New York apostilles for birth certificates from Albany

The New York State Department of Health in Albany issues birth certificates for births that took place outside the five boroughs of New York City.

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Apostilles for NYS Birth Certificates from Albany

New York State Department of Health issues both birth certificates (long form, image on the left) and certified transcripts of birth (short form, image on the right). These documents can be signed by former Director of Vital Records Section Peter M. Carucci or current Director of Vital Records Section Thomas L. Heckert. These signatures can be authenticated directly. NYS Department of Health does not issue exemplification letters. NYS birth certificates are eligible for New York apostilles or embassy legalization.

What is a "certified copy" of the birth certificate?

A certified copy is an official copy of the document issued by a vital records office and guaranteed to be a true and exact copy of the original document kept on file in this office. Upon request, the Vital Records office of the respective Department of Health will issue a certified copy of a vital record. In most cases, certified copies bear the Seal of the Department of Health, the signature of the state official (e.g. the Commissioner of Health or the State Registrar) and the statement that the document is in fact a true and correct copy of the original document kept in the files of Vital Records office.

How to get a certified copy of the birth certificate from Albany, NY?

If you were born outside the five boroughs of New York City, you have three options:

Option 1: You can request a certified copy of your birth certificate from the New York State Department of Health in Albany

New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Certification Unit
800 North Pearl Street
Menands, NY 12204
 

Request expedited processing. Regular processing takes 10-12 weeks. For additional $15 you will get your birth certificate within 2 weeks.

Option 2: You can request a certified copy from the local registrar in the county where the birth was registered. Please note that these birth certificates have to be authenticated on the country level before they are legalized by a New York apostille.

Option 3: Use a private online service called VitalCheck

How to get a certified copy of the birth certificate if you were born in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island?

If you were born within the five boroughs of New York City, you first option is to apply in person or mail the request to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at 125 Worth Street, New York, NY, 10013.

You will not be able to get a long form birth certificate over the counter. It will be mailed to you within two-three weeks. Short form birth certificates can be obtained over the counter.

Your second option is to use a private online service called VitalCheck that is the only agent authorized by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to assist you with the retrieval of your birth certificate. When ordering, you must specify that the purpose of your request is APOSTILLE/AUTHENTICATION. Then, most likely, you will get your birth certificate with a Letter of Exemplification. VitalCheck works OK, they also mail documents to foreign countries.

Notarized copies of birth certificates are not acceptable! In fact, New York notaries by law cannot notarize copies of vital records.

Notarized copies of birth certificates are not acceptable! In fact, New York notaries by law cannot notarize copies of vital records.

Some foreign countries require that certified copies of birth certificates are recent, e.g. were issued within the last six or twelve months.