North Carolina Vital Records

North Carolina Vital Records

In North Carolina, the Office of Vital Records is in place to maintain all state records regarding important life events. These include documents referring to a person’s death, marriage licenses, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and death certificates. These documents are all kept together in one central registry, allowing the government to use them for statistical analysis.

Divorce Records

A divorce record is issued by the government after the registration of said event takes place. In 2017, there were over 31,000 total divorces across North Carolina. There is a search fee of $24 for documents, which includes one copy if the divorce record is found on file. After that, it costs $15 per additional copy.

Marriage Records

Marriage records are also issued by government officials after the civil registration of the marriage. Marriages were performed by civil authorities or clergy between 1669 and 1742 in North Carolina, with the county records collecting the documents. Unfortunately, few of these documents have survived through the years. Between 1741 and 1868, marriages could not take place until a bond was posted, or a banns was published. In 1868, new laws meant that the marriage certificate was the only official record. Records were kept by each county’s register of deeds between 1868 and 1962. In 1962, a state-wide registration of marriages was put in pace. The Family History Library has copies of marriage records from most counties in the 1950s on microfilm. In 2017, there were over 70,000 total marriages across North Carolina. There is a search fee of $24 for documents, which includes one copy if the marriage record is found on file. After that, it costs $15 per additional copy.

Birth Records

Each time a baby is born, a birth certificate is issued to record said birth. This can refer to either the original document itself, or a certified copy of the original. These certificates can contain an array of information about the child and their parents. This may include name, gender, birthplace, name of parents, parents’ occupations, age of parents, mother’s maiden name, and how many children had already been born to the mother. Record relating to adopted children may originally show the names of their birth parents, but are usually amended to instead show the information of the adoptive parents. In 1913, a state-wide registration of births was implemented, although it was not fully complied with until 1920. In a variety of cities in North Carolina, records date back before 1913. Raleigh, for example, began to record births as far back as 1890. The county in which the birth occurs keeps a copy of the certificate, sending information to the state office. In the first three quarters of 2018 alone, there were over 90,000 total births across North Carolina. There is a search fee of $24 for documents, which includes one copy if the birth record is found on file. After that, it costs $15 per additional copy.

Death Records

Death records usually refer to the information collected from one’s death certificate. A state-wide registration of these documents was implanted in 1913 and complied with by 1917. These records can include a variety of information about the deceased. This may include their name, gender, ages, date of birth, place of birth, and names of parents. The date and place of death are also added. Sometimes even the cause of death, information on burial, and the names of both the mortician and physician are added. The North Carolina State Archives hold original death records from 1913-1975 for most counties, as well as indexes running from 1913 to 1979. In the first three quarters of 2018 alone, there were over 60,000 total deaths across North Carolina. There is a search fee of $24 for documents, which includes one copy if the death record is found on file. After that, it costs $15 per additional copy.

Why are these records available to the public?

The North Carolina Public Records Law was passed in 1935 by the State Legislature. This allows every resident of the state to access all public records whenever they please by contacting the relevant office. The law aims to ensure that all government documents, both state and local, are readily available for public access, as is the right of those living in North Carolina.

To access vital records, a person can:

N.C. Vital Records Telephone: (919) 733-3000

Fax: (919) 733-1511

Office Hours for Walk-In Service: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Main Switchboard Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

https://vitalrecords.nc.gov/research.htm

Mailing Address

North Carolina Vital Records
1903 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1900

Physical Location

North Carolina Vital Records (Cooper Memorial Health Building)
225 N. McDowell St.
Raleigh, NC 27603-1382

North Carolina State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (980) 319-1929

Results Include

Full State Record Report:

  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Assets
  • Property Ownership
  • Bankruptcies
  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Public Records
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • Relatives & Associates
North Carolina Mecklenburg County Courthouse 1925-1928

North Carolina Mecklenburg County Courthouse 1925-1928