Bail, Bail Bonds and Fines

What is the difference between bail, bonds and fines?  Can I pay these at the jail and, if so, how do I do it?  

Bail is a court-ordered amount of money which is received by the Sheriff's Office, and then deposited with that court  to secure the defendant's future court appearances.  The forms of payment received anytime of the day for bail are as follows:

  • Cash
  • Certified bank check made out to the “Yates County Sheriff”;
  • U.S. Postal Money Order made out to the “Yates County Sheriff”;  
  • Credit cards as accepted by Government Payment Services, Inc.;
  • Check drawn on the inmates Commissary Account to the “Yates County Sheriff.”

Once bail has been posted for an individual at the jail, the monies are processed by the Civil Division and transferred to the court having jurisdiction. Once done, we having nothing more to do with the bail.  Only the court having jurisdiction may return the bail monies to the one-named owner listed on the bail receipt.  If you posted bail for someone and want to revoke it, you must address this matter with the court.  

Bail Bond is a business transaction done through a bail bondsman. It usually involves an agreement between the person posting the bond and the bondsman.  Property is guaranteed in an amount to cover the bond amount set by the court, in the event the person fails to appear as required by the court.  The Yates County Jail has a list of bondsmen who service this area. You may contact one of them to obtain details, costs, etc. 

Fines  If a court sentences someone to a fine or a period of time in jail en lieu of such fine, that fine can be paid anytime of the day by a payment method listed above under “Bail.”

Boater and Snowmobile Safety

Where can I get information on boating and snowmobile safety and courses?

Boater Safety Courses are offered several times a year.  The 6 hour course is taught at the Yates County Public Safety Building and instructors consist of Yates County Marine Patrol Officers.  In New York State all persons under 18 years of age must successfully complete the course and receive the Boater Safety Certificate prior to operating a motor boat.  All persons regardless of age must obtain a Boater Safety Certificate to operate a personal watercraft on the Navigable Waters of NYS.  You must pre-register to take the Boater Safety course.  Upcoming courses will listed on the "Agency News & Events" page on this website.

Child Car Safety Seats

Where can I get a child safety seat, or information about proper installation? 

If you have any questions in reference to the proper use or requirements regarding child safety seats you may call the Sheriff’s Office at (315) 536-4438 any time. You will be referred to a Child Car Safety Seat Technician who will contact you to answer any questions you may have, including arrangements for a physical inspection for proper function and installation if you’d like.  You can also learn if you may qualify for free seats.

Controlled Burn

Who should I notify if I want to burn something?

If you are planning a controlled burn at your residence, property or place of business you should first call the dispatch center.  The phone number to report controlled burns is 315-536-3033.  By notifying the dispatch center of you plan to burn material, it lessens the chances of an unnecessary Fire Department response to your location.  In the event your burn becomes out of control call 911 immediately to request the Fire Department.
 Note – Open burning is not allowed within the Villages of Penn Yan, Dundee, or Dresden.  Large or unique burns may also be subject to Encon or fire department approval.


Can I have my fingerprints taken for a pistol permit, adoption or similar application?

No, the Sheriff's Office no longer does civil applicant fingerprinting.  Applicants may schedule an appointment for fingerprinting by going to the website or calling their L-1 toll free call center at 877-472-6915.  The Yates County Sheriff’s Office ORI number is NY0610000 which must be given when scheduling with L-1 on line or telephone.

Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)

What is FOIL and how can I get information about Sheriff's Office records?

The Freedom of Information Law (commonly referred to as FOIL) is the nickname for Section 87 of the NYS Public Officers Law which guarantees and regulates the public's right to access records (not specific information) which a public service agency currently keeps in the normal course of daily business.  Additionally, an agency is not required to create a new record or provide information in response to questions.  Therefore, in an effort to assist obtaining the information being sought, you will be asked to identify as closely as possible what record(s) you want.  There are several exceptions that allow denial to some or all information contained on a record, including but not limited to open law enforcement investigations and confidential information that could result in harm to an individual or organization.  The Sheriff has designated the Undersheriff as the agency's Records Access Officer (RAO).  For further information you may contact the Records Division during normal business hours either in person or via phone at (315)536-5178

NOTICE: Please call 911 for emergencies and 315-536-4438 for the Yates County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center for other less emergent situations.


