Kentucky Vital Statistics

Birth, Death, Marriage Certificates and License Applications are all part of Kentucky Vital Statistics.

Kentucky Vital Statistics Quick Facts

Kentucky Department of Public Health Records

Kentucky Department of Public Health issues, documents, and stores certified copies of vital records including Birth Certificates, Marriage Licences, Divorce Decrees and Death Certificates for occurrences that took place in Kentucky. 

The Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics is located in the Department for Public Health, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, 275 E. Main St., 1E-A, Frankfort, KY 40621.

Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives Vital Records

The Archives contains birth and death records for the cities of Louisville, Lexington, Covington and Newport, which introduced records gathering laws before 1911.

Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives also offers birth and death records (statewide coverage) before to 1911 and 1911-1957 death records (statewide coverage).

  • Physical Address: P.O. Box 537, 300 Coffee Tree Road, Frankfort, KY 40602; General Information Number: (5O2) 564-8300
  • Website Address: http://kdla.ky.gov/

Kentucky Birth Certificates

Statewide registration of birth records for Kentucky begin as early as 1852, although compliance was never complete. The registrations only lasted until 1862.

Between the years of 1874 to 1879 and 1892 to 1910, there were some recorded births, but they were not recorded on a consistent basis.

A few larger cities maintained separate birth records prior to 1911, but these too are incomplete. Louisville (1898'1911), Covington (1890'1911), Newport (1890'1911), and Lexington (1906'11) are four cities with registered births in their respective city health departments.

The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Historical Society have early records for 1852 to 1910, arranged by counties.

Other repositories, including the Filson Library and the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, have some copies.

A certified birth certificate that can typically be used for travel, passport, proof of citizenship, social security, driver's license, school registration, personal identification and other legal purposes.

Mandatory state-level registration of birth certificates in Kentucky is January 1, 1911 and generally compliant by 1920. Certificates of births after 1911 are only available at the Office of Vital Statistics. Delayed registrations of birth are also maintained by the Office of Vital Statistics.

Search Online Birth Records in Kentucky

You may find the following online resources helpful in your search of Kentucky birth certificates and records.

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

  • Kentucky, Birth Index, 1911-1999 currently contains over 5,859,000 births recorded in Kentucky. Information may include Child’s name, Child’s gender, Birth date, Birth county, Mother’s name, Registered date, Volume year, Volume number, and Birth certificate number.
  • Kentucky, Birth Records, 1847-1911 currently contains over 1,216,000 names recorded in Kentucky. Information may include Name of child, Gender, Color or race, Birth date, Birthplace (county and/or town), Parents’ names, Parents’ birthplaces and Parents’ ages.

FamilySearch.org has a few collections available online for free to the public including:

How to Order Kentucky Birth Certificates

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, Office of Vital Statistics has birth certificates from 1911 for persons born in Kentucky. Procedures for Accepting Walk-In/Mail/Phone Orders.

Birth Certificate Cost

  • $10.00 - The fee to search for a birth certificate in Kentucky, which includes one certified copy of the birth record or a "Certificate of Failure to Find."
  • $6.00 - for each additional copies of the same birth certificate ordered at the same time.

Make check or money order payable to "Kentucky State Treasurer". To verify current fees or for information on birth certificates, call (502) 564-4212.

  • Order Birth Certificate by Mail - Download and fill out the Kentucky Birth Certificate Application. Send completed application and the correct fees to Kentucky Vital Statistics, 275 East Main Street 1E-A, Frankfort, KY 40621.
  • Order Birth Certificate by In Person - You may order a certified copy of the birth certificate by coming to this office. The office is located at the address above. Most birth certificates can be issued while you wait.
  • Order Birth Certificate by Telephone - Orders for birth certificates may be placed by telephone using a credit card or check. The order telephone number is (800) 241-8322, option 1.
  • Order Birth Certificate Online - You may order birth certificates through a service provider using a credit card. Note that there are additional fees for using this service. Order a Birth Certificate Online

Kentucky Death Certificates

Statewide registration of death records for Kentucky begin as early as 1852, although compliance was never complete. The registrations only lasted until 1862.

