Vital Records

When conducting a missing persons search it is sometimes necessary to write to a state agency to request copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates. These documents are known as vital records. All states charge a fee, usually less than $15.00, and can provide certified copies for little or no extra cost.

Before spending extra money in your search, try the resources listed on our free search page. If you need an actual copy of the document a lot of the online databases provide the document number as well.

Where To Write

Click here to view U.S. States Alphabetical Directory.

What To Write

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

  • Full name of person whose record is requested.
  • Sex.
  • Parents' names, including maiden name of mother.
  • Month, day, and year of birth or death.
  • Place of birth or death
    (city or town, county, and State; and name of hospital, if known).
  • Purpose for which copy is needed.
  • Relationship to person whose record is requested.

Give the following facts when writing for marriage records:

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

Give the following facts when writing for divorce records:

  • Full names of husband and wife.
  • Date of divorce or annulment.
  • Place of divorce or annulment.
  • Type of final decree.
  • Purpose for which copy is needed.
  • Relationship to persons whose record is requested.
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