Inmate Phone Service

Click on "Corrections/Jail Division" link and go to "Inmate Phone Service".

Jail Visitation

Click on "Corrections/Jail Division" link and go to "Visitation".


Pistol Permits

How do I apply for a pistol permit, and where do I go?

You must first make application with you local law enforcement agency.  Residents living in the Village of Penn Yan must obtain an application at the Penn Yan Police Department.  You may contact them for their hours of availability.  All other Yates County residents must get an application at the Yates County Sheriff’s Office or by downloading the following:

These are available during normal business hours at the Records Division or anytime of day at the E911 Center.  Currently there is no charge for this paperwork.  Generally, a person must be 21 years of age to apply.  Any amendments to an existing pistol permit must be made through the Yates County Clerk’s Office.


Property Checks

Does the Sheriffs Office do Property checks?

Yes.  If you are planning an extended period of time away from your residence, the Sheriffs Office will do Property Checks to help keep your property safe.  If desired, YCSO Posters are also available for you to post on your property.  You must pick up and place the posters.

For the Sheriffs office to do Property Checks, the necessary Property Check Form must be filled out in its entirety so the Deputies are aware of the specific areas to be checked.  If you have any questions regarding the Property Check Form you may contact the Sheriffs Office at (315)536-4438 anytime.  Property Checks Forms cannot be done over the phone.  Staff will assist with questions completing the form, but the requester is responsible for completion & content.  Please note that Property Checks will only be done for a duration of 6 (six) months.  Any longer & it must be re-filed to ensure that all contact information is correct & current.  The completed Property Check form can be faxed to (315) 536-5106 or emailed to:

NOTICE:  Please call 911 for emergencies and 315-536-4438 for the Yates County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center for other less emergent situations.


Obtaining Copies  

Click on "Records Division" link.


Road/Weather Conditions

How can I get current information for local road conditions during storms?

During inclement weather, particularly in the winter, the Sheriff’s Office will occasionally issue travel advisories or even road or lake closings by issuance of a special state of emergency as declared by the Sheriff.  Once an advisory or closing is deemed necessary, a detailed statement will be disseminated to local news media for immediate release and citizens need to tune into a local media outlet for current travel conditions.  Subsequently, please do not call the Sheriff’s Office for road and travel conditions.  Dispatchers need to keep phone lines open for disseminating this information to the media and other public service agencies.  Any significant information relating to highway and travel safety will be provided to local news media as soon as possible for their immediate release to the community.  You can also click on for road condition updates from the NYS Department of Transportation.  If you have doubts about traveling safely and your commute is not necessary, it may be best to stay off the roads.

Sex Offender Information

 How can I learn about the sex offender laws, and about sex offenders living in Yates County?

To begin with, there are three legal classifications of sex offenders:

Level 1- these offenders are considered to be "a low risk of repeat offense."  Law enforcement is permited to disseminate some detailed information about these offenders to the public;

Level 2- these offenders are considered to be "a moderate risk of repeat offense."  Law enforcement is permitted to disseminate more detailed information about these offenders to the public;

Level 3- these offenders are considered "a high risk of repeat offense/threat to public safety."  Law enforcement is permitted to disseminate more detailed information about these offenders to the public.

There are several ways to learn more about sex offenders.  You can click on which is the homepage for the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services.  Once there, you can click on the "Sex Offender Registry" link.  This will provide you with more detailed information about NYS laws.  From there you will learn how to view the on-line Level 2 & Level 3 Sex Offender Subdirectory.  This is a database for all level 2 & 3 sex offenders in New York State for which information can legally be released, including those offenders residing in Yates County.  The US Department of Justice also provides its National Sex Offender Public Registry that provides real-time access to public sex offender data nationwide with a single Internet search.  States continue to come on line with this program.

For information about Level 1 sex offenders who reside in Yates County and outside the Village of Penn Yan, you can click on the "Sex Offender Information" navigation link found on this and all of our other website pages.  From there, you can also access the NYSDCJS website & Subdirectory, as well as download a YCSO document for more information about Level 1 Sex Offenders.  To learn about Level 1 Sex Offenders residing in the Village of Penn Yan, you may call the Penn Yan Police Department at (315)536-4426.   

Snowmobile Safety and Courses

 See "Boater and Snowmobile Safety" on this site.