Order Death Certificate New York

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What Documentation Is Needed To Prove Eligibility

How to Apostille a New York State Death Certificate

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

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.

Deaths From 1853 Thru 1897

Manhattan started keeping some death records in 1853. In 1866, a more complete law was passed requiring that all deaths be recorded. Records from this time period have been microfilm by FamilySearch and the original records are held by the New York Municipal Archives.

OPTION ONE: Find Death Information and Certificates Online

An online index for Manhattan deaths from 1864 thru 1897 does exist. Deaths from earlier time periods are available on microfilm. If you do not find your ancestor’s death or if you want order a copy of the certificate, contact the New York City Municipal Archives.

Try 1st: New York City Death Databases – Index and Images
Try 2nd: New York City Death Databases – Index

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.

PART B: You don’t know the year or have a certificate number

If you do not know the exact year and certificate number, the New York City Municipal Archives will search for the record for a fee.

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.

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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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.

Some Death Certificate Extracts Exist Online

New york city death certificate genealogy

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

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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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.

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

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Deaths From 1881 Thru 1897

Prior to 1898, the towns in the counties of Queens and Richmond kept death records according to New York State laws. Starting in June 1880, New York required that village, town, and city clerks record deaths. After New York City consolidated in 1898, many of these records were sent to the New York City Municipal Archives.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

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. If you do not find your ancestor’s death or if you want order a copy of the certificate, contact the New York City Municipal Archives.

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

See list of restrictions for ordering death records

If you do not want to order the death record, you can search other records with deathinformation.

How Are Death Records For New York City Processed

8 Pieces of Information on a NYC Death Certificate.

Though its confusing, New York state does not process records for deaths that occurred within one of New York Citys five boroughs . These need to be ordered through the New York City Department of Health.

Like the New York state process, in NYC, you can complete an online application through VitalChek, order by mail, or visit an in-person office. The eligibility requirements are also similar.

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Heres What Were Fighting For Part Ii

We are trying to strike down New York Citys ridiculously restrictive new access rules to these historical materials. Were asking the judge to rule that the New York City Department of Health and Board of Health created irrational rules and exceeded their authority in making local rules and policies that are more strict than the actual state law.

Yes, NYC is empowered to have its own Department of Health, separate from the rest of the state. But if it enacts new rules, they have to be rational. If an agency passes rules that are arbitrary and capricious or ultra vires , then those rules can be stricken down by a court.

Were asking the judge to rule that these irrational new rules were passed with gross indifference to the six thousand unanimously negative public comments submitted by the genealogist and historian community, and as such should be striken and voided.

Reclaim The Records Seeks First

Asks court to overturn recently-enacted restrictions on access

Non-profit organization Reclaim The Records files ninth Freedom of Information lawsuit, asking New York State Supreme Court to overturn burdensome and irrational restrictions placed on historical records in New York City group seeks to acquire and provide free online access to 1.6 million death records

Hello again from Reclaim The Records! Were that scrappy little activist group of genealogists, historians, journalists, and open government advocates, fighting for better public access to government-held genealogical and historical documents. And today, we have some very exciting news.

We just filed a new lawsuit, the biggest, baddest Freedom of Information lawsuit that weve ever filed. Its a milestone case, not only for our organization, but also for how genealogists, historians, and researchers as a community deal with government agencies who routinely withhold historical records from the public, and who pass capricious and irrational restrictions on public access.

Yesterday afternoon, in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County, we filed an Article 78 Petition against the following agencies and people:

This is also the first time, to our knowledge, that a Registrar of vital records has specifically been named in a lawsuit based on the policies that he or she actually promoted to restrict access to records.

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Office Of The Chief Medical Examiner

The New York City Municipal Archives maintains the Investigation of Death Report records created by the Health Department, Office of Chief Medical Examiner , dating from 1918, when the Office was created, through 1951.

Generally, the medical examiner only investigated homicides or deaths that took place NOT under medical supervision. To order an OCME record, you must verify that the death certificate was signed by the Medical Examiner. If the certificate does not have a signature from the medical examiner, then a death report was not created.

For assistance, email with your order details.

Vintage Nyc Bonds And Certificates

New york city death certificate genealogy

A limited number of original redeemed vintage bonds and stock certificates dating from the 1920s to the 1980s, ranging in size from 8 ¾X 12 ¼ to 17 X 20 are priced between $120.00 and $250.00. Certificates were issued by the City to fund school construction, transit projects, improvements to the water supply, and other municipal purposes. Each one is signed by a Mayor. The collection includes bonds signed by James Walker, Fiorello La Guardia, John Lindsay, and Abraham Beame.

