Birth Certificate

You can order a copy of a birth certificate for yourself or your child online. You can make all other orders by mail or in person. Online orders are completed through VitalChek, an official service authorized by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to securely order certified New York vital records, like birth certificates. Birth certificates will not be mailed to PO Box addresses.

You can also request a correction or a change to a birth certificate, check the status of your request, or order a Paternity Acknowledgement Form or a Letter of Exemplification.

Paternity Acknowledgment forms are given to mothers at the hospital of birth and can be requested from the City. If the form is completed in the hospital at the time of birth, the father's name will appear on the newborn's birth certificate. Parents who did not complete the form at the hospital can apply with the City up until the child's 21st birthday.

If you need a Letter of Exemplification, you must request a new Long Form, or Vault copy of your birth certificate. You can make this order online, by mail, or in person. When you place your order for the birth certificate, make sure you clearly indicate the reason for your request, and the Health Department will determine if a Letter of Exemplification is needed.

Both a Letter of Exemplification and Long Form are needed for overseas transactions such as:

  • Dual citizenship
  • Marriage on foreign soil
  • Adopting a child from another country
  • Buying foreign real estate

When a document is to be used in a foreign country, it may also be necessary to have the document authenticated. An Apostille, or Certificate of Authentication, certifies the signature and the capacity of the official who has executed the document.