Title: Section 35.5 - Genealogical research; method of disclosure; searches

35.5 Genealogical research; method of disclosure; searches.

(a) Information from records of birth, death and marriage may be provided for genealogical research purposes, subject to the restrictions of this Part, in the form of an uncertified copy or abstract upon written application and payment of the applicable statutory fees, which are contained in Public Health Law, sections 4173 and 4174 and Domestic Relations Law, sections 19 and 20-a. If a search discloses no record, the applicant shall be required to pay the specified fee for the time spent for the search for the record and for a certification that the search disclosed no record. Information will not be released if it is to be used for commercial or profitmaking purposes.

(b) Records searches shall be conducted only by the following persons in the files maintained by their respective agencies:

(1) authorized employees of the Department of Health;

(2) a local registrar, deputy registrar, or an authorized employee of the registrar; and

(3) a town or city clerk, deputy clerk, or an authorized employee of the town of city clerk.

(c) Information may be released subject to the following limitations:

(1) no information shall be released from a record of birth which has been placed in a confidential file pursuant to Public Health Law, section 4138;

(2) no information shall be released from a record of birth unless the record has been on file for at least 75 years and the person to whom the record relates is known to the applicant to be deceased;

(3) no information shall be released from a record of death unless the record has been on file for at least 50 years; and

(4) no information shall be released from a record of marriage unless the record has been on file for at least 50 years and the parties to the marriage are known to the applicants to be deceased.

(d) The time periods specified in paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) of subdivision (c) of this section are waived if the applicant is a descendant or has been designated to act on behalf of a descendant of the person whose record is being requested. A descendant is a person in the direct line of descent such as a son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter. The applicant shall provide documentation of descendancy prior to the release of information in those instances where a waiver of the waiting period is requested. A party acting on behalf of a descendant shall further provide documentation that the descendant authorized the party to make such application.

(e) All uncertified copies, abstracts or information issued for genealogical research purposes shall be clearly marked with the statement "for genealogical purposes only."
 

Volume

VOLUME A-1 (Title 10)

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