Guide to Ordering Arkansas Birth, Marriage, Divorce and Death Certificates

AR Department of Health  •  How to Order AR Records •  AR Vital Records Resources

In February of 1914 Arkansas began registering both birth certificates and death certificates on a statewide level. However, it took nearly 30 years for full compliance to be established.

Birth certificates and death certificates beginning in 1914 can be found at the Division of Vital Records, Arkansas Department of Health.

In 1917, Arkansas began recording marriages on a statewide level. However, many marriages were recorded prior to that time, from the point of each county being created. Marriage records from 1917 can be found at the Division of Vital Records.

The Salt Lake City Family History Library (FHL) has many Arkansas vital records on microfilm. The Arkansas State Archives (Arkansas History Commission) holds copies of vital records.

Arkansas Vital Records Quickfacts

Record Type Statewide Registration
(Compliance)
Cost
(Add'l Copies)
Applications Public Restrictions Remarks
Birth Certificates Feb 1914 - Present (1935) $12.00
$10.00
Birth Certificate Application 100 years from the birth State office has some original Little Rock and Fort Smith records from 1881
Marriage Licenses 1917 - Present $10.00
($8.00)
Marriage License Application Full certified copy may be obtained from County Clerk in county where license was issued.
Divorce Records 1923 - Present $10.00
($8.00)
Divorce Record Application Full certified copy may be obtained from Circuit or Chancery Clerk in county where divorce was granted.
Death Certificates Feb 1914 - Present (1935) $10.00
($8.00)
Death Certificate Application 50 years from the death State office has some original Little Rock and Fort Smith records from 1881

*A $5.00 standard processing fee and a $1.85 non-refundable identity verification fee will be charged in addition to the cost of any expedited shipping options you select.

Arkansas Birth Certificates

Statewide birth certificate registrations in Arkansas did not begin until February 1, 1914. Prior to February 1, 1914, only a limited number of birth records were filed. Little Rock and Fort Smith have birth records from 1881 which are available from the state.

State law limits access to birth certificates less than 100 years old to individuals ( age 16 and older) named on the record, their spouse, registered domestic partner, descendants, parents, guardians (with proper legal documentation), or their designated attorney, federal/state/local government, or genealogist or agent.

Arkansas birth certificates can be requested online, by telephone, by mail, or in-person.

How to Order a Certified Copy of an Arkansas Birth Certificate

  • How much does a copy of a Certified Birth Certificate cost? The cost of a birth record is $12.00 for the first copy and $10.00 for each additional copy of the same record that is ordered at the same time.
  • How can I order a Arkansas birth certificate by mail?You may order a certified birth certificate by mailing in a completed Arkansas Birth Certificate Application.
  • How can I order a Arkansas birth certificate by phone?You may order a copy of the birth record via telephone toll-free at (866) 209-9482. Multiple expedited shipping options are available through this service. Orders by phone can be made by debit or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express).

Arkansas Birth Record Online Collections

The Arkansas State Archives (Arkansas History Commission) has some records for both Fort Smith and Little Rock. However, all requests for information must be accompanied by proof of relationship to the person of interest and a statement of the purpose of the request. Some delayed birth registry records are also on file.

Arkansas Births, Baptism and Christenings Records from 1880-1893. Included are a few records of events outside of Arkansas, some predating the Louisiana Purchase and the creation of the Arkansas territory. The year range represents most of the records. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed.

Arkansas Death Certificates

Arkansas Vital Records has death certificates dating from February 1, 1914 through the present.

There are few death records available for deaths occurring between 1881 and 1914 in Little Rock and Fort Smith.

The Arkansas State Archives (Arkansas History Commission) keeps an alphabetical listing of deaths in Arkansas dating from 1914 through 1949, but they do not have the actual death records.

NOTE:  Information found on a death certificate is reported by an informant (usually a relative) and may or may not be accurate. 

Many newspapers listed death records. So, newspaper clippings and copies can be a good resource for those interested in death records. Annual Grand Lodge proceeding abstracts and data can also be useful. It has been compiled in Arkansas Genealogical Society’s Masonic Deaths in Arkansas, 1838-1916.

