Before going forward with the application to obtain a birth certificate, it is very essential to know exactly who is eligible to acquire such a document. For one, the person named on a New York birth certificate has absolute right to get a copy of the document. A parent of the person named on the birth certificate can also acquire a copy of said document, provided that the requesting parent’s name is on the birth certificate. If a spouse, child, or any other interested person wishes to acquire a copy of someone’s birth certificate, it can only be done by the order of a New York State Court.
For a person born in New York City, the New York State Department of Health does not file and cannot provide copies of a New York City birth certificate. For births in one of the five boroughs of New York City—Manhattan, Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island (Richmond)—supplicants are advised to contact the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Applicants requesting for the copy of a birth certificate in New York State have to provide identification prior to getting their request. Identification can take the form of a valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license, State issued non-driver photo-ID card, passport, or U.S. Military issued photo-ID, or the supplicant can provide utility or telephone bills, or letters from a government agency dated within the last six months, such that the documents have the applicant’s name and address. A passport copy would be required in addition to ID if the request for a birth certificate is being made from a foreign country that requires a U.S. passport for travel. Failure to provide identification (or passport copy alongside when necessary) can lead to the rejection of an application.
The fee per birth certificate copy is $30.00, though priority handling has an additional cost of $15.00, making the total cost per copy $45.00. Internet and telephone orders require a major credit card and come under priority handling, which means their fee is $30.00 + $15.00, making the total fee $45.00 per birth certificate copy. There is an additional $8.00 vendor processing fee in internet and telephone orders, but these are per transaction, not per copy. Payment of mail order copies in the country can be made through check or money order payable to the New York State Department of Health, whereas mail order copies submitted from foreign countries must be paid for through checks drawn on a United States bank or by international money order. Cash is not accepted in the case of mail order requests.
Internet or telephone requests are processed within 5 to 10 business days from arrival of order. Mail requests with priority handling are usually processed within 2 to 4 weeks, while mail requests with regular handling are processed within 10 to 12 weeks from when they are received.