Freedom of Information and Access to Department of Health Records

The New York State Department of Health is committed to prompt disclosure of public records to ensure accountability to the public and to promote public participation in public health activities and decision-making.

The Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law Article 6) is New York State's principal statute on providing for public access to the records of government. The Department's Records Access Officer is responsible for ensuring appropriate agency response to public requests for access to records.

"Record" means any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with, or for the department, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, regulations or codes.

Please note, copies of birth, death, marriage and dissolution of marriage certificates are not available under FOIL. For information about obtaining these records visit Birth, Death, Marriage & Divorce Records or contact the Vital Records section of the New York State Department of Health, Vital Records, 800 N. Pearl St., Albany, NY 12204. Please be advised that birth and death certificates for events that occurred within the five boroughs of New York City are not on file with the New York State Department of Health and must be obtained from the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Office of Vital Records, 125 Worth Street, CN-4, Room 133, New York, NY 10013 or New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. For marriage licenses issued within the five boroughs NYC the address is: Office of the City Clerk, 141 Worth Street, New York, NY 10013 or NYC Office of the City Clerk

The postings in this section provide general information on what department records are available, and which records (because of law) are not. We've also included information on how to submit a FOIL request and the cost of copying documents. If you have any questions or would like to submit a request, please contact:

Records Access Office
New York State Department of Health
Corning Tower, Room 2364
Albany, New York 12237-0044
FAX: (518) 486-9144

Additional information on FOIL can be found by visiting the website of the Committee on Open Government.