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You can submit requests to get a copy of a death certificate from 1949 to the present, make a correction, check the status of an order, and more.

You can get death certificates for people who died in one of the five boroughs of New York City. There are three ways to get a certified copy of a death certificate.

For non-City death certificates refer to the Centers for Disease Control.

Learn more about ordering a death certificate and download an application.

Online

If you have a valid credit card in your name, you can place an order online.

Request a death certificate online through VitalChek.

By Mail or In Person

If you are ordering a death certificate for someone other than a family member, you must apply in person or by mail with:

Department of Health
Office of Vital Records
125 Worth Street, Room 133
New York, NY 10013.

The building is located between Centre and Lafayette Streets. Visitors must use one of the building's side entrances. The Lafayette Street side entrance is accessible to wheelchairs and baby carriages. The office is open Mon - Fri, 9 AM - 3:30 PM. Lines are shortest before noon.

Payments made by check or money order should be made payable to: NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Death Certificates that are ordered in person will be issued within 10 business days.

In-person orders require a per order security fee of $2.75 plus the $15 fee for each certificate ordered.

To avoid waiting in line or the extended processing time of a mail application, the Office of Vital Records encourages you to place your order online.

Call 311 for assistance by phone.

Payment and Shipping

Online

The cost of each certified copy is $15. There is an $8.30 mailing and service charge applied to the entire order. Certificates are delivered by first class mail in 5 to 7 business days of order receipt. Express mail orders are delivered by United Parcel Service within 3 business days for an additional $17. Internet orders may be payable by credit or debit card.

By Mail

The cost of each certified copy is $15. It takes approximately 30 days to process and deliver the order. Mail applications are payable by check or money order drawn on an American bank only.

In Person

The cost of each certified copy is $15 and requires a per order security fee of $2.75. Walk-in orders are payable by credit or debit card, check or money order drawn on an American bank. Cash is no longer accepted.

Identification Requirements and Entitlement

Requirements depend upon whether or not you are ordering a death certificate for a family member.

Family Member

You are entitled to receive copies of the death certificate for a spouse or blood relative. You must provide valid photo identification (ID) such as a driver's license, employee ID (with recent pay stub), government ID, social services ID, passport, or student ID (with transcript).

If you do not have valid photo ID, you should bring two proofs of your current address such as a recent utility bill, telephone bill, or letter from a government agency. If you are ordering by mail, you must provide a copy of your valid, signed photo identification.

Non-Family Member

If you want to order a copy of a death certificate for someone to whom you are not related, you must bring entitlement documentation such as an original insurance policy, a bank book, a property deed, or a will.

You also must bring valid photo identification such as a driver's license, employee ID (with recent pay stub), government ID, social services ID, passport, or student ID (with transcript).

If you do not have valid photo ID, you should bring two proofs of your current address such as a recent utility bill, telephone bill, or letter from a government agency. If you are ordering by mail, you must provide a copy of your valid, signed photo identification.

Information Included

The Personal Particulars section of a death certificate includes the following information about the person who died:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social security number
  • Age
  • Parents' names
  • Marital status
  • Level of education
  • Occupation
  • The name and address of the funeral home
  • The method and date of disposition
  • Burial site

The Medical Certificate of Death section includes:

  • Place of death
  • Name of hospital or facility where the death occurred
  • Date and time of death
  • Signature of the doctor who verified the death

Cause of death does not appear on certificates completed by hospitals. The cause of death may be found on death certificates completed by the City of New York Medical Examiner's Office.

The Medical Examiner completes certificates where there is an external cause of death such as murder, suicide, and accidental death.

International Order

If you live abroad, there are a few ways you can order a death certificate.

Online

Request a death certificate online through VitalChek. You must use a credit or debit card in your name.

Most orders placed online are processed in 24 hours. Vault copies and letters of exemplification are processed in 10 business days.

By Mail

​You can download the application online at VitalChek.

If you want the application mailed to you, email your request, your name, and your mailing address to dohmhliterature@health.nyc.gov. The form will be sent to you within five business days.

Most orders placed by mail are processed in eight weeks.

Cause of Death Update

If the deceased was subject to an autopsy, the initial death certificate will list "Pending" under cause of death. After the autopsy is completed, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will issue a death certificate indicating the official cause of death.

You can order an updated death certificate two weeks after the Senior Medical Examiner has signed off on the cause of death.

Copies of a death certificate can be ordered in person or by mail. If you have the previously issued death certificate with "Pending" listed under cause of death, you can exchange it for a free copy of the new one if it was issued within the last three months.

If you exchange the old copies for new ones, you will not have to pay $15 per certificate.

You can get the status of a death certificate order if it was requested:

  • Placed online or in-person more than 14 days ago
  • Placed by mail more than 30 days ago

Call 311 for assistance.

You can submit an application to correct or change a New York City death certificate.

If you are related to the deceased or listed on the certificate as the informant, you can request a change or correction. If you are not related and not the informant, you may be able to apply for a change or correction if you can establish entitlement to the death certificate.

You will need to submit a completed, signed application, valid photo identification, original documentation, and a photocopy of each document. The documentation required depends upon the nature of the requested change or correction.

Learn more about correcting or changing a death certificate.

Entitlement Documentation for Non-Family Members

If you are not related to the deceased or listed on the death certificate as the informant, you must document your right to the death certificate.

You can provide entitlement documentation such as a bank statement, insurance policy, property deed, or will. You also must provide current, signed photo identification (ID) such as a driver's license, employee ID (with pay stub), passport, MTA Reduced Fare MetroCard, or Student ID (with transcript). The Office of Vital Records accepts photocopies of identification with mailed applications.

Learn about required documents for death certificate corrections.

Fees

There is a non-refundable $40 charge for most correction or change requests.

You can exchange an old certificate issued within the last three months for a new one or you can pay $15 for each new copy. If you are applying by mail, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of your documents.

Applying By Mail or In Person

You can apply in person at the office of Vital Records or by mailing all application materials to:

Department of Health
Corrections Unit
125 Worth Street, Room 144
New York, NY 10013

The building is located between Centre Street and Lafayette Street in Lower Manhattan. Visitors must use one of the side street entrances: Centre Street which is closest to the Vital Records office or Lafayette Street which is wheelchair and carriage accessible.

The office is open Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 3 PM. Lines are shortest between 9 AM and 12 PM.

Applying By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.

International Order

If you live abroad, there are a few ways you can order a death certificate.

Online

Request a death certificate online through VitalChek. You must use a credit or debit card in your name.

Most orders placed online are processed in 24 hours. Vault copies and letters of exemplification are processed in 10 business days.

By Mail

​You can download the application online at VitalChek.

If you want the application mailed to you, email your request, your name, and your mailing address to dohmhliterature@health.nyc.gov. The form will be sent to you within five business days.

Most orders placed by mail are processed in eight weeks.

You can check the status of a death certificate correction or change submitted more than six weeks ago.

If the funeral home submitted the correction for you, the status will be available within one week.

Call 311 for assistance.

The City provides interim proof of death certificates to families waiting to get death certificates.

Call 311 for assistance.

If you need a letter of exemplification, you must request a NEW long form, or vault copy, of the death certificate. Based on the reasons you provide on the certificate order, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will determine if a Letter of Exemplification is needed.

The letter of exemplification is provided for the following reasons:

  • Applying for dual citizenship
  • Requesting an Apostille
  • Marrying on foreign soil
  • Adopting a child from another country
  • Purchasing foreign real estate

The request for a death certificate can be made online through VitalChek, by mail, or in person.

You can request a refund for a death certificate order submitted in person, by mail, or online.

When submitting the request, provide all relevant information about your order, such as:

  • Date the order was placed
  • The certificate number (if known)
  • Whether the order was submitted by mail or online
  • The name of the person on the document requested
  • The date of death (if the full date is unknown then just the year of death)

Online

To request a refund, you can send an email to archives@records.nyc.gov

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.

The NYC Office of Vital Records database is not accessible to other government agencies. New York City and State agency personnel can request verifications by email.

  • Send an email to the Department of Health at nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov
  • Include the decedent's name and Social Security number, date of death, mother's first and maiden name, and father's first and last name
  • Enter NYC or NYS verification in the subject line
  • Submit the request from an official email address

You should receive verification within 5 business days. You can email any questions to nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov.

Certificates of Stillbirths and Miscarriages are filed by medical facilities and funeral directors. The parents or funeral directors can apply for a stillbirth or miscarriage certificate.

The certificate costs $15 each and can only be ordered in person or by mail.

If your child was born with some evidence of life such as a heartbeat or voluntary muscle movement, you must apply for a death certificate.

Applications By Mail or In Person

By Mail

Get a copy of the Stillbirths and Miscarriages Certificate application.

If you can't download the application, go to the Health and Mental Hygiene Literature page for assistance.

Submit the following items to the address listed below:

  • Check or money order for $15 made payable to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Copy of your valid photo identification including signature and self-addressed, stamped envelope

Mail all of these materials to:

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Office of Vital Records
125 Worth Street, CN-4, Room 133
New York, NY 10013

Allow up to six weeks to receive your certificate from the date you send your request.

In Person

Go to:

Department of Health
Office of Vital Records
125 Worth Street, Room 133 (enter on Lafayette or Centre Street)
New York, NY 10013

Hours are Monday - Friday excluding holidays from 9 AM to 3:30 PM

Certificates are not issued the same day and are usually mailed within 10 business days of when your application is received. Cash is NOT accepted.

The fee is $15 for each copy using a credit card, debit card, check or money order made payable to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.