Is a short form birth certificate eiligible for an apostille?


JUNE 27, 2017

NYC birth certificate short form acceptableQuestion: I have a short form birth certificate: City of NY, Vital Records Certificate, Certificate of birth: Your website says I don't need a letter of exemplification, but the Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request form says I do. Which is correct?

Answer: The Office of New York State Secretary of State that issues apostilles suggests a way of preparing your certificate for an apostille. This does not mean that it is the only way.  If you were born in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens or Staten Island and your birth certificate is signed by one of the following City Registrars, STEVEN P. SCHWARTZ * IRENE A. SCANLON * EARLENE PRICE * IRWING MELLON, your birth certificate can be apostilled without a letter of exemplification. These signatures can be authenticated directly by one of the NYC courts, then the document is taken to the Office of the Secretary of State for an apostille.

Short form birth certificates are absolutely acceptable for New York State apostilles or legalization by foreign embassies. 

NY apostille for short form birth certificate

Foreign authorities request apostilled or legalized birth certificates for many various reasons including adoption, getting married to a foreign national, obtaining dual citizenship, etc. So, if you only have a New York issued short form birth certificate, can it be apostilled? Or do you have to obtain a long form first?

Short form birth certificates are absolutely acceptable for New York State apostilles or legalization by a foreign embassy. No Exemplification letter is required. In fact, exemplification letters are not issued for short form birth certificates, only for long form birth certificates!

tip apostilleWhen you search online "How to get an apostille for a New York short form birth certificate?" you will probably see advice like "The unofficial way is for you to create a letter stating that you have an original or a copy of a birth certificate issued by the state, city, or local county registrar of your locality. then you get the letter you created & have it notarized." This is not the correct way to get an apostille for a birth certificate! do not follow this advice! Please email a copy fo your birth certificate to us for a free evaluation, and we will tell you if your document qualifies, and how to proceed. Copies certified as true copies by the document custodian (you) are not acceptable! You do need the original document.

tip apostilleSome foreign countries require that certified copies of birth certificates are recent, e.g. were issued within the last six or twelve months. Please find out the requirement of the receiving foreign country before you start with the process of legalization.

tip apostille

Some foreign countries and embassies specifically require long form birth certificates. Always follow the requirements of the receiving organization!


NY apostille: price, processing time, order form

new-york-apostille-priceNew York Apostille: $175 (FedEx Express Saver within the U.S. is included).
Processing time: 3-5 bus. days.
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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Our guarantee: 100% refund if we are not able to apostille your document(s). No service fees. 

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