The largest collection of publicly available New York City birth, marriage, and death records is now online and free to access!
The New York City Municipal Archives has been working to digitize the millions of birth, marriage, and death records it holds since 2013. With the project now 70% complete, 9,318,625 digitized records from the late 1800s to the early 1900s are now available online as of March 2022.
Visit the NYC Department of Records & Information Services website for a complete listing of records available online.
How can I start using the records?
View by certificate number
If you know the certificate number and year, it is easy to search, view, and download the color copy.
Search by name
Search by name is also available if you know the exact name and year (please note, the site does not currently account for spelling variations in names).
An important note: Some records are still in the process of digitization, so are not yet included in digitized access. For more details see the vital certificate coverage charts.
To browse records, select "Browse All" from the main menu, and enter the record type (birth, marriage, or death), borough (Manhattan, (Kings) Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Richmond (Staten Island)), and year.
The slider makes it easy for you to search for a year or a range of years:
Important tips: Using other indexes
If you are unable to find the materials you need using the name search, other indexes exist to help you identify the certificate number.
The new New York City Historical Vital Records index is based on an index created by the Genealogical Federation of Long Island (GFLI) who used the microfilmed card file to create the indexes.
The Germany Genealogy Group has, over time, made corrections and additions to this index, which can be found on the German Genealogy Group website.
You can also search the indexes at FamilySearch.org (free), which were created from a microfilm version of the records. FamilySearch’s index goes beyond certificates and includes ledger entries as well:
If you are still having trouble finding the records, you can search the indexes at Ancestry.com (paid). Ancestry’s indexes include marriage license files (a separate record series from the marriage certificates):
In addition, Ancestry also has a marriage index containing many more records than are publicly available from the New York City Historical Vital Records site: New York, New York, U.S. Marriage Licenses Indexed, 1907-2018
As you download a record, the file name provides some key information for you. Files are named like this:
The first letter is the type of record:
- B for birth
- M for Marriage
- D for death
The second letter is the Borough:
- B for Bronx
- K for Kings (Brooklyn)
- M for Manhattan
- Q for Queens
- R for Richmond (Staten Island)
The first four numbers are the year: e.g. 1894 in the example above
The last numbers are the certificate number.
Learning more about what’s available
To see if a record is digitized, use the site tab Digital Vital Records, and then select the tab for Birth, Deaths, or Marriages.
Remember that marriage records between 1908 and 1937 come in two different record collections, certificates and licenses and you should check both series. The NYC DORIS website has an explanation of these materials, and you can also see City Clerk's Marriage Licenses, New York City, 1908-1937: One of 20th-Century Genealogy's Best Primary Sources by Leslie Corn, CG®, FGBS