The Office of the City Clerk is one of the oldest offices in New York City government with beginnings traceable to the inception of the Town of New Amsterdam. The original role of the Clerk was to record the proceedings of the Town's legislative body and attest to and affix the Town Seal on official documents of the municipality. The office remained during the time that New Amsterdam became New York under British rule and after the War of Independence and the establishment of the United States of America.
Historically the City Clerk has played a dual role as the Clerk of the City Council and the Clerk of the Municipal Corporation known as the City of New York organized under the Laws of the State of New York.
As the Clerk of the City Council, the main function of the Clerk is to attest to all laws enacted by the City Council. The Clerk also attests to all legislation desired by and affecting the City requiring concurrent action by the State Legislature. The Clerk of the Council is also responsible for keeping the transcripts of the proceedings of the City Council.
As the City Clerk, the Clerk attests to leases and deeds of the City property, grants, agreements, bonds, tax notes, and other forms of obligations of the City. The City Clerk has charge of all papers and documents of the City that include executive and administrative orders of the Mayor, certificates of judicial appointments by the Mayor, Oaths of Office of City employees, City Marshall bonds, and referendum petitions. Other duties of the City Clerk include the qualification of Commissioners of Deeds and the certification to the Board of Elections of all judicial vacancies. Aside from these functions, the City Clerk maintains two separate and important bureaus under its jurisdiction: the Lobbying Bureau and the Marriage Bureau.
The Lobbying Bureau is responsible for the enforcement of the City's Lobbying Law, including the registration of lobbyists, the receipt of periodic reports from lobbyists on their lobbying activities, as well as the audit of those reports. The Lobbying Bureau provides information to the public regarding the content of lobbyist filings, as well as training for lobbyists and their organizations on the law, and works closely with the Department of Investigation (DOI) when investigation into possible Lobbying Law violations is required.
The Marriage Bureau provides Marriage Licenses, Domestic Partnership registration, civil Marriage Ceremonies, registration of Marriage Officiants, copies and amendments of Marriage Records issued by the City Clerk since 1930, and Certificates of Non-Impediment.
The City Clerk is also the custodian of the Seal of the City of New York. The City Seal is centered on the City flag. Each of the five boroughs has its own flag which is represented in the front banner on the main page of our Web site. Learn about the City Seal and access a link to the highlights of the City's Green Book via the Department of Citywide Administrative Services' Web site. View a photograph of a document containing the first seal of the City of New York from 1658, via Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections Web site.