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This entry was published on 2022-04-15
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SECTION 4174
Records; transcripts and certifications by commissioner; fees
Public Health (PBH) CHAPTER 45, ARTICLE 41, TITLE 7
§ 4174. Records; transcripts and certifications by commissioner; fees.
1. The commissioner or any person authorized by him shall:

(a) upon request, issue to any applicant either a certified copy or a
certified transcript of the record of any death registered under the
provisions of this chapter (1) when a documented medical need has been
demonstrated, (2) when a documented need to establish a legal right or
claim has been demonstrated, (3) when needed for medical or scientific
research approved by the commissioner, (4) when needed for statistical
or epidemiological purposes approved by the commissioner, (5) upon
specific request by municipal, state or federal agencies for statistical
or official purposes, (6) upon specific request of the spouse, children,
siblings or parents of the deceased or the lawful representative of such
persons, or (7) pursuant to the order of a court of competent
jurisdiction on a showing of necessity; except no certified copy or
certified transcript of a death record shall be subject to disclosure
under article six of the public officers law;

(b) issue certified copies or certified transcripts of birth
certificates only (1) upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction,
or (2) upon specific request therefor by the person, if eighteen years
of age or more, or by a parent or other lawful representative of the
person, to whom the record of birth relates including authorized
representatives of a local social services district if the person is in
the care and custody or custody and guardianship of such district, or
(3) upon specific request therefor by a department of a state or the
federal government of the United States;

(c) upon request, issue a wallet-size certification of birth, in a
form and bearing a design provided by the commissioner. Each applicant
for a wallet-size certification of birth shall remit to the commissioner
with such application, a fee determined by the department;

(d) upon request, issue certification of birth or death unless in his
judgment it does not appear to be necessary or required for a proper
purpose;

(e) furnish non-identifiable statistical information in tabular or
machine readable format for research activities if satisfied that the
same is required for a proper purpose, and the commissioner is
authorized to fix and to require payment of a fee sufficient to
compensate the state for the expense of providing the requested
information;

(f) be deemed to have complied with the applicable provisions of
paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision by the issuance of a
certified transcript of the desired certificate or record instead of a
certified copy thereof except where the requester shall show, to the
satisfaction of the commissioner or his authorized representative, a
demonstrated need for such certified copy, or where a court order
rendered pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this subdivision
contains an express recital or direction therein that the issuance of a
certified transcript of such certificate or record in place of a
certified copy thereof shall not be considered to be in compliance
therewith;

(g) upon request of a board of elections, issue certification of
death.

2. Each applicant for a certification of birth or death, certificate
of birth data or for a certified copy or certified transcript of a birth
or death certificate or certificate of birth data shall remit to the
commissioner with such application a fee of thirty dollars in payment
for the search of the files and records and the furnishing of a
certification, certified copy or certified transcript if such record is
found or for a certification that a search discloses no record of a
birth or of a death.

3. For any search of the files and records conducted for authorized
genealogical or research purposes, the commissioner or any person
authorized by him shall be entitled to, and the applicant shall pay, a
fee of twenty dollars for each hour or fractional part of an hour of
time of search, together with a fee of two dollars for each uncertified
copy or abstract of such record requested by the applicant or for a
certification that a search discloses no record.

* 4. No fee shall be charged for a search, certification, certificate,
certified copy or certified transcript of a record to be used for school
entrance, employment certificate or for purposes of public relief or
when required by the veterans administration to be used in determining
the eligibility of any person to participate in the benefits made
available by the veterans administration or when required by a board of
elections for the purposes of determining voter eligibility or when
requested by the department of corrections and community supervision or
a local correctional facility as defined in subdivision sixteen of
section two of the correction law for the purpose of providing a
certified copy or certified transcript of birth to an incarcerated
individual in anticipation of such incarcerated individual's release
from custody or to obtain a death certificate to be used for
administrative purposes for an incarcerated individual who has died
under custody or when requested by the office of children and family
services or an authorized agency for the purpose of providing a
certified copy or certified transcript of birth to a youth placed in the
care and custody or custody and guardianship of the local commissioner
of social services or the care and custody or custody and guardianship
of the office of children and family services in anticipation of such
youth's discharge from placement or foster care.

