Types of Vital Records You Can Request

Obtaining Birth and Death Records Flyer

Many Missouri residents can quickly obtain their birth, death, marriage, and divorce records at the local level.1,2 There are some types of vital records only available at the county level, and other types of records that are only available from the Bureau of Vital Records in Jefferson City.

In the State of Missouri, vital records are not open to the general public. Copies of vital records are provided to specifically defined individuals or entities. This helps protect identities, prevent fraud, and preserve the integrity of vital records. State law only allows a certified copy of a vital record to be issued to a person with a direct and tangible interest in the record. Learn more about who can obtain a copy of a vital record.

The following vital records are available for request:

Birth & Death

The State of Missouri began a central registry of Missouri births and deaths reported from Jan. 1, 1910 to the present. While vital record keeping began in 1910, some delayed certificates may be available before 1910. However, there is no guarantee of a record’s existence either before or after 1910.

To request a birth or death certificate locally, contact your nearest local public health agency.1,3 To request a birth or death certificate from the Department of Health and Senior Services in Jefferson City, follow the steps outlined in How to Obtain a Copy of a Vital Record.

Where are these records available?
Local level – Births: 1920-present. Death: 1980-present. (Short form versions)
State level – Births: 1910-present. Death: 1910-present. (Short form and long form versions)

How can I order a copy?
Local level – Varies. Contact local public health agency directly.
State level – In person, mail, and phone/online via VitalChek. See How to Obtain a Copy of a Vital Record

Note: Co-Parent birth certificates (those listing “co-parent” labels versus “mother” and “father”) are only available by request in long form version from the Bureau of Vital Records in Jefferson City. For more information, contact the Bureau of Vital Records at 573-751-6387, opt. 1.

Delayed Birth

A delayed birth certificate is a certificate that is filed in lieu of a traditional birth certificate for a child that has reached his/her twelfth birthday and a Certificate of Live Birth has not yet been filed. To request a delayed birth certificate from the Department of Health and Senior Services in Jefferson City, follow the steps outlined in How to Obtain a Copy of a Vital Record.

Where are these records available?
Local level – Not available.
State level – Delayed births: 1910-present. Delayed registration of persons born prior to 1910 began in 1931 and then only by request. (Only long form version available)

How can I order a copy?
Local level – Not available.
State level – In person and by mail. Ordered in the same manner as a regular birth. See How to Obtain a Copy of a Vital Record

Before a copy of a delayed birth certificate can be requested, a delayed birth must have been registered with the Bureau of Vital Records in Jefferson City by the completion of an Application to Record Birth After 12th Birthday. View information on how to register a delayed birth.

Original Pre-Adoptive Birth Certificate – Missouri Adoptee Rights Act

Under the Missouri Adoptee Rights Act (RSMo 193.125 and 193.128, RSMo), adoptees, adoptee’s attorneys, birth parents, and lineal descendants of deceased adoptees can request a copy of the adoptee’s original birth certificate. The copy will be non-certified and will be stamped with “For genealogical purposes only. Not to be used for establishing identity”. Both adoptees and birth parents have the option to complete a contact preference form stating whether they would like to be contacted.

Adoptee birth certificates cannot be ordered online. The requestor should allow additional processing time from the date of submitting their paper application to receive their original birth certificate due to the demand for these records and the research required to find and process these records. Vital Records processes these requests in a first in, first out manner.

If you are an adoptee, an attorney of an adoptee or birth parent requesting a copy of the adoptee’s original birth certificate, use Application for Non-Certified Copy of Original Birth Certificate by Adoptee, Adoptee’s Attorney or Birth Parent.

If you are a lineal descendant of a deceased adoptee requesting a copy of the adoptee’s original birth certificate, use Application for Non-Certified Copy of Original Birth Certificate by Lineal Descendant. A lineal descendant as defined in 19 CSR 10-10.130 is a person who is in direct line to an ancestor, such as child, grandchild, great-grandchild, and so on, either by blood or legal adoption. This does not include a step-child or collateral descendant. Collateral descendants are those from the line of a brother, sister, aunt, or uncle.

If you are an adoptee and would like to state your preference for contact, use Adoptee Contact Preference Form.

If you are a birth parent and would like to state your preference for contact, use Birth Parent Contact Preference Form.

If you are a birth parent and would like to provide medical information, use Birth Parent Medical History Form.

Follow all instructions on the forms and submit the forms along with applicable fees to:
Bureau of Vital Records
930 Wildwood Drive
Jefferson City, MO 65109

Where are these records available:
Local level - Not available.
State level - Available if criteria met and record on file.

How can I order a copy?
Local level - Not available.
State level - In person and by mail. See above and How to Obtain a Copy of a Vital Record.

Marriage

The Certified Statement Relating to Marriage issued by the Department of Health and Senior Services in Jefferson City will only include the names of both spouses, date of marriage, and county where the marriage was recorded. Certified statements can be helpful if an individual is not certain of the county of record or other similar circumstances. An actual certified copy of the original marriage license may only be obtained by contacting the Recorder of Deeds in the county where the license was obtained.

Where are these records available?
Local level – Certified copy of the original marriage license. No statement available.
State level – Certified Statement Relating to Marriage. No license available. Reporting of marriages began in July 1, 1948.

How can I order a copy?
Local level – Varies. Contact county recorder of deeds directly.
State level – In person, mail, and phone/online via VitalChek. See How to Obtain a Copy of a Vital Record

Divorce

The Certified Statement Relating to Divorce issued by the Department of Health and Senior Services will only include the names of both spouses, date of divorce, and county where the divorce was recorded. Certified statements can be helpful if an individual is not certain of the county of record or other similar circumstances. An actual certified copy of the original divorce decree may only be obtained by contacting the Circuit Clerk in the county where the decree was granted.

Where are these records available?
Local level – Certified copy of the original divorce decree. No statement available.
State level – Certified Statement Relating to Divorce. No divorce decree available. Reporting of divorces began in July 1, 1948.

How can I order a copy?
Local level – Varies. Contact county circuit clerk directly.
State level – In person, mail, and phone/online via VitalChek. See How to Obtain a Copy of a Vital Record

Fetal Death/Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth

Each spontaneous fetal death of twenty (20) completed weeks gestation or more, calculated from the date of last normal menstrual period began to the date of delivery, or a weight of three hundred fifty (350) grams or more which occurs in Missouri shall be reported.

If a report of spontaneous fetal death is filed with the state, a copy of the report may be requested by filing an application with the Bureau of Vital Records. If desired, either parent, or if both parents are deceased, a sibling of the stillborn child, also have the right to file an application requesting a “Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth”, which is created from information in the report of spontaneous fetal death.

If a spontaneous fetal death occurs, neither a birth certificate nor a death certificate shall be filed or issued—only a report of spontaneous fetal death, and if desired, a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth certificate are available.

Where are these records available?
Local level – Not available.
State level – Available if criteria met and report filed.

How can I order a copy?
Local level – Not available.
State level – In person and by mail. See How to Obtain a Copy of a Vital Record

Statement of Single Status

A Statement of Single Status (no impediment to marriage) is a document that verifies whether an individual has any recorded marriages on file in the State of Missouri. To request a Statement of Single Status, from the Department of Health and Senior Services in Jefferson City, follow the steps outlined in How to Obtain a Copy of a Vital Record.

Where are these records available?
Local level – Not available.
State level – Reporting of marriages and divorces began in July 1, 1948.

How can I order a copy?
Local level – Not available.
State level – In person and by mail. See How to Obtain a Copy of a Vital Record

Requesting Documents Related to Vital Records

Correction Affidavits

Copies of processed and applied correction affidavits for birth and death records may be provided upon written request to those eligible to receive certified copies of these records. The affidavits will not be certified and will be marked “COPY”. The written request must accompany a regular notarized application for the corresponding vital record, search fee, and any other documentation necessary to obtain a copy of a vital record.

