The Health Department issues death certificates for all deaths that occur in NYC. Certificates are available after a person’s death has been reported by the medical facility and the case has been registered.
There are two parts to the death certificate:
Most people need just the standard certificate of death. There is no additional fee to request the cause of death.
For someone who died outside of New York City, including elsewhere in New York State, the CDC has information on how you can order a certificate.
To request a certificate for a death that occurred before 1949, visit the NYC Department of Records Municipal Archives or call 311.
If you are a medical facility or funeral director, learn how you can report deaths and terminations of pregnancy using eVital.
For the fastest service, order certified copies online through VitalChek.
When a funeral home is involved, the quickest way to get a death certificate is to order it from the funeral director who made the funeral arrangements. The funeral director can order death certificates for you up to one year after the death.
If there is not a funeral home involved — and even if the disposition is not final — an entitled person (for example, a spouse, child, domestic partner, informant, or person in control of the disposition) can order the death certificate.
The below application is required for all orders by mail or in person. Only death certificates for death that occurred after 1949 are available through the NYC Health Department.
If you are unable to schedule an in-person appointment and have an emergency request related to travel, health care coverage, government services, military, housing or employment, call 311 or email email@example.com. In your email, include current photo ID and documents showing that you have an emergency, such as a paid plane ticket, letter from an employer with a job start date, or letter from a government agency with an appointment date. .
A death certificate costs $15, plus a processing fee. For more information, see Birth and Death Records: Fees.
For more information, including what documents are required, see Birth and Death Records: Ordering.
Certificate Request Without the Cause of Death
The following relations to the deceased can also request a death certificate, but not the cause of death medical report:
If you are not listed above as an entitled party, you must document your right to get a death certificate.
For information on how much this certificate would cost, see Birth and Death Records: Fees.
To order this type of certificate, complete the Death Certificate Application, leaving box #20 blank.
All Medical Examiner death certificates include the cause of death. If the cause or manner is "Undetermined" or "Pending further study," call the Medical Examiner’s office at 212-447-2030. If the cause of death shows "pending," you can exchange the death certificate within 90 days of the original issue date (noted at the bottom of the certificate) without paying the $15 fee.
Certificate Request With the Cause of Death
Only the following relations to the deceased can request both a death certificate and the confidential cause of death medical report:
If you would like a death certificate and cause of death report and are not listed above as an eligible relation to the deceased, you must document your right to get the certificate and report.
You can order a copy of a death certificate that includes the confidential medical report by completing the Death Certificate Application and checking box #20.
Request from Entitled Party's Attorney
Only entitled parties and their attorneys may submit orders for NYC death certificates. This excludes paralegals, couriers and other substitutes. Attorneys should follow these instructions when submitting orders in person or by mail.
Death certificate orders from attorneys retained by an entitled party should include:
If the applicant is not an entitled relationship, they must submit documentary evidence of why the death certificate is needed.
Spontaneous Termination of Pregnancy (Miscarriage) and Still Birth
A certificate of spontaneous termination of pregnancy certifies the death of a fetus that occurred before or during the 20th week of gestation.
A certificate of still birth and miscarriage certifies the stillbirth of a fetus that occurred after the 20th week of gestation. This certificate can only be requested by the parent(s) named on the certificate. If both parents are deceased at the time of stillbirth, the aunts, uncles and grandparents of the birth parents may also request this certificate.
Note: If your child was born with some evidence of life, such as a heartbeat or voluntary muscle movement, the infant will have both a birth certificate and a death certificate. You must apply separately for these certificates.
The following application must be submitted by mail or through the funeral director who served you, if within the past 12 months. These certificates cost $15 each and cannot be ordered online.
If private funeral arrangements are not made, remains of stillborn infants that are more than 24 weeks gestation are sent for burial to the New York City cemetery located at Hart Island in the Bronx. This cemetery is commonly known as Potter's Field.
To get information on visiting your infant’s remains at Potter's Field, visit the Hart Island website, which includes a searchable database of people buried on the island.
Certificate Security Features
As of 2019, NYC birth and death certificates no longer have a raised seal. The certificates are issued on certified paper that includes numerous security features that ensures the integrity and acceptance of the certificates. Refer to the back of the certificate, which describes several of these security features in detail.