How to Find a Divorce Decree in New York State

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There are two types of divorce records in New York state: divorce decrees and divorce certificates. Divorce decrees are filed in the county court where the decree was issued and must be requested in person. Divorce certificates are available for divorces granted after Jan. 1, 1963 and they can be ordered by mail, by telephone or online from the New York Department of Health.

Only spouses who were involved in the divorce or a person with a court order can obtain a divorce certificate or decree copy.

Request a Decree in Person

Visit the clerk of the county court where the decree was issued to retrieve a divorce decree in person. If your divorce occurred in New York before Jan. 1, 1963, this is your only option. Divorce certificates were not issued before that date, so telephone, internet or mail orders are not available.

By Telephone or Online

You can order a copy of your divorce certificate by calling 1-877-854-4481 if your divorce occurred after Jan. 1, 1963. The New York State Department of Health is partnered with a company known as VitalChek to accept all phone orders. The total cost to receive a divorce certificate by internet or phone is $30 as of March 2019, plus a $15 handling fee and an additional $8 vendor processing fee for a total of $53.00. The vendor fee is charged per transaction, not per certificate. You will only pay this fee once if you order multiple certificates.

You'll receive your certified copy within five to seven business days of placing your order. You can also order a copy of your divorce certificate online directly from VitalChek if your divorce occurred after Jan. 1, 1963. The total cost to receive a divorce certificate online is the same as that for phone orders.

Order by Mail

Ordering a copy of your divorce certificate by mail is also an option if your divorce occurred after Jan. 1, 1963. You can download and print the appropriate form from the "Order by Mail" page on the Department of Health's website. The fee is $30 for regular processing and you'll receive your copy within 10 to 12 weeks. For regular handling, mail your form to:

New York State Department of Health Vital Records
Section Certification Unit
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602

The fee for priority handling is $45 and you'll receive your copy within two to four weeks. For priority processing, mail your form to:

New York State Department of Health Vital Records
Section Certification Unit
800 North Pearl Street
Menands, NY 12204

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About the Author

Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Jackie Whalen has been writing since 2007. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently a third-year law student.

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