Paternity Affidavits

Copies of processed and applied paternity affidavits may be provided upon written request by either parent, or husband if he signed the denial, as well as their legal representative. The affidavits will not be certified and will be marked “COPY”. The written request must accompany a regular notarized application for the corresponding birth record, search fee, and any other documentation necessary to obtain a copy of a vital record.

Documents/Evidence

Copies of specific documents or evidence relating to a vital record, if available, may be provided upon written request to those eligible to receive certified copies of these records. The evidence will not be certified and will be marked “COPY”. The written request must accompany a regular notarized application for the corresponding vital record, search fee, and any other documentation necessary to obtain a copy of a vital record.

For additional information, call the Bureau of Vital Records at 573-751-6387, opt. 1.

How to Obtain a Copy of a Vital Record

Who Can Obtain a Vital Record

In the State of Missouri, vital records are not open to the general public. Copies of vital records are provided to specifically defined individuals or entities. This helps protect identities, prevent fraud, and preserve the integrity of vital records. State law only allows a certified copy of a vital record to be issued to a person with a direct and tangible interest in the record.

Pursuant to 19 CSR 10-10, the registrant, a member of his/her family, his/her guardian, or one of their official representatives shall be considered to have a direct and tangible interest and may be issued a certified copy of a vital record such as a birth or death certificate. Applicants requesting records shall furnish adequate identifying information contained on the record to ensure the correct record is being released.

  • Immediate family members are qualified to receive copies of birth certificates. Immediate family members shall include those family members and in-laws in the direct line of descent up to, but not including, cousins. This qualification of entitlement also applies to Statements of Marriage, Divorce, and Single Status.
  • All family members, genealogists representing a family member, and professionally recognized genealogists are eligible to receive copies of death certificates.
  • Official representatives shall include an attorney, physician, funeral director, or other authorized agent acting in behalf of the registrant or his/her family. Official representatives shall demonstrate a link between themselves and the registrant on the vital record or qualified family member. Funeral directors may act as an official representative to obtain copies of death records only.
  • Example: an attorney that has signed contractual documentation demonstrating they represent the immediate family member or a funeral home director presenting signed documentation listing services provided for the decedent.
  • An other authorized agent shall produce a signed and notarized statement by the registrant or a member of his/her qualified family authorizing the release of a record.
  • Example: a mother may write a signed notarized statement authorizing a neighbor to request and receive a record for her child if the mother is unable to make the request for herself.
  • Others may demonstrate a direct and tangible interest when information is needed for determination or protection of personal or property rights.
  • Example: Direct and tangible interest would be present if a car title needed to be changed over to a person buying the car and the owner is deceased. The buyer would be qualified to receive a copy of the owner’s death certificate by providing documentation of the car purchase.
  • Example: An ex-wife (divorced from decedent) needs a death certificate of a former husband to obtain benefits from the time period they were married. The ex-wife is no longer a family member but would be qualified to receive a copy of the ex-husband’s death certificate by providing documentation showing her eligibility to receive benefits.
  • A guardian may receive a copy of the birth certificate of a child who is under his/her care and custody by showing guardianship papers.
  • Foster parents may receive a copy of a birth certificate of a child who is under their care and custody upon furnishing a copy of their custody papers.
  • A stepparent may receive a copy of a certificate of a legitimate birth by demonstrating relationship.
  • An alleged father may not receive a copy of a birth record unless he is shown as the father on that child’s birth record. However, if the alleged father has legal proof of guardianship (court documentation, guardianship papers, or a notarized or certified power of attorney document from the mother or her legal representative that states he may receive copies on behalf of the mother), he would be qualified to receive copies of that child’s birth record. Family members of an alleged father may not receive copies a child’s birth certificate unless he is shown on that child’s birth certificate. In which case, they must be a member of the registrant’s immediate family and may be required to demonstrate a link to the alleged father.

For additional information regarding vital record access, see the Missouri Code of State Regulations or contact the Bureau of Vital Records at 573-751-6387.

