Birth Certificates

Order a Birth Certificate

Birth certificate information in: |English/Español | االعربية | বাংলা | Français | Kreyòl ayisyen | Italiano | 한국어 | Polski | Русский | 简体中文 | 中文 | اُردو | יידיש| (PDF)

 

Pre-adoption Birth Certificate

You can now request a copy of a pre-adoption long-form birth certificate for an adopted person who was born in NYC.

Online and in-person orders are not yet available for pre-adoption birth certificates. To order this type of certificate, you must submit a Pre-adoption Birth Certificate Application (PDF) by mail.

Learn more about pre-adoption birth certificates.

 

The Health Department issues birth certificates for all people who are born in New York City. You may apply for a New York City birth certificate if:

  • You were born in New York City
  • You are listed on the birth certificate (as parent or registrant/infant)
  • You are 18 or older

The processing times for birth certificate orders are as follows:

  • Online orders: 10 to 15 days
  • Orders by mail: 90 days
  • Corrections: 30 days

Read more about average processing times for birth certificates.

If you were born outside of New York City, including elsewhere in New York State, the CDC has information on how you can order a certificate.

Check the status of your birth certificate order online.

Can't find an answer to your question? For more help ordering a birth certificate, you can chat online with an operator, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I order a birth certificate online?

Ordering online is the fastest, most convenient way to get a birth certificate. The NYC Health Department uses Vital Chek, a secure third-party vendor to process internet orders. You will need a personal credit/debit/checking account to order online. Online orders can only be completed if your name appears on the record. Online orders cost $15 for each certificate, plus an $8.30 processing fee for each order. For example, if you want to order 3 copies of a birth certificate online, you would pay $15 for each certificate and just one processing fee of $8.30, and your total cost would be $15 + $15 + $15 + $8.30 = $53.30.

Online orders are reviewed within 24 hours on weekdays and shipping time is dependent on delivery method. Standard delivery is via the US Postal Service, and UPS express mail delivery is available for an additional fee. Express mail delivery is not available for PO Box addresses.

How can I order a birth certificate in person?

Our lines are currently longer than usual, so we encourage you to order online. Ordering online is the fastest, most convenient way to get a birth certificate. You can order online through VitalCheck, our secure, third party vendor.

If you want to order in person, go to 125 Worth Street in Lower Manhattan. Use the Lafayette Street entrance, which is handicapped accessible, and go to room 144. We are open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lines are shortest in the morning. Wait times are longest after noon. You should come prepared with identification. See requirements below.

We do not accept cash. Please bring a money order or personal check made payable in U.S. dollars to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. You may also pay by credit card, debit card or by electronic fund transfer using your checking account and routing number.

The cost for an in-person birth certificate order is $15 for each copy, plus a $2.75 one-time fee for identity verification. For example, if you order two copies of a certificate, your total cost is $32.75 ($15 + $15 + $2.75).

For international use other than a U.S. passport, please specify a long form request when you order your birth certificate in person.

How can I order a birth certificate by mail?

Mail orders take 12-14 weeks to complete. To order by mail, please:

How long will it take to process my order?

Below are the average processing times to complete your order.

Please note that the times below do not include delivery time, which can take an additional 10 to 15 business days.

Average Processing Times
Service RequestedMethod for
Submitting Order
Processing Times
Certified copy of a New York City birth certificate VitalCheck About 10 business days. Does not include mailing time, which can take an additional 10 to 15 business days. UPS express orders are shipped by overnight mail, but the processing time to complete the order is as described above.


Note that requests for the confidential medical report/cause of death will be mailed to you separately, after the death certificate.
Certified copy of a New York City birth and death certificate Mail 12 to 14 weeks. Does not include mailing time, which can take an additional 10 to 15 business days.
Correction to a New York City birth certificate Mail and walk-ins Four weeks from date of receipt. Does not include mailing time, which can take an additional 10 to 15 business days.

*Please allow an additional 10 business days for vault copies of NYC birth and death certificates and any other record that requires searching. Vault copies are generally used for international purposes, including dual citizenship, international adoptions and international marriage.

If you have not received your order after the estimated processing times noted above, including 10 to 15 business days for mailing, please call us at:

  • 311, if you are calling from within New York City.
  • 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675), if you are calling from outside of New York City.

For questions regarding a birth or death certificate order, you can also email nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov.

For questions regarding an order for a birth certificate or death certificate correction or amendment, email correctionsunit2@health.nyc.gov.

What do I need to know about a birth certificate for the baby I am expecting soon?

Birth certificates are important legal documents that you and your child will need in the years to come.

