What You Need to Know About the New York State OCA Fee Increase

April 4, 2019 by Elyzabeth Ambra
Updated on April 12, 2019 with additional information.

Effective April 13, 2019, the New York State Office of Court Administration (NYOCA) will increase their records access fee from $65 to $95 per name researched. The change went into effect after New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the budget on April 12, 2019.

Why Did This Happen?

The Governor and Legislature of New York sought the $30 fee increase to benefit the NY State indigent defense fund. Even before the increase, the New York OCA fee was already the highest court records access fee in the nation. The Professional Background Screeners Association (PBSA), of which Verified First is a member, unsuccessfully lobbied the state to avoid this increase. PBSA and its members will continue to explore opportunities with New York state to reconsider this decision.

What Are Pass-Through Fees?

Many jurisdictions have access fees for researching court records. These fees are paid by Verified First at the time we perform research on your behalf. The fees are then “passed through” to you without any markup. The pass through fees will appear on your invoice along with our service charge for the searches you order.

When Does This Fee Apply To Me?

You will see the NYOCA pass-through fee when you:

  • Order any jurisdiction searches inside the State of New York, or,
  • Order the Nationwide Database search and records are revealed in New York State. Verified First is required to verify any records in the database at the source jurisdiction. [See What Is Database Verification?]

Can You Waive This Fee?

Unfortunately we cannot waive this fee. Verified First paid these fees on behalf of your company at the time we performed the search.

What is Database Verification?

Verified First is classified as a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). As part of this Federal law, Verified First is obligated to provide our clients the most accurate and up-to-date information. In order to meet this obligation, Verified First is required to research any records from a database at their original jurisdiction to ensure we are providing the most up-to-date information. When database verification occurs, you will see the jurisdiction search and any associated pass-through fees on your invoice.

About Elyzabeth Ambra
Elyzabeth joined Verified First with over 15 years of experience in the background screening industry. She has well-rounded industry knowledge, developed through various positions that involved every aspect of background screening. She was key to the development of Verified First’s compliance department through implementing policies and procedures that improved the company’s turnaround time, accuracy, and compliance with all federal and state laws. Elyzabeth earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice and Public Administration and holds Advanced FCRA Certification through the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).

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