Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alert

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has temporarily suspended in-person ordering and updating of birth and death certificates until further notice.

This service will remain suspended through Phase 3 of the NYC RESTART.

If you have an emergency request related to health care coverage, government services, military, or employment, email nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov.

Online and mailing options are still available.

Need something else?

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.

In Person

Due to COVID-19 in-person ordering of death certificates is suspended until further notice.

By Mail

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

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

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

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

You can apply by mailing all application materials to:

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

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

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 sending 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

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.

New York City is making it easier for transgender and non-binary people to have death records that accurately reflect their gender identity. 

Medical certifiers (the doctor or other medical provider who completes the cause of death section of the death certificate) will now make every effort to determine the decedent’s wishes with regard to sex designation on the death certificate.

Options for completing the sex field are male, female, undetermined, and X. X signifies a sex designation that is not exclusively female nor exclusively male. 

The determination of sex is based on documentation including, but not limited to, the following:

  • An amended birth certificate indicating different sex than sex assigned at birth;
  • A statement from decedent during life requesting change of birth certificate to different from sex assigned at birth;
  • Medical records indicating self-identification as gender identity differing than sex assigned at birth;
  • Statement from a licensed health or mental health provider to attest that in keeping with contemporary expert standards regarding gender identity, the decedent’s wishes would have been to designate sex on the death certificate different from sex assigned at birth in order to more accurately reflect the decedent’s gender identity;
  • Statement from the decedent’s legal spouse/domestic partner or other legal next-of-kin, as appropriate, to attest that the decedent’s wishes would have been to designate sex on the death certificate as different from sex assigned at birth to more accurately reflect the decedent’s gender identity;
  • Social profile created by the decedent in their lifetime, including social media accounts or legal photo identification.

Call 311 for assistance by phone.

Starting January 1, 2019, the following relations can request the birth certificate of someone who is deceased:

  • Spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • Parent (if the deceased was 18 or younger)
  • Child
  • Sibling
  • Niece/Nephew
  • Aunt/Uncle
  • Grandchild
  • Grandniece/Grandnephew
  • Great grandchild

To request the certificate, you must submit:

  • A completed, signed and notarized Birth Certificate Application.
  • A completed family tree document.
  • The original death certificate, if the person died outside New York City.
  • A copy of the death certificate or the death certificate number, if the person died in New York City.
  • A legible copy of your valid, unexpired, photo identification. Examples include:
    • Driver license
    • Employment ID with most recent pay stub
    • Government ID
    • IDNYC Card
    • Social services ID
    • Student ID and transcript from an accredited and verifiable institution
    • Passport
    • MTA Reduced-Fare MetroCard
  • A check or money order payment as follows: 
    • If ordered by mail, $15 for each copy of the certificate.
    • If ordered in person, $15 per certificate, plus a one-time fee of $2.75 for identity verification. For example, the cost of one certificate is $17.75, and two certificates would be $32.75.

Download a family tree document.

Download a Birth Certificate Application.