Letter of Exemplification: do you need it to get a New York apostille?


JULY 28, 2016

Exemplification letter for New York ApostilleA Letter of Exemplification (also called "Exemplification of Birth or Death Record") is a page attached to a New York City birth (long form only) or death certificate. It is signed by a Deputy City Registrar. Is a Letter of Exemplification required for a New York apostille?

New City birth and death certificates can be apostilled / legalized with or without exemplification letters.

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Exemplification of Birth or Death Record

exemplification letter for Birth or Death Certificate for New York ApostilleExemplification of Birth or Death Record is a separate page which the New York city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene attaches to NYC birth and 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. The reason for issuing a Letter of Exemplification is mere convenience. The New York City County Clerk's Office does not have the signature of the City Registrar on file, and cannot authenticate this signature directly. However, the signatures of Deputies City Registrar who sign Letters of Exemplification are on file with this office.

If you requested a copy of a birth or death certificate from the New York State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and need to get a New York apostille for it, it can come with or without a Letter of Exemplification. Exemplification letters can only be issued at the time a certified copy of the birth or death certificate is issued. You cannot request a Letter of Exemplification separately. So if there is a specific requirement by the receiving foreign agency that the document has to be accompanied by a Letter of Exemplification, ufortunately, you need to start the process all over again. If, however, there is no such requirement, your document can be apostilled without a Letter of Exemplification.

Long Form Birth Certificate with a Letter of Exemplification

tip apostillePlease note that a few consulates (e.g. the Italian consulate, for the purpose of obtaining Italian citizenship) specifically require that you submit a long form birth certificate with a Letter of Exemplification. Please follow the consulate requirements. However, if a Letter of exemplification is not specifically required (like in 99% of the cases), your birth certificate can be apostilled / legalized without it.

Exemplified/Non-exemplified records: Prices, processing time, order form

new-york-apostille-priceNew York Apostille: $175 (FedEx 2nd day within the U.S. is included).
Processing time: 3-5 bus. days + mail.
Embassy legalization: $375 (most embassies)
Processing time: depends on the embassy.
FedEx (standard overnight): $25
FedEx International is $60 (most countries)
FedEx International to Eastern Europe and South America: $90
Complete the Order form and enclose it with your documents. Our mailing address is
Foreign Documents Express
123 Seventh Avenue, Suite 175
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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Due to the public health concern regarding COVID-19, many New York State and New York City agencies and consulates have suspended all walk-in service.  Therefore, all apostille/ authentication requests are being processed via mail with delayed processing time. The processing time for New York apostilles is currently around two and a half weeks. 

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