How to Pay Bail in Person
Bail will be accepted in any of the following forms:
- U.S. cash for the full amount;
- Cashier's/Tellers's check, in any amount not exceeding the bail figure;
- Bank money order, up to $1,000;
- Federal Express money order, up to $1,000;
- U.S. Postal money order, up to $1,000;
- Travelers Express Company money order up to $1,000;
- Western Union money order, up to $1,000;
- GOV-PAY via debit/credit card
Note: While any individual money order or check listed above as having a $1000 limit may not exceed that amount, there is no limit on the number of such money orders and/or such checks that may be accepted in payment of the bail, provided their total together or in combination with cash meets the bail requirement exactly. (The Department does NOT "give change" in bail transactions.)
Where to Pay Bail in Person
If paying bail at the Brooklyn Detention Complex, the Manhattan Detention Complex or the Vernon C. Bain Center, make checks or money orders payable to the facility, regardless of where the inmate is housed. If you are making bail at Rikers Island, checks or money orders must be made out to the Rikers Island Central Cashier (RICC is acceptable, there is no need to spell out), again, regardless of where the inmate is housed. Checks or money orders made out to the Department of Correction are not accepted. The person posting bail must present personal identification and must provide the New York State Identification (NYSID) number of the person to be bailed.
How Not to Pay Bail
Not acceptable for bail purposes:
- Personal checks, whether certified or not;
- Otherwise acceptable forms of check/money order but made out to amounts exceeding the $1,000 limit or for which a refund ("change") would be required;
- Otherwise acceptable forms of check/money order but made out to the Department of Correction or to a jail other than the one at which they are presented;
- Other than the authorized forms.
Who is Eligible for Online Bail Payment:
Defendants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for online bail payment:
- A judge has set credit card bail as a form of bail payment for that defendant.
- The total credit card bail amount is $2,500 or less. The online bail system will initially only be available for credit card bails of $2,500 or less, with plans to expand to higher credit card bail amounts.
- The defendant does not have any surety conditions such as a surety interview.
- The defendant is entered into the Inmate Lookup Service with an assigned housing facility.
For more information about this individual’s online bail eligibility, please contact his/her attorney.
How to Pay Bail Online:
You will not be able to pay bail online immediately after arraignment (when bail is set), because online bail payment is only available for defendants who have been entered into the Inmate Lookup Service with an assigned housing facility. If you are at arraignment in person, it will be faster to pay bail directly at the courthouse cashier window.
Once the individual is entered into the Inmate Lookup Service with an assigned housing facility, eligible bail amounts can be paid online from any computer, phone, or tablet.
To pay bail online:
- Go to the New York City Department of Correction’s Inmate Lookup Service: nyc.gov/doc/lookup.
- Using the New York City Department of Correction’s Inmate Lookup Service, find the individual you wish to pay bail for. You will need the individual’s first and last name, OR the individual’s NYSID, or Book and Case Number.
- You will be shown an "Inmate Details" page that contains personal information and docket / case information for that individual. If the individual is eligible for online bail payment, the "Pay Bail" button at the bottom of the "Inmate Details" page will be blue. Click on the "Pay Bail" button - this will allow you to access the online bail payment portal.
- If the "Pay Bail" button is gray, then the individual is ineligible for online bail payment at this time OR has not yet been entered into the Inmate Lookup Service with an assigned housing facility. For more information about this individual's online bail eligibility, please contact his/her attorney.
- In the online bail payment portal, you, as the surety, will need to enter your information (Name, Address, Phone, Email, Occupation, and Relationship to Person in Custody) as well as the billing address and payment information for the credit / debit card that you wish to use. You may use multiple credit / debit cards to pay the full bail amount. Multiple people can also pay portions of the same bail amount.
You may use multiple transactions to pay the full bail amount, but the full bail amount must be paid within 24 hours of the first transaction.
- IMPORTANT – If the person you are paying bail for has a warrant, hold, or additional case, he/she may not be released until those additional issues are resolved.
BEFORE you authorize your payment, you will be asked to indicate whether you still want your payment to be processed even if the individual is found to have a condition that prevents his/her release.
AFTER you have authorized your payment, DOC will conduct a check for any additional warrants, holds, or open cases that would prevent an individual from being released after bail has been paid.
- You will receive an email confirmation informing you of whether your bail payment was approved or denied, and whether the individual has been cleared for discharge from DOC custody.
- You will be charged a 2.49% fee per transaction.
- You will receive a refund from the Department of Finance roughly eight weeks after the case for which you paid bail has been resolved. The court sends a refund order to the Department of Finance within six weeks. The Department of Finance sends a check to the surety (or sureties) within two weeks of receiving the refund order from the court. Your refund will not include the 2.49% online bail processing fee.
REMEMBER: If the person you paid bail for does not attend all of his / her court appearances, the bail amount may be forfeited.