You can research documents for genealogy or family history research at the City's Municipal Archives. 

You can view and purchase:

  • Birth certificates (before 1910)
  • Death certificates (before 1949)
  • Marriage records (before 1950)

You can request an application form for research be mailed to you or you can get more information online.

Online

Learn more about researching vital records.

By Mail

Call 311 to request a paper copy.

You can get copies of the following certificates:

  • Birth certificates for births that took place in New York City before 1910. 
  • Death certificates for deaths that took place in New York City before 1949. 
  • Marriage records for marriages that took place in New York City before 1950.

You can order copies:

Online

The cost of each certified copy is $15. You can make a payment with your credit or debit card, or by e-check. There is a nonrefundable service fee of 2% when using a credit or debit card.

Order a copy of a historical vital record.

By Mail

The cost of each certified copy is $15. When ordering by mail, the processing time for a certificate copy is approximately three to four weeks

Payments are made by check or money order and are payable to NYC Department of Records and Information Services.

Applications should be mailed to:
31 Chambers Street, Room 103 
New York, NY 10007

You can request an application be mailed to you.

Call 311 to request a paper copy.

In Person

Visit the Municipal Archives at:

31 Chambers Street, Room 103
New York, NY 10007

Hours of operation:

  • Monday: 9 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 9 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 9 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Thursday: 9 AM - 6 PM
  • Friday: 9 AM - 4:30 PM
  • 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month: 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

No appointment is necessary.

Birth or Death Certificate

You can get the status, by phone, of an order of a birth certificate (before 1910) or death certificate (before 1949) placed more than 6 weeks ago.

Call 311 for assistance.

Marriage Record

Due to the volume of requests, the current processing time for marriage certificate copies is approximately eight-to-twelve weeks. 

Please do not request status updates or tracking information unless the order has not been fulfilled for considerably longer than the periods specified above.

  • Did not receive complete order - The Municipal Archives often ships vital record copies separately even when ordered at the same time.
  • Credit card denied - Many of our patrons outside the U.S. have difficulty with the credit card processing service that we use. Please contact the Department of Records and Information Services for further instructions if your credit card has been denied.

You will receive a notice in the mail if the Municipal Archives was not able to find the record you requested. 

Approximately 25 percent of all births prior to 1910 were not reported to New York City. 

Church records or the federal and state censuses are alternative resources. The federal census is available from the National Archives.

Find Federal Census data on the National Archives' website.

You can request a refund for a birth or death certificate online or by phone.

Include all relevant order details, such as:

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

Online

Send an email to archives@records.nyc.gov

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.

If you have further questions about the birth certificate, death certificate, or marriage certificate process or order you can send an email to the Department of Records and Information Service.

Email the Department of Records and Information Services.