APRIL 14, 2017
If you were born in the State of New York, outside the five boroughs on New York City, then your birth record will be on file in two places: (a) with the local county registrar and (b) in the Vital Records Bureau of the New York State Department of Health in Albany.
Here you will find answers to the following questions about birth certificates issued by the New York State Department of Health in Albany: (a) What is the difference between a certified copy of birth certificate and a certified transcript of birth? (b) Whose signatures on NYS birth certificates and transcripts are eligible for apostilles? (c) Are old birth certificates acceptable for apostilles? (d) Do NYS births certificates have to be notarized, before being submitted for the legalization? (e) How to obtain a certified copy of the birth certificate? (f) Is a letter of exemplification required?
NY apostilles for birth certificates issued by the NYS Department of Health
Foreign authorities request apostilled or legalized birth certificates for many various reasons including adoption, getting married to a foreign national, obtaining dual citizenship, etc.
- What is the difference between a certified copy of birth certificate and a certified transcript of birth?
- What official signatures on birth certificates can be authenticated?
- Are old birth certificates acceptable?
- Do these documents have to be notarized first?
- How to obtain a certified copy of the birth certificate?
- Is a letter of exemplification required?
What is the difference between a certified copy of birth certificate and a certified transcript of birth?
Above is an image of a certified copy of NYS birth certificate issued by the NYS Department of Health in Albany. It is eligible for a NY apostille or the legalization by a foreign embassy. It is signed by the current Director of Vital Records and bears the raised seal of the NYS Department of Health. This is considered to be a long form birth certificate as it contains a lot of information: parents' information (address of residence, race, birth place, date of birth, etc.), additional information on the child's birthplace, and the information on the doctor(s) that assisted in the birth of the child. The long form also usually includes the signature of the doctor involved and at least one of the parents.
New York State Department of Health also issues Certified Transcripts of Birth.
The image to the left is a Certified Transcript of Birth issued in 2015. It is considered to be a short form birth certificate. Certified Transcripts of Birth typically include the child's name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth, and the names of the child's parents, including the mother's maiden name.
Certified Transcripts of Birth are eligible for a NY apostilles or the legalization by foreign embassies.
What official signatures on NYS birth certificates and transcripts of birth are eligible for apostilles?
Both birth certificates and transcripts of birth are signed by Director of Vital Records of the New York State Department of Health. The following signatures of current and former Directors of Vital Records are acceptable for apostilles or legalization by foreign embassies: Robert LoCicero, Guy Warner, Peter M. Carucci, Thomas L. Heckert, Jr., and some others.
If your birth certificate is signed by one of the Directors of Vitals Records named above, then your document qualifies for the legalization.
If your birth certificate is very old, please email a copy of a free evaluation.
Please note that some foreign countries require that certified copies of birth certificates are recent, e.g. have been issued within the last six or twelve months. Please find out the requirements of the receiving foreign country before you start with the process of legalization.
The answer is "No". In fact, by law New York notaries cannot notarize copies of vital records.
You have two options:
Option 1: You can request a certified copy of your birth certificate from the New York State Department of Health in Albany yourself.
Request the expedited processing. Regular processing takes forever (10-12 weeks). For additional $15 you will get your birth certificate within two weeks.
NYS Department of Health does not issue apostilles or legalization. After you get your birth certificate, please mail it to us.
Option 2: Order from Foreign Documents Express. We can obtain a certified copy, and then have it apostilled or legalized by a foreign embassy. Please contact us.
Birth certificates and transcripts of birth issued by the NYS Department of Health in Albany are not exemplified. There is no need to attach a letter of exemplification as the signature of the Director of Vital Records is authenticated directly. Exemplification letters are issued only with the long form New York City birth certificates (for births registered in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island)
If you already have a certified copy of your birth certificate or a Certified Transcript of Birth, we will be happy to assist you with getting an apostille or legalization by a foreign embassy. Just mail the original to us.
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