Can You Get New York Death Certificates For Free
You cannot get a New York death certificate for free if the death record is less than 50 years old. These records are protected under privacy laws, and they can only be accessed by completing the application and paying the appropriate fees listed above.
However, for records older than 50 years, you can browse the New York State Archives online for vital records. These are organized by county, and access is completely free. These records make it possible to complete genealogical and academic research.
Of All Vital Records Death Certificates Have The Highest Chance Of Existing
Unlike many other states, New York birth, marriage, and death records can be challenging to find.
Towns and cities didnt always comply with record keeping laws until the early 1900s, and New York City vital records are kept entirely separate from those that belong to people from other areas of New York State.
The opening section of our Guide to Finding New York Birth, Marriage, and Death Records has more detail on this interesting subject.
The good news is that of the types of vital recordsbirth certificates, marriage records, and death certificatesNew York death certificates are often the easiest to find.
As a general rule, vital record keeping across the state gradually improved over time. Therefore, no matter when your ancestor lived, record keeping was far better when they died than when they were born, in almost all cases.
Thats certainly no guarantee an official New York death certificate exists, but its usually safe to assume its the more likely to exist than a birth or marriage record .
Request Birth Certificate Copies
- Person must be 18 years old. Only the individual themselves or their parents are entitled to a copy of the birth certificate.
- You must show photo identification to receive a copy of a birth certificate. If applying by mail, you must include a photocopy of your driver’s license or two other forms of identification.
- Copy fee is $10. Cash or money order only, no personal checks accepted.
- Person must have been born in Ellis Hospital, St. Clares Hospital or directly in the City of Schenectady.
- Births after April 1942, if at Bellevue Hospital, are at the Niskayuna Town Hall.
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Ordering A Copy Of A Death Certificate
To order a copy of a death certificate WITHOUT the confidential medical report:
You can order a copy of a death certificate without the confidential medical report online. The NYC Health Department uses VitalChek, a secure third-party vendor to process internet orders. You will need a personal credit/debit/checking account to order online. Online orders cost $15 for each certificate, plus an $8.30 processing fee for each order.
All Medical Examiner death certificates have the cause of death. If the cause is or manner is Undetermined or Pending further study, contact the Medical Examiners office directly at 447-2030.
You can also order a copy of a death certificate by completing the death certificate application and leaving box #20 blank.
Certificate in other languages:
To order a copy of a death certificate WITH the confidential medical report:
You can order a copy of a death certificate with a confidential medical report by completing the death certificate application and checking box #20.
What information is found on a death certificate?
The following information is found on a NYC death certificate:
How long will it take to process my order?
Below are the average processing times to complete your order.
Allow an additional two weeks for death certificates from years 1949 to 1970, or for any other record that requires searching.
If you have not received your order after the estimated processing times noted above, call:
Request Marriage Certificate Copies
- Only the individuals themselves are entitled to a copy of the marriage certificate.
- You must show photo identification to receive a copy of a marriage certificate. If applying by mail, you must include a photocopy of your driver’s license or two other forms of identification.
- Copy fee is $10. Cash or money order only, no personal checks accepted.
- Use this application only if the marriage license was obtained in the City of Schenectady. Most people remember where they were married, but that does not necessarily coincide with where they obtained their marriage license. The office which issues the marriage license is the only place from which you may obtain a certified copy.
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Frequently Asked Questions: Death Certificates In New York
Whether you are notifying the credit bureaus of a death, or you wish to close a loved ones accounts, its normal to encounter questions throughout the process.
Ordering a death certificate can be tricky, and errors mean the process may be delayed. Here are the most frequently asked questions applicants have.
Death Outside Of New York City
If the person died anywhere else in the State of New York the death certificate would need to be ordered directly from the municipality that the death occurred. This could be done by mail by filling out this form or by visiting the registrars office in the municipality. If you opt for this option the municipality will charge $10 per certified copy.
If you arent sure of which municipality the death occurred you could visit the New York State Department of Health to order the certified copies. If you opt for this option the State of New York will charge $30 per certified copy.
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Information On Death Certificates Can Jump
Most official New York death certificates from the 1900s and later will contain a wealth of information that will make it much easier to find more records on your ancestor.
However, its important to note that the information available on a death certificate will vary depending on the time period in which it was created.
New York death certificates can contain the following information:
- Birth date
- Length of residence in the state or county
- Death details
- Informants name
Because a death certificate is created at the conclusion of an individuals life, it is well positioned to capture information on a wide variety of life events. After all, by definition, every single life event happens before a death certificate is made.
Once you have a death certificate, youre armed with excellent leads to investigate more life events of the individualwhether its a birth, marriage, or place of residence.
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|
See list of restrictions for ordering death records If you do not want to order the death record, you can search other records with death information.
