Division of Criminal Justice Services

Familial DNA Searching in New York State

Please Note: The Appellate Division of New York State’s First Judicial Department vacated New York State’s familial search regulations in a 3-2 decision dated May 5, 2022. The New York State Attorney General’s Office filed a notice of appeal on June 3, 2022. As a result of this ruling, DCJS will not accept new applications. Previously approved searches that had commenced at the New York State Police Crime Laboratory have been paused while the appeal is pending.

Familial DNA searching is a targeted method of searching an unknown forensic or unidentified human remains sample associated with a serious unsolved crime against a database of offenders with the intent to identify the best candidate(s) to be a potential relative(s) of the unknown.

This presentation provides an overview of familial DNA searching in New York State, the application process, and the process requirements that had been in effect. The presentation does not contain audio.

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Downloadable/printable presentation

Familial Search Forms

Please be sure to always download the latest form version.

Sample Application

Familial Search Regulation
The regulation authorizing familial searching in New York State took effect Oct.18, 2017, and was updated effective April 21, 2021. As noted, a court decision issued May 5, 2022, vacated these regulations. That decision is being appealed.

Please direct any questions to the DCJS Office of Forensic Services at familialsearch@dcjs.ny.gov or (518) 457-1901. Technical questions may be directed to the New York State Police DNA Databank Section at NYSPCODIS-Databank@troopers.ny.gov or (518) 457-8831.