How to Request for Divorce & Annulment Certificates in the State of New York

By Teo Spengler

After all the emotions, arguments, court appearances and tears, the end of a marriage boils down to a single document: a certificate of dissolution. This is a useful document to have when you are asked to prove you are divorced or your marriage was annulled, whether for insurance, taxes or other purposes. In New York state, you obtain a certificate of dissolution of marriage at the Vital Records Office of the New York State Department of Health, but you do not necessarily have to go there to get it.

Divorce Documents

Do not confuse a certificate of dissolution of marriage with the divorce decree. The latter is the official judgment of divorce issued by the court at the conclusion of a divorce case. It contains all of the terms of the divorce, including child custody, visitation and support, as well as property and debt division. If you have lost your divorce decree, you need to visit the County Clerk's Office in the county where the divorce was issued and request another. On the other hand, a New York certificate of dissolution of marriage is a piece of paper containing basic information about the divorce, such as the names of the parties and date and place the divorce or annulment was granted. Certificates are available for divorces and annulments from 1963 forward.


The termination of a marriage is a private matter but also a public one; it ends the relationship between two spouses but also alters the rights and obligations of these ex-spouses toward third parties. Both interests are served by the rules regarding access to dissolution certifications in New York. Either of the former spouses are able to obtain the dissolution certificate, as well as any third party whom a court determines is entitled to proof that the marriage is over. A third party may have a legitimate need for this kind of proof, for example, when an action is brought by the recipient of a quit claim deed received from one of the former spouses.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Identification Requirements

To order a dissolution certificate, you must establish that you are one of the persons entitled to it. To prove you are one of the former spouses or person named in a court order, you must submit a copy of an identify card that bears your photo such as your driver license, state-issued identification card, passport or military identification document. Alternatively, you can provide utility or phone bills in your name with your listed address plus a letter sent to you at that address by a government agency within the last six months.


If you are in Menands, New York, where the Vital Records Customer Service Lobby is located, you can order the certificate by walking into the office at 800 North Pearl Street. The desk is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Pay the fee with check, cash or money order. You need the names of the divorced or annulled parties plus the date of the divorce or annulment. Regular requests are handled in about two weeks and the document is mailed to you. For a fee, you can ask for priority service and get the document the same day.

Order by Mail

You can also order the dissolution certificate by mail, Internet or telephone. A mail request is the cheapest alternative but the turnaround time is at least 10 weeks. To speed things up, you can pay another fee for priority service that gets you the certificate in 2 to 4 weeks. Copies of identity documents and a check or money order must be included with the mail request. Regular and priority requests must be sent to different addresses, so be sure you use the correct one for the service you want.

Order by Internet or Telephone

An Internet or phone request is automatically treated as a priority request and costs the same as priority mail service. Internet and phone requests must be addressed to VitalChek Network, Inc., and the company adds an extra service fee. You will need to fax or scan your identification document and provide it to the company before your order is complete.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Instructions to Obtain a Divorce Certificate in New York



Related articles

How to Obtain Certified Copies of Divorce Papers in Kentucky

No stranger looking at couple's divorce papers can imagine all the disparate emotions lodged between the words of the printed form; love, hate, regret, hope and despair may all have roles in the end of a marriage. Kentucky makes dissolution of a marriage a little easier by allowing no-fault divorce, so slings and arrows are not required. When the court finally signs off on the divorce plan, it all boils down to just a few pages. Those involved or merely curious can obtain certified copies in the clerk's office.

How to Obtain Personal Divorce Records in Vancouver, BC

To find divorce records in Vancouver, you have two straightforward options. For more recent cases, you must apply to the Supreme Court registry, which has divorce certificates on file. Information on older divorce cases (1983 and previous) is accessible at the Vancouver Public Library. Public information in divorce cases includes the names of the parties, the case file number and the date the case was filed. The public may also access the divorce certificate and any orders issued by the court.

How to Get a Copy of a Divorce Online in New Jersey

Certified divorce documents are often needed for various financial transactions and other legal matters. The New Jersey State Court System maintains an extensive website that provides general information, legal forms, a list of all the local county courthouses and a public search engine. Divorce cases are kept by the county in which they were filed and classified active or closed. Older closed files are eventually archived and those files are moved from the local county courthouses to the Superior Court Clerk’s Office and stored in a central warehouse. To order the document you need, you must locate your case, determine whether it is active, closed or archived, and order the documents.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Obtain a Divorce Date

To obtain your divorce date -- the date on which your divorce became final -- you can order copies of your divorce ...

How to Get Divorce Copies From Oregon

It may be necessary to obtain a copy of your divorce paperwork for several reasons; you might need it to remarry or ...

Does a Marriage Certificate Qualify as a Name Change for Passport Requirements?

If you formally change your name when you marry, you must notify all government agencies that have issued you ...

How to Get Divorce Records From Conroe Texas Online

The city of Conroe, Texas is located in Montgomery County. There are two types of divorce records for divorce ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED