Record Confidentiality & Restrictions
The release of death certificates is governed by New York State Public Health Law §4174, which protects their confidential nature. New York State is a closed state and death records are not subject to FOIL and available to individuals who are:
- The spouse of the deceased and you were married at the time of death
- The biological sibling of the deceased (must produce a copy of your birth certificate that lists your parents)
- Biological child of the deceased (must produce a copy of your birth certificate that lists your parents)
- Someone with a NY State (NYS) court order (must be an original court order with a raised seal)
- The administrator or executor of the estate (you must bring original letters of administration or testamentary with you)
- Someone with a documented legal right or claim
- Someone with a documented medical claim
All requests are subject to review of identification and documentation presented at time of service. If you have specific questions, please contact our office.
A copy of a death record for a person who died in the City of Albany can be requested by coming in person to our office. The deceased's spouse, parent, child, siblings or lawful representative with proper identification can request certified copies. All other persons must have proof of why they need the death certificate as well as identification.
A certified copy of a death record of a person who died in the City of Albany also can be requested by mail. Requestors must supply the:
- Name of deceased
- Date of death
- Place of death
- Date of birth
- Parent's names
- Deceased's social security number
- Relationship to the deceased
- Purpose for requesting the certificate
- Personal identification
- Death records are not public records and New York State Public Health law protects their confidential nature.
- Death records cannot be mailed to a P.O. Box or third-party address unless the applicant's signature is notarized.
- Identification, request form, and payment must be provided to Vital Statistics to complete your request.
Fees & Costs
There is a $15 fee per copy. Fees are collected at the time of request; fees must accompany paper work if mail service is used. Fees are payable to "City of Albany". No personal checks are accepted.
Vital Statistics only accepts:
- Cash (in person; do not mail cash)
- Certified bank checks
- Credit cards
- There is an additional $6 fee for credit card payments
- Money orders