The Health Department issues death certificates for all people who die in one of the five boroughs of New York City. The Health Department also fulfills requests to correct death certificates. Requests to order death certificates can take three to four weeks to be processed.
Note that there are two parts to the death certificate:
Either can be ordered — for the same cost — but who can order it and how it can be ordered varies. Most people need just the standard certificate of death.
Live operators are available to answer questions on how to get death certificates from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Chat with a live operator.
The following relations to the deceased may request both a death certificate and the confidential cause of death medical report:
The following relations may only request a death certificate, not the cause of death:
If you are not listed above as an entitled party, you must document your right to get a death certificate. See instructions below.
If you are an attorney who has been retained by an entitled party, follow the instructions below.
To order a copy of a death certificate WITHOUT the confidential medical report:
You can order a copy of a death certificate without the confidential medical report online. The NYC Health Department uses VitalChek, a secure third-party vendor to process internet orders. You will need a personal credit/debit/checking account to order online. Online orders cost $15 for each certificate, plus an $8.30 processing fee for each order.
All Medical Examiner death certificates have the cause of death. If the cause is or manner is “Undetermined” or “Pending further study,” contact the Medical Examiner’s office directly at (212) 447-2030.
You can also order a copy of a death certificate by completing the death certificate application (PDF) and leaving box #20 blank.
Certificate in other languages:
To order a copy of a death certificate WITH the confidential medical report:
You can order a copy of a death certificate with a confidential medical report by completing the death certificate application and checking box #20.
What information is found on a death certificate?
The following information is found on a NYC death certificate:
How long will it take to process my order?
Below are the average processing times to complete your order.
|Average Processing Times|
|Service Requested||Method for|
|Certified copy of a New York City death certificate||VitalCheck||Two to three weeks to process. Delivery by mail can take an additional two weeks.
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 death certificate||Four to five weeks to processes. Delivery by mail can take an additional two weeks.|
|Correction to a New York City death certificate||Mail and walk-ins||Eight weeks to process. Delivery by mail can take an additional two weeks.|
Allow an additional two weeks for death certificates from years 1949 to 1970, or for any other record that requires searching.
If you have not received your order after the estimated processing times noted above, call:
For questions regarding a birth or death certificate order, you can also email email@example.com.
I cannot order a death certificate online. How else can I order a death certificate?
You can order a death certificate by mail or in person.
Please follow the steps below:
To place your order by mail:
To place your order 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 death 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
During this period, you can request certificate orders by mail.
What are the identification requirements to order a death certificate?
Category 1: Identity documents (photocopies permitted for mail orders) Please submit any one of the following, if it includes your photo, your signature and is unexpired:
Category 2: Proof of address. If you don't have any of the above, you may provide proof of address as described below (no photocopies permitted; when you bring original copies with you, your certificate will be mailed to the address indicated on the documents)
If you can't provide Category 1 or Category 2 ID, please contact the Office of Vital Records at email@example.com for further assistance.
I am not considered an entitled party in the table above. Is there any way to get a copy of a death certificate?
Please refer to the table above. If you are not listed in the table, please follow these instructions:
In addition to the identification requirements indicated on the form, you must establish your right to obtain a death certificate by providing any of the original or certified documents below. If you are a party with a property right, you will need to demonstrate that information beyond the fact of death is necessary to protect or assert a right of that party.
The document you provide must include your name, such as:
If you are unable to provide any of the above, call 311 to ask us for help.
How can I get or correct a certificate of miscarriage or still birth?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to limit the number of people gathered in one place, in-person corrections of NYC death 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
During this period, you can request certificate corrections by mail.
The Health Department issues two types of certificates to eligible individuals. Applications (PDF) must be submitted by mail or through the funeral director who served you, if within the last 12 months. These certificates cost $15 each and cannot be ordered online. The certificate type depends on information submitted by the hospital or midwife, based on their best clinical estimates of gestational age.
Certificate of Spontaneous Termination of Pregnancy (Miscarriages)
This document certifies the death of a fetus that occurred before or during the 20th week of gestation.
Certificate of Still Birth
This document certifies the stillbirth of a fetus that occurred after the 20th week of gestation. Certificates of Still Birth can be obtained only by the following:
Note: If your child was born with some evidence of life such as a heartbeat or voluntary muscle movement, the infant will have both a birth certificate (PDF) and a death certificate (PDF). You must apply separately for these certificates.
Correcting Miscarriage & Certificates of Still Birth
Use the birth certificate correction application. There are no fees for these corrections.
Burials at the City Cemetery
In New York City, if private funeral arrangements are not made, remains of stillborn infants more than 24 weeks gestation are sent for burial to the City cemetery located at Hart Island, Bronx, NY, commonly known as Potter's Field, by the Office of the City Medical Examiner. To get information on visiting your infant’s remains, please call the NYC Department of Correction (DOC) at 718-546-1500 or visit the DOC website, which includes a searchable database of persons buried on the island.
Database Search Tips:
I would like a copy of a death certificate for a person who died outside of New York City. Where can I get more information?
Please consult this link for more information.
I would like a copy of a death certificate from before 1949. How can I order a death certificate for someone who died in New York City before 1949?
Please contact the NYC Department of Records Municipal Archives by calling 311 or online.
I am an attorney retained by an entitled party and I need to order a death certificate for a client. How can I order a death certificate?
Only entitled parties (defined in the table above) and their attorneys may submit orders for NYC death certificates. This excludes paralegals, couriers and other substitutes. Attorneys should follow these instructions when submitting orders in person or by mail. If you experience any problems when attempting to submit an order in-person, please ask for a supervisor.
Required for All Certificates
Death Certificate-Specific Requirements
For death certificate applications (PDF), the entitled parties are limited to those listed in the table above. Please refer to the table above for the list of entitled parties.
If the information above isn’t available, please provide at least 3 of the items below AND include the entitled party’s email address so that he or she can be contacted for additional information.
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 death 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 email 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.
"Record Not Found" statements cannot be used for online orders; they must be returned 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.
Where can I find more information about registering deaths in the eVital system?
Medical facilities and funeral directors pre-authorized by the NYC Health Department can report births, deaths, and terminations of pregnancy with the agency using eVital.
The cause of death is pending for a decedent (on the death certificate, in the cause of death section, it says “Pending Further Study”). What can you tell me about certificates with cause of death pending?
The Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) has the responsibility to investigate all deaths of persons in New York City occurring from criminal violence, by accident, by suicide, suddenly when in apparent health, or in any unusual or suspicious manner.
For questions about the status of the Medical Examiner's investigation, contact the appropriate OCME office. Main number: 212-447-2030.
Those interested in applying for updated copies of a death certificate can submit the previously issued certificate(s) (with the cause of death listed as “Pending”) in lieu of the usual $15 per certificate payment. The $15 fee will be waived if you submit the original certificate indicating that the cause of death was “pending further study” with a new application within 90 days. Because individuals must exchange the original death certificate, orders may only be placed by mail or in person. Please remember that a check or money order for $15 per certificate is not needed only if the original certificates are submitted with the application and they were issued within the past 90 days. Please see issue date on the bottom of the certificate.
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||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.
|Questions about birth certificates for newborns||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||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.