Documents Required to Obtain Certified Copies of Vital Records

Requesting certified copies in person

  • Signed application or request
  • One issued identity document that displays a name and photograph OR two alternate forms of identification. At least two alternate forms of identification documents must be used if applicant does not have a picture identification card. See Acceptable Documentation for Identification below.
  • If applicable, tangible interest documents or signed notarized statement authorizing release.
  • If a family member is requesting a record for another family member, additional documentation or information may be required if the applicant’s link to the requested record cannot be established.

Requesting certified copies by mail

Requesting certified copies online/by phone

The Bureau of Vital Records contracts with VitalChek to process vital record requests online or over the phone. VitalChek can verify an identity electronically online through public record data powered by LexisNexis.

Acceptable Documentation for Identification

Primary Documents (One document is required)

  • A state issued driver’s license that includes a photograph, date of birth
  • A state issued identification card that includes a photograph, date of birth
  • A current U.S. military identification card that includes a photograph
  • A U.S. passport with current photograph
  • A current school identification card/document showing applicant’s name, photograph, and date of school year
  • Work identification card that includes the applicant’s name, photograph, and company name

Alternate forms of Identification Documents (At least two alternate forms of identification documents must be used if applicant does not have a picture identification card when applying in person) Alternate documents must display name of applicant, may display date of birth, date of issuance (or year), must display institution, company or organization/agency name.

  • Letter from government or social agencies
  • School yearbook
  • A W-2 form issued within last year in addition to a signed Social Security card (social security numbers must match)
  • Social Security card or Social Security numident printout (print out of an applicant’s Social Security account of activities)
  • Court certified adoption papers that includes adopted parent(s) name
  • Official certified deeds or title to property
  • Certificate of vehicle title or registration documents
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Insurance policy (health, home, life, etc.)
  • Medicaid/Medicare document or identification card
  • A payroll stub that includes a Social Security number of applicant (cannot be handwritten stubs)
  • Military discharge document (DD-214)
  • Cancelled duplicate check (must show name, address, signature, and name of institution)
  • Utility bills which shows name and address of applicant (water, gas, electric, telephone)
  • Shelter name band (including name of shelter)

Phone and Online via VitalChek

Order Online Now Through VitalChek

Call VitalChek at 1-877-817-7363, toll free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or order online now through VitalChek. Documents can be requested by phone or online and charged to a major credit card.4 An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using this service. To further expedite the request, overnight delivery service is available.

Mail-In / In-Person

You may request copies of vital records directly from your local public health agency or from the Department of Health and Senior Services in Jefferson City. Follow the steps below to mail-in a request for a record, print out and take to your local public health agency, or schedule an appointment to visit the Bureau of Vital Records in Jefferson City.

Step 1 – Download and complete the appropriate application form.

Application for a Vital Record - Birth/Death/Fetal/Stillbirth
Application for a Vital Record - Statement Relating to Marriage/Divorce/Single Status

View all applications and forms

Step 2 – Determine search fee for record and necessary documents

Birth and Fetal Death Records
Marriage and Divorce Records
Death Records
$15 per record $14 per record
$15 for each
additional copy
$11 for each
additional copy
View more fee information

A search fee must accompany all requests for copies of vital records. A five (5) year search may be conducted per search fee. If an applicant wishes to have additional sets of five (5) years searches conducted, an additional search fee will be required.

For example: If an application for a birth record is submitted with the year of birth listed on the application as 2005, and no record is found in that year, the two years before the year of birth provided (2003-04) and the two years after the year of birth provided (2006-07) will also be searched. If no record is found, a statement will be issued.

Make check or money order payable to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Checks must be drawn on a United States bank. A money order must be drawn on a United States bank or issued by the United States Postal Service. Do not send cash or a blank check.

Requests received without the appropriate fee will be returned to the sender.

If applicable, tangible interest documents or signed notarized statement authorizing release of record should be included with the application and search fee.

If a family member is requesting a record for another family member, additional documentation or information may be required if the applicant’s link to the requested record cannot be established.

