How to Use ACRIS

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Written By Alina Sokirko

The Automated City Register Information System, aka ACRIS, is a public database that features all the public property records in New York City. The database is available to the general public and allows users to find key information on properties in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx by doing a quick search. But the database may be somewhat confusing to those who are not used to the interface. So here is a look at how to access ACRIS and use it to search property records by name or address. 

How to Navigate ACRIS

The ACRIS database can be accessed through the official website of the NYC Department of Finance. This link will take you to the correct page, where you will find a button that says “Begin Using ACRIS.” 

By clicking that button, you will be taken to the ACRIS main options page. On this page, you will find a list of options, including “Search Property Records,” “Find Addresses and Parcels,” “Apply for Personal Exemptions,” “Create Tax Forms,” “Calculate Taxes and Other Data Services.” To search for property records, you will select one of the first two options. 

Find Property Records by Name

To find property records by name, select the first option on the main page, “Search Property Records.” This will bring up a variety of document search options including “Party Name,” “Parcel Identifier,” “Document Type,” etc. 

Click the first option, “Party Name,” to search records by the owner’s name. That will take you to a form that looks like this: 

The form will give you the option to input an individual’s name or a business entity, such as an LLC. You can also input additional information, such as the borough or the type of document you’re looking for, in order to narrow your search. 

For this example, we’ll use the name, John Smith. Once you input the name and click search, you will be able to see all the property records with the name John Smith. This view will also allow you to see information such as the borough, the block number, the lot number, the filing date, and the type of document. 

Once you’ve found the record your looking for, you have the option of choosing detailed document information or image view in the left column. 

The detailed view will look like this and provide additional information about the document, including any other parties on the document, the property type, and any additional rights or easements granted to the owner. 

If you click on Image view, it will show you a copy of the document, which you can save to your computer or print. 

Find Property Records by Address

If you are unaware of the owner’s name, you may search by the property address. Return to the document search options page and select “Search by Parcel Identifier.” 

That will bring you to a page that looks like this: 

You can input the block and lot number if you know it here. If you don’t, you can click “Address and Parcel Lookup” in the bottom right corner. 

That will bring you to a page that looks like this: 

Here you can input the borough, street number, street name, and unit. Once you’ve inputted the data, click “Find BBL” at the bottom. 

If you’ve inputted a valid address, the bottom section where it says “Property Borough/Block/Lot” will be populated. Keep in mind that you can also do the opposite and input the borough, block, and lot number to find the address if you have that information available. 

Once you have the borough, block, and lot section populated, a button will appear in the bottom right corner that says, “Document Search by BBL.”

Click that button to search through any property records related to the address. This will bring you back to the parcel identifier page with the relevant info already populated. Again, you can input any additional information to help narrow your search, such as the date range or document type. 

Click “Search” to see the results. It will take you to a table that looks like this. 

Here you can sift through the results until you find the document you’re looking for. You also can select detailed document information or image view once you’ve found what you’re after. 

That’s a general breakdown of how the ACRIS System works. The database has other functions that allow users to search based on the transaction number, document type, or federal lien number if you have the data available and want to do a more refined search. But this is a simple way to search for public records in New York City and uncover all kinds of information about local properties or property owners.