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New York Vital Records

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The following is for informational purposes only

What are New York Vital Records?

Vital records in New York are government-issued documents that contain information about births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. These records are kept by the New York State Department of Health. New York birth records are also available from the local Registrar of Vital Statics where the event occurred.

You can order a copy of a New York birth record online, by phone, mail, or in person.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate in New York?

New York birth records

The New York State Department of Health, Vital Records has birth records since 1881 for all New York State except New York City, which has birth records since 1910.

Birth certificates in New York are not open to the public until 75 years have passed since the birth occurred. Only the following persons may obtain a copy of a New York birth certificate that is less than 75 years old:

  • The person named on the birth certificate.
  • A parent or legal guardian of the person named on the birth certificate.
  • A spouse, child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of the person named on the birth certificate, but only by order of a New York State court.
  • A legal representative of the person on the birth certificate with proper identification and authorization.

The application must be submitted with copies of either A or B:

A. One valid photo ID:

  • Driver's license.
  • State-issued non-driver ID card.
  • Passport.
  • U.S. Military-issued photo ID.

B. Two of the following showing the applicant's name and address:

  • A utility or telephone bill.
  • A letter from a government agency dated within the last six months.

Important: Submit a copy of your U.S. passport together with the above ID if applying from a foreign country that requires a passport for travel.

Upon request, you will need to provide the following information:

  • The full name of the person on the birth certificate.
  • The date of birth.
  • The place of birth.
  • The parents' full name, including maiden name.
  • The parents' place of birth.
  • Your relationship with the person on the birth certificate.
  • Your reason for requesting the certificate.

Application Fees:

  • Online or phone orders - $45 + $8 vendor processing fee (per transaction)
  • In-person orders - $45
  • Mail-in orders - $30

Payment Options:

  • Online or phone orders - MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, ACH (Electronic Check).
  • Mail orders - Personal check, PMO (Postal Money Order), or certified check made payable to NYS Department of Health.
  • Walk-ins - Cash, money order, or check.

Note: Walk-in services are canceled until further notice.

To order a copy of a birth certificate through mail, download and complete the Mail-in Application for Copy of Birth Certificate (PDF), then send it to:

New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Certification Unit
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602

For online orders, you can visit VitalChek or call them at 877-622-7549. VitalChek charges $16 - $60, not including the cost of shipping the certificate. They accept all major credit cards, including American Express, Discover, Visa, and MasterCard.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the New York State of Vital Records by email at vr@health.ny.gov or reach them at 855-322-1022.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Death Certificate in New York?

New York death records

The New York State Department of Health, Vital Records has death records from 1881 to the present for all New York State except New York City, which has death records from 1949 to the present.

Death certificates in New York are not open to the public until 50 years have passed since the death occurred. Only the following persons may obtain a copy of a New York death certificate less than 50 years old.

  • The spouse of the person named on the certificate.
  • The parent of the person named on the certificate.
  • A child of the person named on the certificate.
  • A sibling of the person named on the certificate.

Important: If you are not any of the above, you must document a lawful right or claim. If you need a certificate to claim a benefit, you need an official letter from the agency providing the benefit saying that you need the certificate to process the claim.

The application must be submitted with copies of either A or B:

A. One valid photo ID:

  • Driver's license.
  • State-issued non-driver ID card.
  • Passport.
  • U.S. Military-issued photo ID.

B. Two of the following showing the applicant's name and address:

  • A utility or telephone bill.
  • A letter from a government agency dated within the last six months.

Upon request, you will need to provide the following information:

  • The full name of the person on the death certificate.
  • The date of death.
  • The place of death.
  • Your relationship with the person on the death certificate.
  • Your reason for requesting the certificate.

Application Fees:

  • Online or phone orders - $45 + $8 vendor processing fee (per transaction)
  • In-person orders - $45
  • Mail-in orders - $30

Payment Options:

  • Online or phone orders - MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, ACH (Electronic Check).
  • Mail orders - Personal check, PMO (Postal Money Order), or certified check made payable to NYS Department of Health.
  • Walk-ins - Cash, money order, or check.

Note: Walk-in services are canceled until further notice.

