Copies of Birth, Death, or Marriage Record

Birth, death, and marriage records are vital records, and vital records are confidential. Only people with a direct and tangible interest in the records can get copies. Copies of your records can only be made for:

  • You;
  • Your mother, father, sibling, guardian, or authorized agent;
  • Attorneys-at-law, title examiners, or members of legally incorporated genealogical societies conducting official duties;
  • A person who needs information to determine or protect personal or property rights;
  • A person with 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. It is illegal to inspect or disclose information contained in vital records, to copy, or issue a copy of all or part of any vital record except as authorized above. moreAnyone who uses false statements to get a vital record may be fined up to $1,000, imprisoned for up to a year, or both. more

How to get copies of birth, death, or marriage records

Online or by Phone

Vital Chek is a company that issues certified copies of records for births, deaths, or marriages that happened in Rhode Island. Vital Chek is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be reached at 888-388-1032.

Cost: $35 per record; There is an additional fee for rush orders.

Payment: debit card, credit card, or check.

Proof of Identification: Vital Chek will ask certain questions to verify a requestor's identity. If there is a question of identity, follow-up information will be required to be submitted.

In person

Rhode Island Department of Health's (RIDOH) Center for Vital Records or any city or town clerk's office

Cost: $22 for the first copy, $18 for each extra copy purchased the same day To search for a record, one name and one record for two consecutive years is free. Each additional year to search is $2. Rush orders are an extra $7.

Payment: Cash, checks, or money orders are accepted at RIDOH's Center for Vital Records. Checks or money orders should be made out to the General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island. Check with the city or town clerk's office to ask what payments they accept.

Time to process: It will take one to two weeks to process your request and mail your certified copy to you. Rush requests will be processed within five business days after receipt of request.

Identification You must provide a valid, government-issued photo identification to prove you are entitled to make the request. Acceptable documents include: driver's license, passport, military identification, certificate of naturalization, or alien registration card. If you do not have government-issued photo identification, you may submit two other documents that have your name and current address (utility bill, bank statement, car registration, copy of income tax return).

By Mail

Cost: $25 for first copy; $18 for each extra copy purchased the same day

Payment: Check or money order only. Do not send cash.

Identification readable copy of identification as described for in person applications 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 sent an application form with your request for a certified copy of a vital record, you must include the following information with your request:

  • Name on the birth, death, marriage, or civil union record;
  • Date and city/town where the event occurred;
  • Relationship to the person named on the record;
  • Why you need the record;
  • Name of the father and the mother’s maiden name (for birth certificates);
  • Signature and printed name, and
  • Your mailing address and home phone number, in case we need to contact you.