The Health Department automatically mails you a free birth certificate about four weeks after your child’s birth. You can make sure the process goes smoothly by following these tips:

  • Save Some Time — Fill out your Mother/Parent Worksheet before you get to the hospital

    Your baby’s birth certificate will be based on information you provide at the hospital when you deliver. At the hospital, you will be asked to fill out a Mother/Parent Worksheet. You can fill out the Mother/Parent Worksheet ahead of time and bring it to the hospital or give it to your midwife. The worksheet collects important information and helps your baby get a Social Security Card.

    Be careful when you fill out your baby’s full name — first, middle and last — and your mailing address. Correcting a birth certificate can cost money or even require a trip to court. A mistake in the mailing address can delay delivery.

  • New Father/Parent?

    An Acknowledgment of Paternity is a document that is signed by unmarried parents to establish the child’s legal father. Both parents must voluntarily sign. New York State offers instructions and translations of the form.

    If you don’t complete the form at the hospital, and you want to be named as the father of the child, you will have to get the birth certificate corrected later.

    If parents are not married, parentage may be established by an Acknowledgment of Paternity, an order of Filiation or an Order of Adoption.

  • Married?

    Married parents, regardless of sex, have the right to have both their names on their child’s birth certificate. Some hospitals require proof of marriage. Check with the hospital to find out if you need to bring a copy of your marriage license with you.

  • Resources for Expecting Parents

    The Health Department offers many pregnancy and baby care resources for parents who are expecting a child:

    Before Pregnancy
    During Pregnancy
    After Your Baby Is Born

  • Baby Naming

    The Health Department provides the below options for parents who want to wait to name their baby:

    • There is no fee to add a child’s given name if a birth certificate corrections application (PDF) is submitted to the Health Department by the family within 60 days of birth
    • You may also add a given name if you submit a corrections application to the birthing hospital within 12 months of date of birth
    • Once the baby is named, it is official. Changing a baby’s name may require you to go to court and pay applicable fees.

How do I get a newborn birth certificate once my baby is born?

The Health Department mails birth certificates for newborns to parents about a month after the child’s birth at no charge. The NYC Office of Vital Records is unable to provide information about your child’s birth certificate before then. If you haven’t received the certificate within four weeks, call 311 to ask for the status.

If you did not name your child right away, you can add your child’s first name through the hospital where your child was born. There is no fee for changes made by the hospital if they are submitted within 12 months of birth. Please see the section on correcting a birth certificate below for more information.

If you notice that there is missing or incorrect information on your child’s birth certificate, you can go back to the hospital where your child was born within 12 months of birth. Please see the section on correcting a birth certificate below for more information.

Social Security Cards

  • If you applied for a Social Security card for your new baby while at the hospital where your child was born, it should be mailed to you within one month. If you did not request a Social Security card at the hospital and would like to request one, please contact customer service at the Social Security Administration.

I am an attorney retained by an entitled party and I need to order a birth certificate for a client. How can I order a birth certificate?

An attorney requesting a birth certificate on behalf of a registrant, registrant’s mother or registrant’s father (if named on the certificate) can order a birth certificate. Download this document (PDF) and follow the instructions at the top of the document.

How can a non-profit organization order a birth certificate for a client?

The NYC Department of Health allows organizations that provide services to children and/or developmentally disabled adults to register for online ordering of certified copies of birth and death certificates. Organizations who are approved receive specific instructions for online ordering. Registration with the NYC Department of Health is subject to approval, as agencies that have to provide court documents with raised seals are not approved for online ordering.

To order online, your agency must pre-register with the Office of Vital Records by sending us the following information in a letter, dated within the last 30 days, on your organization’s letterhead:

  • Detailed description of your organization including the services you provide.
  • List of names of individuals who will submit requests on behalf of your organization as well as copies of their unexpired photo identification (must include signature).
  • Provide a copy of your organization’s certificate of incorporation or registration document with the State.

Once you have completed the pre-registration process, the Office of Vital Records will send you additional information on what is needed with each request. Please send the aforementioned letter to the attention of Theresa Yasin at the following address:

Office of Vital Records
125 Worth Street, Room 125
New York, NY 10013

Using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check, your order will be processed by the Office of Vital Records as soon as possible. If the request is matched and the applicant passes the identity verification process online, your order will be processed within five business days. Orders that need to be searched may be subject to additional delays. Ordering online also allows you and your staff to avoid the lines experienced by those applying in-person and the extended processing time for mailed requests.

How can I order a certified copy of an existing Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP)?

Certified copies of acknowledgments of paternity are available free of charge. Complete this form (PDF) and place your request by mail or in person. If you place your request in person, you may be able to walk away with a certified copy of the acknowledgement of paternity or a letter stating that the acknowledgement of paternity does not exist that same day.