To order a copy of a death certificate through mail, download and complete the Mail-in Application for Copy of Death Certificate (PDF), then send it to:

New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Certification Unit
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602

For online orders, you can visit VitalChek or call them at 877-622-7549. VitalChek charges $16 - $58.95, not including the cost of shipping the certificate. They accept all major credit cards, including American Express, Discover, Visa, and MasterCard.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the New York State of Vital Records by email at vr@health.ny.gov or reach them at 855-322-1022.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Marriage Certificate in New York?

New York marriage records

The New York State Department of Health, Vital Records has marriage records from 1880. Marriage records are also available from the town or city where the marriage license was issued.

Marriage certificates in New York are not open to the public until 50 years have passed since the marriage occurred. Only the following persons may obtain a copy of a New York marriage certificate that is less than 50 years old:

  • The spouse of the person named on the certificate.
  • Other people who have a documented judicial or other proper purposes.
  • Other people who have a New York State Court Order.

If you are not any of the above, you must document a judicial or other proper purposes. Suppose you need a marriage certificate to claim a benefit. In that case, you need an official letter from the agency providing the benefit saying that you need the certificate to process the claim.

The application must be submitted with copies of either A or B:

A. One valid photo ID:

  • Driver's license.
  • State-issued non-driver ID card.
  • Passport.
  • U.S. Military-issued photo ID.

B. Two of the following showing the applicant's name and address:

  • A utility or telephone bill.
  • A letter from a government agency dated within the last six months.

Upon request, you will need to provide the following information:

  • The full name of the person on the marriage certificate.
  • The date of marriage.
  • The place of marriage.
  • Your relationship with the person on the marriage certificate.
  • Your reason for requesting the certificate.

Application Fees:

  • Online or phone orders - $45 + $8 vendor processing fee (per transaction)
  • In-person orders - $45
  • Mail-in orders - $30

Payment Options:

  • Online or phone orders - MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, ACH (Electronic Check).
  • Mail orders - Personal check, PMO (Postal Money Order), or certified check made payable to NYS Department of Health.
  • Walk-ins - Cash, money order, or check.

Note: Walk-in services are canceled until further notice.

To order a copy of a marriage certificate through mail, download and complete the Mail-in Application for Copy of Marriage Certificate (PDF), then send it to:

New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Certification Unit
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602

For online orders, you can visit VitalChek or call them at 877-622-7549. VitalChek charges $16 - $58.95, not including the cost of shipping the certificate. They accept all major credit cards, including American Express, Discover, Visa, and MasterCard.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the New York State of Vital Records by email at vr@health.ny.gov or reach them at 855-322-1022.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Divorce Certificate in New York?

New York divorce records

The New York State Department of Health, Vital Records has divorce records from January 1, 1963, to the present.

Divorce certificates are also available from the county clerk where the divorce was granted. Only divorce decree copies are available for the divorce granted before January 1, 1963.

The only persons who can order a copy of a New York divorce certificate are:

  • The spouse of the person named on the certificate.
  • People with a New York State Court Order

The application must be submitted with copies of either A or B:

A. One valid photo ID:

  • Driver's license.
  • State-issued non-driver ID card.
  • Passport.
  • U.S. Military-issued photo ID.

B. Two of the following showing the applicant's name and address:

  • A utility or telephone bill.
  • A letter from a government agency dated within the last six months.

Upon request, you will need to provide the following information:

  • The full name of the person on the divorce certificate.
  • The date of divorce.
  • The place of divorce.
  • Your relationship with the person on the divorce certificate.
  • Your reason for requesting the certificate.

Application Fees:

  • Online or phone orders - $45 + $8 vendor processing fee (per transaction)
  • In-person orders - $45
  • Mail-in orders - $30

Payment Options:

  • Online or phone orders - MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, ACH (Electronic Check).
  • Mail orders - Personal check, PMO (Postal Money Order), or certified check made payable to NYS Department of Health.
  • Walk-ins - Cash, money order, or check.

Note: Walk-in services are canceled until further notice.

To order a copy of a divorce certificate through mail, download and complete the Mail-in Application for Copy of Divorce Certificate (PDF), then send it to:

New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Certification Unit
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602

For online orders, you can visit VitalChek or call them at 877-622-7549. VitalChek charges $53.00, not including the cost of shipping the certificate. They accept all major credit cards, including American Express, Discover, Visa, and MasterCard.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the New York State of Vital Records by email at vr@health.ny.gov or reach them at 855-322-1022.

Helpful State Resources