By Certificate Number
The fastest way to locate a vital record is by using the certificate number. Note that certificate numbering restarts at 0000001 annually for each borough and you must limit by borough and year to retrieve a unique record.
Finding Certificate Numbers
Indexes of the birth, death, and marriage records contain certificate numbers, and can be searched on:
By Name beta
Searching by name is in beta mode, and may not produce accurate results. Because marriage licenses are not yet indexed by name, marriage licenses will not be returned in name search results. Further guidance on researching City Clerk marriage license records.
The searchable index used on this site was created by the Long Island Genealogy Federation by transcribing original hard-copy indexes (which may have been inaccurately transcribed from original certificates). Future phases of the Historical Vital Records of NYC project may include opportunities for crowd-sourcing to improve and correct the index.
- Certificate numbering restarts at 0000001 for each borough*
- Try alternate name spellings if necessary
- The year on the certificate represents the date the document was filed with the City agency, not necessarily the year of the birth, death, or marriage event
- Use the mother’s maiden name to narrow searches for birth certificates Note: approximately 25% of all births before 1909 were not reported to the Health Department so there will not be a record on file
- Marriage certificates and licenses are indexed by the bride’s maiden name not married name
- The date of birth or age at time of death is useful in identifying the correct individual
* One exception: Manhattan records were continuously numbered from 1881 to 1887