City of New York Department of Correction

How Do I...? - Obtain Legal Passes

Legal Passes

The New York City Department of Correction issues photo identification legal passes to attorneys and attorney assistants for admission to all New York City Department of Correction facilities to confer with inmate clients.

The Department issues three-year photo identification passes to attorneys admitted in New York State or one-day photo identification passes to attorneys admitted outside of New York State.  It issues one-year, four-month (for student interns), or one-day photo identification passes for attorney assistants such as paralegals, investigators, law students, social workers, or other individuals employed by or working under the supervision of an attorney.

Individuals seeking Department-issued legal passes must apply in-person at the Department's Human Resources Division at 75-20 Astoria Blvd, Suite 320, East Elmhurst NY 11370.  All inquiries should be addressed to (718) 546-3162 or (718) 546-3276.

Passport photos are no longer required to be submitted. The Department will take digital photos of the applicant on site.
 
The information provided here is intended for general guidance and does not attempt to cover all situations relating to the issuance of legal passes for visiting inmates regarding legal matters.

1. Attorney Pass
Attorneys who possess a New York State Unified Court System Attorney Secure Pass do not need to obtain a separate Department-issued attorney pass to gain admission to Department facilities.  Attorneys who do not possess such identification from  New York State, including all attorneys admitted in other jurisdictions, must apply for a Department-issued pass in-person at the Human Resources Division, 75-20 Astoria Blvd., Suite 320, East Elmhurst, NY.

To apply for the three-year pass or the one-day pass, the applicant must submit a completed application form (in pdf) and at least one government-issued photo identification. If attorneys are not registered with the New York State Office of Court Administration, they must submit a copy of their certificate of good standing from the Appellate Division, or a similar document issued by the courts in another state, or a copy of bar admission certificate. Attorneys will receive their pass on the day of application.

For pass renewals, applicants must submit a new application, at least one government-issued photo identification, and the old pass.

2. Attorney Assistant Pass
Attorney assistants, e.g., paralegals, investigators, law students, social workers, or other individuals employed by or working under the supervision of an attorney representing an inmate, can apply for photo identification passes valid for one year, four months or one day. The four-month pass will be issued to student interns who are assisting an attorney or legal services organization, while a one-year pass will be issued to permanent employees or other individuals expected to be working under the supervision of an attorney for that time or longer.  Applicants must submit a completed application form (in pdf) and at least one government-issued photo identification.  In addition, the applicant must submit a letter from an attorney-employer detailing the applicant's title, duties, and reason for the one-year, four-month, or one-day pass.  For a one-year or four-month pass, the letter must also ensure that the attorney-employer will notify the Department during the one-year or four-month period if the applicant’s employment or internship with the attorney-employer ends and return the one-year or four-month pass to the Legal Pass Office.

The Department will not accept applications for an attorney assistant pass unless the applicant is working under the supervision of an attorney actively engaged in representing one or more inmates in the Department’s custody. 

Attorney assistants will receive their pass after review by the Department's Investigation Division.  Upon approval, applicants will be notified to pick up the pass.

For renewals, applicants must submit a new application, at least one government issued-photo identification, the old pass, and a new letter from the attorney-employer.

Appropriate Forms of Identification
Such identification shall consist of a valid, state-issued driver’s license; a valid, state-issued non-driver identification card; a United States passport; or a United States permanent resident card (green card).

Where to Apply and Hours of Operation
Completed applications must be hand-delivered to the Human Resources Division, New York City Department of Correction, 75-20 Astoria Blvd, Suite 320, East Elmhurst NY 11370.  All applicants must appear in-person to sign for and pick up passes, under the following schedule:

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday - 8:30 am - 12:00 pm

The Legal Pass Office is closed on all legal holidays.

Report Lost or Stolen Pass
If a pass is lost or stolen, the pass holder must notify the Legal Pass Office as soon as possible at (718) 546-3161 between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. The loss must also be reported to the nearest police precinct.  The pass-holder must provide the Department of Correction with the incident report that the Police Department issued.

Anyone finding a legal pass should report it to the Legal Pass Office at (718) 546-3162.