Between the years of 1874 to 1879 and 1892 to 1910, there were some recorded deaths, but they were not recorded on a consistent basis.

A few larger cities maintained separate death records prior to 1911, but these too are incomplete. Louisville (1898'1911), Covington (1890'1911), Newport (1890'1911), and Lexington (1906'11) are four cities with registered births in their respective city health departments.

The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Historical Society have early death records for 1852 to 1910, arranged by counties.

Other repositories, including the Filson Library and the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, have some copies.

A certified copy of a death record that can typically be used to obtain death benefits, claim insurance proceeds, notify social security and other legal purposes.

Mandatory state-level registration of death certificates in Kentucky is January 1, 1911 and generally compliant by 1920. Certificates of deaths after 1911 are only available at the Office of Vital Statistics.

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.

Search Online Death Records in Kentucky

You may find the following online resources helpful in your search of Kentucky death certificates and records.

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

  • Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1965 currently contains over 5.7 million death records of individuals living in Kentucky. Information may include
  • Name of deceased, Race, Age at time of death, Gender, Death date, Death place, Birthplace, Birth date, Residence, Parents’ names and Parents’ birthplaces.
  • Kentucky Death Index, 1911-2000 currently contains over 2.6 million death records of individuals living in Kentucky. Information may include name of the individual, date of death, county of death, county of residence, age at death, and volume and certificate number.

FamilySearch.org has a few collections of death records available to search online for free including:

How to Order Kentucky Death Certificates

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, Office of Vital Statistics has death certificates from 1911 for persons born in Kentucky.

Death Certificate Cost

  • $6.00 - The fee to search for a death certificate in Kentucky, which includes one certified copy of the death record or a "Certificate of Failure to Find."
  • $6.00 - for each additional copies of the same death certificate ordered at the same time.

Make check or money order payable to "Kentucky State Treasurer". To verify current fees or for information on death certificates, call (502) 564-4212.

  • Order Death Certificate by Mail - Download and fill out the Kentucky Death Certificate Application. Send completed application and the correct fees to Kentucky Vital Statistics, 275 East Main Street 1E-A, Frankfort, KY 40621.
  • Order Death Certificate by In Person - You may order a certified copy of the death certificate by coming to this office. The office is located at the address above. Most death certificates can be issued while you wait.
  • Order Death Certificate by Telephone - Orders for death certificates may be placed by telephone using a credit card or check. The order telephone number is (800) 241-8322, option 1.
  • Order Death Certificate Online - You may order death certificates through a service provider using a credit card. Note that there are additional fees for using this service. Order a Death Certificate Online

Kentucky Marriage Certificates

Marriage records in the state of Kentucky are organized according to county and are kept by each county’s County Clerk. Those records date back to when a county was formed, or within a fwew years of that county’s formation.

In a few cases, county records of marriages pre-date the year when the county was organized.

Marriages were not required to be recorded on a statewide level in Kentucky until 1958. Each county maintains its own marriage records, but the Office of Vital Statistics has copies of those records on file.

It also has an index of marriage records that occurred from 1958 onward. Researchers should note that marriage bonds and licenses may not be filed with the actual marriage certificates.

Search Online Marriage Records in Kentucky

You may find the following resources helpful in your search of Kentucky marriage certificates and records.

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

  • Kentucky County Marriage Records, 1783-1965 currently contains over 2,961,000 county marriage records from various counties in Kentucky. Information may include name, age at marriage, marriage date, marriage place and parents' names.
  • Kentucky Marriage Indexes, 1973-1999 currently contains over 2.3 million individuals who were married in the state of Kentucky. Information may include Groom's name, age, county of residence, marital status (never married; last marriage ended by death; last marriage ended by divorce; or last marriage ended by annulment), race; Bride's name, age, county of residence, race; Marriage date, Marriage county, County of marriage license, Marriage certificate number, Volume number, Volume year.

See a list of all Kentucky Marriage records at Ancestry.com.

