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Indiana State Department of Health

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Vital Records

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where can I get certified copies of birth and death certificates In Indiana?
Who may purchase birth and death certificates?
What is the cost of a birth certificate?
What is the cost of a death certificate?
Can I check to see if a birth or death certificate is on file prior to purchase?
What identification do I need to purchase birth or death certificates?
How can I receive adoption information?
Where can I get assistance with genealogy research?
How can I add the father’s name to the birth certificate if I am not married to the father?
What if I don’t have all of the information required to search for a birth or death certificate?
How can changes be made to a birth certificate?
How can changes be made to a death certificate?
Can I get a copy of my birth certificate in Indiana if I was born in another state?
What is a Long Form?
What is a standard size birth certificate?
What is a wallet size birth certificate?
Can I get the gender and time of birth on my birth certificate?
How do I acquire a certified copy of a marriage license or divorce decree?
What if I do not know the county where the marriage license was issued?
How can I register with the Indiana Putative Father Registry?
Who do I contact if I want to move a family member from one cemetery to another?


Where can I get certified copies of birth and death certificates In Indiana?

Certified copies of birth or death certificates can be obtained from the Indianan State Department of Health via mail; to obtain an application, visit http://www.vitalrecords.in.gov/.   All requests require proper identification and possibly relationship verification. Customers needing an Apostille on certificates they’ve purchased from ISDH may get more information on the requirements by visiting the Indiana Secretary of State’s website at www.in.gov/sos/business.

Who may purchase birth and death certificates?

Indiana law (IC16-37-1-10 ) specifically requires a purchaser of a birth or death certificate to have a direct interest. A direct interest is defined as a documented personal financial or legal interest in the record, or immediate kinship (parent, grandparent, or adult sibling ) to the person named on the record.

What is the cost of a birth certificate?

Birth records in the ISDH Vital Records office begin with October 1907. Prior to October 1907, records of birth are filed only with the local health department in the county where the birth actually occurred. Fees are established by law (IC 16-37-1-11 and IC 16-37-1-11.5 ). Each search for a record costs $10.00. The fee is non-refundable. Included in one search is a five-year period; the reported year of birth and, if the record is not found in that year, the two years before and after. One certified copy of the record, if found, is included in the search fee. Additional copies of the same record purchased at the same time are $4.00 each. Amendments made to the record are an additional $8.00.

What is the cost of a death certificate?

Death records in the ISDH Vital Records office begin with 1900. Prior to 1900, records of death are filed only with the local health department in the county where the death actually occurred. For deaths occurring from 1900 to 1917, the city and/or county of death is required in order to locate the record. Fees are established by law (IC 16-37-1-11 ). Each search for a record costs $8.00. The fee is non-refundable. Included in one search is a five-year period: the reported year of death and, if the record is not found in that year, the two years before and after. For records prior to 1917, the search covers a five-year period and only one county. One certified copy of the record, if found, is included in the search fee. Additional copies of the same record purchased at the same time are $4.00 each.

Can I check to see if a birth or death certificate is on file prior to purchase?

No. Under State statute (IC 16-37-1-11 and IC 37-1-11.5 ), the fee associated with a birth or death certificate is for the ISDH Vital Records office to search the records to determine if a record is on file. The search fee includes one certified copy of the certificate, if the record is found. Search fees are nonrefundable.

What identification do I need to purchase birth or death certificates?

One form of Primary Documentation
All documents MUST be current and VALID

  • Government Issued Driver’s License/State I.D. (Address listed must match shipping address)
  • Military I.D.
  • Valid Passport
  • Department of Correction I.D. (Issued within past 6 months)
  • School I.D. (must be currently enrolled)
  • Work I.D. (must be currently employed)
  • Veterans I.D.
  • (Green) Mexico Consular I.D.

If you do not have a primary documentation, Two forms of Secondary Documentation are required

  • Verification of Employment on letter head including date of employment, employee’s address and mangers name and signature
  • Voter Registration with signature
  • Current Vehicle Registration with signature (no titles)
  • Previous year’s tax return (1040) with signature and social security number
  • Probation documents or statement from Probation Officer on letterhead, including person’s name and date of birth
  • Signed Mortgage or Home Rental agreements
  • Signed Social Security card
  • Military Discharge (DD-214)
  • Indiana only Gun permit with signature
  • Indiana only Professional License

Id Requirements

How can I add the father’s name to the birth certificate if I am not married to the father?