Step 3 – Take to local public health agency, schedule in-person appointment, or mail request to Jefferson City

Take to your local public health agency, schedule an appointment to visit the Bureau of Vital Records in Jefferson City, or mail request.

Take/mail to: Local Public Health Agency
Local Public Health Agency Directory

Take to: Bureau of Vital Records
Jefferson City Vital Record Lobby
930 Wildwood Drive
Jefferson City, MO 65109
573-751-6387

  • Call the Bureau of Vital Records in Jefferson City to schedule an in-person appointment at 573-751-6387 or text 573-291-8290. By appointment services offered from 10 AM – 3 PM with the last appointment slot scheduled at 2:45 PM. Same day turnaround service is not guaranteed for in-person requests. Some requests may be accepted, processed, and mailed back to requestor or picked up at a later date.

Mail to: Bureau of Vital Records
Include completed application form, necessary documents, a legal size, self-addressed stamped envelope, and check or money order for the search fee.

Mail to:
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Bureau of Vital Records
930 Wildwood Drive
Jefferson City, MO 65109

Note: Usually, the fastest way to obtain a copy of a vital record is to request it locally. If necessary, requests may be mailed to the Bureau of Vital Records in Jefferson City. Mail-in requests to Jefferson City can be processed timely within 2-4 weeks. Processing times could be extended if the request is submitted with errors or requires additional research time.

Checks are cashed/fees are deposited immediately upon receipt of the application by a separate division within the Department of Health and Senior Services. The application is then sent to the Bureau of Vital Records for processing. Therefore, a cashed check does not indicate an application has been processed.

Authentication and Apostilles

Certified copies of vital records ordered through VitalChek can be transferred to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office for apostille/authentication and then sent directly to the recipient.

Once a certified copy of a vital record is ordered (long form certificate recommended) and order confirmation via email is received, contact the Bureau of Vital Records (573-751-6387, opt. 1) the following business morning between 9 AM - 11 AM central time to:

  1. verify order is in processing queue for that day, and (b) request that the resulting certificate be forwarded for authentication/apostille

If you order a copy of a vital record through the Jefferson City office by mail, and you wish to get the copy sent to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office for authentication/apostille, contact the Bureau of Vital Records once your order has been received at 573-751-6387.

Certificates are delivered to the Secretary of State once per week on average. The Secretary of State will then contact customer for specifics and payment for their service. Finished documents will then be sent directly to customer.

For more information about authentication/apostilles, visit: https://s1.sos.mo.gov/Business/Notary/notary/certify

Using an Electronic or Remote Online Notary

In Missouri, traditional, electronic, and remote online notarization (RON) of applications/documents, including correction affidavits, are accepted by the Missouri Bureau of Vital Records. For electronic or remote notarization, only vendors approved by the Missouri Secretary of State will be accepted. For more information regarding approved vendors, visit: https://www.sos.mo.gov/ElectronicNotary. The electronically notarized document must be sent or forwarded directly from the approved vendor to VitalRecordsInfo@health.mo.gov and, if necessary, a copy of the notarization along with applicable fees and documentation should be mailed to the Bureau of Vital Records at 930 Wildwood Dr., Jefferson City, MO 65109.

While electronic and remote notarization is acceptable, other standard requirements still apply in completing the application process and the correction affidavit process. For more information on submitting electronic or remote notarizations, email: VitalRecordsInfo@health.mo.gov or call 573-751-6387.

Verification of Vital Records

In Missouri, governmental and other authorized agencies can complete verifications and certifications quickly in Missouri by utilizing the Electronic Verification of Vital Events (EVVE) system. The EVVE system can either verify an identity quickly and powerfully by matching against United States birth certificate databases (a certification) or in cases where a birth certificate is in hand, EVVE allows for immediate confirmation of the document’s legitimacy (a verification). EVVE is the sole source for this capability. No other private or federal database contains this data.

For more information, visit: https://www.naphsis.org/evve.

