Corrections Law Article 23
Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA)
---FAQ regarding Certificate of Relief
Certificate of Relief from Disabilities from NYCourthelp.gov
The laws governing the issuance of certificates of relief from disabilities are set forth in Article 23 of the New York State Correction Law. The excerpts below summarize certain portions of those laws and are set forth merely for convenience (as printed on the back of the DPCA-53 Certificate of Relief). They are not intended as administrative interpretations and they do not relieve any party of full knowledge of and compliance with the applicable provisions of law. If you have specific questions regarding specific circumstances, you should consult with an attorney.
The certificate is issued to relieve the holder, an "eligible offender" as defined in §700 of the Correction Law, of all or of enumerated forfeitures, disabilities, or bars to employment automatically imposed be law by reason of a conviction of the crime or offense specified on the face of the certificate.
The certificate shall be considered a "temporary certificate" where
- issued by a court to a holder who is under a "revocable sentence" as defined in §700 of the Correction Law and the court's authority to revoke such sentence has not expired, or
- issued by the State Board of Parole and the holder is still under the supervision of the Board.
Where the holder is under a revocable sentence (note: see Penal Law 60.01(2)), the certificate may be revoked by the court for violation of the conditions of such sentence and shall be revoked by the court if it revokes the sentence and commits the holder to an institution under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Correctional Services. Where the holder is subject to the supervision of the State Board of Parole, the certificate may be revoked by the Board for violation of the conditions of parole or release. Any such revocation shall be on notice and after opportunity to be heard. If the certificate is not so revoked, it shall become a permanent certificate upon expiration or termination of the court's authority to revoke the sentence or upon termination of the jurisdiction of the Board of Parole over the holder.
Rights of Relief from Disabilities
as provided and summarized on the reverse of the DPCA-53 Certificate of Relief from Disabilities form.
- Where the certificate is issued by a court at the time sentence is pronounced, it covers forfeitures as well as disabilities. In any other case the certificate applies to disabilities.
- A conviction of the crime or offense specified on the face of the certificate shall not cause automatic forfeiture of any license, permit, employment or franchise, including the right to register for or vote at an election, or automatic forfeiture of any other right or privilege, held by an eligible offender and covered by the certificate. Nor shall such conviction be deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of any provision of law that imposes, by reason of a conviction, a bar to any employment, a disability to exercise any right or a disability to apply for or receive any license, permit or other authority or privilege, covered by the certificate. Provided, however, that no such certificate shall apply, or be construed so as to apply, to the right of such person to retain or to be eligible for public office.
- A conviction of the crime or the offense specified on the face of the certificate shall not prevent any judicial, administrative, licensing or other body, board or authority from relying upon the conviction specified on the certificate as the basis for the exercise of its discretionary power to suspend, revoke, refuse to issue or renew any license, permit or other authority or privilege.
Application by an Eligible Offender for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities
DPCA-52 in PDF format
NOTE: Persons without counsel are advised to consult an attorney. The Court staff may not offer legal advice, prepare your papers, or act as your attorney. If the applicant is on parole, discuss this matter with the parole officer.
Type or print using black ink only.
If the certificate is to be issued by a court, the application must be submitted to the proper court, for example, if the offender pled guilty to a Superior Court Information (SCI) before a County Court Judge or Acting County Court Judge, you must submit the application to the County Court. You may need to consult an attorney, request a criminal history search, or contact the court in person or by telephone to get the appropriate details to complete the form.
It is helpful, but not required, to submit a self addressed envelope with your application.
If you complete the DPCA-52 Application ...for a Certificate form using your computer, you may also print out a proposed DPCA-53 Certificate of Relief for the judge to sign. The Certificate is not valid until signed and sealed with a Judge's endorsement.
- Print or type the applicant's last name, first name, and middle initial.
- Write the street number and street address, city, state, and zip code of the applicant.
- Write the applicant's New York State Identification (NYSID) Number, if known.
- Check the box marked "male" or "female" depending on the applicant's sex.
- Write in whether the applicant is Black, Caucasian, Hispanic, etc.
- Write in the applicant's height in feet and inches.
- Write the applicant's date of birth (month, day, and year).
- List the crime(s) or offense(s) which the applicant was convicted of or plead to.
- Write the date of the applicant's arrest for the crime.
- Write the date of the applicant's sentence for this crime.
- Write in the name of the Court Part, Term, and judge's name in which the applicant was sentenced.
- Check "a" if the relief is request from the court listed in #11.
- Write the issue date of original certificate if the certificate being applied for is intended to replace an existing certificate. If this application is not, check the box marked "non-applicable."
- Check the appropriate box a, b, or c, depending on what reliefs are being requested by the applicant (see below)
- If the applicant is seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license to operate a taxi after a DWI conviction, check box C and after the word enumerated, print “Relieves licensee of disability imposed by Vehicle and Traffic Law section1196 (7)(g).”
- If the applicant is seeking to obtain a driver’s license after being convicted of Driving Without Insurance, check box C and after the word enumerated, print “relieves licensee of disability imposed by Vehicle and Traffic Law section 530 (5).”
- If the applicant is seeking to obtain a license to own or carry a firearm after a criminal conviction, check box C and after the word enumerated, print “relief from disability barring registrant from obtaining a valid New York State license to carry a firearm.”
- If the applicant is seeking to obtain permission to adopt a child after a criminal conviction, check box C and after the word enumerated, print “relief to registrant of disability barring adoption and its proceedings.”
- If the applicant is seeking to obtain or renew a professional license after a criminal conviction, check box C and after the word enumerated, print “to enable registrant to obtain or renew my professional license as," insert the type of license, for example:
- Real estate salesman license
- stock broker license
- to be accepted for registration by the NASD for the year 2000 and all future years
- nursing license
- if the applicant is seeking a specific relief not listed, you should consult an attorney. The law has changed as of September 30, 2005 regarding Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and applying for a commercial drivers license after a DWI conviction. Please see note at the bottom of this page for a link to more information.
- The applicant must sign his or her name and date of the signing before a Notary Public.
- The Notary Public fills in this section. The notary should sign his or her name and insert his or her notary stamp in box #16. The statement should reflect the sex of the applicant.
If you are submitting the Application to the Suffolk District Court, you may drop off the application in person (window #2 D220), or mail it to:
Suffolk County District Court
re: Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, D220
400 Carleton Ave
Central Islip NY 11722
It is helpful, but not required, to submit a self addressed envelope with your application. The Application rarely takes more than eight weeks to process by the Suffolk District Court.
Note: Effective September 30, 2005, the law has changed in regards to Certificates of Relief and applications for a Commercial Drivers Licenses after DWI convictions. For more information, please see memo M-15/P-25 of 2005 from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to New York Enforcement Agencies and Magistrates.