Who is Eligible to Apply for Certified Copies of Vital Records?

A certified copy of a vital record (birth, death, civil union, marriage, or divorce certificate) is issued only to an applicant who has a direct and tangible interest in the record. The following persons are considered to have such an interest:

  • the registrant (the person whom the record is concerned with);
  • the registrant’s spouse;
  • the registrant’s parent(s);
  • a descendant of the registrant (e.g., a child or grandchild);
  • a person having a common ancestor with the registrant (e.g., a sibling, grandparent, aunt/uncle, or cousin);
  • a legal guardian of the registrant;
  • a person or agency acting on behalf of the registrant;
  • a personal representative of the registrant’s estate;
  • a person whose right to obtain a copy of the record is established by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction;
  • adoptive parents who have filed a petition for adoption and need to determine the death of one or more of the prospective adopted child’s natural or legal parents;
  • a person who needs to determine the marital status of a former spouse in order to determine the payment of alimony;
  • a person who needs to determine the death of a nonrelated co-owner of property purchased under a joint tenancy agreement; and
  • a person who needs a death certificate for the determination of payments under a credit insurance policy.

If you are not able to establish a direct and tangible interest in the record, you are ineligible and will not be issued a certified copy of the record.

Upon request, a letter of verification attesting to the existence of a requested record on file with the Department of Health may be issued. Instructions for applying for letters of verification are included in the next section and immediately follow the set of instructions on applying for certified copies. The same eligibility requirements apply for both ceritified copies and verification letters.

A search of the records on file with the Department of Health will only be conducted to process an application requesting either a certified copy or a letter of verification. If the search establishes that the requested record is not on file, you will be notified that no record has been found. No searches of the records on file with the Department of Health will be conducted prior to or outside of the receipt of an application and payment of fees