You may file a paternity affidavit with the father that will allow the addition of the father's name to the birth record and allow you to give the child an agreed upon last name. A paternity affidavit can be completed at the hospital within 72 hours of the birth or at the local health department in the jurisdiction where the child was born within the first 18 years of the child's life. The required forms are available at both the hospital and the local health department, and both the father and the mother are required to sign the form before a notary public.

What if I don’t have all of the information required to search for a birth or death certificate?

Please contact the ISDH Vital Records office directly at 317.233.2700 to determine if a search is feasible.

How can changes be made to a birth certificate?

Please contact the Corrections Section of the ISDH Vital Records office at 317.233.2700 and ask for instructions for correcting the information.

How can changes be made to a death certificate?  

You will need to contact the funeral director who filed the original certificate to request the needed changes. The funeral director must make the needed changes, sign, and re-file the amended certificate. The certifying physician must also sign the amended certificate. If the original signatures cannot be obtained, a court order is required.    

Can I get a copy of my birth certificate in Indiana if I was born in another state?  

No. Requests must be made directly to the vital records office in the state where the birth occurred.  

What is a Long Form?  

A Long Form is a certified 8.5” X 11” photo copy of the original birth certificate.

What is a standard size birth certificate?

A standard size birth certificate is a certified 8.5” X 5.5” copy of identifying information extracted from the original birth certificate.

What is a wallet size birth certificate?

The wallet sized certificate is a certified miniature version (size of a credit card) of the regular birth certificate    

Can I get the gender and time of birth on my birth certificate?

Purchase a Long Form which is a certified photo copy of the original birth certificate. The time of birth was not collected from 1949 to 1953 and prior to 1949 the time of birth may or may not be on the certificate.  

How do I acquire a certified copy of a marriage license or divorce decree?

Please contact the Clerk of Court in the county where the marriage or divorce was issued.

What if I do not know the county where the marriage license was issued?

Please contact the Indiana State Library, Geneology Section, at 317/232-3689 to request that a search be conducted, (from 1958 to 2003).

How can I register with the Indiana Putative Father Registry?

Please contact the Indiana State Dept. of Health at 317/233-7085 to request a form.

Who do I contact if I want to move a family member from one cemetery to another?

Please contact the Indiana State Dept. of Health at 317/233-7253 to request information on the procedures.

How can I receive adoption information?

Indiana initiated an Adoption History Program in 1988 (IC 31-19-18 ) to allow for the release of medical, non-identifying, and identifying information. Identifying information can be released only when both the adult adoptee and the birth parent register with the Indiana Adoption History Program. To register, please call 317.233.7279 or e-mail Darci Johnson, Adoptions Clerk  - darjohnson@isdh.in.gov.

Where can I get assistance with genealogy research?  

Under state statute, (IC 16-37-1-11 and IC 16-37-1-11.5) the fee associated with a birth or death certificate is for the ISDH Vital Records office to search the records to determine if a record is on file. The search fee includes one copy of the certificate, if the record is found. Search fees are nonrefundable.

Indiana law (IC 16-37-1-10 ) specifically requires a purchaser of a birth or death certificate to have a direct interest. A direct interest is defined as a documented personal financial or legal interest in the record, or immediate kinship (parent, grandparent, or adult sibling ) to the person named on the record. 

Some customers have found the following Web sites to be helpful: http://www.vitalchek.com/, http://www.myfamily.com/, or http://www.ancestry.com/. You can also call VitalChek toll-free at 1.800.255.2414 and “zero out.” The Indiana State Library, 140 North Senate Avenue , Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 , 317.232.3689, may be able to assist you. Their Web address is http://www.statelib.lib.in.us/www/isl/whoweare/genealogy.html. Another option is the Allen County ( Indiana) Public Library, which has the second largest genealogy collection in the United States. Visit their Web site at www.acpl.lib.in.us/genealogy