(death) certificate number

I have a question about the certificate number on a death certificate I have. It is a state level certificate from New York (state). It has two numbers on it. One is a stamped five digit number in the extreme upper right hand corner. The second is a hand written five digit number just below the stamped number. This second number is written in the Registered No. slot.


Which of the two numbers is the certificate number?

Submitted byEEon Mon, 09/09/2013 - 09:39


Different offices have different practices. In some, a stamped number such as the one you see in the top right corner of this document represents the number of certificates they have sent out in a particular year. As such, it does not assist anyone in relocating the origina;. Typically, a penned number added to a blank that's labeled something similar to the "Registered No." that's used on this document will be the actual number by which a record is retrieved.

However, if we don't know the practice of the specific office we are using, then guesswork can create a problem. EE's philosophy is "If you don't know that office's system, record them both and differentiate between them."  In this case, that practice would generate something such as "Registered No." ____ (stamped no. ______).

Submitted byCormacon Mon, 09/09/2013 - 10:12

Thanks, Ed. Are the quote marks around Registered No. a required part of the citation?



Submitted byEEon Mon, 09/09/2013 - 19:08

Cormac, any time we copy words exactly from another source, it's wise to put quotation marks around those words. If you later submit your work to an editor whose house-style would not use them, they can always be dropped. But, in our working notes, using those quotation marks lets us and any readers know this is the exact term used on the record, not a generic term we created.