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Pennsylvania Vital Records

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The following is for informational purposes only

What are Pennsylvania Vital Records?

Pennsylvania's vital records are the official records of births, marriages, divorces, and deaths in Pennsylvania. The Division of Vital Records of Pennsylvania maintains these records and issues certified copies of vital records to authorized individuals.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate in Oklahoma?

Pennsylvania birth records

The Division of Vital Records has been collecting Pennsylvania birth records since 1906. However, some earlier birth records may exist in other record-keeping agencies. You can visit the Pennsylvania County Courthouse for a list of county courthouses with birth records.

The only persons who can receive certified copies of birth certificates in Pennsylvania are:

  • The person named on the certificate.
  • A parent or legal guardian of the person named on the certificate.
  • A grandparent of the person named on the certificate.
  • An authorized legal representative.

You will need to provide the following information when ordering a certified copy of a birth certificate in Pennsylvania:

  • The full name of the person on the record.
  • The date of birth.
  • The county where the person was born.
  • The relationship of the requester to the person on the record.
  • The reason for requesting the birth certificate.

To order a birth certificate online, you can use VitalChek. Aside from paying the standard certificate fee of $20, an additional processing fee of $10 also applies. They accept all major credit and debit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Select between First Class Mail® or UPS as your shipping option.

VitalChek is the only authorized vendor of Pennsylvania vital records. Expect a delay in service if you choose to use any other vendor.

For walk-in services, you can visit the Public Office page of Pennsylvania Vital Records for office locations and operating hours. All Vital Records offices are open for walk-in services. They operate Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, except on holidays.

You must complete the Application for Birth Certificate form for mail services and send it to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Vital Records with the appropriate fee. All certificates are mailed using First Class Mail. If you require expedited shipping, you can apply online and choose UPS as your shipping option.

Send your completed application form, along with the appropriate fee, to:

Division of Vital Records
Birth Certificate Processing Unit
PO Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

The estimated processing time for all paper applications mailed to the Division of Vital Records is two weeks. Online orders placed through mycertificates.health.pa.gov have a processing time of two weeks as well.

You can call the Pennsylvania Vital Records at 724-656-3100 or 844-228-3516 (toll-free) if you have any questions about ordering birth certificates.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Death Certificate in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania death records

The Division of Vital Records has been collecting Pennsylvania vital records since 1906. All records before 1906 were recorded sporadically by some counties and cities such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. You can visit the Pennsylvania State of Archives for a list of counties with death records.

The only persons who can receive certified copies of death certificates in Pennsylvania are:

  • The surviving spouse.
  • The child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of the deceased.
  • A parent or legal guardian of a child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of the deceased.
  • An administrator or executor of the estate.
  • A legal representative.

You will need to provide the following information when ordering a certified copy of a death certificate in Pennsylvania:

  • The full name of the person on the record.
  • The date of death.
  • The county where the person died.
  • The relationship of the requester to the person on the record.
  • The reason for requesting the death certificate.

To order a death certificate online, you can use VitalChek. In addition to paying the standard certificate fee of $20, an additional processing fee of $10 also applies. They accept all major cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Select between First Class Mail® or UPS as your shipping option.

VitalChek is the only authorized vendor of Pennsylvania vital records. Expect a delay in service if you choose to use any other vendor.

For walk-in services, you can visit the Public Office page of Pennsylvania Vital Records for office locations and operating hours. All Vital Records Offices are open for walk-in services Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, except on holidays.

You must complete the Application for Certified Copy of Death Certificate form for mail services and send it to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Vital Records, with the appropriate fee. All certificates are mailed using First Class Mail. If you require expedited shipping, you can apply online and choose UPS as your shipping option.

Send your completed application form, along with the appropriate fee, to:

Division of Vital Records
Death Certificate Processing Unit
PO Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

The estimated processing time for all paper applications mailed to the Division of Vital Records is three weeks. Online orders placed through mycertificates.health.pa.gov have a processing time of 3 weeks as well.

You can call the Pennsylvania Vital Records at 724-656-3100 or 844-228-3516 (toll-free) if you have any questions about ordering death certificates.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Marriage Certificate in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania marriage records

According to the provisions of state law, marriage records that are licensed within the state's jurisdiction are public records. However, certified copies of marriage certificates can only be issued to authorized individuals.

The following persons are authorized to receive a certified copy of a marriage certificate in Pennsylvania:

  • The bride or groom.
  • Those who are authorized by court order.

Marriage records in Pennsylvania are managed by the Marriage Records Division of the courts in the county where the marriage license was obtained. You can request public marriage records in person or mail them to the courthouse clerk of the county where the marriage license was issued.

You can also request PA marriage records by submitting a completed marriage certificate order at the appropriate Orphan's Court Clerks office.

Upon request, you will need to provide the following information:

  • The names of the bride and groom.
  • The date of marriage.
  • The county where the license was issued.
  • The marriage license number.
  • The relationship of the requester to the persons on the record.
  • A reason for requesting the marriage certificate.

Together with the information above, you will need to provide a government-issued ID to prove your identity.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Divorce Certificate in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania divorce records

Pennsylvania divorce records are public information in Pennsylvania unless ruled by court order. However, certified copies of divorce certificates can only be issued to authorized individuals.

The following persons are authorized to receive a certified copy of a divorce certificate in Pennsylvania:

  • The divorced parties involved.
  • The person who has the required legal authority to access the records.

Divorce records in Pennsylvania are managed by the Divorce Certificate Division of the courts in the county where the divorce decree was granted. You can send your request for public divorce records to the Orphans' Court Clerk of the county where the divorce decree was granted either in person or by mail.

If you require certified records, you must provide the following information:

  • The names of the divorced parties involved.
  • The date of divorce.
  • The county where the divorce decree was granted.
  • The case number assigned to the divorce.

Additional documents proving your eligibility to access and receive certified records may be required, including

  • A government-issued photo ID.
  • A certified copy of your court order.
  • Any documents proving your relationship between the subject of the record or the requesting party.

Helpful State Resources