How to Order a Certified Copy of an Arkansas Death Certificate

  • How much does a copy of a death certificate cost?The cost of a death certificate is $10.00 for the first copy and $8.00 for each additional copy. If no record is found or no copy is made, state law requires that the Arkansas Department of Health keep $10.00 for a search fee.
  • How can I order a Arkansas death certificate online?You can order death certificates online through the Arkansas Department of Health’s Vital Records Online Service.
  • How can I order a Arkansas death certificate by mail?You may order a certified death certificate by mailing in a completed Arkansas Death Certificate Application.

Arkansas Death Record Online Collections

  • Arkansas Death Index, 1914-1950 Database is an index to approximately 594,000 deaths that occurred in Arkansas between 1914 and 1950. In addition to providing the name of the deceased, the index provides the date of death, county of death, gender, race, age at time of death, volume number, and certificate number. Note that some entries may not contain all of this information.
  • U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 currently contains over 94 million records. The database is created from Social Security Administration records of deceased persons possessing social security numbers and whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration.

Arkansas Marriage Licenses

The county clerk’s office in the county of interest should be consulted for earlier marriage records. Researchers should note that most marriages took place in the county where the bride lived, but not all. Early marriage records may include information such as groom and bride names and ages, as well as their residences.

More recent records may contain even more data. An index to marriage records from 1933 to 1939 is available on microfiche at the Arkansas History Commission. The listings are arranged alphabetically according to the surnames of the grooms and organized by county where the record was originally filed.

Eligible Individuals for Marriage Records: Individual age 16 and older (named on the coupons), Mother, Father (if named on the birth certificate), Children, Grandchild, Maternal Grandparents.

How to Order a Certified Copy of an Arkansas Marriage License

Only Arkansas events of marriage are filed in this office. Marriage License start with year 1917. Marriage Licenses can be requested online, by telephone, by mail, or in-person

  • How much does a copy of a Arkansas Marriage License cost?The cost of a marriage license $10.00 for the first copy and $8.00 for each additional copy. If no record is found or no copy is made, state law requires that the Arkansas Department of Health keep $10.00 for a search fee.
  • How can I order a Arkansas Marriage License online?You can order marriage licenses online through the Arkansas Department of Health’s Vital Records Online Service.
  • How can I order a Arkansas Marriage License by mail?You may order a certified marriage licenses by mailing in a completed Arkansas Marriage License Application.

Arkansas Death Marriage Online Collections

Ancestry.com has a few collections of marriage records online available including:

  • Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957 database contains an index extracted from marriage certificates from Arkansas Courts of Common Pleas and county clerks.
  • Arkansas, Compiled Marriages from Select Counties, 1779-1992 database contains marriage information from selected areas of Arkansas, USA, for over 300,000 individuals from 1779-1992. Information that may be found in this database for each individual includes their name, spouse’s name, and marriage date and location.
  • Arkansas, Marriage Index, 1933-1939 database is an index to people who were married in Arkansas from 1933-1939. Information that may be found in this database for each entry includes groom’s full name, bride’s full name, their marriage date, license date, county of marriage, marriage certificate number, and the volume number in which the certificate is located.
  • Arkansas, Compiled Marriages, 1851-1900 database is an index to individuals who were married in various counties of the U.S. state of Arkansas between 1851 and 1900. Information that may be found in this database for each individual includes their name, spouse’s name, marriage date, and marriage county.
  • Arkansas, Compiled Marriages from Select Counties, 1820-1949 collection represents information originating on courthouse marriage licenses in various counties of Arkansas. Copies of these records may be obtained from the county clerk in the county in which the marriage license was issued. This was usually the county that the bride was from.
  • Arkansas, Compiled Marriages, 1779-1850 database contains marriage information from selected areas of Arkansas, USA, for over 300,000 individuals from 1779-1992. Information that may be found in this database for each individual includes their name, spouse’s name, and marriage date and location.

FamilySearch.org has a few collections available online for free to the public (Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed) including:

  • Arkansas Marriages, 1837-1944 Name index to marriage records from the state of Arkansas. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
  • Arkansas, Marriage Index, 1933-1939 Index of marriages from the Arkansas Vital Records Division, Arkansas Department of Health. Index provided by Ancestry.com.

