Rita J. Sheehan, Town Clerk/Registrar
Town of Bethel
3454 Route 55
P.O. Box 300
White Lake, NY 12786
Ruth Duncan, Deputy Town Clerk
Phone: (845) 583-4350 ext. 11
Fax: (845) 583-4710
New!! In 2014 the Town Clerk's Office now accepts credit cards (except American Express) for all transactions in my office.
The Office of Town Clerk is a diversified position with many duties and responsibilities that are contained mainly in Section 30 N.Y.S. Town Law. The Town Clerk is the legal custodian of all town records, therefore, is also the town's Records Management Officer responsible for the creation and maintenance of a comprehensive Records Management Program. She is the town's Licensing Agent, responsible for issuing all conservation licenses (fishing, hunting, trapping, etc.), dog licenses, marriage licenses, vendor's/peddler's permits, handicapped parking permits, and other licenses mandated by various state and local laws. And in 2016 is now responsible for certifying and filing Birth and Death records.
The Town Clerk must also complete and accurately record the proceedings of each Town Board Meeting. In addition, the Bethel Town Clerk serves as Records Access Officer, the officer who accepts and processes FOIL (Freedom of Information) Requests. She is also a Notary Public. Her position is elected and carries a two-year term.
Responsible for certifications of documents, Oaths of Office, Notices of Claims against the Town. Publishes Legal Notices in accordance with State Law. Certifies and files all Local Laws with the NYS Dept. of State. Maintains Local Law Book. Updates Town Code Book and maps as laws are adopted and distributes updates to all Boards and appropriate employees.
The Town Clerk is responsible for all license sales and fees received during the month. Monthly financial reports are prepared with remittance of fees collected to State Agencies and local revenue turned over to Town Supervisor.
Publishes Bid Notices, receives sealed bids, conducts bid openings, submits to Town Board for bid award, notifies successful bidder.The Bethel Town Clerk is the creator and publisher of the Monthly E-mail Newsletter. Created and maintains the Town of Bethel Website. Administors the Adopt-A-Road Program. Schedules use of Dr. Duggan Community Center. Distributes Motor Vehicle accident reports (NOT incident reports) when requested.
Listed below are forms, several information brochures, and links to NY State Agencies.
Frequently Asked Questions??
How do I get copies of Town records?
A written request must be submitted for access to records. Be specific as possible when requesting documents. Copies of all paper records cost $.25 per copy excluding large maps. Copies of tape recordings can also be obtained, however, the cost will vary. Request for Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates is not covered under FOIL and an application must be completed (see below).
Must I license my dog and how can I do so?
All dogs in New York State, at least four months of age, must be licensed. Since Sullivan County has been declared a “rabies-county,” a dog license can not be issued without proof the dog has an up-to-date rabies vaccination. Tags are not acceptable, you must have the paper certificate. The fee is $14.00 for dogs not spayed/neutered, and $7.00 for dogs that are. Proof of spaying/neutering must be submitted to the Clerk's office before the discount can be given. Licenses can be purchased for one, two or three years and must coincide with the rabies expiration date.
What is needed to obtain a marriage license?
Both individuals to be wed must be present when applying for a marriage license. The fee is $30.00. Once the license is issued there is a 24-hour waiting period and is valid for 60 days. Military personnel can waive the 24-hour wait. A driver's license or passport and a birth certificate, must be presented as well as all final divorce papers and death certificate (if applicable). After hours appointments are made to obtain a marriage license. After the marriage is complete, the couple will receive an original marriage certificate from the Town Clerk. Each additional certified copy costs $10.00.
Where can I register to vote?
The Town Clerk's Office has applications for voter registration and absentee ballot application also at the Sullivan County Board of Elections.
How can I obtain a hunting or fishing license?
Proof of hunter safety must be presented when applying for your first hunting, trapping (trapping safety course) or archery license (bow hunter safety course). Applicants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent. Classes are listed on the Dept. of Environmental Conservation Link below along with hunting and fishing guidelines and dates. Proof of NYS residency must also be presented, or higher out-of-state fees must be charged. All fees for hunting and fishing are established by the State of New York.
Where do I obtain a Handicapped Parking Permit?
The Town Clerk's Office issues Handicapped Permits for Bethel residents only. Handicapped Permits are issued at no cost. Driver I.D. or Non-Driver I.D. Card required for proof of residency.