In the state of New York, the official registration of birth records started in 1881. For records before 1914 in Albany, Buffalo and Yonkers or before 1880 in any other city you need to write to the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the city where the registrant was born.To access New York Birth Records, a request has to be made to the Certification Unit at Vital Records. After filling in the application you need to mail it to the Certification unit at Vital Records Section on the 2nd floor of 800 North Pearl Street, Menands, NY 12204. You can also submit it by hand to the nearest Health Department if you live in New York. Make sure that a check drawn on a United States Bank or an international money order with the fee (for copying the Birth Record) is also sent. To verify the current fees you can call the Department’s help line or visit the website www.health.state.ny.us.The state also requires a certified photograph of the applicant who is trying to access the records so it must be ensured that you have a valid driver’s license, State Identification Card, or any other government issued photo identification.
New York death records are filed and archived under the authority of the States Department of Health. They began keeping records as early as 1881. However, the State Department of Health does not keep records that occur within New York City, if you are looking for records that occur within New York City, you will need to turn to the New York City Municipal Archives, where it is divided deepening on the time of death.
For death records that occurred in New York City before 1910, the Department of Records was in charge, and you may request they search their records and send a certified copy. From 1910 to the present, you will need to turn to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, they hold the records for the deaths of those who died in New York City, the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Brooklyn, if the death was before 1949 the Municipal Archive will be responsible.
If it’s within the New York City boundaries you may order online, as an express and what they consider the fastest method, the records are also available in person or legal representation may make the request. The same general requirements must be met for anyone requesting records outside the city of New York.
If you are simply interested in requesting records for non-legal purposes, such as studying genealogy or family history research, the state department allows records to be released to anyone if they have been on file for a period of fifty years or more.
Still, keep in mind the more information you can provide the easier it will be for them to find the records you’re looking for.