perfect starting point for anyone interested in doing preliminary due diligence on a property.

For instance, you can search for and find various property records, including deeds, mortgages, and liens. The system contains files from 1966; the NYC register’s offices manage it.

However, records before 2005 can be incomplete. If you can’t find what you need on the system, you can get additional information by contacting one of the borough offices of the city registers (for Bronx County, Kings County, New York County, or Queens County).

Otherwise, you can dial the ACRIS for the city of New York Help Line at 212-487-6300. 

Do you need to register or pay to use ACRIS to search for NYC Properties?

Usage is free; you do not have to log in or create a profile.

You do not need to register to search for property records on the system.parcel identifier Therefore, It’s a relatively modern online database that eliminates the need to visit your borough register’s office in person. 

What are the main options on ACRIS?

The main menu on ACRIS NYC includes six options: search NYC property records, find addresses and parcels, apply for personal exemptions, create tax forms/cover pages, calculate taxes/fees, and provide electronic data services. The most commonly used option is the property record search.

The calculators also come in handy as well, as they’re a great way to compute your real estate property transfer taxes and your mortgage recording tax. 

What are the standard ways to search for ACRIS for NYC Properties? How do I use this database?

You can run numerous searches on ACRIS. However, the most common way to look up accurate property records is to search by the address or the 10-digit BBL number, which is short for the borough, block, and lot number. The BBL number is also known as the parcel identifier, and it can be found on various city documentsACRIS to search NYC PropertyThen, you can also conduct a “party name” search on ACRIS. That means you’d be searching for the party to a transaction, an individual, or some other entity like an LLC or a corporation.

When searching by party name, you should use some filters available to narrow the results down to a borough. You can run various other searches on the system should you need to.

They include searches by document type, transaction number, and federal lien file number.

Whatever you’re searching for on ACRIS, you’ll have plenty of options to filter things down as necessary.

For example, you can filter by location (county/borough), date range, and document type/class. These advanced search filters can make tracking specific document recordings much more effortless. 

Can you use ACRIS in place of a title report?

We do not recommend using ACRIS instead of a title report. However, running a preliminary search on the database can be helpful. Some documents include mortgage satisfactions, UCC financing statements, and notices of federal tax liens.

Therefore, while this system can be a great tool for gaining a glimpse of a property’s background, you shouldn’t rely solely on the website.

The New York City Department of Finance does not approve the web page, and there may be filing errors or incomplete public records. 

Are there alternatives to ACRIS for searching for NYC Properties? 

If you don’t like the old and clunky interface on-site, you can try to use a site that aggregates data from ACRIS.

A few sites do this, including some oldies like PropertyShark and AddressReport. These websites are great for finding property owners’ contact information.

Still, we’d recommend Marketproof. It’s free and has an excellent, user-friendly design. Some of these sites also provide additional data on the address, which can be helpful if you’re thinking of purchasing a home there.

property shark background check report for any property new york real estate searches

Is there an ACRIS equivalent for Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, and other NYC Suburbs?

Most counties have a website with public property records, although some might not be as comprehensive.

For example, you can find

facade of New York walk up buildings

You can also search for property records and ownership information online, in person, or over the phone with a 311 representative. Property owners of all boroughs except Staten Island can visit ACRIS New York. Lastly, visit the Richmond County Clerk’s website to search for documents on Staten Island property.

Written By: Georges Benoliel

Georges has been working in Wall Street for the last 16 years trading derivatives with hedge funds. He has been an active real estate investor for over a decade. Georges graduated from HEC Business School in Paris and holds a master in Finance from ESADE Barcelona.

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