How To Find Death Records By Mail
Persons interested in obtaining death records in the United States must first identify the state in which such events occurred. Death records are usually filed in local or state vital records offices. To find a death record by mail, a requester should do the following after identifying the location of the event:
- Obtain and complete provided death certificate application form
- Attach a legible copy of any government-issued photo ID and other required documents to the application
- Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope and payment proof as may be required by the state or local vital record office in the application.
- Forward the completed application to the local or state vital record office.
Most Vital Record Offices host death certificate application forms on their official websites, and requesters can download and print such application forms to file their requests. Most of these forms require that a requester provide the following information about a decedent:
A requester must, however, provide all information accurately to facilitate a smooth search.
Find Bronx County Death Records
Bronx County Death Records are documents relating to an individual’s death in Bronx County, New York. These can include Bronx County death certificates, local and New York State death registries, and the National Death Index. Death Records are kept by Vital Records Offices or Bronx County Clerk’s Offices, which may be run by the state or at the local level.
Learn about Death Records, including:
- How to search online for Death Records
- Where to get certified death certificates in Bronx County, NY
- How to get copies of Death Records
- What information is part of the death index
- What genealogists use Bronx County vital records for
Enter Information From The Death Record
Once youre ready to begin your application, start by sharing the information found on the death certificate. Include the name of the deceased, their Social Security Number , date of death, date of birth, parents name, place of death, the purpose for your request, and your relationship with the deceased.
If youre not sure of any of the above, its better to visit in person to complete an application or to complete one by mail. This gives you more flexibility to write a range of dates to be searched or to leave sections blank.
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New York State Marriage Records
Researchers should begin by searching New York State’s index to all marriage records from 1881. Marriage indexes are available online at Internet Archive for 1881 to 1964. As with other vital records, compliance increased as time went on, and records between 1881 and 1913 may be incomplete.
Also, many counties hold marriage license files, some of which may be found in FamilySearchs New York, County Marriages, 1847-1848 1908-1936 database.
In many cases, marriage records can be located at the county level. For detailed information on marriage and other records available in each county, see our New York State County Guides for Genealogists for your county of interest.
Findmypast has a growing collection of county marriage records for New York State – this includes a searchable index of brides and grooms, along with images of marriage records in many cases. NYG& B members can access these records for free as a benefit of membership.
Again, these indexes do not cover several notable locations. New York City marriage records have always been kept completely separate from vital records of other locations in New York State. See the New York City section of this guide for more information.
Additionally, New York State does not have marriage records for Albany, Buffalo, or Yonkers before 1914. Click the name of each municipality to find out about obtaining vital records for your ancestors in these cities.
New York City Vital Records
Finding a New York City birth, marriage, or death record can be complicated due to the different territorial and record-keeping histories of each of the five boroughs, which are the Bronx , Brooklyn , Manhattan , Queens , and Staten Island .
The New York City Municipal Archives houses the largest collection of birth, marriage, and death records for New York City, but other collections exist.
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How To Get A Death Certificate In New York
We can facilitate the ordering of death certificate copies. First, you need to complete a simple online application. Second, you will need to pay the state fee and the service fee. Lastly, you will need to send the application package to the state Health Department, where afterwards you will receive the death certificate by mail. The entire process can be done without leaving home.
Deaths From 1957 Thru 1963
Death records from 1957 thru 1963 are held by the village, town, or city clerk where the death took place and the Department of Health. The New York Department of Health has also created an online index for many deaths taking place between 1957 and 1963.
STEP ONE – Search the Index
|Free covers 1 January 1957 thru 28 February 1963 spreadsheet with sortable columns. To learn more about the village/town/city codes, see this New York State Gazetteer. Also available at the New York State Health Department and MyHeritage.com.|
|The New York Archives as well as nine other repositories in New York hold copies of microfiche indexes to death certificates. Contact one of these ten repositories to search the index.|
|May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state||Individual clerks may not be aware of state laws regarding record availability||Offers a standard search covering 1-3 years with additional years with the option to increase the number of years searched for an additional fee||May take more than eight months to fulfill a request|
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New York Death Certificate
Below is the information you’ll need in order to obtain a death certificate in New York, including qualifications, cost, required information, where to submit your application, and a link to the application you’ll need to fill out.
