New York City and State Vital Records

    New York City and New York State maintain separate vital records offices. Differing rates and procedures apply in the two jurisdictions. Navigating your way through the different jurisdictions and laws that have governed vital record creation in New York can be a bit confusing. I offer a brief summary of the available records below.

New York City Vital Records:

    Records Available in New York City:

  • All boroughs of the consolidated City of New York (births from 1898 -> 1909; deaths from
    1898 -> 1948, marriages from 1898 -> 1952)
  • Early New York City - was comprised of Manhattan Island only (births from 1847 -> 1897,
    deaths from 1795 -> 1897, marriages from 1847 -> 1897)
  • City of Brooklyn - existed until the consolidation in 1898 (births from 1866 -> 1897,
    deaths from 1847 -> 1897, marriages from 1866 -> 1897)
  • Early Town Records - created in the various old towns of Kings, Richmond, Queens, and Westchester Counties - which later became part of the consolidated City of New York. These records cover the periods from 1847-49 and 1881-1897. Please email for further details.
  • Later New York City Birth and Death Indexes: searches available through 2002.

  • Later NYC vital records are restricted under the state privacy law and in the case of NYC births - the discretion of the NYC Dept. of Health which continues to hold all birth records from 1910 to the present. These can be obtained by a descendant and/or next of kin and to settle certain legal matters.
  • There are gaps in some of the earlier years and the earliest vital information was recorded in register form - not individual records. Please email for further details.

New York State Vital Records:

    The New York State Department of Health has jurisdiction over all of the state 'outside of the five boroughs of NYC.' Beginning in 1881, state law mandated that vital records be kept. Records are maintained by the local registrars of vital statistics (usually the town/village clerk) in each locality, with a copy sent to the State Department of Health in Albany. All vital records created in NY State are subject to the state privacy law, which mandated that birth records be closed for 75 years, and marriage and death records be closed for 50 years. Older records are considered genealogical and are open access. Records that fall within the preceding time periods may only be obtained by a decendant and/or next of kin, and to settle certain legal matters.

    Genealogical Records Available in Albany:

  • Births from 1881 -> 1927
  • Marriages from 1881 -> 1952
  • Deaths from 1881 -> 1952

    Ordering a Record:

  • The New York State Department of Health charges $11 per copy of genealogical vital records. I can obtain genealogical copies in about two weeks time, by ordering in person. Mail order requests to the Department of Health typically can take as long as six months.
  • Fees: my basic fee of $30/hr in Albany will apply. There is a one hour mimimum for a vital record search. See Fees for a full explanation of fees and expenses. You may use the form on my genealogyPro page to make a request, or address email inquiries to
  • Expedited Service: if time is of the essense - for instance there is a pressing legal matter, I do offer an expedited service. Please email for further details.

  • Certified Vital Records Available in Albany:

    Certified copies of later vital records will be provided to descendants/next of kin and to settle certain legal matters. I can obtain copies of certified vital records within two weeks time, by ordering directly from the Department of Health in Albany. Applicants will be required to fill out the application stating their relationship to the individual whose record is sought. A notarized statement of their relationship to the the individual must be provided as well. If you do need a certified copy of a NY State vital record, please contact me and I will be happy to go over the particulars with you. It can be a rather cumbersome process, but if the proper documentation is provided, I can expedite things greatly by ordering the records in person.

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