Please send mail requests to:

Office of Vital Records
125 Worth Street, Room 125
New York, NY 10013

If ordering in person, avoid standing in line by bringing your completed form and a self-addressed envelope with you. Lobby staff at 125 Worth Street in Lower Manhattan can direct you to the appropriate window in Room 144.

I would like a copy of a birth certificate from before 1910. How can I order a legacy birth certificate?

Please contact the NYC Department of Records Municipal Archives by calling 311 or online.

Who can I contact for the status of a delayed certificate or not received certificate?

For the status of a delayed certificate or a request that has not been received, please email nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov.

In cases of mail or online orders, including newborn certificates, the Office of Vital Records cannot be held liable for correspondence delayed or lost by the United States Postal Service. If the request is returned to NYC we can contact you.

I ordered a certificate that was not found by the NYC Health Department. What happens next?

If a certificate isn't found, the Office of Vital Records (OVR) may issue a "Record Not Found" statement and the customer will be charged $15 for the search and refunded the cost of any additional certificates ordered. If the customer returns the "Record Not Found" statement by mail or in person with the additional information requested within 3 months from the issue date, OVR will conduct an additional search at no cost.

Is there a refund policy for birth certificate orders?

Credit Card Orders:
If the Office of Vital Records (OVR) reviews and cancels a certificate order within 1 business day (usually for reasons related to eligibility), the customer's account is credited for the cost of the order and the shipping charge but not the $8.30 processing fee. The customer receives an e-mail from OVR explaining the cancellation and told how to contact OVR with further inquiries. Once an order has been cancelled, the customer must re-submit it according to the instructions provided.

If the order is accepted and searched, this process can take from 5-7 business days. If the certificate cannot be found, the customer is mailed a "Record Not Found" statement. A refund check, minus the $15 cost of the search, a "Record Not Found" statement and the processing and shipping fees is issued separately. Check refunds take approximately 30 days.

If the customer submits the "Record Not Found" statement with the additional information requested within 3 months of the cancelled order, OVR will do another search at no additional cost.

Please note: "Record Not Found" statements cannot be used for online orders. After you receive a “Record Not Found” statement, any additional information that you provide to help us find your record must be submitted by mail or in person.

Other Orders:
Refunds do not usually occur for in-person or mail orders because the Office of Vital Records does not cash a person's check or money order unless the order can be filled. However, if a customer overpays, a refund is made for overpayments of $3 or more. All documents are returned with cancelled orders.

How do I order the birth certificate of someone who is deceased?

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 (PDF).
  • A completed family tree document (PDF).
  • 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 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.
  • A legible copy of your valid, unexpired, photo identification (see last FAQ on this page for more information about valid IDs).

What are the identification documents I need to order a birth certificate in-person?

Identification documents

Category 1: Identity documents. Photocopies are permitted for mail orders. If you order in person with Category 1 identity documents, you can leave with your short form certificate in most cases, unless you require a long form certificate.

Please submit any one of the following, if it includes your photo, your signature and is unexpired:

  • Driver's License or non-driver's ID from any state or U.S. territory
  • IDNYC — Municipal ID
  • 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 accredited and verifiable institution
  • Inmate photo ID with release papers

Category 2: Proof of address. If you do not have any of the above, you may provide proof of address as described below. Your certificate will be mailed to address on documents provided.

Two different documents dated within the past 60 days, if they show your name and address

  • Utility bills (online bills can be downloaded from your provider)
  • Letter from a government agency

If you cannot provide Category 1 or 2 identification, please contact Vital Records at nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov.


Order a Pre-adoption Birth Certificate

I was adopted, or I placed a child for adoption, or I am the biological sibling of an adopted person and I would like to learn more about my birth family. Where can I find more information?

If you are adopted, or if you placed a child for adoption, or if you are the biological sibling of an adopted person, you may wish to learn more about your birth family. The New York State Health Department's Adoption Information Registry can help and even facilitate a reunion.

For more information, please visit the NYS Adoption Information Registry.

Who can order a pre-adoption long-form birth certificate?

The NYC Health Department has birth records for anyone born in the city. Starting January 15, 2020, you can request a copy of a pre-adoption long-form birth certificate for an adopted person who was born in NYC. The long-form birth certificate is the detailed certificate on file with the agency that processes the birth record. It is also known as the "original," "official" or "full-size" birth certificate.

You can request the certificate if:

  • You are the adopted person and are 18 years of age or older.
  • You are the adopted person’s direct line descendant, if the adopted person is deceased. A direct line descendant is the child, grandchild or great-grandchild of the adopted person.
  • You are a lawful representative for the adopted person. A lawful representative may include the attorney of the adopted person or direct line descendant.
  • You are a lawful representative for a direct line descendant, if the adopted person is deceased.

