- Certified copies have the raised seal of the office issuing the record and are always issued on State of New Jersey safety paper. Certified copies may be used to establish identity and are legal documents.
- Certifications are issued on plain paper with no seal and clearly indicate they are not valid for establishing identity or for legal purposes. Certifications are generally only useful for genealogy. Certifications of death records do not contain the Social Security Number or the Cause of Death medical terminology.
- Getting an Apostille Seal – An Apostille Seal is an additional seal required for certain certified records that will be presented to a foreign government that is a member of the Hague Treaty. Also, the seal is often required on documents for international adoptions or establishing dual citizenship. Contact the consulate of the country involved to determine if you need an Apostille Seal.
To get a record with an Apostille Seal, first obtain a certified copy of the vital record from the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry. Indicate on your application that it will need an Apostille Seal, and you will receive a certified copy of the vital record with the original signature of the State Registrar or Assistant State Registrar. You must forward this document to the New Jersey Department of Treasury, which issues the Apostille Seal.
To get a copy of a vital record, you must submit:
- A completed application
- A copy of the proof(s) of your identity
- The correct fee
- Proof of your relationship to the person listed on the vital record you are requesting (Only required for certified copies)