What Are Vital Records?

Vital records are documents that contain information about the important events in a person’s life such as a birth, marriage or death.  Among the most common types of vital records are birth certificates, death certificates and marriage licenses. These records are important as they help to establish a person’s identity.  They also may be used for verification purposes when running background checks, processing insurance claims and at other times.

Why do you need vital records?

•  Employment.  Vital records may be required by some employers prior to finalizing a individual’s employment agreement.
•  Housing.  Some landlords will require one more more vital records prior to completing a rental agreement.
•  Background Checks.  Background checks have become part of the regular hiring process for many employers and vital records may be needed as part of a background check.
•  Financial.  As part of the process for securing some loans and other financial transactions, an individual may be required to provide select vital records.

What Information do Vital Records Provide?

The information provided by vital records varies with the type of vital record.

For example, a birth certificate is an official government document which confirms the details around the birth of a newborn baby. These details include the baby’s name, the name of both the mother and father and hospital where the birth occurred and the state and county where the baby was born.

A marriage license is also an official government document but it confirms the legal marriage between two individuals.  Marriage licenses are usually issued prior to a wedding ceremony and then are signed at the ceremony and returned to the issuing government office by the officiant.

What If I Lost My Vital Records?

Vital records, including birth certificates and marriage licenses, can usually be replaced by the original issuing government office.  Typically there is a small fee associated with the reissuance of vital records.  More information on replacing lost vital records can be found below.

How Do I Order Replacement Vital Records?

One of the most common vital records which individuals look to replace is a lost birth certificate.  Lost birth certificates like almost all lost vital records can be replaced by the original issuing agency in the state where the birth occurred.

Other lost vital records including death certificates and marriage licenses can also be replaced by the respective original issuing agency.

More information on replacing lost or stolen vital records can be found below.