Those looking to retrace their family tree may find Non-Genealogical Vital Records extremely useful.
Unlike genealogical vital records, Non-Genealogical Vital Records can go back as far as 80 years. Genealogy records are older, as are considered genealogy birth certificates, for example, those of births occurred over 80 years ago.
Both give crucial information regarding family history events such as births, deaths, and marriages.
What Are Non-Genealogical Vital Records?
Here is a list of U.S. Non-Genealogical Vital Records:
- Records of births occurring within the last 80 years
- Marriages occurring within the last 50 years
- Deaths occurring within the last 40 years
- All domestic partnerships and civil unions
Certified copies of Non-Genealogical Vital Records are considered legal documents and may be used to confirm identity.
How to Get Non-Genealogical Vital Records
Those who need non-genealogy birth certificates and other records for genealogy tracking and/or other purposes may make an official request to their relevant state body.
The application includes the following steps:
- Identifying the correct non-genealogical record
- Submitting acceptable proof of identity
- Completing the relevant form
- Paying the relevant application fee
- Providing acceptable proof of relationship (only if requesting a certified copy)
How to identify a non-genealogical record
Petitioners must be able to fully identify the Non-Genealogical Vital Record(s) they are requesting. This can be done by providing the following information:
- Full name on the record
- City where the event was registered
- Date of the event (month-day-year)
- Mother’s maiden name
- Father’s name (if reported on the record)
- For Marriage, Civil Union or Domestic Partnership - the spouse’s or partner’s name will be required instead of the parent’s
What is considered acceptable proof of identity?
Acceptable identification in the form of ID must be provided as part of the application.
Usually, this can consist of one of the following options:
- A current, valid photo driver's license or photo non-driver's license with current address
- A current, valid driver’s license without photo and one alternate form of ID, both with current address
- 2 alternate forms of ID, both of which should list a current address
Here is a list of alternate forms of ID:
- Vehicle registration
- Vehicle insurance card
- Voter registration
- U.S./Foreign Passport
- Immigrant Visa
- Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
- Federal/State ID
- County ID
- School ID
- Bank Statement (within previous 90 days)
- Utility bill (within the previous 90 days)
- W-2 for current/previous tax year
Homeless people can have their social worker or coordinator of their homeless shelter submit a request on their behalf. Specific requirements must be met.
Petitioners are asked to submit copies, and not the original, of the documents listed above.
How to prove relationship
In order to obtain a certified copy of a person’s vital record, you must provide proof of your relationship to them. A certified copy can be used for legal purposes and/or establishing identity.
Should you not require a certified copy but rather a certification (an uncertified informational copy of the vital record not valid for legal purposes) you can skip this step.
To obtain a certified copy, you will need to prove that you are:
- The subject of the record
- The subject’s parent, legal guardian or legal representative
- The subject’s spouse/civil union partner; child, grandchild or sibling, if of legal age
- A state or federal agency for official purposes
- Pursuant to court order
Failure to prove the above may result in the Non-Genealogical Vital Record application being denied.
Proof of relationship may include (but is not limited to):
- Your own birth certificate with your spouse/partner’s last name
- Your marriage/civil union certificate
- Your child’s birth certificate
- Your spouse’s/partner’s vital record
- Your parent’s/signling’s vital record
- Your grandparent’s vital record
- A notarized written release authorizing you to get a certified copy on someone’s behalf
- Proof of appointment as an executor/proof of legal retainer
- A court order instructing the State Registrar to issue a certified copy of the record