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Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records

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Are New York Vital Records Open to the Public?

Yes, most New York vital records are deemed open to the public if the subject of the record is deceased. The NY State Department of Health allows the dissemination of informational copies of these records where they are to be used for genealogical functions. However, certified copies and data/records on living persons are restricted by New York state public record laws. These exemptions may be waived if the requestor has been legally authorized to access the record of interest.

 

What Information Do I Need to Search for New York Vital Records Online?

Public New York vital records can be obtained online using any of the state-operated electronic access portals or local online repositories. However, vital records of living subjects or records deemed confidential or closed by court order, may not be accessed using these online options. To conduct a search for a public vital record online, the requesting party will be required to furnish the available search tools with record-related information. This includes:

  • The personal information of the record subject(s)
  • The full name of the subjects parents/legal guardian
  • The judicial district in which the event occured
  • The approximate date of the vital event
  • The case file number or license number of the record (for divorce and marriage records)

Similarly, publicly available records are also managed and disseminated by some third-party aggregate sites. These sites are generally not limited by geographical record availability and may serve as a reliable jump-off point when researching specific or multiple records. However, third-party sites are not government-sponsored. As such, record availability may differ from official channels. To find a record using the search engines on third party sites, the requesting party will be required to provide:

  • The location of the record in question including city, county, or state where the case was filed.
  • The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile

 

What Do I Need To Obtain New York Vital Records?

Vital records that are open to the public usually require no additional documentation to access. This is also the case for obtaining uncertified copies that are to be used for research and informational functions. Persons seeking access to certified or restricted records are often required to provide additional paperwork before their request is processed. The required documents include a government-issued photo ID (or other acceptable forms of ID), as well as a court-issued subpoena proving their eligibility to access uncertified records and proof of relationship documents (where applicable). In addition, requestors may be required to cover copy and/or certification costs.

 

What’s The Difference Between A Certified Record And Informational Copy?

Certified records and informational copies are primarily distinguished by function. While informational copies are non-legal documents that serve as a reference for research/genealogical purposes, certified records have the legal authority to be used for establishing identity.

Usually, informational copies are issued to the members of the general public and are watermarked with a ‘not for official use’ disclaimer. On the other hand, certified records are notarized and typically feature a raised seal, indicating their suitability for official functions.

Are New York Marriage Records Public Information?

New York marriage records are not public information. However, members of the public may access informational copies for genealogical or research purposes. To be eligible to access a New York certified marriage record the requesting party must be named on the record or be legally authorized to obtain the record.

 

How Do I Find Marriage Records In New York?

New York marriage records are typically managed in the judicial district where the marriage license was issued. The state Department of Health also maintains a central repository of statewide marriage records. However, the repository does not house records of marriages licensed in New York City, including Staten Island, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. Records from these districts can be obtained by querying the marriage license-issuing office.

To request a record from the Department of Health, interested and eligible persons are required to download and complete the DOH Marriage Record Application. Where the requestor is neither a spouse nor legal representative of either party, this application must be accompanied by court order, or an official letter confirming that the requested record is required to claim a benefit. All requests must also be submitted along with the indicated fees or I.D. requirements via mail or in person at:

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

Are New York Divorce Records Public Information?

New York divorce records are generally restricted from the public but can be accessed by the registrants named on the record and people authorized by a New York State Court Order. Third-party pickups can be made by persons permitted by eligible persons. However, the third party must bear a signed and notarized letter authorizing the pickup, and proof of identity which may be a government-issued ID or a related document.

 

How Do I Find Divorce Records In New York?

There are two types of divorce records managed and issued in New York: divorce decrees and divorce certificates. While divorce decrees are generated and maintained by the court where the divorce hearing was held, divorce certificates are filed both locally and with the New York State Department of Health.

Divorce decrees can be obtained by querying the office of the County Clerk in the judicial district where the divorce was granted. However, copies of divorce certificates can be requested from the state DOH. To request a divorce record, interested and eligible persons are required to download and complete the DOH Divorce Record Request Form. The completed application must be submitted along with the indicated fees and ID requirements to:

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

Are New York Birth Records Public Information?

Records of New York births are not public information. Persons eligible to access a copy of a birth certificate include:

  • The registrant
  • Their parents or legal guardian (who is named on the record)
  • The registrant's spouse, descendant and other persons (provided they are authorized by a New York Court order)

 

How Do I Find New York Birth Records?

New York birth records are primarily managed by the local Registrar of Vital Statistics in the county where the event occured. However, the state Department of Health also maintains a central repository of statewide birth information (excluding records of persons in New York City). Eligible persons can obtain a New York birth record by downloading and completing the DOH Birth Record Application. Along with the form, the requesting party must enclose a government-issued photo ID or a utility bill, telephone bill or a letter issued by a government agency which names the requestor. The documents must also be accompanied by money order or check payment of $30 (per record requested). All these may be submitted in person or via mail to:

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

Are New York Death Records Open To The Public?

New York death records are not public information. They may only be accessed by the following persons:

  • The parents/legal guardian(s) of the deceased
  • The descendants of the registrant
  • Persons who can prove a tangible interest in the record - i.e. have a documented claim, right or medical need
  • Persons who are authorized by a New York State Court Order.

 

How Do I Find Death Records In New York?

To obtain a death record in New York, requestors may query the office of the Registrar of Vital Statistics where the event occured, or request the record from the state Department of Health. To request the record, interested and eligible persons may download and complete the DOH Death Record Request form. The completed application must be accompanied by the documents and fees stated in the form and submitted in person or via mail to:

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

How Do I Find Sealed Vital Records In New York?

Records sealed by New York state statute or court order can be accessed by persons with legal authorization. Interested requestors may petition a New York licensed judge to obtain a court order or subpoena to over-turn or waive the records restriction. After receiving the order, the requesting party may proceed to query the appropriate record custodian for the record of interest. Usually, requests for sealed records require that the requestor present a government-issued ID along with the court order authorizing their access to said record.

New York State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (646) 832-2367

Search Includes

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  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

New York

Since 1927, the New York County Courthouse has been the state’s judicial seat. Today, the building houses the New York Supreme Court.

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