Amendment of the General Vital Statistics Provisions Regarding Birth Records (Section 207.05 of the NYC Health Code)

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Friday, July 19, 2019
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

On average, the Correction and Amendments unit within Vital Records receives 50,000 requests annually for changes to birth certificates. Each request requires a corrections application delineating the specific changes requested. Section 207.05 of the Health Code currently allows the Department to seal a birth certificate and file a new one with corrected information only in certain instances. Court orders are required for some parentage amendments and other amendments not specifically delineated in the health code and require extensive analysis of fact pattern.  Approximately 12,000 of these amendments must be done through court order each year.

Recent city council legislation resulted in a local law, pursuant to Intro 1308, that amends the administrative code of the city of New York to require redaction from birth certificates, upon request, of the names of physicians whose licenses have been surrendered or revoked.  In order to implement this law, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene proposed an amendment to Article 207 of the Health Code to allow a mechanism for this type of redaction that does not require a court order.  This amendment requires the filing of a new certificate without the name of the attending physician and the sealing of the original certificate.  The new certificate will not contain an attendant field and will not indicate correction history. 

Statutory Authority

These amendments to the Health Code are promulgated pursuant to Sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter.  Section 558 empowers the Board to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the Department extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority.