How to Check on an Outstanding Warrant in New York

By Desmond Parks - Updated June 21, 2017
New York Police Department Car in NYC

An outstanding warrant can result in difficult situations. New York state law mandates a criminal procedure known as "stop, question and possibly frisk," which can be applied to anyone who an officer suspects may have committed a crime, is committing a crime or will commit a crime. Accompanied with the potential for traffic stops, a New Yorker is subject to legal scrutiny at any time. As a result, it is very important that all warrants are ascertained and dealt with to avoid an unexpected arrest.

Consider all possible reasons why you might have an outstanding warrant in the state of New York. Having as much information as possible can help you to navigate the situation better as you begin to explore it. Moreover, while requesting information on possible outstanding warrants, many questions will be asked. The more answers you know, the more likely the information you are provided with will be accurate.

Compile all forms of identification, including your state ID, state driver's license or passport as well as your Social Security card. You will need all of this information when appealing to the necessary parties regarding the presence of an outstanding warrant.

Contact the Warrant Section's Telephone Inquiry Unit of the New York Police Department at 718-217-8484. An operator will ask a series of questions and the answers will be sent to an investigator, who will search records to determine whether there is an outstanding warrant in your name.

If you prefer to find the information anonymously, navigate to an online records database and perform a search using your information. For a nominal fee, the website will send the information to an email inbox of your choice without alerting friends, family or the authorities about your interest.


It is usually better to obtain this information from the police department, as it is free and more likely accurate.

The police department will also provide information about how to clear an outstanding warrant.


Warrants can result from anything, whether it is an unpaid traffic ticket, an ignored citation or an unexpectedly suspended driver's license.

Lack of foreknowledge of a warrant will not protect you from arrest.

About the Author

Since 2003, Desmond Parks has worked for advertising, marketing, and consulting firms. His work has appeared in online and print publications, including the social magazine "Scallywag and Vagabond" and the literary magazine "The Prometheus"). Parks received his Masters of Arts in English at New York University.

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