FamilySearch.org has a few collections of marriage records available to search online for free including:

How to Order Kentucky Marriage Certificates

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, Office of Vital Statistics has marriage certificates from 1958 for persons married in Kentucky. For marriages Certificates prior to June 1958, contact the Clerk of County Court in county where license was issued. The fee for the copy varies.

Marriage Certificate Cost

  • $6.00 - The fee to search for a marriage certificate in Kentucky, which includes one certified copy of the marriage record or a "Certificate of Failure to Find."
  • $6.00 - for each additional copies of the same marriage certificate ordered at the same time.

Make check or money order payable to "Kentucky State Treasurer". To verify current fees or for information on marriage certificates, call (502) 564-4212.

  • Order Marriage Certificate by Mail - Download and fill out the Kentucky Marriage Certificate Application. Send completed application and the correct fees to Kentucky Vital Statistics, 275 East Main Street 1E-A, Frankfort, KY 40621.
  • Order Marriage Certificate by In Person - You may order a certified copy of the marriage certificate by coming to this office. The office is located at the address above. Most marriage certificates can be issued while you wait.
  • Order Marriage Certificate by Telephone - Orders for marriage certificates may be placed by telephone using a credit card or check. The order telephone number is (800) 241-8322, option 1.
  • Order Marriage Certificate Online - You may order marriage certificates through a service provider using a credit card. Note that there are additional fees for using this service. Order a Marriage Certificate Online

Kentucky Divorce Certificates

From 1792 to 1849, the state legislature of Kentucky was responsible for granting divorces. Then, from 1849 to 1958, county circuit courts handled most divorce cases.

The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Historical Society has some early records from the circuit courts relating to divorces on file.

The Office of Vital Statistics has divorce records on file from 1958 (the time that statewide recording began) onward.

Search Online Divorce Records in Kentucky

You may find the following resources helpful in your search of Kentucky divorce certificates and records.

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

  • Kentucky, Divorce Records, 1962-2005 consists of 516,000 divorces that took place in the state of Kentucky. Information may include Full Name, Spouse's Full Name, Date of Divorce and Place of Divorce.

How to Order Kentucky Divorce Certificates

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, Office of Vital Statistics has divorce certificates from 1958 for persons married in Kentucky. For divorce records prior to June 1958, contact the Clerk of County Court in county where divorce was granted.

Divorce Certificate Cost

  • $6.00 - The fee to search for a divorce certificate in Kentucky, which includes one certified copy of the divorce record or a "Certificate of Failure to Find."
  • $6.00 - for each additional copies of the same divorce certificate ordered at the same time.

Make check or money order payable to "Kentucky State Treasurer". To verify current fees or for information on marriage certificates, call (502) 564-4212.

  • Order Divorce Certificate by Mail - Download and fill out the Kentucky Divorce Certificate Application. Send completed application and the correct fees to Kentucky Vital Statistics, 275 East Main Street 1E-A, Frankfort, KY 40621.
  • Order Divorce Certificate by In Person - You may order a certified copy of the divorce certificate by coming to this office. The office is located at the address above. Most divorce certificates can be issued while you wait.
  • Order Divorce Certificate by Telephone - Orders for divorce certificates may be placed by telephone using a credit card or check. The order telephone number is (800) 241-8322, option 1.
  • Order Divorce Certificate Online - You may order divorce certificates through a service provider using a credit card. Note that there are additional fees for using this service. Order a Divorce Certificate Online

Further Reading

  • Kentucky Marriage Records1983; by Antoniak, Eleanor, indexer.. Lists all marriages published in the Register of Kentucky but does not include records for all counties.
  • Kentucky Marriages, 1797-18651974. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987; by Clift, G. Glenn, comp. Newspaper marriage notices previously published in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. Alphabetical by county and alphabetical within each county by groom’s surname.
  • Inventory of Kentucky birth, marriage, and death records, 1852-1910 Frankfort, Ky.: Department for Libraries and Archives, 1988; by Jeffery M. Duff, lists what is available by year and county at both of the repositories.
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