Guide To Obtaining Vital Records Births, Deaths, And Divorces


Welcome! You Are Here arrow3 Articles/How To/Guide To Obtaining Vital Records Births, Deaths, And Divorces.


Guide to Obtaining Vital Records For Births, Deaths, Marriages, and
Divorces

 

Introduction

As part of its mission to provide access to data and information
relating to the health of the Nation, the National Centre for Health
Statistics produces a number of publications containing reference and
statistical materials. The purpose of this publication is solely to provide
information about individual vital records maintained only on file in State
or local vital statistics' offices.

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.

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.
Addresses and fees are given for each event in the State or area concerned.

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:

* Write to the appropriate office to have your request filled.

* Under the appropriate office, information has been included for birth
and death records concerning whether the State will accept checks or money
orders and to whom they should be made payable. This same information would
apply when marriage and divorce records are available from the State office.
However, it is impossible for us to list fees and addresses for all county
offices where marriage and divorce records may be obtained.

* For all certified copies requested, make check or money order payable
for the correct amount for the number of copies you want to obtain. Cash is
not recommended because the office cannot refund cash lost in transit.

* Because all fees are subject to change, a telephone number has been
included in the information for each State for use in verifying the current
fee.

* Type or print all names and addresses in the letter. 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.

5. 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.

[Table Omitted]

Foreign or high-seas births and deaths and certificates of citizenship

Birth records of persons born in foreign countries who are U.S.
citizens at birth

The birth of a child abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) should be
reported to the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy as soon after the birth as
possible. To do this, the child's parent or legal guardian should file an
Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United
States of America (Form FS-579/SS-5). This form may also be used to apply for
a Social Security Number for the child. A $10.00 fee is charged for reporting
the birth.

The application must be supported by evidence to establish the child's
U.S. citizenship. Usually, the following documents are needed:

1. the child's foreign birth certificate;

2. evidence of the U.S. citizenship of the parent(s) such as a
certified copy of a birth certificate, U.S. passport, or Certificate of
Naturalisation or Citizenship;

3. evidence of the parents' marriage, if applicable; and

4. affidavit(s) of the physical presence of the parent(s) in the United
States.

Each document should be certified as a true copy of the original by the
registrar of the office that issued the document. Other documents may be
needed in some cases. Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for
details on what evidence is needed.

When the application is approved, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of
a Citizen of the United States of America (Form FS-240) is given to the
applicant. This document, known as the Consular Report of Birth, has the same
value as proof of citizenship as the Certificate of Citizenship issued by the
Immigration and Naturalisation Service.

A Consular Report of Birth can be prepared only at a U.S. Embassy or
Consulate overseas, and only if the person who is the subject of the report
is under 18 years of age when the application is made. A person residing
abroad who is now 18 years of age or over, and whose claim to U.S.
citizenship has never been documented, should contact the nearest U.S.
Embassy or Consulate for assistance in registering as a U.S. citizen.

As of November 1, 1990, the U.S. Department of State no longer issues
multiple copies of the Consular Report of Birth. However, a replacement
Consular Report of Birth may be issued if the original document is lost or
mutilated. The U.S. Department of State also issues certified copies of the
Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350), which contains the same
information as on the Consular Report of Birth. The DS-1350 serves most needs
and can be issued in multiple copies. Documents are issued only to the
subject of the Consular Report of Birth, the subject's parents or legal
guardian, or a person who submits written authorisation from the subject.

To request copies of the DS-1350 or a replacement FS-240, write to
Passport Services, Correspondence Branch, U.S. Department of State, 1425 K
St. NW, Room 386, Washington, DC 20522-1705. Please include the following
items:

1. the full name of the child at birth (and any adoptive name);

2. the date and place of birth;

3. the names of the parents;

4. the serial number of the FS-240 (if the FS-240 was issued after
November 1, 1990);

5. any available passport information;

6. the signature of the requester and the requester's relationship to
the subject;

7. a check or money order for $10.00 per document requested, made payable
to the U.S. Department of State; and

8. if applying for a replacement FS-240, a notarised affidavit by the
subject, parent, or legal representative that states the name, date and place
of birth of the subject, and the whereabouts of the original FS-240.

To obtain a Consular Report of Birth in a new name, send a written
request and fees as noted above, the original (or replacement) Consular
Report of Birth, or if not available, a notarised affidavit about its
whereabouts. Also, send a certified copy of the court order or final adoption
decree which identifies the child and shows the change of name with the
request. If the name has been changed informally, submit public records and
affidavits that show the change of name.

Birth records of alien children adopted by U.S. citizens

Birth certifications for alien children adopted by U.S. citizens and
lawfully admitted to the United States may be obtained from the Immigration
and Naturalisation Service (INS) if the birth information is on file.

Certification may be issued for children under 21 years of age who were
born in a foreign country. Requests must be submitted on INS Form G-641,
which can be obtained from any INS office. (Address can be found in a
telephone directory.) For Certification of Birth Data (INS Form G-350), a
$15.00 search fee, paid by check or money order, should accompany INS Form
G-641.

Certification can be issued in the new name of an adopted or
legitimated child after proof of an adoption or legitimation is submitted to
INS. Because it may be issued for a child who has not yet become a U.S.
citizen, this certification (Form G-350) is not proof of U.S. nationality.

Certificate of citizenship

Persons who were born abroad and later naturalised as U.S. citizens or
who were born in a foreign country to a U.S. citizen (parent or parents) may
apply for a certificate of citizenship pursuant to the provisions of Section
341 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Application can be made for this
document in the United States at the nearest office of the Immigration and
Naturalisation Service (INS). The INS will issue a certification of
citizenship for the person if proof of citizenship is submitted and the
person is within the United States. The decision whether to apply for a certificate
of citizenship is optional; its possession is not mandatory because a valid
U.S. passport or a Form FS-240 has the same evidentiary status.

Death records of U.S. citizens who die in foreign countries

The death of a U.S. citizen in a foreign country may be reported to the
nearest U.S. consular office. If reported, and a copy of the local death
certificate and evidence of U.S. citizenship are presented, the consul
prepares the official "Report of the Death of an American Citizen
Abroad" (Form OF-180). A copy of the Report of Death is then filed
permanently in the U.S. Department of State (see exceptions below).

To obtain a copy of a report filed in 1960 or after, write to Passport
Services, Correspondence Branch, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC
20522-1705. The fee for a copy is $10.00. Fee may be subject to change.

Reports of Death filed before 1960 are maintained by the National
Archives and Records Service, Diplomatic Records Branch, Washington, DC
20408. Requests for such records should be sent directly to that office.

Reports of deaths of persons serving in the Armed Forces of the United
States (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard) or civilian employees
of the Department of Defence are not maintained by the U.S. Department of State.
In these cases, requests for copies of records should be sent to the National
Personnel Records Centre (Military Personnel Records), 9700 Page Ave., St.
Louis, Missouri 63132-5100.

Records of birth and death occurring on vessels or aircraft on the high
seas

When a birth or death occurs on the high seas, whether in an aircraft
or on a vessel, the record is usually filed at the next port of call.

1. If the vessel or aircraft docked or landed at a foreign port,
requests for copies of the record may be made to the U.S. Department of
State, Washington, DC 20522-1705.

2. If the first port of entry was in the United States, write to the
registration authority in the city where the vessel or aircraft docked or
landed in the United States.

3. If the vessel was of U.S. registry, contact the local authorities at
the port of entry and/or search the vessel logs at the U.S. Coast Guard
Facility at the vessel's final port of call for that voyage.

Records maintained by foreign countries

Most, but not all, foreign countries record births and deaths. It is
not possible to list in this publication all foreign vital records offices,
the charges they make for copies of records, or the information they may
require to locate a record. However, most foreign countries will provide
certifications of births and deaths occurring within their boundaries.

Persons who need a copy of a foreign birth or death record should
contact the Embassy or the nearest Consulate in the U.S. of the country in
which the death occurred. Addresses and telephone numbers for these offices
are listed in the U.S. Department of State Publication 7846, "Foreign
Consular Offices in the United States," which is available in many local
libraries. Copies of this publication may also be purchased from the U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.

If the Embassy or Consulate is unable to
provide assistance, U.S. citizens may obtain assistance by writing to the
Office of Overseas Citizens Services, U.S. Department of State, Washington,
DC 20520-4818. Aliens residing in the United States may be able to obtain
assistance through the Embassy or Consulate of their country of nationality.



---------- END ----------

You are heresignpostArticles/How To/Guide To Obtaining Vital Records Births, Deaths, And Divorces

arrow_upTop of Page

dog2