Obtaining New York State
Records for Genealogy Purposes -
New York State Department of Health
From the New York State
Department of Health.
Explains the rules for obtaining vital records certificates
for genealogical research.
New York State
Department of Health
From the New York State
Department of Health.
Includes printable request forms, availability and fee information.
NCHS - Where to Write
for Vital Records - New York
State office has had
records since 1880. For records before 1914 in
Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers, or before 1880 in any other city,
write to Registrar of Vital Statistics in city where event occurred.
For the rest of the State, except New York City, write to State office.
Vital Records Information -- New York http://vitalrec.com/ny.html
This page contains
information about where to obtain copies of New York vital
records, such as birth & death certificates, marriage
licenses & divorce decrees. See the guidelines for
information on how to order vital records. Check the related
links for additional information on New York and ordering vital
The information contained on these pages is not guaranteed, as addresses and prices change frequently. It is recommended that you confirm the price and address by calling the vital records office before you place your order.
New York State Vital
New York State Dept of Health
Vital Records Section
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602
Please note: Genealogy Requests take six months to process.
Application forms and instructions
For the area outside of the five boroughs of New York City (except for births occurring in Queens and Richmond counties for the years 1881-1897). For vital records in the five boroughs of NYC contact the New York City Dept of Health.
You may also send your request directly to the local registrar or town clerk of the city, town or village where the birth or death occurred. A marriage license may be obtained from any town clerk in the state.
The time periods listed below for obtaining a vital record are waived if the applicant is a descendant or has been designated to act on behalf of a descendant of the person whose record is being requested. The $11.00 fee for a genealogical copy includes both a copy of the certificate (marked "For Genealogical Purposes Only.") and a search of their files for up to three years. If they can find no certificate for the event, you will receive a "No Record Certification" form.
New York State Archives
New York Department of Education
Cultural Education Center, Room 11D40
Albany, NY 12230
An index to genealogy records is available for searching at the State Archives, located at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. Contact them for more information about using this index.
Birth: $15.00 - since 1881
Genealogy copies are $11.00 and are available if the certificate has been on file for at least 75 years and the person whose name is on the birth certificate is known to be dead.
Death: $15.00 - since
Genealogy copies are $11.00 and are available if the certificate has been on file for at least 50 years.
Marriage: $5.00 - since
For genealogy use are available if the certificate has been on file for at least 50 years and the bride and groom are both known to be deceased.
Marriage: Fees vary - 1880-1907
For marriage records and
licenses issued in the cities of
Albany, Buffalo or Yonkers, apply to:
Albany: City Clerk, City Hall, Albany, NY 12207
Buffalo: City Clerk, City Hall, Buffalo, NY 14202
Yonkers: Registrar of Vital Statistics, Health Center Building, Yonkers, NY 10701.
Divorce: $15.00 - since Jan 1963
If the records are not available at the State office, they should be available from the County Clerk in the county where the divorce was granted.
Divorce: since 1847
Since 1847 divorce actions in New York have been handled in the supreme court for the county in which the divorce was heard. New York divorce files, however, are sealed for one hundred years. In colonial times, petitions for divorce had to be made to the governor or legislature, and only a few were granted. The court of chancery granted divorces from 1787 to 1847. These older records are in the State Archives.
Index to New York County
Vital Records Offices
Birth and Death records are filed with the Clerk of the city, town or village in which the event occurred and, normally, with the New York State Bureau of Vital Records.
A marriage license may
be obtained from the town or city clerk who issued the license.
The fee is $10.00 if you obtain a certified copy from a town or
Since 1847 divorce actions in New York have been handled in the supreme court for the county in which the divorce was heard. New York divorce files, however, are sealed for one hundred years.
Counties keep land transfer records, wills, probates, etc.
An index to genealogy records is available for searching at the State Archives, located at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. Contact (518) 474-8955 for more information about using this index. The indexes at the New York State Archives in Albany, NY do NOT include those for the boroughs of New York City.
This page was last updated September 7, 2000.