Registration FAQs


Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, our offices in NYC are closed. The best way to file your attorney registration or make address changes at this time is via Attorney Online Services found at You may also contact us via email at for further assistance.


What are New York's registration requirements for attorneys?

Section 468-a of the Judiciary Law and 22 NYCRR Part 118 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts require the biennial registration of all attorneys admitted in the State of New York, whether they are resident or non-resident, active or retired, or practicing law in New York or anywhere else. All attorneys are required to renew their attorney registration every two years, within 30 days after their date of birth. The fee for this registration is $375.00 (of which $60.00 is deposited in the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, $50.00 to the Indigent Legal Services Fund, $25.00 to the Legal Services Assistance Fund, and the remainder in the Attorney Licensing Fund). No fee is required from an attorney who certifies that he or she is retired from the practice of law as defined in 22 NYCRR 118.1(g). Please review the instructions for Section B to determine if you may claim the exemption to the fee.

Note that all New York attorneys are required to file the biennial registration form, either with payment of the $375.00 fee, or with a certification of retirement.


When do I register?

A biennial registration must be filed within 30 days after the attorney’s birthday, in alternating years. Each biennial period runs for the 24-month period from birthday to birthday:

The Registration of attorneys in New York began in 1982;

  • If your date of admission was in 1982, or any year prior to 1982, you were required to register during this first biennial period, and in each subsequent even year thereafter (1984-85, 1986-87, 1988-89...).
  • If your date of admission was in any even year after 1982, you are also on an even-year schedule (1984-85, 1986-87, 1988-89...).
  • Only attorneys admitted in odd years, beginning in 1983, are required to re-register on an odd-year schedule (1983-84, 1985-86, 1987-88...).


How do I update the information on my record?

Changes to an attorney’s registration information (address, phone number, or any other information with the exception of a name change) must be filed with the Office of Court Administration within 30 days of the change. All changes must be submitted in writing, by the attorney. Changes will not be accepted over the phone. The attorney must include the following information in the correspondence:

  • His/her full name;
  • Attorney Registration number;
  • Indication of the nature of the change (i.e., home vs business address being changed).

Changes may be submitted in one of the following formats:

  • Electronically, via your Attorney Online Services account Log-in
  • On the Registration form. Cross out the incorrect information and write in the corrected/new information. Return the form (with the registration fee) to the address noted on the form.
  • On the blue receipt. Cross out the incorrect information and write in the corrected/new information. Sign and return the receipt to the address noted on the form.
  • Via a personal e-mail to: Requests for address changes will not be accepted if e-mailed from another person, secretary, etc.
  • Via US mail to:
    OCA - Attorney Registration
    PO BOX 2806
    Church Street Station
    New York, NY 10008
  • Via fax to Attorney Registration: 212-428-2804

Name Changes must be made with the Appellate Division in which you were admitted. The Attorney Registration Unit will only accept name changes upon written order from an Appellate Division.

For Continuing Legal Information, visit our CLE web site.


What is my New York Bar number?

Many states have Bar numbers; New York does not. The registration number, which appears on the biennial registration form, is used for internal Office of Court Administration record-keeping only. This registration number should be used on all correspondence with this office. Your registration number is also available in the Attorney Directory.


I'm admitted in New York but practice out-of-state. Do I still have to register in New York?

Yes. New York does not have an "inactive" status. All duly-admitted New York attorneys are required to file the biennial registration form, either with payment of the $375.00 fee, or with a certification of retirement.


What about retirement?

Attorneys who certify that they are retired from the practice of law pursuant to Section 118.1(g) are not required to pay the $375.00 registration fee. An attorney is "retired" from the practice of law when, other than the performance of legal services without compensation, he or she does not practice law in any respect and does not intend ever to engage in acts that constitute the practice of law, in the State of New York or elsewhere. In addition, full-time judges or justices of the Unified Court System of the State of New York (as well as full-time judges in other states and/or federal courts) are deemed "retired" from the practice of law.

If you are engaged in the active practice of law in New York or elsewhere, and cannot certify that you are retired pursuant to Part 118.1(g), then you are required to pay the biennial registration fee(s).


How does an attorney resign from the New York bar?

Questions regarding resignation from the bar should be directed to the attorney's Appellate Division of admission.

If an attorney resigns from the New York Bar, s/he is no longer duly-admitted, and no longer obligated to file the registration.


How do I obtain a certificate of good standing?

Certificates of good standing must be requested from the Appellate Division where the attorney was admitted.

A certificate of good standing is the only document available to New York attorneys as proof of admission to the Bar.


Why are Social Security Numbers required?

New York’s General Obligations Law §3-503(2) requires certain information be part of applications to conduct occupations and that “[e]very applicant for a license or renewal thereof shall provide his or her social security number on the application.”

Further, §3-503(1)(c) defines a “license” as “…any certificate, license, permit or grant of permission required by the laws of this state, its political subdivisions or instrumentalities as a condition for the lawful practice of any occupation, employment, trade, vocation, business, or profession, and shall also include any registration required by law or agency regulation as a condition for such lawful practice.”

In addition, Social Security numbers are required in order to administer the collection of revenue from attorney registration fees 42 U.S.C. 405 (c)(2)(C)(i). Social Security number will not be made public. The first five digits will be concealed to protect your identity.

Social Security Numbers will not be made public and are deemed confidential pursuant to 22 NYCRR 118.2(b)(2).


What if I have another question?

For assistance with questions not answered above, please send an e-mail to:

Or contact our office at the following address:

New York State Unified Court System
Office of Court Administration
Attorney Registration Unit
25 Beaver Street - Room 840
New York, NY 10004