* NB Effective until September 1, 2022

* 4. No fee shall be charged for a search, certification, certificate,
certified copy or certified transcript of a record to be used for school
entrance, employment certificate or for purposes of public relief or
when required by the veterans administration to be used in determining
the eligibility of any person to participate in the benefits made
available by the veterans administration or when required by a board of
elections for the purposes of determining voter eligibility or when
requested by the department of corrections and community supervision or
a local correctional facility as defined in subdivision sixteen of
section two of the correction law for the purpose of providing a
certified copy or certified transcript of birth to an incarcerated
individual in anticipation of such incarcerated individual's release
from custody or to obtain a death certificate to be used for
administrative purposes for an incarcerated individual who has died
under custody or when requested by the office of children and family
services or an authorized agency for the purpose of providing a
certified copy or certified transcript of birth to a youth placed in the
care and custody or custody and guardianship of the local commissioner
of social services or the care and custody or custody and guardianship
of the office of children and family services in anticipation of such
youth's discharge from placement or foster care. Whenever a request is
made by the department of corrections and community supervision for a
certified copy or certified transcript of birth on behalf of an
incarcerated individual pursuant to this section, a certified copy of
the sentence and commitment or certificate of conviction shall be deemed
to grant authorization by the incarcerated individual to the department
to submit such request on their behalf, and no other authorization shall
be required.

* NB Effective September 1, 2022

5. (a) The United States social security administration may obtain
information from death certificates needed in the administration of
old-age and survivors insurance benefits laws, subject to the provisions
of any contract entered into pursuant to paragraph (b) of this
subdivision.

(b) In addition, the commissioner or any person authorized by the
commissioner is authorized and directed to enter into a contract to
furnish the federal secretary of health and human services information
concerning individuals with respect to whom death certificates have been
officially filed with the commissioner. Such contract shall not include
any restriction on the use of information obtained by such secretary
pursuant to such contract, except that such contract may provide that
such information is only to be used by the secretary (or any other
federal agency) for purposes of ensuring that federal benefits or other
payments are not erroneously paid to deceased individuals.

6. The federal agency in charge of vital statistics may obtain, at a
fee acceptable to the commissioner, information from birth and death
certificates for use solely as statistical data.

7. Except as herein otherwise provided, the commissioner is authorized
to establish rules and regulations whereby searches may be made and
certifications, certified copies and certified transcripts of birth and
death certificates furnished without fees to federal, state and
municipal departments for official purposes.

8. The commissioner, the commissioner of health of the city of New
York, or any person authorized by the commissioner having jurisdiction
shall immediately notify the division of criminal justice services in
the event that a copy of a birth certificate or information concerning
the birth records of any person whose record is flagged pursuant to
paragraph (i) of subdivision two of section four thousand one hundred of
this article is requested. In the event that a copy of the birth
certificate of a person whose record is so flagged is requested in
person, the personnel accepting the request shall immediately notify his
or her supervisor. The person making the request shall complete a form
as prescribed by the commissioner or, in the city of New York, the
commissioner of health of the city of New York, which shall include the
name, address and telephone numbers and social security number of the
person making the request. A motor vehicle operator's license, or if
such license is not available, such other identification as the
commissioner, or in the city of New York, the commissioner of the New
York city department of health, determines to be satisfactory, of the
person making the request shall be presented, shall be photocopied and
returned to him or her. The person receiving the request shall note the
physical description of the person making the request and his or her
supervisor shall immediately notify the local law enforcement authority
as to the request and the information obtained pursuant to this
subsection. When a copy of the birth certificate of a person whose
record has been flagged is requested in writing, the law enforcement
authority having jurisdiction shall be notified as to the request and
shall be provided with a copy of the written request. The registrar
shall retain the original written response.

9. The commissioner may institute an additional fee of fifteen dollars
for priority handling for each certification, certified copy or
certified transcript of certificates of birth, death, or dissolution of
marriage; or fifteen dollars for priority handling for each
certification, certified copy or certified transcript of certificate of
marriage.