Vital records are those documents thatprovide an important milestone or event ineach of our lives. These records includelegal certificates of your birth, marriage,death, and court documents of any divorces.Each of these vital records provides not onlydocumentation of the event, but they areequally important in other ways after theevent.
People search for vital records for manyreasons, including but certainly not limited to: • Verifying family history (genealogy) • Locating an individual • Background checks on individuals • Providing proof of a death for insurance purposes • Obtaining a driver’s license
Where to Begin Your Search?Searching for vital records can be a challenge.The good news is that if you know the state andcounty in which the event took place, you cancontact that government agency, such as acounty courthouse, registrar, or state office ofvital statistics, and request access to thesedocuments. Usually there is a small fee andforms to complete for the request. The bad newsis that if you do not know the state or county, yoursearch could take longer.
State-Specific Searches Available Online Thankfully, there is more good news. In our current digital age with databases connected through a worldwide network of computers, you can still obtain vital records with diligent research and by using the right resources.
State and county agencies can be contactedvia the internet where you can make yourrequest. A good place to start looking for theproper state vital records agency is by usingthe state-by-state resource provided by theCenters for Disease Control and Preventionsite at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.Here you can click on the state you need andfind specific offices for each vital record.
Other Online ResourcesHowever, where do you go if you only have a name andnot a clue where the vital event took place? There aremany companies that provide a valuable service bysearching for vital records. One resource iswww.vitalchek.com, which is a company owned byLexisNexis, the world’s leading research organization.VitalChek offers you an easy, step-by-step process toorder your vital record. At the end of your order, yousimply pay the required agency fee, plus a singleVitalChek order fee, and your document will be on theway.
Another online resource for all vital records iswww.archives.com. This resource is helpful forfamily searches and genealogy, and it has over 1billion records accessible. In addition, you canbrowse collections of records, network with otherfamily history buffs, and get expert vital recordsearch advice. Archives.com does charge areasonable subscription to access their records, butthey also offer a free 7-day trial where you can trysearching their databases with no paymentobligation.
Your vital records search, whether it is foryourself, a family member, or otherindividual, begins at your fingertips. Usingthese online resources can save you time,stress, and money, and get you the recordsor information you need.