CERTIFICATES OF CONDUCT
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose
Sections 434 (b) and 1043 of the New York City Charter authorize the Police Commissioner to promulgate rules regarding the issuance of Good Conduct Certificates. These certificates give City residents a reliable way to officially document their personal criminal record histories, or lack thereof, in order to secure employment, immigration services and visas, and for various other purposes.
The Department has reviewed the Certificate issuance process and is proposing the following amendments to Chapter 9 of Title 38 of the Rules of the City ofNew York:
- Better identify the nature of the Certificate.
· The name of the Certificate would be changed from Good Conduct Certificate to Certificate of Conduct, because a certificate may include a listing of an applicant's criminal record.
- Raise the fee for the Certificate.
· The required fee would be raised for the first time in at least twenty years to better reflect the increased costs incurred by the Police Department.
- Ensure the Certificate is more secure against fraud and abuse.
· The amendments would delete a provision that allowed former City residents to obtain a Certificate by mail, and would change some additional documentation requirements.
· These changes are necessary in order to help reduce fraudulent applications and prevent individuals from wrongfully using the Certificate in order to obtain documents from other entities. Document security is an important consideration in combating identity theft and terrorism.
- Create a mechanism for applicants, for immigration purposes only, who are not able to be fingerprinted.
· The amendments would codify existing practice that, for immigration purposes only, certain people, including those who do not have fingerprints, the aged or the infirmed, may be issued a Police Clearance Letter without fingerprints, instead of a Certificate. The Police Clearance Letter would note that it was issued without a search using the applicant's fingerprints and would be delivered directly to the United States Department of Homeland Security.
- Change hours of operation.
· The office hours of the Public Inquiry & Request Section at One Police Plaza would be changed to allow employees more time to process applications during the workday.
The Department is also proposing to amend section 14-04 of Chapter 14 of Title 38:
· This section sets the fees the Police Department may charge when a person requests fingerprinting for purposes not related to criminal proceedings.
· The Police Department seeks to change the fee charged in these circumstances to better reflect increased costs; the fee has not been changed in at least twenty years.