Divorce Records

The chancery or circuit clerk in each county can supply certified copies of divorce records. The Division of Vital Records also has records on file, but only from 1923 onward. An index to divorce records for 1923 to 1927 and 1834 to 1939 that were reported to the Arkansas Health Department can be found at the Arkansas State Archives (Arkansas History Commission) .

Eligible Individuals for Divorces Records: Individual age 16 and older (named on the coupons), Mother, Father (if named on the birth certificate), Children, Grandchild, Maternal Grandparents.

How to Order a Certified Copy of an Arkansas Divorce Records

Only Arkansas events of divorce are filed in the Arkansas Department of Health. Divorce records start with 1923. Divorce records can be requested online, by telephone, by mail, or in-person.

  • How much does a copy of a Divorce Records cost?The cost of a divorce records is $10.00 for each copy requested. If no record is found or no copy is made, state law requires that the Arkansas Department of Health keep $10.00 for a search fee.
  • How can I order a Arkansas Divorce Records online?You can order divorce records online through the Arkansas Department of Health’s Vital Records Online Service.
  • How can I order a Arkansas Divorce Records by mail?You may order a certified divorce records by mailing in a completed Arkansas Divorce Certificate Application.

Arkansas Divorce Record Online Collections

  • Arkansas Divorce Index from 1923-1927 and 1934-1939 Database. Information that may be found in this database includes plaintiff’s name, defendant’s name, date of divorce, county of divorce, and reference information for locating the divorce certificate, including a volume number, docket number, and certificate number (the certificate number will only be listed for the 1934-1939 divorces).

Arkansas Department of Health, Office of Vital Records

Arkansas Department of Health offers vital records services in every County Local Public Health UnitAll vital records can be requested online, by telephone, by mail, or in-person.

Arkansas Department of Health, Office of Vital Records

  • Physical Address: Office of Vital Records, 4815 W. Markham Street, Slot 44, Little Rock, AR 72205;
  • Mailing Address: Arkansas Department of Health, Vital Records Section, Slot 44, 4815 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72205.
  • Phone Numbers: (602) 364-1300, 501-661-2336, 800-637-9314; telephone orders toll-free at (866) 209-9482
  • Requirements for Acceptable Identification.

How can I order a Arkansas Vital Records online?

You can order birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates online through the Arkansas Department of Health’s Vital Records Online Service. A $5.00 standard processing fee and a $1.85 non-refundable identity verification fee will be charged in addition to the cost of any expedited shipping options you select.

Requests typically take 7-14 business days from the date your order is approved plus additional shipping time. This time is not guaranteed and may be longer or shorter based upon the number of requests received.

How can I order a Arkansas Vital Records by mail?

You may order a certified birth, marriage, divorce or death certificates by mailing in a completed Application for Birth Certificates, Marriage Licenses, Divorce Decrees or Death Certificates. Please allow 10-14 days for processing, in addition to mail delivery time in addition to the 4-6 weeks for processing of all type of certificates ordered through the mail.

When mailing in this application, include a copy of your photo ID with your payment and mail to: Arkansas Department of Health, Vital Records Section, Slot 44, 4815 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72205.

Arkansas Department of Health, Vital Records, Slot 44, 4815 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72205. Please allow 7-14 days for processing.

All mail orders should include a Personal check or money order made payable to Arkansas Department of Health. Do not send cash.

How can I order a Arkansas Vital Records in person?

You may order a certified copy of a birth, marriage, divorce or death certificates by bringing your photo ID and a completed Arkansas Divorce Certificate Application to the office Arkansas Department of Health’s vital records office. Orders are accepted for same day issuance.

The Office of Vital Records is located at 4815 West Markham St. Little Rock, AR 72205.

Its open Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. until 4:30 P.M. The office is closed on state holidays. Most orders requests can be fulfilled the same day from 8:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.

Walk-in payment options are cash, credit or debit cards, or a check or money order made out to Arkansas Department of Health (no temporary checks are permitted).

How can I order a Arkansas Vital Records by phone?

You may order a copy of a birth, marriage, divorce or death certificate via telephone toll-free at (866) 209-9482. The service fee and the certificate fee are charged to your debit or credit card (Visa, Master Card, Discover or American Express).

Multiple expedited shipping options are available through this service. Overnight shipping is available for an additional fee.

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