Today I called the NY Secretary of State's office. They confirmed that if I can get signatures on the criminal background check by the director of assistant director of DCJS (Joseph Morrissey or Donna Call) they can apostille the document. Today I spoke to DCJS and they will be issuing new background checks with one of those signatures.
Today we received background checks from NY State. The background check itself was still blank. But it was accompanied by a letter than was signed and notarized that said that the background check would be blank. Odd. They can notarize a letter but can't notarize the background check. So I stapled them together and sent them off for apostille by the NY Secretary of State.
Unfortunately, even though I asked for the background check to be listed in my wife's married name and maiden name, they only came in her married name. Since she never used that name while living in NY, that could be a problem for the consulate or for Rome. So I sent a letter thanking them for sending the notarized background check but asking for another one in her maiden name.
Well, the NY State background checks arrived today. Despite noting that they needed to be suitable for apostille, both in the cover letter and on the application, they arrived unsigned. We're sending them off the the NY Secretary of State with a letter asking if they can apostille them and if not to please either call the NY State Police or send us a letter with clear instructions as to what they need in order to apostille a documents. It appears that writing in every possible margin of a form is not enough for people to issue signed background checks. Only TN sent them right (well, except for a spelling mistake).
I found this web site for obtaining criminal records from NY State – http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/ojis/recordreview.htm
I emailed RecordReview@dcjs.ny.gov:
I am a US citizen by birth and am in the process of finalizing my dual Italian citizenship.
My wife is eligible for Italian dual citizenship by marriage. As part of her application, she needs to obtain "police clearance or certificate of criminal records issued by the central authority of each state of which the applicant has been a resident since the age of 14". She was born in NY and lived in NY until she finished college. My wife was never accused, charged, or convicted of any crime, so we expect it to come back clear.
One complication is that the police clearance / certificate of criminal records must be suitable for an apostille by the Secretary of State of NY. So it needs to be signed and certified. I understand from others who have applied for Italian citizenship by marriage that the criminal record someone might get by applying by the usual methods is not suitable for an apostille and hence is not acceptable by the Italian consulate for citizenship applications.
What is the process for obtaining a signed and certified police clearance / certificate of criminal records suitable for apostille from NY State?
Update 22 Mar 2012
Here is their response:
"… we will have to do is send you out our cardscan packet in the mail. So we will just need a mailing address. once you receive the packet you will fill out the form and take the finger print card to a local police station to get finger printed on. Once all that is completed you will mail to the address on the form. Once we receive it will process it and it will take us 7-10 business days to process and we will get the background check out to you with the sealed and notarized letter."
My aunt had found a certified copy of my grandfather's birth certificate in my grandmother's records. It was old. Not sure if it was an original from 1911 but it was old. I wasn't sure if it would be accepted but I sent it to Erie County for their authorization. They sent it on to NY State for an apostille because NY State called today for some extra information – apparently I transposed a digit on my credit card number – so that means both Erie County and NY would accept it. Great!
Today I received a copy of the birth and death certificate for my grandfather. While I had genealogical copies of both, I now have official copies that (hopefully) will be suitable for apostille by the State of New York. Fingers crossed.
Today I received the an apostille for my great-grandfather's death certificate from NY State.