Birth certificates for people born in New York State but outside of NYC should be requested from the State Health Department.

To order a copy of a pre-adoption long-form birth certificate, what do I need to submit and what is the fee?

To order a copy of the certificate, please submit the following and mail it to the address listed on the application:

  • A completed, signed and notarized Pre-adoption Birth Certificate Application (PDF).
    • The application will ask for information as it appears on the current NYC birth certificate (post-adoption). No information is required from the pre-adoption birth certificate.

  • A copy of your current valid photo identification, such as a unexpired driver’s license or U.S. passport. If you are the lawful representative of the adopted person, please also submit your current photo identification.
    • Examples of Category 1 and Category 2 identity documents that you can submit are listed on the second page of the application.

  • A check or money order for $15, which is the fee for the pre-adoption certificate. Along with your completed request, we will include a copy of any adoption-related documents that are on file.

What will I receive when I request a pre-adoption long-form birth certificate?

  • One certified copy of the pre-adoption birth record. The certificate will be clearly marked as a pre-adoption record from a sealed file.

  • All requests will also include any documents related to the adoption that are currently on file with the pre-adoption birth certificate, such as the adoption order. You do not have to submit a separate application to obtain adoption-related documents that may be on file with the pre-adoption birth certificate. We will include one copy of the document(s) with the pre-adoption birth certificate.

How long will it take to process the request?

Pre-adoption birth certificates are sealed records and require additional processing time. It will take 12 to 16 weeks to complete the request.

How do I order a pre-adoption birth certificate of someone who is deceased?

If you are a direct line descendant of a deceased adoptee or the lawful representative of a direct line descendant of a deceased adoptee, you can request the pre-adoption long-form birth certificate. To request the certificate, you must submit:

  • A completed, signed and notarized Pre-adoption Birth Certificate Application (PDF).
  • The original death certificate of the adoptee, if the person died outside NYC.
  • A copy of the death certificate or the death certificate number, if the adoptee died in NYC.
  • A check or money order for $15, which is the fee for the pre-adoption certificate.
  • A copy of your current valid photo identification, such as a unexpired driver’s license or U.S. passport. Examples of Category 1 and Category 2 identity documents that you can submit are listed on the second page of the application.
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate.
  • In addition to the items noted above, you must also submit birth certificates showing a link back to the person whose pre-adoption birth certificate you are requesting. See the table below for a list of required documents to include with your application.
I am requesting the pre-adoption birth certificate of my:You must submit all of the following documents with your application. The documents must show a link back to the person whose record you are requesting
ParentYour original birth certificate
GrandparentYour original birth certificate;
The original birth certificate of your parent
Great-grandparentYour original birth certificate;
The original birth certificate of your parent;
The original birth certificate of your grandparent

How can I submit my request?

Starting on January 15, 2020, people who were born in New York City and then adopted will be able to order their pre-adoption long-form birth certificate by mail. We will also start taking certificate orders online and in person later in the year.

Please mail your application to:

Office of Vital Records
Attention: Sealed Record Request
125 Worth St., CN-4
New York, NY 10013-4090

I am an attorney retained by an entitled party, and I need to order a pre-adoption long-form birth certificate for a client. How can I order the certificate?

An attorney can request the pre-adoption long-form birth certificate on behalf of a living adoptee. If the adoptee is deceased, an attorney hired on behalf of a direct line descendant can also request the certificate. An attorney would need to submit:

  • Proof of representation of the entitled party (for example, a retainer letter)
  • A copy of the attorney’s current valid photo ID (such as an unexpired driver’s license)
  • Proof of attorney licensure
  • A completed, signed and notarized Pre-adoption Birth Certificate Application (PDF)
  • All items the entitled party must submit, as indicated on the pre-adoption application form

Location, Hours and Contact Information

Office of Vital Records
Bureau of Vital Statistics
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
125 Worth Street
Room 144
New York, NY 10013

Hours (excluding holidays)
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. except corrections (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.)


Contact Us
Type of QuestionHow to Contact Us
Questions about correcting or
amending a birth or death
certificate
, or the status of a correction/amendment application
Please call 311 or 212 NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) if you are calling from outside NYC.

You can also email the Corrections and Amendments Unit at correctionsunit2@health.nyc.gov.
Questions about
birth certificates for newborns
Please call 311 or 212 NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) if you are calling from outside NYC.
Questions about ordering a birth or death certificate or
the status of an order
Please call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) if you are calling from outside NYC.

You can also email the Office of Vital Records Services at nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov.