Getting a NY Birth Certificate with Apostille


This posting is a public service for anyone born in New York City (Bronx, Kings, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island) needing a birth certificate with Apostille.

I need it to get married in France.

Following numerous phone calls, the system – which I could not find fully explained anywhere on the Internet – is as follows:

Step 1

Contact the Bureau of Vital Records in New York City at the department of health by telephone.

Important: Do NOT order via the very speedy and efficient online VitalCheck service, they only issue a “short form” birth certificate. You need to call and specifically request a “long form” (or “vault copy”) of the birth certificate with letter of exemplification. The cost is about $35 dollars and it takes about five days from the time they receive your request.

Bureau of Vital Records
125 Worth Street NY, NY 10013
Tel: 212-788-4500

Step 2

Send $3 with the long form birth certificate and letter of exemplification to be certified by the Manhattan County Clerk Notary Department. Include a note asking for certification in order to get an apostille:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am in the process of getting an apostille on my birth certificate so that I can get married in France.

Enclosed please find:

1- My long form birth certificate with a letter of exemplification.

2- A check for $3 to get the document notarized.

Please return this at your soonest convenience to me at the below address

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to email me or call.

In advance, thank you for your assistance in helping me get married!


Thomas Crampton

The fees must be paid in cash, by Visa or Mastercard, by an attorney’s check made payable to the New York County Clerk, or in the form of a U.S. postal money order made payable to the New York County Clerk. (We sent cash and it worked.)

NY County Clerk, Attention Notary Department
60 Center Street, NY, NY 10007
Tel: 646-386-5955

Step 3

Send documents from Steps 1 and 2 to the NY Department of State with a $10 check payable to the “New York State Department of State” with a letter asking for an apostille:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am in the process of getting an apostille on my birth certificate so that I can get married in France.

Enclosed please find:

1- My long form birth certificate with a letter of exemplification and notarization from the county clerk in Manhattan.

2- A check for $10 to get the Apostille for my birth certificate.

Please return this at your soonest convenience to me at the below address

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to email me or call.

In advance, thank you for your assistance in helping me get married!


Thomas Crampton

New York Department of State
Miscellaneous Records Unit
41 State Street
Albany NY, 12231
Telephone: (518) 474-8642


Needless to say, this is a nightmare process to accomplish when you live overseas, but it does work!!

As evidence: Photo below of me in the Paris newsroom today with my Apostille. Now that I proved I was born, I can get married!!

Happy Tom

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21 responses to “Getting a NY Birth Certificate with Apostille

  1. Dear Mr. Crampton,
    I own a private boutique expediting service tailored specifically to obtaining Apostille birth certificates for those born in New York and wishing to get married in a Gallic country. We are based in beautiful River Hills, Wisconsin but count ourselves absolument part of the moving circus.
    We look forward to working with you.
    Very truly yours,
    Ms C Gelly
    Apostille specialist
    Gelly International

  2. Roxy Reynolds

    I am in need of help. I work for a manufacturing copy. My manager has asked me to find a place in the Dallas Texas area that I can get an apostille. I am at my wits end. Everyone I call seems to have no idea what I am talking about. Can you help me?

    Thank you,

    Roxy Reynolds

  3. Sorry, I’m no expert on getting apostilles outside of my NY experience.

    Perhaps someone else reading this blog would know. You might want to contact a lawyer in Dallas.

    Good luck and my sympathies in figuring out the system!

  4. Thomas hi,
    I have a question out to you:
    I need an Apostille for my son’s birth certificate for the Netherlands. The thing is that we are currently overseas in israel. We have the original birth certificate with us. The question is, do we need to go through all the steps or just to the last one-NY Dept of State.

    Kind regards,


  5. Hello Y. Amon!

    Based on my conversations with the NY authorities, you need to send the long form birth certificate with what is called a Letter of Exemplification to be notarized by the Manhattan county clerk.

    If you have the Letter of Exemplification and long form birth certificate, you can start at step 2.

    If you do not have the letter, you must return to step 1.

    In your case, I think the best number to call is the NY Dept of State to get clarification.

    New York Department of State: (518) 474-8642

    To accomplish all this from overseas, I recommend using a friend or relative to post things.

    Good luck!


  6. I don’t think you used quite the right word for what the New York County Clerk (informally, Manhattan County Clerk) does to the document. The New York County Clerk does not notarize the letter of exemplification, they “authenticate notary signatures or the signatures of public officials on documents” ( More information about the apostille can be found at

    The way I understand the process, the New York County clerk knows who the public officials are at the department of health, so they can authenticate the signatures of these officials. The Department of State does not know who the health department officals are, but they do know who the County Clerks are, so they can issue an apostille that verifies the signature of the County Clerk (or assistants).

  7. Thomas,
    Can you tell us how long it took from beginning to end?


  8. Once I had all the information above, it took about 4 weeks. You could likely do it more quickly by using Fedex or having someone in NY carry it from office to office.

    Good luck!

  9. Eric Ferguson

    (Personal to Thomas)

    You were lucky that the French authorities accepted the document in english.

    When I lived in France in 1955-1962 only documents in French were accepted. That would mean that you would still need to:

    – Have the birth certificate, notary statement and apostille all translated into French by an authorised translator.

    – Have the signature of that translator duly verified by some French public official.

    I had to fulfill similar formalities to get my Dutch birth certificate accepted when I married my Swedish wife in 1962.

  10. Roxy-

    In Texas I believe you need to mail docs to be “apostillada” to:

    Office of Secretary of State
    P.O. Box 12079
    Austin, TX 78711
    Fee: $15.00
    Designated Authority: Secretary of State; Assistant Secretary of State

  11. Hi my name is Luis Massieu, I work with

    We are based in New York City.

    If someone out there is in URGENT need of an apostille we can process the county clerk certification and the apostille with the Secretary of State in 24hrs (same day service)

    for inquiries please call or email


    Luis Massieu

  12. My family is moving to Brussels, Belgium as soon as we can get our stuff together, but we have to have birth certificates for all 5 of us and our marriage certificate notarized and apostilled (is that a verb?). We have to go to 4 different states, none of them NY. God help us if we have an experience similar to yours. We’ll have the stuff back in 2 years, when we should be moving back to the States!

  13. Seems like an awful lot to get done…from what I read on the NYC website what you need is a long form birth certificate from the City of New York (if you were born there)…now, they have the Department of State Certification Unit in NYC with the telephone being 212-417-5684. go there, get the birth certificate certified for a $10 fee and then they send it to the State and from there you get the apostille. Of course, you must specify the country where you will be showing these documents to. It seems like less of a hassle if you ask me.

    One more thing..on the vital link order form from the NY City Department of Health…they apparantly do send you a long form when you request it. When you first apply, there is a pop up link that has a list of reason for why you want your birth certificate….and one of them is “Long form.”

  14. Ok…got even more info and its not as difficult as its made out to be. Now, this is for those born in NYC…myself, I was born in Manhattan. I need to get my LONG FORM birth certificate. Once that is obtained, you need to go to the County Clerk in Manhattan, located at 60 Centre (Center) Street, Romm 141B (“B” for basement), this is done in order to get the signature on the Birth Certificate authentisizes (sp), not sure how much this costs. BUT, its a very quick procedure done while you wait.

    After that is done, you need to get the Apostille from the State of New York. You need to specify for what Country it is for…you can do this at 123 William Street on the 19th floor..this place is the Department of State Certification Unit and its open from 8:45-5 pm…now, what they tell you is that office hours go from 8:45-11:45 am and then from I believe 1pm to 4:45 pm…the cost is $10 and this too is done while you wait.

    About the only real time you waste is the travel time since everything is located in that Wall Street area near the Brooklyn Bridge…the William Street address if you’re coming from uptown I believe you can take the #4 train or whatever train gets you to the Fulton Street Station.

    Hope this helps.

  15. Great posting, Steven!! Thanks.

    (But still does not solve the problem for those of us living overseas!)

  16. Hey Thomas…not a problem and you’re right, it doesn’t help when you’re over seas! My mistake! lol….but, you can always come back!

  17. Thank you. What luck to have found your site. It was not as obvious how to proceed from the paperwork NYC sent back!!!!

  18. I’m thrilled to have found this little blog.

    I’m living in Spain and pulling together my documents to get married. I was in the process of ordering my long form birth certificate from NYC Vital Records online, but wasn’t sure I’d get an actual long form (vault) copy from the handy VitalCheck service. So I Googled “How can I be sure they are sending me a long form birth certificate?” and here I am.

    I managed to piece together the three legs of the process through to the Dept. of State through a series of phone calls with brutal hold times. It’s comforting to see it all s p e l l e d o u t here, and with nice cover letter tips, too.

    For my next trick, I’ll have to prove somehow that I am “free to marry”. No such document exists in the States. Wish me luck.



  19. Thomas, thanks for posting this. I have one question: do the long-form certificates come with a separate letter of exemplification? Or is it enough to have the notice (on the certificate) certifying that it’s a true copy with the signature of the registrar?

    I called the Bureau and asked 3 times that they send me my long-form birth certificate with letter of exemplification, but they only sent one document. Am I ready to go to the county clerk?


  20. Hi Sherry!

    For me, the birth certificate and letter of exemplification were separate documents.

    Good luck with the process and please post any tips you discover about the process!!


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