New York Vital Records: Key Facts
There are a couple of crucial facts all researchers should know about locating vital records in New York State.
Fact #1: New York State did not require local governments to report births, marriages, and deaths until 1880.
The history of New York State vital record-keeping is complex and convoluted. For the most part, New York State did not force local governments to track birth, marriage, and death events until the 1880seven after that, many smaller municipalities were not stellar in their compliance.
If you’re looking for a birth, marriage, or death record prior to 1880, you should check with local records offices first, but you may need to ultimately seek a vital record substitute.
Fact #2: Where you look for a vital record will change depending on the year and location of the event you’re investigating.
New York vital records are not all stored in the same location or by the same authority. You will need to investigate sets of vital records in Albany, New York City, or other locations depending on the time period of the event you’re investigating.
This guide includes the following sections:
For an even more comprehensive overview of New York State vital records, see the NYG& B Guide to Birth, Marriage & Death Records available in print in our online store.
Not Born In New York State
To change the name of someone who was not born in New York State you can use any document that proves when and where the person was born. An official birth certificate should be on file in the place of birth. These records are filed permanently in a State vital statistics office or in a city, county, or other local office. To get a certified copy of the birth certificate, write or go to the vital statistics office in the state or area where you were born. The National Center for Health Statistics has a list of state agencies that keep vital records on their website.
Ordering A New York State Birth Certificate By Mail
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How To Request New York State Vital Record Certificates
Once you have retrieved information about the record you are seeking, you can obtain a copy of the vital record certificate by contacting either:
- The New York State Department of Health
- The local registrar or municipal clerk
What’s the difference?
- Requests to the New York State Department of Health can take at least eight months to process, but you will receive the official state record.
- Requests through a local registrar or municipal clerk are often answered sooner, but may not have all the information found on the state record.
Ordering a certificate from the New York State Department of Health
**Note: As of early 2020, researchers are experiencing very long wait times for genealogical records requests from the NYS Department of Health. We advise seeking records from local authorities or seeking vital record substitutes.**
The New York State Department of Health will provide uncertified copies in the following instances:
Birth certificates can be requested after 75 years if the person whose name is on the birth certificate is known to be deceased.
Death certificates can be requested after 50 years.
If you are a direct-line descendant , then these time periods are waived, but all researchers will need to provide:
Proof of their relationship to the person whose record they are requesting.
Proof of the death of the person whose birth certificate they are requesting.
Proof of the death of both spouses whose marriage certificate they are requesting.
Access Adoption Records Through Consent
In some states, you may be able to access identifying information through a mutual consent registry. Using these registries, all involved in an adoption can declare what information may be disclosed. Some states may require the consent of both the birth parents and adoptive parents for the release of records. However, the release of information varies by state.
If your state does not maintain a mutual consent registry, there are other ways to obtain records through consent. Public or private agencies can locate birth parents in some states. When an agency contacts birth parents, they can find out identifying information through:
Confidential Intermediary System The court gives permission to a court-certified confidential intermediary. This permission grants them access to sealed adoption records. They can also contact the birth parents to obtain consent for the release of identifying information.
Affidavit System – Birth parents can officially file their consent or refusal to be identified or contacted.
Use the Child Welfare Information Gateway to find out about how your state allows access to your adoption records.
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Us Birth Certificates Continues To Offer Its Vital Records Application Preparation Services During The Covid
Many government bureaus are processing online and mail-in applications although they are closed to the general public. Turnaround times in government agencies may be affected during the quarantine.Applying for a vital records certificate now is advisable since it allows citizens to secure their vital records as soon as possible.Regardless of whether you need a certified copy of a vital records certificate for a specific need or to keep on file, complete your application today.
Legal Disclaimer: US Birth Certificates is a privately owned website that is not affiliated with, not owned or operated by any government agency. US Birth Certificates is an independent preparer that provides vital records application preparation assistance services. If you are looking for blank forms, you can get them for free at the relevant state office.
- Your mothers name or parents name prior to first marriage
- Your fathers name or parents name prior to first marriage
Before applying for a birth certificate, it is also essential that you know that there is more than one type of certificate. You can apply for either an authorized copy or an informational copy.
The difference between the two is as follows:
An if you wish to apply for a U.S. passport, get married, or get a drivers license. When registering a child in school, it is also necessary to provide an authorized copy of the certificate. If you need to prove your identity, you will need to apply for an authorized birth certificate.
