Genealogy Records & Resources

What types of records are available from the New York State Department of Health for genealogy research?

Vital records registration started in New York State outside of New York City in 1881. Generally, the New York State Department of Health provides uncertified copies of the following types of records for genealogy research purposes:

  • Birth certificates - if on file for at least 75 years and the person whose name is on the birth certificate is known to be deceased.
  • Death certificates - if on file for at least 50 years.
  • Marriage certificates - if on file for at least 50 years and both spouses are known to be deceased.

Are the time periods ever waived?

The time periods are waived for direct-line descendants. A direct line descendant is a person in the direct line of descent, i.e., the child, grandchild, great grandchild of the person whose record is requested. The direct-line descendant applicant must provide the following:

  • Proof of their relationship to the person whose record they are requesting.
  • Proof of the death of the person whose birth certificate they are requesting.
  • Proof of the death of both spouses whose marriage certificate they are requesting.

Are there exceptions to the types of records generally available from the New York State Department of Health?

There are three (3) exceptions.

  1. The New York State Department of Health does not file records of births and deaths that occurred in New York City and marriage licenses that were obtained in New York City. To obtain information about genealogy services available for New York City records, please visit the New York City Municipal Archives web page.
  2. The New York State Department of Health does not file records of birth, death and marriage from the Cities of Albany, Buffalo and Yonkers prior to January 1, 1914. To obtain records from these municipalities contact the Local Registrar for birth and death record requests or the City Clerk for marriage record requests. The addresses follow:
    • For birth and death record requests submit request to the Local Registrar of the appropriate city:
      • Local Registrar
        City of Albany
        Room 254M
        City Hall
        Albany, NY 12207
      • Local Registrar
        City of Buffalo
        Room 1308
        65 Niagara Square
        Buffalo, NY 14202
      • Local Registrar
        City of Yonkers
        Room 107
        City Hall
        Yonkers, NY 10701
    • For marriage record requests submit request to the City Clerk of the appropriate city:
      • City Clerk
        City of Albany
        Room 202
        City Hall
        Albany, NY 12207
      • City Clerk
        City of Buffalo
        Room 1308
        65 Niagara Square
        Buffalo, NY 14202
      • City Clerk
        City of Yonkers
        Room 107
        City Hall
        Yonkers, NY 10701
  3. For the period 1881 through 1897 the New York State Department of Health does have records of birth for the City of New York boroughs of Queens and Richmond.

What is the fee for a genealogy copy?

The standard fee for a genealogy copy is $22.00 - This includes a copy of the certificate, a three-year search of the index, the retrieval and re-filing of the microfilm/microfiche and either a copy of the record or a no record report. When more than a three-year search is requested, the fee is higher.

Period Searched Fee
1 to 3 years $22.00
4 to 10 years $42.00
11 to 20 years $62.00
21 to 30 years $82.00
31 to 40 years $102.00
41 to 50 years $122.00
51 to 60 years $142.00
61 to 70 years $162.00
71 to 80 years $182.00
81 to 90 years $202.00

The fee applies separately to each record requested. For example, the fee for a request consisting of one birth record (1-year search for $22.00), plus one death record (24-year search for $82.00), plus one marriage record (11-year search for $62.00) is a total of $166.00

How long will it take?

Processing a genealogy request may take eight (8) months or longer. If the municipality where the event took place is known, submitting your request directly to the local registrar or municipal clerk may save considerable time.

Ordering a genealogy copy

Mail your completed application to:

New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Section
Genealogy Unit
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602

Printing the Form

  • You can download an application form in Portable Document Format (.pdf) using the link below.
  • Adobe® Reader® (version 5.0 or later) will allow you to enter your information directly into the form and then print it out ready to sign and mail with check or money order.
  • We recommend that you save the form to a location where you will be able to find it, before you start to enter your information.
  • When completing the form, please be aware that you will not be able to save the form with any information you have entered.
  • You must print the form after you complete it, then sign and mail with check or money order.
  • You may also print the form and complete it by typing or printing, then sign and mail with check or money order.

Download PDF Application Form For use with Adobe Reader

Application Forms by Mail

If you would prefer, we can mail a hardcopy of the form to you. Send a note with the name of the form you are requesting (i.e., "Genealogy Application"), your name and your mailing address to:

New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Section
Genealogy Unit
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602

Other Genealogical Resources in New York State: