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Certified Copies of Birth or Death Certificates in NYC should bear a Letter of Exemplification

Updated: Nov 26, 2022

About Birth Certificates and Death Certificates from NYC

If a person requires official proof of someone’s birth or death in New York City with apostille or authentication. In that case, the applicant must first order a long-form copy of the birth certificate or death certificate with a “Letter of Exemplification” from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

This can be done in person (appointment needed during COVID-19), online, or by mail. A long-form of birth/death certificate (also called a vault copy) and a Letter of Exemplification are both needed for certain overseas transactions like below.

  • Apply for dual citizenship

  • Request Apostille or Authentication for use in a foreign country

  • Marry in a foreign country

  • Adopt a child from a foreign country

  • Purchase property in a foreign country

What is a Letter of Exemplification?

A Letter of Exemplification is a separate page (white in color) that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene attaches to NYC birth or death certificates. Exemplification means "an attested copy of a document, under official seal" and the Exemplification Letter does exactly that - attests that the attached birth or death certificate is a true certified copy.

Please note, without the Letter of Exemplification, NYC Birth Certificates and Death Certificates cannot be apostilled or authenticated. So, your original documents should contain one page of a copy of the birth or death certificate and another page of a letter of exemplification.

How to get a copy of the certificate and a Letter of Exemplification simultaneously?

For the fastest service, order certified copies online through VitalChek, which is the only vendor authorized by the NYC Health Department to process death certificate orders.

If you need a Letter of Exemplification, you should order a long-form, or vault copy, of birth or death certificate. When you place your order for the birth or death certificate, make sure you clearly explain the reason for your request, and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will determine if a Letter of Exemplification is also needed.

If you order your certificate online or by phone and you require an apostille, you should request a "LONG FORM" (also known as a "FULL COPY" or "VAULT COPY").

To order a "LONG FORM" through, select "Long Form" from the "What will you be using this certificate for? Reason:" drop-down box. When ordering, you must specify that the purpose of your request is Apostille (or Authentication). Then, most likely, you will get your birth or death certificate with a Letter of Exemplification.

If you order by mail the application form, be sure to check the “yes” of the question “Do you need a letter of exemplification?” and fill out “Apostille (or Authentication)” in the field of “Why do you need this certificate?”

Order the Apostille or Authentication Service

Don't forget to mail it to our office for apostille and authentication after getting the certified copy of the NYC birth or death certificate with a Letter of Exemplification. Documents from NYC require additional steps before obtaining an Apostille or Authentication.

➡️ If the document is going to be used in countries included in this Hague Apostille country list, the service you'll need is

➡️ If it will be used in the Non-Hague Apostille country, the services you'll need are,

Our apostille services can free you from the complicated, time-consuming, and distracting application process that requires expertise. Once the order and documents are received, they'll be processed as quickly as possible.


American Notary Service Center Inc. provides fair, fast, confidential, and professional document notarization and certification services for our clients. We also provide various assistance services to small businesses led by socially and economically disadvantaged groups. Our service helps small businesses obtain federal government contracts, gain a foothold in the market, and boost their sales. For more information, please visit our website at, and contact us by calling 202-599-0777 or by email at


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