Birth, Death & Marriage Records

About Vital Records

About Vital Records

Vital Records are birth, death, marriage, and civil union documents. They are legal documents that contain information about the vital events of people in our society. Certified copies of vital records are used for many purposes, such as to establish proof of age, receive social security benefits, and receive death benefits from life insurance policies.

What We Do

In addition to registering, filing, and issuing vital records and publishing data, the Office of Vital Records can:

  • Correct birth, death, marriage, and/or civil union records.
  • Update records following legal name changes.
  • Create new certificates of birth following court orders of adoption and paternity.
  • Issue a "Certificate of Foreign Birth" for children born in a foreign country and adopted by a Rhode Island resident. This service is provided by appointment only. more
  • Meet with parents to complete voluntary affidavits of paternity or legitimations. This service is provided by appointment only.
  • Provide aggregate data and information to data users and researchers upon approval.

What You Should Do

Where to Get Vital Records

Where to Get Vital Records

State Office

Copies of vital records can also be obtained by mail or in person at the State Office of Vital Records. Directions. In addition to registering, filing, and issuing vital records and publishing data, the Office of Vital Records can:

  • Correct birth, death, marriage, and/or civil union records.
  • Update records following legal name changes.
  • Create new certificates of birth following court orders of adoption and paternity. more
  • Issue a "Certificate of Foreign Birth" for children born in a foreign country and adopted by a Rhode Island resident. This service is provided by appointment only. more
  • Meet with parents to complete voluntary affidavits of paternity or legitimations. This service is provided by appointment only. more
  • Provide aggregate data and information to data users and researchers upon approval.

Office Hours

12:30 to 4 PM, Monday - Friday. Parking is restricted to state employees before 3 PM.


City and Town Clerks Offices

Local clerk offices have records for all the births, deaths, marriages, and civil unions that occur in those cities and towns. All 39 cities and towns can also provide copies of most birth certificates for anyone born in the state on or after January 1, 1960. Make sure to call and check the hours of operation.

Town and Web Link Address Phone Number
Barrington Town Clerk 283 County Road 401-247-1900 ext 301
Bristol Town Clerk 10 Court Street 401-253-7000
Burrillville Town Clerk 105 Harrisville Main Street 401-568-4300
Central Falls City Clerk 580 Broad Street 401-727-7400
Charlestown Town Clerk 4540 South County Trail 401-364-1200
Coventry Town Clerk 1670 Flat River Road 401-822-9173 ext 9170
Cranston City Clerk 869 Park Ave 401-461-1000
Cumberland Town Clerk 45 Broad Street 401-728-2400
East Greenwich Town Clerk 125 Main St 401-886-8603 or 8604
East Providence City Clerk 145 Taunton Ave 401-435-7596
Exeter Town Clerk 675 Ten Rod Road 401-294-3891
Foster Town Clerk 181 Howard Hill Road 401-392-9200
Glocester Town Clerk PO Box B , Chepachet 401-568-6206
Hopkinton Town Clerk 1 Town House Road 401-377-7777
Jamestown Town Clerk 93 Narragansett Ave 401-423-7200
Johnston Town Clerk 1385 Hartford Ave 401-553-8830
Lincoln Town Clerk 100 Old River Road 401-333-1100
Little Compton Town Clerk 40 Commons 401-635-4400
Middletown Town Clerk 350 E Main Road 401-847-0009
Narragansett Town Clerk 25 Fifth Ave 401-789-1044
New Shoreham Town Clerk Drawer 220, Block Island 401-466-3200
Newport City Clerk 43 Broadway 401-846-9600 ext 326
North Kingstown Town Clerk 80 Boston Neck Road 401-294-3331
North Providence Town Clerk 2000 Smith St 401-232-0900
North Smithfield Town Clerk 1 Main St, Slatersville 401-767-2200 ext 30
Pawtucket City Clerk 137 Roosevelt Ave 401-728-0500 ext 224
Portsmouth Town Clerk PO Box 155 401-683-2101
Providence City Registrar 25 Dorrance St 401-421-7740 ext 213
Richmond Town Clerk 5 Richmond Townhouse Rd, Wyoming 401-539-2497
Scituate Town Clerk 195 Danielson Pike, North Scituate 401-647-2822
Smithfield Town Clerk 64 Farnum Pike, Esmond 401-233-1000 ext 11
South Kingstown Town Clerk 180 High St, Wakefield 401-789-9331 ext 23
Tiverton Town Clerk 343 Highland Rd 401-625-6703
Warren Town Clerk 514 Main St 401-245-7340
Warwick City Clerk 3275 Post Rd 401-738-2000
West Greenwich Town Clerk 280 Victory Hwy 401-392-3800
West Warwick Town Clerk 1170 Main St 401-822-9201
Westerly Town Clerk 45 Broad St 401-348-2500
Woonsocket City Clerk 169 Main St 401-767-9248

Fees

Fees

The State Office of Vital Records accepts cash, check, or money order if the request for records is made in person. The Office only accepts check or money order if the request is made by mail (do not send cash). If requesting the certificate from the State Office, make the check or money order payable to "General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island." The State Office is not able to accept debit/credit card payments. If obtaining a record from a city or town clerk, payments should be made to the local office.

Certified copies

The fee for a certified copy of a vital record (from state or local registrars) is $20. Additional copies of the same record issued at the same time are $15.00 each. Per Rhode Island General Law, the fee provides for a search of two consecutive calendar years under one name and for issuance of a certified copy of a birth, fetal death, death, marriage, or civil union record.

If the record is not found, you will be charged for the service. However, in most cases, you will receive a certified letter stating that the record was not located. There is an additional $2 for each year searched beyond the two-year period.

Other services provided by the State Office

  • Corrections to birth, death, marriage, and/or civil union records within one year of the event: Free
  • Corrections to records after one year: $10.
  • Expedited service fee (additional fee for priority handling of requests for certified copies by mail): $7
  • Adoption, legitimation, or paternity processing fee: $15.
  • Delayed birth, death, marriage, or civil union processing fee: $20. (Note: Any record filed after one year is deemed "delayed" and marked with a stamp in the header of the record. Documented evidence must be submitted and accepted to the State Office to create a delayed certificate.)

Identification

Identification

To access services at the State Office of Vital Records (e.g. to request a certified copy of a record, to correct or update a record, etc.), you must present valid picture identification issued by a governmental organization. This includes:

  • Driver's License
  • Passport
  • Military Identification
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Alien Registration Card

You must present an original form of identification if requesting services in person. If requesting by mail, a readable copy of identification is required and will not be returned to you. If you submit an application or request without identification, it will not be processed and it will be returned to you.

If you do not have government-issued picture identification, you may submit two other documents containing the name and current address of the applicant (i.e. utility bill, bank statement, car registration, copy of income tax return, etc.).

Confidentiality

Confidentiality

Vital records are confidential. Only individuals who have what is called a "direct and tangible interest" in the records can access them. This includes:

  • The person named on the certificate, a member of his/her immediate family, his/her guardian, or an authorized agent of these individuals
  • Attorneys-at-law, title examiners, or members of legally incorporated genealogical societies conducting their official duties
  • A person requiring information to determine or protect a personal or property right
  • A person who has been granted a court order instructing the registrar to provide the document

Firms, agencies, or individuals requesting information for commercial purposes are not considered to have direct and tangible interest.

Please note that is illegal to inspect or disclose information contained in vital records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any vital record except as authorized by the Office of Vital Records more. Any person who uses false statements to obtain a vital record may be fined up to $1,000, imprisoned for up to a year, or both. more