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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
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 To Get A Copy Of A Ny Death Certificate
Contact the NY Department of Health and request a copy of a NY death certificate online, by mail or over the phone. You must meet the eligibility requirements and pay a nominal fee for a certified copy
Hello i am look for an relative who died in new york not sure about the year its in the late 60 her name is Armande Alice georgine shury her husband was Doctor Vibart shury there is a pending matter thats need the urgencey of the copy of death her adoptive daughter needs a copy please advise .Thank you.
Thank you for reaching out about our New York death record search. We would be happy to assist you with looking up a NY death records however, we cannot find the New York death record with the information you provide. That being said, if you need a certified copy of a death record, you should reach out to the New York State Department of Health, as they are the NY state run agency that manages and archives death records for the entire state. They can expedite a certified copy of the requested NY death record for an extra fee. Below is additional information on how to procure a copy of a NY death record for your convenience.
What Documentation Is Needed To Prove Eligibility
When submitting your application, you need to share documentation and identification. This verifies your identity, relationship with the deceased, and indicates that you have a lawful claim to the record. Any of the following will work:
- Drivers license
- State-issued ID card
- Military ID
If you cant provide one of the above photo IDs, you can also show two utility bills or letters from a government agency dated within the last six months. You also need to include an official letter, court order, or authorization document to show your eligibility if youre not an immediate family member.
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New York City Death Certificates 1949
A Freedom of Information lawsuit for these records is in progress
We filed a New York State Freedom of Information lawsuit, also known as an Article 78 Petition, against the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York City Bureau of Vital Statistics, the New York City Board of Health, Oxiris Barbot in her official capacity as New York City Commissioner of Health, Gretchen Van Wye in her official capacity as New York City Registrar, and Steven P. Schwartz in his official capacity as former New York City Registrar, in the Supreme Court of New York on April 17, 2019. The case is still pending.
Record Confidentiality & Restrictions
The release of death certificates is governed by New York State Public Health Law §4174, which protects their confidential nature. New York State is a closed state and death records are not subject to FOIL and available to individuals who are:
- The spouse of the deceased and you were married at the time of death
- The biological sibling of the deceased
- Biological child of the deceased
- Someone with a NY State court order
- The administrator or executor of the estate
- Someone with a documented legal right or claim
- Someone with a documented medical claim
All requests are subject to review of identification and documentation presented at time of service. If you have specific questions, please contact our office.
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Parking Permit For Persons With Severe Disabilities
You and your healthcare provider can complete the Application for a Parking Permit or License Plates, for Persons with Severe Disabilities . You can also have your healthcare provides complete a statement on their letterhead. The statement must describe the disabling condition and verify that the disability qualifies according to the law. Please visit DMV’s website for more information.
If you live in the City of Schenectady, you may fax or mail the form or statement to our office for issuance. There is no fee for a permit. DMV does not issue parking permits.
When sending in your form, you must include a photocopy of your New York State driver’s license and a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
- Forms may be mailed to:Schenectady City Clerk
Deaths From 1847 Thru 1849
In 1847, New York State passed a law requiring that doctors and midwives report births, marriages, and deaths to the trustees of local school districts. Due to the complexities of this law, it quickly fell into disfavor and few communities reported deaths after 1850 . Most records that exist for this time period have been collected by the New York City Municipal Archives.
PART A: You know the village, town, or city of death
Try 1st: Most of the records for Manhattan as well as the towns in Kings, Queens, and Richmond counties are available on microfilm at the Family History Library or some family history centers. Search the Catalog for the name of village, town, or city to see availability.
Try 2nd: Order a copy of the death record from New York City Municipal Archives.
If you do not want to order the death record, you can search other records with death information.
PART B: You do not know the village, town, or city of death
If you do not know the village, town, or city of death, learn more about the family using census, land, probate, and church records.
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Submit Or Mail Your Request
Last but not least, submit your request or mail it to:
New York State Department of HealthVital Records Certification UnitP.O. Box 2602Albany, NY 12220-2602
Be sure to include all of the required things with your application, including your payment, completed application, and copies of your documentation and ID. If you plan to visit an office in person, check the latest operating hours since theyre subject to change.
New York State Birth Certificates
Those seeking New York birth certificates should begin with the state’s index to all birth certificates from 1881. Birth indexes are made available after 75 years, but not all indexes are entirely up to date, and may only go up to the mid-1930s. Another limitation to keep in mind is that not all births were reported in the earlier years of the index – compliance grew over time, and before 1913 was often incomplete in many areas.
The vital records chapter of our New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer goes into detail on when compliance started in every area of New York State, and how researchers should handle research in all areas and time periods.
Fortunately, the New York State Birth Index from 1880 – 1942 was recently added as a searchable database on Ancestry.com. Images are also available to browse for free on Internet Archive.
Again, these indexes do not cover several notable locations. New York City birth certificates 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 birth 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 birth certificate number, you’re ready to request a copy.
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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