Note: This information does not apply to the five boroughs of New York City . For a death that occurred in New York City, .
Alternative Proofs Of Identification
If the applicant does not have a form of valid photo ID as listed above, two utility or telephone bills dated within the last six months showing applicants name and address must be submitted with the request. Please note, if utility or telephone bills are used to prove identity, the certificate will be mailed to the applicant at the address listed on the submitted bills.
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Who Can Request A Death Certificate In New York
In New York state, you need to be an immediate family member or someone with a legal claim to request a death certificate. In addition, you need to show proper documentation and a photo ID to demonstrate eligibility.
If the above isnt true, you are not eligible to request a death certificate. This is to protect the privacy of families and the deceased. If you believe you might have a legal or authorized claim, talk to the agency about what type of documentation is needed.
How To Get A Mail Order Copy
- to download a request form in PDF format .
- Adobe® Reader® will allow you to enter your information directly into the form and then print it out ready to sign and mail with check or money order.
- We recommend that you save the form to a location where you will be able to find it, before you start to enter your information.
- When completing the form, please be aware that you will not be able to save the form with any information you have entered.
- You must print the form after you complete it, then sign and mail with check or money order.
- You may also print the form and complete it by typing or printing, then sign and mail with check or money order.
- Send with the following:
- Indentification Provide one of the following: Drivers license, Non-drivers license, Passport, Naturalization Papers, Military ID, Employers Photo ID, Two utility bills, showing applicants name and address, Police report of lost or stolen ID)
- Applicable fee: $30
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How To Find Your Vital Records Office
To order copies of a death certificate, contact the county or state vital records office in the place where the death occurred. They will tell you exactly what you need to do.
Locate a county vital records office. To find your local vital records office online, do an online search using “vital records office” and your county’s name. If you can’t find it this way, find your county’s general website, and try navigating to the “registrar” or “clerk.” Or just call your county clerk’s office.
Locate a state vital records office. To find the office that handles vital records in your state, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vital Records tool and click on your state.
How To Get A Copy Of An Ontario Death Certificate Online
ServiceOntario the only government-authorized source for Ontario death certificates. Its safer, cheaper and faster.
A death certificate is a document containing the details of a death that took place in Ontario. You can order a copy, or multiple copies online, if the death is registered in Ontario. You can use this certificate to cancel a health card or drivers licence and for insurance purposes.
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Restrictions For Obtaining Death Records
To obtain a certified copy of the death certificate for those who died within the last 50 years, you must be:
- The spouse, parent, child, or sibling of the
- Other persons who have a documented lawful right or claim, a documented medical need, or a New York State Court Order
An uncertified copy of a birth certificate issued within the last seventy-five years is available to a direct-line descendant who provides
- Proof of their relationship to the person whose birth certificate they are requesting
Some Death Certificate Extracts Exist Online
Fortunately for researchers, New York death certificates are mostly possible to find online. For individuals outside of New York City, researchers should first consult that New York State Death Index .
After finding your ancestor in this index, you can order a copy from the State Archives in Albany, though the wait time for the full certificate can be extensive. It may also be possible to find a copy of the certificate from a more local municipality. For more guidance on this, see our Guide to Finding New York Birth, Marriage, and Death Records.
Those researching ancestors who died in New York City can hope to find more immediate success. Several online indexes are available, and the most robust can be found on Ancestry.com.
This index comes with a significant amount of extracted information from each certificate, including many of the pieces of information that make a death certificate so worthy of finding in the first place. You can read more about the exact coverage in our article about these new collections when they debuted, New NYC Birth, Marriage, and Death Indexes Now Available.
And of course, our Guide to Finding New York Birth, Marriage, and Death Records has links to all other New York City Death Indexes. Full certificates can also be ordered from New York City, and wait times are not as long as those ordered from the State Archives in Albany.
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New York City Dept Of Health And Mental Hygiene Agency Information
NEW YORK CITY VITAL RECORDSThe New York City Department of Health, Office of Vital Records issues certified copies of New York City birth certificates and New York City death certificates for events that occurred in the five boroughs of New York City . For earlier records, contact the Municipal Archives at 311 or NEW-YORK if outside of New York City. Their address is 31 Chambers Street, Room 103, New York, NY 10007.
