How to Obtain a Death Certificate in New York?
Understand how to order a death certificate online, by mail or in person. A death certificate costs $15, plus a processing fee. The fee for a death certificate in New York State is $15 for the first copy and $10 for each additional copy ordered at the same time. Expedited processing is available for an additional fee.
A death certificate is a legal document that provides information about the death of an individual. It is an important document that is required for many legal and financial matters, including claiming life insurance benefits, accessing bank accounts, and transferring property ownership. In this blog post, we will discuss what a death certificate is, what is contained in a death certificate, who is allowed to ask for one, how to get one in New York State, and how much it costs.
What is a Death Certificate?
A death certificate is an official document that provides information about the death of an individual. It typically includes the cause of death, date and time of death, place of death, and other identifying information about the deceased, such as their full name and birthdate. Death certificates are issued by state and local governments and are required for many legal and financial matters.
What is contained in a Death Certificate?
The exact information contained in a death certificate can vary depending on the state and local regulations. However, most death certificates will include the following information:
The full name of the deceased
The date and time of death
The cause of death
The place of death
The deceased's date of birth and age at death
The deceased's gender
The deceased's race or ethnicity
The deceased's marital status
The deceased's occupation
The name and birthplace of the deceased's parents
The name and address of the funeral home that handled the arrangements
Who is allowed to ask for a Death Certificate?
You need to prove you’re eligible under state laws. Each state has its own privacy laws around death certificates, and New York is a closed record state when it comes to vital documents. Only the following people are eligible to receive a copy of a death certificate in New York state:
Anyone with a documented lawful right or claim
Anyone with a documented medical need
Someone authorized by a New York State Court Order
Unless you’re an immediate family member, you need to show a documented lawful right explaining why you need a death certificate. For instance, if you need to access insurance benefits, you need an official letter from the insurance agency demonstrating this need.
When submitting your application, you need to share documentation and identification. This verifies your identity, relationship with the deceased, and indicates that you have a lawful claim to the record. Any of the following will work:
State-issued ID card (with photo)
If you can’t provide one of the above photo IDs, you can also show two utility bills or letters from a government agency dated within the last six months. You also need to include an official letter, court order, or authorization document to show your eligibility if you’re not an immediate family member.
How to get a Death Certificate in New York State
If you need to obtain a death certificate in New York State, you can do so by following these steps:
Step 1: Determine the Type of Death Certificate You Need
New York State offers two types of death certificates: a long-form death certificate and a short-form death certificate. The long-form death certificate is a certified copy of the original death certificate and contains all of the information listed above. The short-form death certificate is a wallet-sized document that contains limited information and is intended for personal use only.
Step 2: Provide Required Information
To order a death certificate, you will need to provide the following information:
The full name of the deceased
The date and place of death
Your relationship to the deceased
Your name, address, and phone number
Step 3: Choose How You Want to Order the Death Certificate
There are several ways to order a death certificate in New York State:
Online: You can order a death certificate online through the Vital Records Section of the New York State Department of Health's website. You will need to create an account and pay a fee using a credit or debit card.
Mail: You can order a death certificate by mail by completing a Death Certificate Application and mailing it to the address listed on the form. You will need to pay a fee by check or money order.
In Person: You can order a death certificate in person at a local registrar's office. You will need to provide the required information and pay a fee in person.
Step 4: Pay the Required Fee
The fee for a death certificate in New York State is $15 for the first copy and $10 for each additional copy ordered at the same time. Expedited processing is available for an additional fee.
Step 5: Receive Your Death Certificate
After your application and fee have been received, the death certificate will be processed and mailed to you. The processing time can vary depending on the method of ordering and the volume of requests received by the state's Vital Records Section. Online orders typically have the quickest turnaround time, while mail orders may take several weeks to process.
Average processing times for New York death records
The fastest way to order a New York death record is online. These are considered priority orders and come at an extra cost ($45 vs. $30). The current handling and processing time for online orders is between 5 and 10 days, not including shipping times. Mail or in-person orders can take several weeks. The current processing times depend on the number of orders, and this can vary widely. For an update on your order status, you can check your application with the Vital Records Mail Order Status form.
How many Death Certificates should you order?
The average is 8-12 originals. However it is very different for every person and dependent on how many assets the deceased had in their name. Assets to consider include insurance policies, credit life insurance, employer benefits, vehicle titles, real estate titles, stocks & bonds, income tax returns, social security, utilities, financial institutions, and attorneys.
It is important to note that some deaths may require additional documentation or authorization before a death certificate can be issued. For example, deaths that occur outside of a hospital or healthcare facility may require an investigation by the medical examiner or coroner. In these cases, the death certificate may not be available for several weeks or even months after the death occurs.
Additionally, deaths that occur in other states or countries may require additional documentation or authorization before a death certificate can be issued. It is important to check with the state or country where the death occurred to determine their specific requirements for obtaining a death certificate.