How to apostille a New York marriage certificate issued before 1950 - New York Apostille Services

Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island marriage certificates issued before 1950 are kept in the New York City Municipal Archives. We can get a certified exemplified copy of the marriage certificate, and have it apostilled or legalized by a foreign embassy.

order online manhattan brooklyn bronx queens staten island marriage certificate

How does it work? Our staff member will go to the New York City Municipal Archives, and look through the catalogs. The records are arranged by year, and by borough where the license was issued. The first and most important task is to find the film and the certificate number. We will do this. Then, we will look through the actual film, and find the certificate. After that, the certificate can be printed out and exemplified by the staff of the Municipal Archives. Some experience is required for working with the archived materials.

This is how a marriage certificate might look if the marriage was registered in 1930s:

Marriage certificate 1927

The back of the certificate will look like this:

Marriage certificate municipal archives back

If you have a certificate like this, it does not mean that it is ready for an apostille or embassy legalization. The document will need a Letter of Exemplification.

Marriage certificate exemplification

Our staff member will go to the Municipal Archives, find the certificate, order an exemplified copy of the certificate, and then we will get it apostilled or legalized by a foreign embassy.

Marriage certificates from before 1950 are public records.

Your marriage certificate qualifies? Mail the original to us...

If you have the original exemplified marriage certificate, and it qualifies for an apostille / embassy legalization, mail it to us and we will get an apostille / embassy seal for it

price 4New York apostille: $175 (USPS Priority within the U.S. is included).
Processing time: currently 3,5-4 weeks + mail.
Embassy legalization: $375 (most embassies)
Processing time: depends on the embassy.
FedEx (2nd day): $20; FedEx (standard overnight): $30
FedEx International: $75 (most countries)
FedEx International to Eastern Europe, South America, Africa: $115
Complete the Order form and enclose it with your documents. Our mailing address is
Foreign Documents Express
331 Newman Springs Rd., Bldg. 1
4th Floor, Suite 143
Red Bank, NJ 07701

What is an "exemplified copy" of the marriage certificate?

An exemplified copy is an official copy of the document issued by a the New York City Municipal Archives with a Letter of Exemplification as shown above. Upon request, the Municipal Archives will issue an exemplified copy of the marriage certificate. 

Please note...

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

tip apostille Copies certified as true copies by the document custodian (you) are not acceptable! You do need the original document.

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


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The NYS Secretary of State office does not have over-the-counter service yet. The processing time for New York apostilles is currently between two and three  weeks. 

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