You can order a copy of a death certificate for someone who died in New York City in or after 1949. The NYC Health Department only accepts requests for NYC death certificates.

Certificates are available only after a medical facility has reported the person’s death and it’s registered with the NYC Health Department.

Who Can Order

You can get the death certificate with cause of death medical report if you are the deceased’s:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Sibling
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Informant listed on the certificate
  • Person in charge of disposition

You can only get the death certificate, but not the cause of death medical report, if you are the deceased’s:

  • Niece or nephew
  • Aunt or uncle
  • Great-grandchild or great-great-grandchild
  • Grandniece or grandnephew

If you aren’t a family member, you must document your right to get a copy.

Ways to Order

You can order online, by mail, or in person.

  • Online is the fastest way to get your order.
  • Mail is the least expensive option, but it takes longer to receive your order.
  • In-person orders are by appointment only, but in some cases, you can get the record on the same day.

You can order a death certificate online if you are the deceased’s:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Sibling
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Informant listed on the certificate
  • Person in charge of disposition

VitalChek.com is the only online vendor authorized by the Health Department to process death certificate orders. Other websites are unauthorized and may charge higher fees.

Order a death certificate through VitalChek.

Cost

Processing

  • $15 per copy
  • $9.30 fee

Delivery

  • First-class U.S. postal service: free
  • Express delivery: $20

You can pay for your online order by credit or debit card, or by entering personal check information (EFT).

Processing and Shipping

Processing Time

  • Death certificates from 1970 to present: 2 weeks
  • Death certificates from 1949 to 1970: 4 weeks

Delivery Time

  • First-class mail: 10 to 15 business days
  • Express delivery: see VitalChek website

You can request a death certificate by mail.

You must submit:

  • Complete, notarized application
  • Photocopies of required documents
  • Check or money order for fees
  • Self-addressed stamped envelope

Application

You can get the Death Certificate Application in multiple languages.

Online

Get the application.

By Mail

Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) to request a copy.

If you are outside the United States and need an 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.

Cost

The cost of each certified copy is $15. There is no mailing fee.

You must pay by check or money order payable to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Cash isn't accepted.

Mailing Address

Mail the application and required documents to:

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
125 Worth Street, CN-4, Room 119
New York, NY 10013

Processing and Shipping

Processing Time

It takes 6 to 8 weeks to process the order.

Processing time does not start until Vital Records receives your application. Allow additional time for your application to be delivered.

Delivery Time

Delivery can take an additional 2 weeks.

If you requested a death certificate with cause of death, it will be mailed to you separately after the death certificate.

Vital Records isn’t liable for items delayed or lost in the mail.

You can order a death record in person if the death took place in or after 1970.  Orders for older records must be made online or by mail.

You can get a death certificate or cause of death medical report on the same day.

All in-person orders require an appointment.

Schedule an Appointment

Schedule an appointment.

If you are unable to schedule an appointment and have an emergency request related to travel, health care coverage, government services, military, housing, or employment, email nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov.

Location and Hours

The Office of Vital Records is open from Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 3:30 PM.

Visit:

125 Worth Street, CN-4, Room 119
(use the Lafayette Street entrance)
New York, NY 10013

Cost

  • $15 per copy
  • $2.75 processing fee

You can pay by credit or debit card or with a check or money order in the exact amount. Cash isn't accepted.

Application

You can get the Death Certificate Application in multiple languages.

Online

Get the application.

By Mail

Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) to request a copy.

If you are outside the United States and need an 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.

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. 

Examples:

  • Driver's License or non-driver's ID from any U.S. state or territory
  • IDNYC
  • 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

Examples:

  • 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

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.

No Documents

Contact Vital Records if you can’t provide Category 1 or Category 2 identification. 

Email nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov.

    You can track the status of an NYC death certificate order.

    Please note the processing times for each type of order:

    • Online applications: 2 to 4 weeks
    • Mailed applications: 6 to 8 weeks

    Delivery by mail may take an additional 2 weeks.

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

    • Online more than 5 weeks ago
    • By mail more than 15 weeks ago
    • In person more than 3 weeks ago

    Online

    Check order status.

    By Phone

    Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for status.

    There are two parts to the death certificate:

    • The standard certificate of death, which includes the deceased's name, gender, and date of birth
    • The cause of death, a confidential medical report of the cause of death

    Most people need just the standard certificate of death. 

    Cause of death does not appear on certificates completed by hospitals. The cause of death may be found on certificates completed by the Medical Examiner's Office. The Medical Examiner completes death certificates where there is an external cause of death such as murder, suicide, or accidental death.

    Only the following relations can request both a death certificate and the cause of death report:

    • Spouse or domestic partner
    • Parent
    • Child
    • Sibling
    • Grandparent
    • Grandchild
    • Informant listed on the certificate
    • Person in charge of disposition

    There is no additional fee to request the cause of death.

    Pending Cause of Death

    If the deceased needs an autopsy, the initial death certificate will list "Pending" or “Undetermined” under cause of death. After the autopsy is completed, the Medical Examiner will issue a death certificate indicating the official cause of death.

