North Carolina vital records are a cornerstone of North Carolina genealogy and family history research because they were usually documented at or near the time of the occurrence, making the record more likely to be reliable. This web page includes links, details that will help you request copies from North Carolina state and county vital records keepers. Vital records (births, deaths, marriages, and divorces) mark the milestones of our lives and are the foundation of family history research.
North Carolina Vital Records Office, issues, documents, and stores certified copies of vital records including birth, marriage, divorce death certificates for occurrences that took place in North Carolina. To speak to a customer service representative the telephone number is (919) 733-3000.
- Ordering North Carolina Birth Certificates: The State Vital Records Office has birth records from October 1913 to present. The fee for a birth certified copy is $24 with additional copies at $15 each when requested at the same time. Copies of birth certificates are also available from the Register of Deeds in the county where the birth occurred upon request. The fee for the copy varies.
- Ordering North Carolina Death Certificates: The State Registry of Vital Records Office has death records from January 1, 1930 to present. The fee for a death certified copy is $24 with additional copies at $15 each when requested at the same time. Copies of death certificates are also available from the Register of Deeds in the county where the death occurred upon request. The fee for the copy varies.
- Ordering North Carolina Marriage Certificates: The State Vital Records Office has marriage records from January 1962 to present. The fee for a marriage certified copy is $24 with additional copies at $15 each when requested at the same time. Copies of marriage certificates are also available from the Register of Deeds in the county where the marriage occurred upon request. The fee for the copy varies.
- Ordering North Carolina Divorce Certificates: The State Vital Records Office has divorce records from January 1958 to present. The fee for a divorce certified copy is $24 with additional copies at $15 each when requested at the same time. For records before 1958, Ccontact the Clerk of Court in the county where the divorce occurred. The fee for the copy varies.
How to Order North Carolina Vital Records
- Physical Address: North Carolina Vital Records (Cooper Memorial Health Building), 225 N. McDowell St., Raleigh, NC 27603-1382; 919-733-3000 ; Fax: 919-733-1511 . All mail orders should include a Personal check or money order made payable to NC Vital Records. Do not send cash.
- Mailing Address: North Carolina Vital Records, 1903 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1903
- Website Address: www.vitalrecords.nc.gov/
- Ordering Vital Records Online – get the certificates within 2-5 days with a credit or debit card from USAVital.com or VitalChek.com
- Ordering Vital Records by Mail: You can download an application online for North Carolina Birth Certificate, Death, Divorce and Marriage Certificate Applications. Please allow up to 4-6 weeks for processing of all type of certificates ordered through the mail.
Background of North Carolina Vital Records
The North Carolina General Assembly put an act into place on March 10, 1913. That act required that deaths and births be registered on the state level. By 1920, there was almost complete compliance with that act across the state. Some births from earlier dates were recorded on a delay later on. Each county has indexes to its own records. The Salt Lake City Family History Library (FHL) and the North Carolina State Archives also have microfilmed records and indexes available.
The Vital Records Office of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services can supply original birth certificate copies. Copies of birth certificates may also be obtained from some county Register of Deeds Offices. There are also 305 microfilm reels of 1913 to 1922 North Carolina birth certificates on file at the FHL.
The county Register of Deeds Office in each county may also be able to provide death certificate copies. So can the Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records. Death certificates from 1913 to 1955 can also be found in the Search Room of the North Carolina State Archives on microfilm. The FHL’s microfilmed holdings include: Death Certificates (1906 to 1994), Still Births (1814 to 1953), Fetal Deaths (1960 to 1974), Index (1906 to 1967)
Generally, there are no records of marriages prior to 1668. Each marriage was required to be registered as of a the passing of a law in 1669. However, that law wasn’t immediately complied with.
Any colony council member, including the governor, or any Church of England minister, could validate a marriage. Justices of the peace were also given that power, as of 1741. Citizens were required to either publish three marriage banns or obtain a marriage license. Most opted for the former option. However, when a marriage license was obtained, the groom set up a marriage bond in the county where the bride lived. Bonds are still extant today for about half of the counties in the state.
The North Carolina State Archives is home to several marriage bond records. Those records are listed on microfiche in an index called “Index to Marriage Bonds Filed in the North Carolina State Archives.” Researchers can access the index in the Search Room of the archives. The FHL also has a copy on file. Each county’s Register of Deeds Office holds marriage license records from years after 1868. A lot of useful genealogical information is contained in those licenses and certificates. Some of that information includes names, ages, names of parents, and residences of both the parties and their parents.
Marriage Records from North Carolina for the years of 1868 to 1962 are located with each county’s Register of Deeds. Marriage records from 1868 to 1950 have, for the most part, been placed on microfilm. They can be found at the FHL and at the North Carolina State Archives. The Division of Health Services has marriage records from 1962 onward on file.
Ever since 1814 North Carolina divorce decrees have been granted by each county’s superior courts. Some divorce details, which may contain valuable information, may not be included in the minutes of the court. They may include papers detailing the reasons for the divorce, number and ages of children, and other facts.
The North Carolina State Archives has copies of divorce records from before 1868 on file. The superior court clerk in each county holds the records from 1868 onward.
Searchable North Carolina Databases and other Helpful Links
- Social Security Death Index (search.ancestry.com)
- USGenweb Archives North Carolina Marriage Project (usgwarchives.net)
- North Carolina, Birth Indexes, 1800-2000
- North Carolina Births and Christenings, 1866-1964
- North Carolina Marriages, 1759-1979
- North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868
- North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979
- North Carolina Marriage Collection, 1741-2004
- North Carolina Divorce Index, 1958-2004
- North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979
- Marriage notices from the Western Democrat, Charlotte, N.C., 1853-1870
- Marriage notices in Raleigh register and North Carolina State gazette, 1846-1893
- Marriage Notices in Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, 1826-1845
- Marriage Notices in Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, 1846-1867
- Marriage Notices from Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, 1799-1825
- Marriage notices from the Charlotte Journal, Charlotte, N.C., July 3, 1835-December 7, 1851
- Marriage records from the files of the Greensboro, N.C. Patriot, 1826-1899
- North Carolina, Death Indexes, 1800-2000
- North Carolina Deaths and Burials, 1898-1994
- North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1975
- North Carolina Deaths, 1906-1930
- North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994
- North Carolina, Death Collection, 1908-2004
- Death notices in Raleigh register and North Carolina State gazette, 1846-1893
- Death Notices in Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, 1826-1845
- Death Notices in Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, 1846-1867
- Death Notices from Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, 1799-1825