Vital stats involve so many records; it is hard to begin to explain them all. However, you do not need to know everything in order to start your search. In fact, most people know very little when they search online. This is why searching online is so popular. You can search with less information and still get quality results.
Let’s start at the beginning.
What are vital stats?
When you search online, vital stats will include all court records. This increases your chances of finding the information you are looking for. However, it does result in a large amount of information and you will have to determine which ones you wish to examine.
The same cannot be said for searching in person. When you go in person, you have to know what documents you are looking for and where they will be found.
For example: The birth certificate will be in one county while the death certificate is in another. The marriage license will most likely be in yet another county and could be in another state altogether. This makes searching for vital records in person time consuming and difficult. However, if you know all the information and you live close, it is not out of the realm of possibility.
3 Ways to Obtain Vital Records
- Contacting Vital Statistics Office
a. If you know the county in which the record is located you can contact the local vital statistics office.
b. Hours of operation vary but since they are government agencies, you can guess they will be open like all the other government offices in your area.
c. Generally, you can find the address through the State’s website. Go to the state and look up the county to find the correct address.
- Walk-in the Office
a. This is faster than contacting the office by phone or letter.
b. Once you know the location and hours of operation, you can walk-in the office and get service.
c. Same day service is often available for birth certificates. Other records will take a while.
- Online Search
a. This is the fastest way to obtain information.
b. Online databases will charge a fee for searching. However, you can search for multiple records in multiple cities, counties, and states at the same time.
c. The documents you find will represent official documents but they are not certified copies. The results show what you would find if you went to that court.
You can travel from county to county searching through public records or you can search online for vital stats and get results now. The only reason to waste time going to courthouses is if you need the official document. Otherwise, save yourself the trouble and search online.