New York City divorce records must be ordered through New York State Vital Records. You may order copies of New York City birth and death certificates through VitalChek on an expedited basis.
NOTICE: Although VitalChek attempts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this site, state and agency information is subject to change without notice. VitalChek makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information herein and assumes no liability with respect to such information.
NEW YORK CITY DEATH CERTIFICATESNew York City Vital Records issues certified copies of New York City death certificates for events that occurred in New York City from 1949 to present.
Early New York City Vital Records
Where to look and what methods to use can vary depending on the county or borough you’re looking in, as well as the exact year.
If you’re looking for a birth, marriage, or death certificate from the early 1800s or before, a good place to start is Harry Macy’s detailed New York Knowledge Base guide to New York City vital records.
This guide provides comprehensive information on locating vital records in New Netherland, colonial New York, and in the five boroughs of New York City. His suggested repositories and record sets also include many vital record substitutes for periods and locations when official city copies are unavailable.
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How Long To Keep Records After Death
In the United States, certain records are usually kept after a person’s demise. While some are retained indefinitely, it is possible to discard others after a few years. If unsure whether a document should be kept, save such a document rather than throw it away. After a person’s death, it is better to destroy documents containing financial and personal information to prevent identity theft. The different types of documents to keep after a person’s demise include medical records, legal records, financial records, and other miscellaneous documents.
- Medical Records
Medical records include medical tests, medical history, health insurance cards, prescriptions, and hospital discharge papers. Most medical providers now store these records electronically, and interested persons can obtain them from decedents’ medical providers if required. Retain a decedent’s medical records for a minimum of 10 years after death.
- Legal Records
Legal records include birth certificates, death certificates, divorce decrees, social security cards, marriage certificates or prenuptial agreements, and legal will. Interested and eligible persons can obtain them from the relevant Vital Records Offices after a person’s demise, and it is a good idea to request multiple copies of such documents. A decedent’s legal records should be kept indefinitely.
- Financial Records
Deaths From 1880 Thru 1913
Starting in June 1880, New York required that village, town, and city registrars to record deaths. Copies of these deaths were then filed with the State Department of Health. Due to earlier city laws, deaths recorded in Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers were not copied to the State between 1881 and 1914.
Deaths in New York State
STEP ONE – Search the Index
The New York Archives as well as nine other repositories in New York hold copies of microfiche indexes to death certificates. Contact one of these ten repositories to search the index.
STEP TWO – Obtain the Certificate
With an exact date , you can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations:
|To Order Death Certificates|
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Choose Your Number Of Copies And Pay
Next, indicate the number of copies youre requesting. In New York state, cost is dependent on the order method. Here are the different fees:
- Online orders:Through VitalChek, the cost is $45 per copy and an additional $8 fee to the third-party service.
- Walk-in orders:If you visit an office in person, the cost is $45 per copy.
- Mail orders:Lastly, mailed applications cost $30 per copy.
If you pay online through VitalChek, you can pay with a credit card. Otherwise, youll need to pay with a check or money order for in-person or mail-in orders. Make all checks or money orders payable to the New York State Department of Health.
Introduction To New York Birth Marriage And Death Records
Official birth, marriage, and death recordsalso called vital recordsare crucial family history sources that every researcher should seek.
These deep and rich sources can provide names, relationships, locations, dates of events, and other essential details about your family.
Many states in the U.S. have well-organized and complete collections of vital recordsbut not New York!
For many reasons, finding vital records in New York State can be confusing and challenging. The purpose of this guide is to help clarify:
- Where to look for vital records, which depends on the time and place of the event
- How to find the vital record certificate number
- How to locate or request a copy of the vital record
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Copy Certificate Costs And Postage
Details of fees will be confirmed before submission of your application, dependent on the certificate ordered and the delivery type selected.
In addition to certificate costs, you are able to pay for faster delivery, or for secure signed for delivery.
You can pay by card when you submit the order. We don’t accept a personal cheque or cash payments.
See Register Office fees for details of costs relating to copy certificates for births, deaths and marriages.