Certificate of Relief of Disabilities or Certificate of Good Conduct


1. Make sure you know exactly what convictions you have on your record.

If you are not sure, get a copy of your RAP sheet. You can order it from the state directly or you can call the Legal Action Center to make an appointment for the RAP sheet workshop on Wednesdays.

If you think you have a record in other states or in federal court, you should also order a RAP sheet from the FBI.

You may also be able to get a copy of your record from the other states where you were arrested. To find out how to get these records, go to the HIRE Network and select the state, then look for information about its “criminal record repository.”

2. Figure out exactly how many felony convictions you have.

Remember to include felonies in other states and federal felonies
Important: If you were convicted of more than one count in the same courtroom on the same day, it counts as only one felony for the certificate.

3. If you have MORE THAN ONE FELONY:

You must apply for the Certificate of Good Conduct. This certificate will cover all of your convictions.
You must apply through Parole. (pdf)

There is a waiting period, which depends on your most serious felony, not your last one.
- For an A or a B felony, the waiting period is 5 years.
- For a C, D or E felony, the waiting period is 3 years.
The waiting period started the last time you got out of prison (onto parole or maxed out) OR the date of your last felony conviction if you didn’t get state time, whichever was last. (The law seems to allow Parole to also consider any misdemeanor that happened after your felony in calculating waiting periods, but Parole has not been doing this recently.)

4. If you have ONE FELONY or NO FELONIES (only misdemeanors):
You are eligible to apply for the Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (unless you want to restore gun rights or public office rights; then contact the Legal Action Center for more information.)

Certificates of Relief only cover one conviction. You can apply for certificates for each of your convictions.
If you served time in state prison for a New York felony, apply to Parole (pdf) for the Certificate for the felony.

If you have a felony or a misdemeanor in another state or in federal court, apply to Parole (pdf) for the certificates for these convictions.
If you only served probation or time in a local jail for a New York felony, apply for the certificate from the Court Clerk where you were convicted.

For all New York misdemeanors, apply for the certificate from the Court Clerk where you were convicted.