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Transitions to Adulthood

Information Pack Series

Documents and Records

Gather and Safely Store Important Records and Documents

Do yourself a favor and gather all your important documents and records BEFORE you need them. You will need them eventually and when you need them, you will be so glad to have them available.

Documents and Records

Birth Certificate

The NYS Department of Health files and issues birth certificates for residents of New York State which the exception of New York City. This website provides information on the cost and the processes associated with obtaining a birth certificate. In New York City, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene handles these requests for New York City. For genealogy records (outside of New York City) visit the NYS Department of Health's Office of Genealogy Records and Resources.

Social Security Card

Your nine-digit Social Security number remains your first and continuous link with Social Security. It helps us accurately record your covered wages or self-employment earnings. The Social Security Administration also uses it to monitor your record once you start getting benefits.

Why Do You Need One?

You need a Social Security number to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and get some other government services. But you don't often need to show your Social Security card. Do not carry your card with you. Keep it in a safe place with your other important papers.

Visit the Social Security Administration website to get a new or replacement social security card.

Driver's License and Non-Driver ID Card

The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues driver's licenses and non-driver id cards. In order to get a driver's license, you must first get a learner's permit and prepare for your road test. The DMV Get a Driver's License page contains all the information you need to get a driver's license in New York State.

To receive a non-driver ID card you must apply at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. You will receive a temporary non-photo document at the DMV office. Allow two weeks for your ID card in the mail. The Non-Driver ID webpage provides all the information you need to obtain a non-driver id card. Be sure to bring everything you need to the DMV office with you.

Health and Immunization Records

You and Your Health Records

You now have the right to see your health records. New York State law requires all health care practitioners and facilities to allow patients to have access to their health records. However, some restrictions may apply.

The information below describes your rights, what information is available and how to appeal if access to health records is denied.

Who may request information?

You can request information. Also, your parents or guardians may request access if they have consented to the health care or the care was provided in an emergency without consent. You will be required to put your request in writing. The health care provider then has 10 days after receiving the request to provide an opportunity for you to inspect your records. You can also request copies of the records. The provider may make reasonable charges to you to cover the costs of inspections and copies. However, you cannot be denied access to the records simply because you cannot pay the costs of copying or inspection.

What information is available?

All information concerning or relating to your examination or treatment is available for your review EXCEPT:

  • personal notes and observation maintained by the practitioner;
  • information that was disclosed to the practitioner under the condition that it would be kept confidential and it has been kept confidential since then;
  • information about the treatment of a minor that, in the opinion of the practitioner, should not be disclosed to the parents or guardians (a patient over the age of 12 may be told that his/her parents or guardians have requested the patient's records, and if the child objects, the provider may deny the request);
  • information that the practitioner determines may reasonably be expected to substantially harm the patient or others;
  • substance abuse program records and clinical records of facilities licensed or operated by the Office Mental Health (These records may be disclosed pursuant to a separate process in Section 33.16 of the Mental Hygiene Law);
  • information obtained from other examining or treating practitioners which may be requested from the other practitioners directly;
  • when other provisions in law prevent the release. For example, Public Health Law, Section 17 prevents release to parents or guardians of some types of children's medical records.

The provider has the right to review the requested records before granting you access. The provider may decide to deny access to all or part of the record if one of the exceptions applies. In that case, the provider may give you a prepared summary of the information.

Can denial of access to medical records and patient information be appealed?

Yes. If access is denied, you may appeal (without charge). The provider is required to give you this form explaining the appeals process. If you wish to appeal, complete the form and send it to the "Access to Patient Information Coordinator" in the New York State Department of Health at the address below. A Medical Record Access Review Committee will then review your request. The coordinator will notify the provider and the review committee of your appeal. The provider then has 10 days to send the information to the chairperson of the committee, along with a statement explaining why access was denied. The committee will review the records, provide you and the provider a chance to be heard, and issue a written determination. If the review committee decides that you should have access, the practitioner must comply.

If the committee agrees that access may reasonably be denied, you still have the right to seek disclosure through a court proceeding. However, if the committee decides that parts of the record are personal notes, the decision is final and cannot be reviewed in court.

Other rights and limitations may be involved. If you need more information, write the:

Access to Patient Information Coordinator
New York State Department of Health
Riverview Center
150 Broadway Suite 355
Albany, New York 12204-2719
or call (800) 663-6114.
Source - NYS Department of Health

Medicaid Information

If you are new to Medicaid, visit to learn more.

How do I find my local Medicaid office?

The Medicaid office is located in your local department of social services, view a listing of Medicaid Offices in New York State - excluding New York City.

If you live in the five boroughs of New York City, your offices are run by the Human Resources Administration (HRA), view a listing of Medicaid Office in New York City.

How do I order a new benefit card?

To order a new Medicaid Benefit Identification Card, please call or visit your local department of social services.

Members residing in the five boroughs of NYC can call the HRA Infoline at 1 (718) 557-1399 or the HRA Medicaid Helpline at 1(888) 692-6116.

How often do I have to renew?

Most renewals are on an annual basis. You will receive a renewal packet by mail prior to your renewal date. Your packet will let you know if there are other methods available to you for re-certification such as phone or internet renewal.

Please note that Medicaid mail cannot be forwarded. This means that if you changed your address at the post office and not with the Medicaid office, you will not receive your Medicaid mail. You must notify your Medicaid office of all address changes to ensure you receive any notices sent by them.

What do I have to do if I move from one county to another?

It is important to notify your Medicaid office any time you move especially when you are moving to another county. Your original county needs to notify the new county and get your case transferred.

If you are currently enrolled in a managed care plan that is not offered in the new county, your local department of social services will notify you so that you can choose a new plan

I'm pregnant, how do I get a card for my baby?

To request a card for your unborn baby, you will need to obtain a letter from your doctor with your anticipated due date and provide it to your local department of social services. Those living in NYC need to provide their letter to their Human Resources Administration (HRA) office.

Once the Medicaid office receives the letter, they will issue you an unborn/infant card which you will use to take the baby to the doctor once he/she is born, until the child's permanent card is issued.

Credit Report

Federal law requires each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to give you a free credit report every 12 months if you ask for it. They also make it easy to accomplish many credit-related tasks right from your computer. Visit to learn more.

The Federal Trade Commission's website and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Website contain extensive information about credit reports, your rights, and the laws that guarantee these rights. You can learn more about your free reports on their sites at Consumer Free Credit Report and Consumer Finance.

Developed by the Council on Children and Families and Funded by the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council