Images of the stocks and bonds can be viewed at

To place an order email with your name and contact information.

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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 .

New York Death Certificate

Below is the information youll 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 youll 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, .

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Where To Get A Death Certificate In New York

Get a certified copy of a death certificate online or by visiting the state vital records office. Ordering your death certificate online is the easiest way to order death records.

If you are looking for the nearest office in your city,, the first of its kind public database to find vital records offices online.

Note: Due to the spread of the COVID-19, some vital record agencies are closed or they are only processing by mail or online applications.Check the current status here.

New York Death Records Lookup

How to Apostille a New York City Death Certificate

In New York, the death records are maintained by the Vital Records Division of the New York State Department of Health. The aforementioned Vital Records Division maintains death records of 1881-present. As they are not public records, only the parents, spouse, or children of the deceased can obtain the New York Death Records. In addition to aforementioned relatives of a deceased, New York Death Records can be obtained by people with a court order, documented medical need or a documented legal right. However, the public can obtain non-certified death records dating back at least fifty years.

It is important to keep in mind that the Department of Health does not maintain records of deaths that occurred in New York before 1914. If you want pre-1914 New York Death Records then youll have to visit the office of the local registrar. There are three ways for you to obtain death records in New York: by mail, by telephone and online. Following is how you can obtain the New York Death Records through each way.

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Documents Required To Order A Death Certificate Online

In order to complete the death certificate application, the Health Department requires applicants to prove their identity by including a photocopy of their ID. Usually, it can be used the following documents: drivers license, state ID, passport. Some states require a notarized sworn statement.Check the acceptable IDs of the state you need your vital record here.

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About Vital Records From New York City Dept Of Health And Mental Hygiene

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.


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.

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How Do I Obtain New York Death Records Online

Just like the telephone requests, the online requests for the New York Death Records have to be made to New York Vitalcheck. To make an online request for the aforementioned form, visit the website of Vitalcheck, and submit an online request for the record. Once youve submitted a request, VitalChek will send you a confirmation email asking you to verify your identity. After you submit the required documents, VitalCheck will take 1 to 2 days to process your application and provide you the death record you want

Another way to obtain death records in New York is online through public databases. To find out more about how you can obtain death records in New York, call Vital Records Division of the New York State Department of Health at 855-322-1022.

You Might Need A Death Certificate To Obtain Permission To Access Other Records

death certificate â Genealogy and Jure Sanguinis

Aside from the genealogical information, a death certificate is often a very handy tool to have in your arsenal, because it could quite literally be the key to unlocking more recordsin your research, you may need to submit proof that an individual has died in order to obtain records about their life.

For instance, researchers seeking birth certificates and marriage records for ancestors who lived in New York State will need to submit proof of death in order to obtain these records.

For New York State birth certificates, researchers need to prove the individual is deceased. For marriage records, researchers need to prove that both spouses are deceased.

A similar example applies to those researching New York Cityyou will need to submit proof that both spouses have died if seeking a marriage record less than 50 years old.

This reason alone should be enough to motivate you to find that death certificatetheres nothing more frustrating than finding the exact birth or marriage certificate youre seeking, only to realize that you need to hunt down a whole other record in order to be allowed to access it.

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Heres What Were Fighting For Part I

Were asking for uncertified digital scans of every New York City death certificate from 1949-1968. Based on publicly available resources, we believe this to be 1,688,220 certificates, give or take a few, which the Vital Records department has already scanned.

Right now, only death certificates through 1948 are available to the public, at the NYC Municipal Archives, but everything else is locked up by the Department of Health, even death certificates that are more than fifty years old.

And this is especially galling because death certificates are completely open to the public in thirteen states, including California and Massachusetts. Another eight states have restrictions on death certificate accessibility that are more than zero but less than fifty years. And in another twenty-three states, fifty years is the rule.

This even includes every other part of New York State, where the rule is also fifty years! But in the past eighteen months, New York Citys Department of Health has pushed through horribly restrictive new rules that changed the Citys embargo time period to seventy-five years. Even for records of people who are really quite dead.

So, the first part of our suit seeks to reclaim those records. But the Department of Health denied our request specifically because of their new restrictive rules, which they passed in the face of overwhelming public opposition.

Which brings us to the next part of this lawsuit.

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