Obtaining Certificates | USA

Obtaining Certificates | USA

Obtaining Certificates | USA

In general, vital records weren’t kept in the United States until the early 1900s. Vital records usually contain the full name of the individual involved in the event, the date of the event, and the county, state, or town where the event took place. Many vital records contain much more information. For example, birth records usually have the parent’s full names, the name of the baby, the date of the birth, and county where the birth took place, marriage records often record the names and birthplaces of each individual’s parents. Divorce records usually list the names of the couple’s children. Death certificates often mention where the individual will be buried, and also give the name of the individual who reported the death.

An official certificate of every birth, death, marriage, and divorce should be on file in the locality where the event occurred. The Federal Government does not maintain files or indexes of these records. These records are filed permanently either in a State vital statistics office or in a city, county, or other local office.

In the United States, legal authority for the registration of these events resides individually with the 50 States, 2 cities (Washington, DC, and New York City), and 5 territories (Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). These jurisdictions are responsible for maintaining registries of vital events and for issuing copies of birth, marriage, divorce, and death certificates.

To obtain a certified copy of any of the certificates, write or go to the vital statistics office in the State or area where the event occurred.

To find the location of the vital statistics office in a state, you can go to that State’s website for additional information.

The following government website, Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics contains links to ALL of the states:
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/howto/w2w/w2welcom.htm

To ensure that you receive an accurate record for your request and that your request is filled expeditiously, please follow the steps outlined below for the information in which you are interested:

Give the following facts when writing for birth or death records:

  1. Full name of person whose record is being requested.
  2. Sex.
  3. Parents’ names, including maiden name of mother.
  4. Month, day, and year of birth or death.
  5. Place of birth or death (city or town, county, and State; and name of hospital, if known).
  6. Purpose for which copy is needed.
  7. Relationship to person whose record is being requested.

Give the following facts when writing for marriage records:

  1. Full names of bride and groom.
  2. Month, day, and year of marriage.
  3. Place of marriage (city or town, county, and State).
  4. Purpose for which copy is needed.
    • Relationship to persons whose record is being requested.

Give the following facts when writing for divorce records:

  1. Full names of husband and wife.
  2. Date of divorce or annulment.
  3. Place of divorce or annulment.
  4. Type of final decree.
  5. Purpose for which copy is needed.
  6. Relationship to persons whose record is being requested.