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:
The processing times for birth certificate orders are as follows:
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.
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?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to limit the number of people gathered in one place, in-person orders of NYC birth certificates will be suspended until further notice. If you have an emergency request related to health care coverage, government services, military or employment, call 311 or email email@example.com.
During this period, you can order certificates online at VitalChek. This is the fastest way to complete your order.
How can I order a birth certificate by mail?
Mail orders take 20 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 Requested||Method for|
|Certified copy of a New York City birth certificate||VitalChek||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||20 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:
For questions regarding a birth or death certificate order, you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 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:
The Health Department provides the below options for parents who want to wait to name their baby:
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
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:
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 email@example.com.
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.
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:
To request the certificate, you must submit:
What are the identification documents I need to order a birth certificate in-person?
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:
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
If you cannot provide Category 1 or 2 identification, please contact Vital Records at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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?
We recommend you place your order online. After placing your order, you will receive an order number and email updates on the status of your request.
If you are ordering the pre-adoption birth certificate of a deceased direct line descendant, or if you are the lawful representative of an entitled applicant, you must submit your order by mail.
To order a copy of the certificate by mail, please submit the following and mail it to the address listed on the application:
What will I receive when I request a pre-adoption long-form 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:
|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|
|Parent||Your original birth certificate|
|Grandparent||Your original birth certificate;|
The original birth certificate of your parent
|Great-grandparent||Your 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.
We recommend you place your order online. After placing your online order, you will receive an order number and email updates on the status of your request. You can place your order online through VitalChek.
If you are ordering the pre-adoption birth certificate of direct line descendant who is deceased, or if you are a lawful representative of an entitled applicant, you must submit your application through the mail. We will also start taking certificate orders in person later in the year.
You can mail your application to:
Office of Vital Records
Attention: Sealed Record Request
125 Worth Street, 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:
Office of Vital Records
Bureau of Vital Statistics
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
125 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013
Due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), this location is closed until further notice.
|Type of Question||How 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.