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Instant Vital Records Search

Marriage, Divorce, Birth & Death Records
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What Does a Vital Records Report Include?

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Finding vital records can be time-consuming and frustrating. Each state has specific laws regarding access to vital records, and state agencies in charge of records vary. Some vital records are public, but the government has the right to charge a fee for copies, and it can quickly get expensive when ordering multiple records. InfoTracer's powerful search engine can help you find millions of vital records nationwide with a single search. Our database contains billions of public records that are updated regularly. Coverage varies by state. Try a vital records search today!

  • Birth Records
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Death Records
  • Family Members
  • Relatives
  • Contact Details
  • Personal Assets
  • Court Records
  • Public Records
  • And More

What are Vital Records?

What are Vital Records?

Vital records document life events like births, deaths, marriages, and divorces.

Adoptions and civil unions or domestic partnerships also fall under the heading of vital records. Vital records are created, maintained, and stored by government agencies. In some states, that is the Department of Health or Division of Vital Records. Vital records are maintained by local government (county offices) and state departments. Although hospitals, churches, and some towns began using vital records in the 1800s, most states did not standardize the requirements until the early 1900s.

Birth Certificates

Birth Certificates

Birth records document the event of someone's birth. These records typically include the subject's name, time and date of birth, place of birth, parents' names, and the city, county, and state of birth. An official birth certificate will also include the child's footprints and a seal from the state agency that created it. In the case of stillbirth or fetal death, the health care organization or state agency may create a different type of certificate. Foreign adoptees may also have a different kind of birth certificate. Birth parents may have to contact the foreign country to get an actual copy of their official birth certificate.

Birth certificates are used to verify someone's identity to obtain a driver's license or passport, get jobs, professional licenses, and join a school or the military.

Death Certificates

Death Certificates

Death certificates record someone's passing. A death record will contain the deceased's name, age, gender, race, birthplace, date of birth, marital status, parents' names, relatives' contact information, and the deceased's education level. An official death certificate will also show the date, location, and time of death, any illnesses, social security number, disposition (burial or cremation), and the cause of death.

Death certificates are necessary when filing a claim for death benefits, life insurance, and remarrying.

Marriage Records

Marriage Records

Marriage records document the union of two people through marriage. Marriage licenses or certificates may contain both parties' names and maiden names (if applicable), their ages, where the wedding took place, birth date and place of each party, parents' names and birthplace, occupation of each party, and their marital status at the time of the wedding.

Marriage certificates are needed when either party changes their name officially with credit card companies, banks, and on their driver's license or social security card.

Divorce Decrees

Divorce Decrees

Divorce records verify the end of a marriage. Divorce records contain information like both parties' names, court information where the divorce was finalized, and the date of the divorce. A divorce decree contains more information about child custody terms, property division, spousal support, child support, and other details.

Divorce certificates are used when someone wants to get remarried or legally change their name back to their maiden name.

InfoTracer is not a consumer reporting agency under the Fair Credit Reporting Agency (FCRA) and does not provide FCRA compliant consumer reports. InfoTracer does not permit the use of information obtained from their service for use in discriminating against any consumer or for the purposes of determining a consumer's eligibility for personal credit, insurance, employment, housing, licenses, or benefits. It also does not permit the use of gathered information for any purpose related to a consumer's economic or financial standing or status.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vital Records

Are Vital Records Public?

Yes, vital records are public records. However, each state has rules regarding access. Only specific individuals can get official copies of vital records in many cases, but you can access general vital records information and vital statistics freely. Contact the National Center for Health Statistics for more information on vital events.

How to Find Vital Records

Obtaining vital records is not always quick or easy. First, you must know which government office (usually a .gov website) to contact, and they will have a specific procedure you must follow. The CDC has a list of all vital records offices in the U.S. Typically, vital records offices charge a fee for copies of certificates.

How to Get Old Vital Records

Some vital records are stored within state archives. Many of these repositories offer online services, and you can search for records, but most keep paper records. Often, the public is restricted from accessing records until the records reach the age of 50 or 100 years.

How to Find Birth Records for Free

You may be able to find registration of births online, but you will have to pay a fee for a copy in most cases. However, finding the information is only half the story. If you want official certified copies, you must contact the state vital records offices and use their procedure for obtaining them.

How Long are Death Records Kept After Death?

In general, the recommendation is that loved ones should keep copies of death records for three years after the person dies. States keep them forever. After a certain amount of time (usually 50 or 100 years), they are moved into archives for safekeeping.

How to Find Marriage Records

You can look up marriage records in a variety of ways. You can contact the court clerk where the marriage license was filed. You may be able to get marriage records from town offices or online through third-party searches.

Where to Find Divorce Records

Divorce records are most often held by the court that finalized the divorce. However, you can sometimes get copies of divorce decrees and records online through third-party sources.

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