NYC Vital Records Access


New York City is attempting to restrict access to important records!

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is proposing a new rule that would affect when birth and death records are made available to the public and transferred to the Department of Records and Information Services.

The proposed schedule would greatly lengthen the amount of time a birth or death record is restricted for public access, which would negatively impact family history researchers everywhere. Click here to read our blog, which outlines the issue and answers common questions. The deadline to submit your comment is October 24, 5:00 pm ET!

We're calling on you to take action and make your voice heard! If this rule is passed, New York City

  • birth records will be locked up for 125 years;

  • death records will be inaccessible for 75 years.

To keep these historical records accessible to the millions who have New York ancestors, we need to mobilize quickly and act decisively!

What you can do right now - act by October 24 5:00pm!

Read below or click the blue links above to make a difference. 


Sign the Petition

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has prepared an official public comment that will provide an authoritative and well-reasoned argument in support of our position. To make this comment even more impactful, we invite everyone to sign their name in a petition that will represent signatories to the letter. Click here to read the letter that will precede our community's signatures.

Please input your name and email below, and then confirm your interest by clicking the link in the email you receive - you'll then be added to the letter:

Sign the petition

The petition is now closed, and has been submitted to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Thanks to all who signed!


Watch a personal message from NYG&B President D. Joshua Taylor


Attend the Hearing

There will be a public hearing on this issue later this month.

The NYG&B is gathering as many community members as possible to pack the house and show our support for open access to historical records! If you are able to join, we would absolutely love to see you there:

Date: Tuesday, October 24 10:00 am - 12:00 pm 


New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Gotham Center
42-09 28th Street, 3rd Floor, Room 3-32
Long Island City, 11101

Click here to RSVP and let us know you are attending the hearing.



Send Your Comment

The NYC Department of Health is still soliciting public comments on this issue. It's critical for everyone to send in some form of comment - often, when governmental agencies are flooded with public comments about an important issue, they will change course - but only if enough people submit comments! 

Click here to register and post an official comment online with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. You can also send a comment via email.


Share the News

The key to our success is to mobilize massive numbers of vocal citizens who support our position. If each person who reads this sends it to only five of their friends or family, we can involve thousands of people in our effort to save these records. 

Here are three ways you can help spread the message: 


As always, any contribution you can make to support the NYG&B and efforts like these is greatly appreciated. Click here to support us