For some of the biggest moments in life, there’s documentation to go along with it — and birth certificates and death certificates are possibly some of the most necessary.

A birth certificate is needed for getting a driver’s license, a passport, and verifying your U.S. citizenship throughout your life. In the U.S., birth certificates are usually issued by the hospital, birthing facility, or midwife/doula that helped deliver the pregnancy.

A death certificate is needed for family members to take care of a deceased loved one’s estate, claim life insurance benefits, and apply for permits to burial or cremation. In the U.S., death certificates are issued by the funeral home, cremation service, or other person who takes care of the deceased loved one’s remains.

If you need one of these items but haven’t completed the process before, here’s what to do in the state of New Jersey.

Key takeaways

  • The process for getting these certificates are the exact same.
  • You'll need government-issued ID or documents that show your full name and current address.
  • You may need to prove your relation to the person you're requesting a certificate for.
  • It costs $25 for a certificate, $2 per additional copy.
  • The process takes 4-8 weeks by mail, 8-12 weeks if ordering online. Same-day service is available in-person.
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How to get a birth certificate in New Jersey

You or a family member have to apply for a certified copy of your birth certificate with the New Jersey Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records. If you have questions, call 866-649-8726 or email records@doh.nj.gov.

Who is eligible to request a birth certificate

Person named on the birth certificate (you), spouse, parent, sibling, children, grandparent or grandchild, and legal guardians or representatives of the person named on the birth certificate. Must be 18 years or older.

Relatives have to prove that they’re related to you. Legal representatives have to prove that they are representing you. If you need a birth certificate for someone who is deceased, you have to also provide a copy of the person’s death certificate.

What information is on a birth certificate?

Birth certificates include the person’s name, birthdate, place of birth, and other information like gender assigned at birth. It also includes the names of your parents, and can include their birthdates and other information.

What documents do I need to get a birth certificate in New Jersey?

You need an application form if you apply by mail or in-person. You can pick up an application form at 140 E. Front Street in Trenton or download the form.. You can also apply online.

You have to provide government-issued ID or a legible photocopy. Acceptable forms of ID include a driver’s license, passport, military ID, federal and state-issued ID.

If you don’t have government-issued ID, then you need to provide two current documents that verify your full name and current address, like a utility bill, pay stub, or bank statement.

If a family member is requesting someone’s birth certificate, you have to provide documentation — like a marriage license or birth certificate — that proves you’re related to the person.

How much does it cost to get a birth certificate in New Jersey?

$25 to request a certified copy of a birth certificate, and $2 per copy if ordered at the same time. Note that there’s an additional cost of $10 in fees and a $12 shipping fee if you apply online. Make checks or money orders payable to “Treasurer, State of New Jersey.” Cash is not accepted.

  • Online: Credit card

  • In-person: Credit, check or money order

  • Mail: Check or money order

How long does it take to get a birth certificate in New Jersey?

Online orders: 8-12 weeks. In-person: Same-day. Mail: 4-8 weeks

How to apply for a birth certificate in New Jersey

  • Online (Quick & available 24/7, but $22 extra) — you can apply online with New Jersey’s Vital Records Online Service. Be ready to upload scanned copies of the required documents and pay fees with a credit or debit card.

  • In-person (Same-day service available) — Visit the Office of Vital Records at 140 E. Front Street in Trenton or the local vital records office where the birth of the person took place. You can find a local vital records office on the Office of Vital Records website.

  • MailSend your completed and signed application form, valid ID, processing fee, and any other supporting documents to: New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry, PO Box 370, Trenton, NJ 08625-0370. Remember to make checks or money orders payable to “Treasurer, State of New Jersey.” Cash is not accepted. If you’re applying by mail, the mailing address you apply with has to match the address on your ID. If you want the birth certificate sent to another address, you have to include a notarized letter that includes the alternative address and a written request to mail the certificate to that alternative address.

How to get a death certificate in New Jersey

You can request copies of a death certificate from the funeral director or person in charge of taking care of your deceased loved one’s remains when making funeral arrangements. If you need a loved one’s death certificate after their funeral has passed then you need to apply at the Office of Vital Records.

A family member or eligible party can apply for a certified copy of a death certificate. If you have questions, call 866-649-8726 or email records@doh.nj.gov.

Who is eligible to request a death certificate

Spouse, parent, sibling, children, grandparent or grandchild, a person with direct financial interest, and legal guardians or representatives of the person named on the death certificate. Must be 18 years or older.

Relatives have to prove that they’re related to the deceased person. Legal representatives have to prove that they are representing the deceased person or their estate. People with a direct financial interest — like a business partner or loan provider — have to prove that they did business with the person.

What information is on a death certificate?

Death certificates include the name of the person, time of death, place of death, cause of death, and other vital information about the deceased person.

What documents do I need to get a death certificate in New Jersey?

You need an application form if you apply by mail or in-person. You can pick up an application form at 140 E. Front Street in Trenton or download the form. You can also apply online.

You have to provide government-issued ID or a legible photocopy. Acceptable forms of ID include a driver’s license, passport, military ID, federal and state-issued ID.

If you don’t have government-issued ID, then you have to provide two current documents that verify your full name and current address, like a utility bill, pay stub, bank statement.

If a family member is requesting someone’s death certificate, you have to provide documentation — like a marriage license or birth certificate — that proves you’re related. Legal representatives have to provide documentation that they are representing the deceased person or their estate. If you have direct financial interest with the deceased person, you have to provide financial documents or contracts to prove that you were in business with this person.

How much does it cost to get a death certificate in New Jersey?

$25 to request a certified copy of a death certificate, and $2 per copy if ordered at the same time. Note that there’s an additional cost of $10 in fees and a $12 shipping fee if you apply online. Make checks or money orders payable to “Treasurer, State of New Jersey.” Cash is not accepted.

  • Online: Credit card

  • In-person: Credit, check or money order

  • Mail: Check or money order

How long does it take to get a death certificate in New Jersey?

Online orders: 8-12 weeks. In-person: Same-day. Mail: 4-8 weeks

How to apply for a death certificate in New Jersey

  • Online (Quick & available 24/7, but $22 extra) — you can apply online with New Jersey’s Vital Records Online Service.Be ready to upload scanned copies of the required documents and pay fees with a credit or debit card.

  • In-person (Same-day service available) — Visit the Office of Vital Records at 140 E. Front Street in Trenton or the local vital records office where the death of the person took place. You can find a local vital records office on the Office of Vital Records website.

  • MailSend your completed and signed application form, valid ID, processing fee, and any other supporting documents to: New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry, PO Box 370, Trenton, NJ 08625-0370. Remember to make checks or money orders payable to “Treasurer, State of New Jersey.” Cash is not accepted. If you’re applying by mail, the mailing address you apply with has to match the address on your ID. If you want the death certificate sent to another address, you have to include a notarized letter that includes the alternative address and a written request to mail the certificate to that alternative address.

Expert sources

  • Nancy Kearney, Deputy Director of Communications, New Jersey Department of Health
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