Requesting a Vital Record without an Application Form

A record can be requested by sending a written, notarized request, and if applicable, tangible interest documents or signed notarized statement authorizing release of record, to the Bureau of Vital Records at the above address and providing the following information:

Birth, Fetal Death and Death Records

  • Full name at birth, death, or fetal death
  • Date of birth, death, or fetal delivery
  • Place of birth, death, or fetal delivery
  • For birth records and fetal death records provide both parents’ names including mother’s maiden name
  • Your relationship to the person whose record is being requested
  • Explain reason for requesting the record

Marriage and Divorce Records

  • Full name of both parties
  • Include the last name prior to first marriage and any previous married names
  • Date of marriage or divorce
  • Place of marriage or divorce
  • Your relationship to the parties listed on the record (specify which)
  • Explain reason for requesting the statement

When requesting a copy of a vital record without an application, a check or money order for the appropriate fee must be mailed to the Bureau of Vital Records with the written notarized request (fees and address listed above).

Research Requests

Policies and procedures for release of vital records information for legitimate research purposes can be found at Data, Surveillance Systems & Statistical Reports. Scroll to the heading Data Release Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.

Out-of-State Records

The Bureau of Vital Records only possess vital records that originally occurred within the State of Missouri. Births, deaths, marriages, and divorces occurring in states other than Missouri must be obtained from the state where the event took place. More information about out-of-state birth, death, marriage, or divorce certificates can be found on the National Center for Health Statistics web site, "Where to Write For Vital Records."

Acts Which Constitute Crimes

  • Section 193.315.1 Any person who knowingly makes any false statement in a certificate, record, or report required by this chapter or in an application for an amendment thereof, or in an application for a certified copy of a vital record, or who knowingly supplies false information intending that such information be used in the preparation of any such report, record, or certificate, or amendment thereof shall be guilty of a class E felony.
  • Section 193.315.2 Any person who, without lawful authority and with the intent to deceive, makes, counterfeits, alters, amends, or mutilates any certificate, record, or report required by this chapter, certified copy of such certificate, record, or report shall be guilty of a class E felony.
  • Section 193.325.3 Any person who knowingly obtains, possesses, uses, sells, furnishes or attempts to obtain, possess, use, sell, or furnish to another, for any purpose of deception, any certificate, record, or report required by this chapter or certified copy thereof so made, counterfeited, altered, amended, or mutilated, or which is false in whole or in part or which relates to the birth of another person, whether living or deceased, shall be guilty of a class E felony.
  • Section 193.315.4 Any employee of the department or involved with the system of vital statistics who knowingly furnishes or processes a certificate of birth, or certified copy of a certificate of birth, with the knowledge or intention that it be used for the purposes of deception shall be guilty of a class E felony.
  • Section 193.515.5 Any person who without lawful authority possesses any certificate, record, or report, required by this chapter or a copy or certified copy of such certificate, record, or report knowing same to have been stolen, or otherwise unlawfully obtained, shall be guilty of a class E felony.
  • Section 193.315.6 Any person who knowingly refuses to provide information required by this chapter, or regulations adopted hereunder, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
  • Section 193.315.7 Any person who knowingly neglects or violates any of the provisions of this chapter or refuses to perform any of the duties imposed upon him by this chapter shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

For additional information regarding vital records, see the Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri.


  1. Vital Records are not available at the St. Louis City Health Department. Missouri born citizens can obtain records in the St. Louis City area at the Recorder of Deeds office at: City Hall, 1200 Market Street, Room 126, St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 613-3016.
  2. Fees for copies of vital records will be collected by the local agency providing the document. Fees for birth and death records are the same as those charged by the Bureau of Vital Records. The fee for marriage and divorce records are set by the agency issuing the documents, so the cost may vary.
  3. All birth and death certificate year ranges are not available at the local public health agency level. Births: 1920-present. Death: 1980-present.
  4. VitalChek is an authorized resource for official, government-issued online vital records ordering powered by Lexis-Nexis. Once an order is placed through VitalChek, the order request is routed to the Bureau of Vital Records in Jefferson City or a regionally approved vital records office for fulfillment. VitalChek does not have access to vital records nor possess the ability to alter a vital record.