    You can order an updated death certificate two weeks after the Medical Examiner has signed off on the cause of death. You can order it 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 90 days of the original issue date.

    If you have questions about the pending cause of death, call the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

    Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help.

    Letters of Exemplification are often required to:

    • Apply for dual citizenship
    • Get an Apostille of a public document for use in a foreign country
    • Marry, adopt, or purchase property in a foreign country

    If you need a Letter of Exemplification with your death certificate, make sure you clearly explain the reason when you order. The Department of Health will determine if a Letter of Exemplification is also needed.

    There are three steps to get an Apostille for an NYC death record.

    Step 1. Get a certified copy of the death certificate with a Letter of Exemplification.

    • Online order: Visit VitalChek.com and select “Apostille/Authentication” from the request reasons dropdown.
    • Mail order: Answer “yes” to question 10 on the Death Certificate Application. Make sure to get the application notarized.
    • In-person order: Schedule an appointment. At your appointment, select “Apostille/Authentication” from the request reasons dropdown at the customer kiosk.

    Step 2. Submit the record and Letter of Exemplification to the County Clerk of Manhattan so they can verify the signature on the record. 

    There is a $3 fee. You can do this by mail or in person for priority requests. In-person services are by appointment only. 

    To learn more, visit the County Clerk page to get contact information for the Manhattan County Clerk.

    Step 3. Submit the original documents, the verification, and a $10 fee to the New York State Department of State for authentication. You can do this by mail or in person for priority requests. In-person services are by appointment only. Be sure to specify the country where you are going to send the record. 

    Learn more about getting an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication.

    Contact the NYS DOS for more information or to schedule an appointment.

    • Agency: New York State Department of State
    • Division: New York State Department of State Local Office
    • Address: 123 William Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY, 10038-3804
    • Phone Number: (518) 474-4429
    • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 3:30 PM
    • Press 4 to be connected.

    Death certificates include a field to record the deceased’s sex.

    Options for this field are:

    • M (male)
    • F (female)
    • X (not exclusively male or female; non-binary)
    • Undetermined

    Doctors or other medical providers make every effort to record a gender or sex that reflects the deceased’s wishes.

    They determine if a person should have a sex marker different than the one assigned at birth using 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 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 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, 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

    The NYC Health Department only keeps death records for people who died in New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island).

    Death in Other Area in New York

    If someone died in New York State, but outside of NYC, contact the NYS Health Department.

    Online

    Visit the NYS Health Department website.

    By Phone

    • Agency: New York State Department of Health
    • Division: Vital Records Call Center
    • Phone Number: (855) 322-1022
    • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

    Death in Other State or Territory

    If someone died in another U.S. state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can tell you how to get a copy of their records.

    Visit the CDC's vital records page.

    Death in Foreign Country

    If someone died in a foreign country, contact that country’s consulate. Visit the Consulate or Embassy page for contact information.

    Refunds vary based on how the order was submitted. For all orders, processing fees will not be refunded.

    Online

    Refunds will be made back to the credit card or bank account that was used. It may take 5 to 7 business days.

    Mail

    Money order or check payments will be returned by mail. It may take 3 to 90 days, due to processing by the NYC Department of Finance.

    Once you have canceled an order, all documents and payments will be returned to you. You then must resubmit the order according to the instructions provided. If the order is accepted and searched, this process can take 5 to 7 business days. Note, this process will take the same amount of time as a new submission.

    In-Person

    Fees paid by credit card and money orders will be returned immediately. Debit/EFT charges are a manual process, so these fees cannot be refunded electronically.

    NYC birth and death certificates do not have a raised seal. They are issued on certified paper that includes numerous security features to ensure their integrity and acceptance. The back of the certificate describes several of these security features in detail.

    You can contact the Office of Vital Records for help with an NYC death certificate.

    You can get help with:

    • Status of an order if processing time has passed
    • Scheduling or canceling an appointment
    • No proof of identity or address
    • Information about the non-binary category
    • Refunds

    By Email

    Email nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov.

    Include:

    • The reason for the email
    • How you ordered (online, mail, in person)
    • Date you ordered
    • Order number (required for online orders)

    Online

    Chat online with an operator Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

    In Person

    Appointments are required.

    Schedule an appointment.

    Visit:

    Office of Vital Records
    125 Worth Street (use the Lafayette Street entrance)
    New York, NY 10013

    By Phone

    Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help.

    Emergency Record Requests

    You can get help if you are unable to schedule an appointment and have an emergency request.

    The request must be related to travel, health care coverage, government services, military, housing, or employment. If you do not have a documented emergency, you must make your request in person (by appointment) or by mail following the normal process.

    Send an email to nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov. Include a clear copy of your unexpired ID and documents showing you have an emergency. Examples include a paid plane ticket, a letter from an employer with a job start date, or a letter from a government agency with an appointment date.

    If you don't have internet access or are having difficulty sending your documents by email, you can get help by phone.

    Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help.

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