Bail must be paid in full for an individual to be released from custody, and those who wish to pay bail are known as “sureties.” Bail can be paid in person at Department of Correction facilities, or online, depending on eligibility criteria.
How to Pay Bail Online:
Individuals 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 individual
• A judge has not set any surety conditions (e.g. Judges may require sureties be interviewed
before posting bail)
• The Department of Correction (DOC) has logged the individual’s bail conditions into their
Inmate Lookup Service.
o There may be a short waiting period after arraignment before the individual's information is
logged into DOC’s system.
For more information about this individual’s online bail eligibility, please contact his/her attorney.
After arraignment (when bail is set), eligible bail can be paid online from any computer, phone, or tablet. The online payment system can be used to pay bails of any amount.
Online bail payment is available for individuals shortly following arraignment, once the individual’s information is logged into DOC’s system. Online bail may be paid while the individual is still in the courthouse after arraignment, in transit, or housed at a DOC facility. After the date of the arraignment, bail may be paid online at any time except for subsequent court dates following arraignment. On court dates following arraignment, bail must be paid directly at the courthouse’s cashier window.
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.
How to Pay Bail in Person
You can pay bail in person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at any of the following Department of Correction facilities, regardless of where the individual is housed:
• Brooklyn Detention Complex
o 275 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
• Manhattan Detention Complex
o 125 White St, New York, NY 10013
• Queens Detention Complex
o 126-02 82nd Avenue, Kew Gardens, NY 11415
• Vernon C. Bain Center
o 1 Halleck St, Bronx, NY 10474
• Rikers Island
Note: For individuals housed at Horizon Juvenile Center, bail may be paid at Horizon or at any of the above locations. Horizon cannot accept payments for individuals housed at other facilities.
To post bail, you must present personal identification and provide the New York State Identification (NYSID) or Book and Case number of the person to be bailed.
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;
- Money order from Federal Express, U.S. Postal Service, Travelers Express Company, Western Union, or a private bank -- up to $1000
- Credit or debit card
Note: Cashier's checks, teller's checks, and money orders should be made payable to the facility where you are making the payment, regardless of where the individual is housed, with the exception of payments made at Horizon Juvenile Center. If making a payment at Horizon, checks must be made out to Vernon C. Bain Center. Checks or money orders made at Rikers Island should be made out to the Rikers Island Central Cashier. While the amount of each money order may not exceed $1,000, you can pay with multiple money orders or a combination of money orders, checks, and cash. The total amount you pay must exactly match the bail amount. No change will be provided.
How Not to Pay Bail in Person
Not acceptable for bail purposes:
- Personal checks, whether certified or not;
- Check/money order for amounts exceeding the $1,000 limit or for which a refund ("change") would be required;
- Check/money order made out to the Department of Correction or to a jail other than the one at which they are presented;
- Any other form of payment that is not listed as an acceptable form above.