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Certified Transcripts of Records; State Commissioner of Health may Furnish

After a couple gets married, the State of New York maintains the official record of the marriage. Like birth and death records, marriage records are referred to as “vital records.” According to the NY Dom. Rel. Law § 20-a, the New York State Commissioner of Health has the responsibility of maintaining those records. As you celebrate your new life with your spouse, making sure that you have a certified copy of your marriage certificate may not be the top thing on your mind. However, you may find that you need your marriage certificate for a variety of reasons. While the process of getting married is typically straightforward, complications sometimes accompany married life. The New York family lawyers at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has over 20 years of experience successfully representing clients struggling with family law related legal matters. We are here to help ensure that your interests are protected.

Marriage records

According to NY Dom. Rel. Law § 23, registration and recordkeeping of marriages is the responsibility of the New York State Commissioner of Health. There are many reasons that you may need to get a copy of your certified marriage certificate. For example, if you would like to change your last name to that of your spouse, you would need to bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate to the social security office. You will also need your marriage certificate to change your name on financial accounts, such as bank accounts.

A marriage certificate can be used as evidence of a major life event for purposes of health care insurance enrollment. Thus, you would be permitted to switch health care plans outside of the normal open enrollment period upon showing proof that you recently got married.

While maintaining your marriage records may be important to you for sentimental reasons, the record can also serve as a legal document proving your relationship and an official record of your family. If you need to get a certified copy of your marriage record, contact the Vital Records Unit of the New York State Department of Health. An official transcript of your marriage from the Commissioner of Health is considered prima facie evidence that you are married as stated in the certificate.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Records to be kept by the state department of health and the city clerk of the city of New York: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 20
  2. Certification of marriage; state commissioner of health may furnish: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 20-b
Domestic Relations Law, section 20-a: Certified transcripts of records; state commissioner of health may furnish

The state commissioner of health or person authorized by him shall, upon request, supply to any applicant a certified transcript of any marriage registered under the provisions of this article, unless he is satisfied that the same does not appear to be necessary or required for judicial or other proper purposes. Any transcript of the record of a marriage, when properly certified by the state commissioner of health or person authorized to act for him, shall be prima facie evidence in all courts and places of the facts therein stated. For any search of the files and records conducted for authorized research purposes, the state commissioner of health shall be entitled to a fee of twenty dollars for each hour or fractional part of an hour of time of search, together with a fee of two dollars for each uncertified copy or abstract of such marriage record requested by the applicant, said fees to be paid by the applicant. Each applicant for a certified transcript of a marriage record shall remit to the state commissioner of health a fee of thirty dollars in payment for the search of the files and records and the furnishing of a certified copy if such record is found or for a certification that a search discloses no record of a marriage..

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Whether it is related to marriage or another family matter, if you are struggling with a family-related legal issue, it is important that you contact an experienced New York family lawyer. With over two decades of experience with matters related marriage, divorce, asset division, debt allocation, spousal maintenance, child custody, and child support, we can help. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Queens, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
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My ex-husband hadn't paid child support or the mortgage on the house as he was supposed to. Stephen Bilkis and his team of lawyers were amazing. They stopped the foreclosure on the house, Got a judgment against him and most importantly kept me and my children in the house. Can't say enough good things about him in the firm their compassion hard work and dedication were exceptional. I.G.
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From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
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Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin