Only entitled parties and their attorneys may submit orders for NYC death certificates. Entitled parties include family members, informants, or persons in charge of disposition.
The documents needed to request a death certificate depends on who is ordering.
Family Member or Other Entitled Party
If you order a death certificate online, you will be asked questions to verify your identity. If you pass the verification process, you don’t have to submit proof. If you fail, you will have the option to fax copies of documents to prove your identity.
If you order by mail or in person, you must include:
- One photocopy of a Category 1 document (proof of identity), OR
- Two original Category 2 documents (proof of address)
Category 1 Documents – Proof of Identity
Category 1 documents must be unexpired and include your photo and your signature.
- Driver's License or non-driver's ID from any U.S. state or territory
- Public benefit card
- U.S. or foreign passport
- U.S. certificate of naturalization
- Military ID card
- Employee ID with photo, verifiable employer, and recent pay stub
- MTA reduced-fare Metro Card
- Student ID and current transcript from an accredited and verifiable institution
- Incarcerated person photo ID with release papers
Category 2 Documents – Proof of Address
If you don’t provide a Category 1 document, you must provide two proofs of your current address.
If you’re providing Category 2 documents, each must be:
- Original, not a copy
- Show your name and current address
- Be dated within the past 60 days
- Be a different type
- Utility or telephone bills (online bills can be downloaded from your provider)
- Letter from a government agency
If you order using Category 2 documents, the certificate will be mailed to the address listed on your documents.
Attorneys of entitled parties may submit orders for NYC death certificates. This excludes paralegals, couriers, and other substitutes.
Death certificate orders from attorneys should include:
- A letter with the attorney's official letterhead. The letter should state the eligible applicant’s name and relationship to the decedent.
- A completed Death Certificate Application signed by the attorney.
- A copy of the entitled party's valid, unexpired, government-issued photo identification.
- An original letter from the entitled party authorizing the attorney to act on their behalf.
- Applicable fees.
- Proof of attorney licensure.
- Copy of attorney's current photo ID.
If the applicant is not an entitled relationship, they must submit documents proving why the death certificate is needed.
Contact Vital Records if you can’t provide Category 1 or Category 2 identification.