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New York State Death Certificates
To find a death certificate, researchers should begin by searching New York State’s index to all deaths beginning in 1880. Death indexes are made available after 50 years.
The images in these collections are not searchable, but they are easy to browse by year, though the image quality of some years makes it difficult to read certain images.
Ancestry.com has a searchable database that also contains the same images as the collections above.
For more recent deaths, researchers should use New York State’s Interactive Ancestry/Genealogical Research Death Index, which begins with 1957 and contains deaths up to the current legal limit .
Again, these indexes do not cover several notable locations. New York City death 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 death 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.
Once you have found the death certificate number, you’re ready to request a copy.
How To Apply For Your Jamaican Birth Certificate
by admin | Mar 7, 2019
The first step in obtaining a copy of your birth certificate is to complete the online Birth Certificate application form. You can complete the online form on the Registrar Generals Department website at
Go to the following section on the website and click on the Apply Now button:
Once you have completed the form correctly, click Submit Application located directly under the Birth Certificate Application Form.
You can get the latest application fees here:
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New York City Department Of Health And Mental Hygiene: More Recent Birth And Death Certificates
More recent collections of birth and death certificates in New York City are maintained by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene .
After a certain period of time, these records are transferred from DOHMH to the DORIS and stored at the Municipal Archives, where they can be accessed by any member of the public.
Currently, records are transferred to DORIS and made fully public on the following schedule:
- Birth Certificates: 125 years after the event
- Death Certificates: 75 years after the event
Researchers should note that this is a new rule that was passed relatively recently and took effect in 2019if youre interested, read more about our efforts to fight against it, and how we were able to secure an amendment to the rule.
Vital certificates that are still at the Department of Health can be accessed, but not by everyone.
Individuals with one of the following relationships to the subject of the certificate can obtain copies of birth records from DOHMH :
- Spouse/domestic partner
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New York Birth Certificate Processing Times
To prevent any delays with the processing time of your New York State Birth Certificate make sure to fill in the application with accurate details. Remember that you must include a valid copy of an official photo ID such as your drivers license, military ID, work ID, or passport.
The New York Department of Health Office of Vital Statistics will generally take between 10-12 weeks to process your application from the moment it has been received. You can always pay an additional fee for the rush service if you need your vital record urgently .
New York State Vital Records
New York State has created indexes to births, marriages, and deaths occurring after 1880 for locations outside of New York City.
State coverage for Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers does not begin until 1914. If you’re seeking a birth, marriage, or death record for an ancestor in one of those locations before 1914, click the name of each municipality for tips on finding records before 1914.
Researchers with ancestors anywhere else in New York State can get their ancestor’s vital record in two steps:
- Locate the certificate number in a New York State vital records index
- Use the certificate number found in the index to request the record
These records are only available to the public after a certain period of time, which varies depending on the record and the researcher’s relation to the person of interest. Read on for a general overview of each type of record and where to find the indexes you need to get started.
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Requesting A New York City Birth Certificate In Person
Birth Marriage And Death Certificates
Birth, marriage, and death certificates are not filed in the Broome County Clerk’s Office. They’re recorded in the City, Town or Village where the event took place.
These vital records can also be ordered online through the NYS Department of Health by visiting www.health.ny.gov/vital_records or by calling 1-877-854-4481.
Pennsylvania birth, death and marriage records can be ordered online through the Pennsylvania Department of Healths Division of Vital Records at www.health.pa.gov/topics/certificates/Pages/Vital%20Records.aspx.
The Broome County Clerk’s office does not register marriage officiants.
According to the New York State Department of Health’s website , there is no requirement for officiants to register if the marriage is performed in New York State outside of the five boroughs of New York City.
We would encourage you to contact the City, Town or Village where the marriage license was issued to see if they have any other requirements.
Their contact information is below:
Municipal Clerks in Broome County:
City of Binghamtons Registrar of Vital Statistics:
- Phone: 772-7029
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Who Can Request Your Birth Records
Certified copies of birth can be requested only by the person named in the birth certificate if they are 18 years or older. Also, parents and legal guardians or representatives can apply for them. Depending on the state, additional family members may be eligible to apply on behalf of the individual in need of the vital record.Check who can apply here.
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