Vital records in New York City, especially Birth and Death Certificates, are a special breed of documents when it comes to foreign use.
Let us begin with the process of getting the NYC Birth Certificate:
a. First option which you have is to go in person or mail the request to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at 125 Worth St, New York, NY 10013.
(i) Expect a line when you will come in person
(ii) Make sure you have enough proof of identification with you
b. Second option is to apply online at the vitalcheck website which is a non-profit organization authorized to assist with the expedited retrieval of vital records from the New York City.
Now that you know where to get it, it is important to know that if you plan to use your NYC Birth Certificate abroad you must specify that in your request. When placing the order in person or online for New York City Birth or Death Certificate you MUST indicate that the purpose of your request is APOSTILLE.
By selecting apostille as your purpose you will ensure that the NYC Vital Records will issue you a Birth Certificate with the Letter of Exemplification.
TIP: Without the letter of exemplification your nyc birth or death certificate is NOT ACCEPTABLE for apostille.
We know that there are many companies who will say that as long as your document is signed by acting City Registrar it is fine for apostille or authentication. Well this is FALSE. Most likely your document will either have a fake apostille or apostille will be attached from another document. In any case you may have complications with your documents if you will use such advice and employ the aforesaid service.
Of course, we do not expect you to believe us. Here is the print screen from the official webpage of the New York Department of State:
Overall to get the New York City Birth or Death Certificate with the Letter of Exemplification will take you anywhere from two(2) to three (3) weeks. Also, expect your document to arrive without the letter of exemplification, as they often do this sort of mistake. There is nothing you can do but to reapply, pay all the fees and wait another month or so.
TIP: If you or your child was not born within one of the five boughs of the New York City (i.e Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx or Staten Island) the above written information is not applicable to you.
How does the Letter of Exemplification look like?
As you may see on the image, it is a white piece of paper which reads that this is
exemplified records of Birth or Death of the New York City. The said Exemplification Letter will have the vital event information and the document number. Such exemplified records are signed by the Deputy City Registrar.
Each borough will have a different Deputy City Registrar.
Furthermore, the Exemplified Record will have embossed or raised seal of the Board of Health of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of the New York City.
To obtain additional information about Birth Certificates and Apostilles please read more.