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Home > City Departments > City Clerk > Death Certificate Request

Death Certificate Request - FOR THE CITY OF BUFFALO ONLY

Please E-mail us your suggestions or Comments

Death records start at 1852 to present.      
Phone: (716) 851-5440

**Death Certificates (1950 – Current) for the Buffalo Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center are housed in the City Clerk’s office.**

  • Death records are available at the Buffalo City Clerk's Office located on the 13th floor of City Hall.  You must show proper identification as indicated under "Identification Requirements"
  • Office hours:  Monday through Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm
  • Application for Death Certificate

  • Fees: If no record is on file, a NO RECORD CERTIFICATION will be issued and the fee will NOT be refunded.

  • REQUESTING A RECORD IN PERSON: You must provide proper identification and meet eligibility requirements depending on the type of document you are seeking. The fee is $10 per certificate payable by money order, credit card (MasterCard® or Visa®)  or cash.

  • REQUESTING A RECORD VIA INTERNET: The City of Buffalo Vital Records does not accept credit cards for online orders; however, for your convenience, you can process online requests through an independent company that we have partnered with to provide you this service; VitalChek Network, Inc.  VitalChek can be reached either through its website, www.vitalchek.com, or by phone at 1-800-255-2414.  An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using this service, and all major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® or Visa®. 

  • REQUESTING A RECORD VIA MAIL: Orders are processed within 7-10 days from receipt of mail request and the following information must be included:

    • Enclose a written request with the following information: name on death certificate, date of death, spouse’s name, and parents’ names

    • Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope

    • Money order payable to the City Clerk ($10 per certificate)

    • Copy of government issued photo ID

    • Include a contact phone number 

    • Proof of address if your address on your ID is not current and send to:

Vital Records
1302 City Hall
65 Niagara Square
Buffalo NY 14202

Attorney Copies: Requests for death certificate copies by lawyers must be submitted in writing on the attorney’s letterhead or on an official application form. The request must include the decedent’s name and date of death, who the attorney represents, how the person named on the death certificate relates to the legal matter and the reason the copy is required. The letter is required so that a determination of judicial or other proper purpose can be made. Note, the attorney must represent someone who is authorized to obtain a death certificate copy.

If the request involves an estate, the attorney must state that he or she is the attorney for the estate, represents a potential heir or someone contesting the Will, etc. If the exact date of death is unknown, a range may be submitted.

Identification is required for requests made in-person.

We do not send records to third parties or PO Boxes.

Death certificates are NOT subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and are NOT open to public inspection.

Who is eligible to obtain a death certificate copy?

        -  The spouse, parent, child or sibling of the deceased - children and sibling must prove relationship through their birth certificate
        -  Other persons who have a:

    • New York State Court Order or a Government agency for a legal or proper purpose

What is a lawful right or claim?

If the applicant is not the spouse, parent, child or sibling of the decedent, a lawful right or claim must be documented.  An example of a lawful right or claim would be a death record by the applicant to claim a benefit.  Documentation would consist of an official letter from the agency verifying that to process the claim they require from the applicant a copy of the requested death record.

Identification Requirements - application must be submitted with copies of EITHER A or B:

A.  One (1) of the following forms of valid photo ID:

     - Drivers license with photo
     - Non-driver photo ID card
     - Passport
     - Other government issued photo ID

                                       OR

B.  Five (5) of the following showing the applicant's name and address:

     - Utility bills (gas, electric, phone, cable)
     - Paycheck stubs
     - Social Services card
     - Social Security card
     - Health Insurance card
     - Mortgage/Rental lease statement

Important Notes:

Failure to include necessary identification will result in rejection of your application.

A copy of Passport is required if request is made from a foreign country that requires a U.S. Passport for travel.