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Vital Records Home
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Order a Certificate

Current Processing Times for Vital Records Certificates

Due to request volume, processing time for standard orders for birth certificates from 1971 to present may take up to five weeks. Standard orders for other types of certificates may take six to eight weeks. Requests that are accompanied by an expedite fee are usually processed within three to five business days from the time N.C. Vital Records receives the request.

Requests to change a record, such as adoptions, amendments, legitimations and name changes, may take up to six weeks after the processing fee is received. There is no fee to process paternities and the response time may take longer depending upon the volume of requests received. Requests to change a record that are accompanied by an expedite fee will be processed as quickly as possible, but may take up to two weeks.

Same Day Service

We offer same-day expedited service at our walk-in window at our Raleigh location.
Office Hours for Walk-In Service are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM-3:00 PM.
Main Switchboard Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. (see Contact Us).

 

NOTE: ID OF THE PERSON REQUESTING A CERTIFICATE IS REQUIRED.

For a list of acceptable IDs see What forms of ID may I use to obtain a certificate? on our FAQs page. Requests that do not include proper identification will be returned.

 

Other Options

Birth, death and marriage certificates also may be obtained at the Register of Deeds off-site link (ROD) office in the county where the event took place. In Mecklenburg County, birth and death certificates may be obtained at the local health department off-site link. (Please be aware that N.C. Vital Records is the only place to get a birth certificate for an adopted child.) Divorce certificates may be obtained from the clerk of court off-site link in the county where the divorce is filed.

1. Complete the form

Birth Certificate Application Form

Death, Divorce and Marriage Certificate Application Form

Report of Fetal Death and Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Application Form

Application for Vital Record for Voting Purposes Form

(It is recommended that you use the latest version of Nitro Reader to view these documents. Get the free Nitro PDF Reader. Note that not all web browsers handle opening of PDF files in the same manner. If you have problems, try saving the document on your computer first and then opening that saved document with Nitro Reader. To save the document, you can place your mouse cursor over the document link and right click the mouse. Then select Save as Target to save the file to your computer.)

If you are looking for another vital record form, please contact us at 919-733-3000.

What we have:

  • Birth certificates are available starting in 1913.
  • Death certificates are available starting in 1930.
  • Marriage certificates are available starting in 1962.
  • Divorce records are available starting in 1958.
  • Fetal Death Reports are available starting in 2001.

(Do you need an older record?)

Information Required for Each Document
  Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Record Divorce Record Fetal Death Report
Name Name on certificate Name on certificate Name of bride or groom Name of husband or wife Name on report, if listed
Additional Names Father’s full name, Mother’s full maiden name   Both parties are preferred Both parties are preferred  
Date Date of birth Date of death Date of marriage Date of divorce Date of delivery
Place Place of birth (city or county in N.C.) Place of death (city or county in N.C.) Place where license was issued (city or county in N.C. ) Place of divorce (city or county in N.C.) Place of delivery (city or county in N.C.)
Requestor’s relationship to the person(s) named on the document Required for a certified copy. Required for a certified copy. Required for a certified copy. Required for a certified copy. Required for a certified copy.

2.a Choose Standard Service: Mail or Drop Off Form

Send the completed form with $24 money order, certified check, or business check (not a personal check) for the first copy of the certificate and $15 for each additional to:

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

You can also drop off the form at the Vital Records Office in Raleigh between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday–Friday, except on state government holidays off-site link. Payments accepted in person include money order, certified check, business check, or cash. No personal checks please. Directions to our office.

If no record is found, you will be sent a letter. The search fee is nonrefundable even if a record is not located.

2.b Choose Faster Service

There are three ways to get faster service.

  1. Faster Processing and/or Delivery through the Mail: You can go through the steps for mail-in service but choose to pay more for faster processing and/or faster delivery.
  2. In-Person: You can go through the steps for drop-off service but choose to pay more for same-day, walk-in service.
  3. Online or phone:  You can order the certificate with your credit or debit card through VitalChek off-site link. This is the only way to get service online or by phone.

Faster Service through the Mail

Fill in the form as in step one. Write "Expedite" on the outside front of the envelope.

Send via U.S. mail to:

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

Write "Expedite" on the outside front of envelope.

Send via UPS or FedEx to:

N.C. Vital Records
225 North McDowell Street
Raleigh, N.C. 27603-1382

Write "Expedite" on the outside front of envelope.

Typical Fee Breakdowns for Faster Service by Mail
  Option 1 Option 2
Certificate Search Fee1 (Includes one copy) $24 $24
Expedited Processing Fee (Shipped by regular mail) $15  
Expedited Processing and Expedited Shipping (Within Continental U.S.2)   $35
TOTAL $39 $59
For an additional copy of the same certificate, add $15 $15

1Includes one copy if record is located. Search fees and expedite fees are non-refundable even if a record is not located.

2For expedited shipping outside the continental United States, call for rates or include a prepaid express shipping envelope.

Faster Service In Person: Same-Day, Walk-In Service

You can request same-day, walk-in service in the Vital Records Office in Raleigh. Walk-in service is available between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday–Friday, except on state government holidays off-site link. Payments accepted include money order, certified check, business check, cash or credit/debit card. No personal checks please. Directions to our office.

All walk-in requests for same day service are subject to an additional $15 expedited services fee.

A Typical Fee Breakdown for Same-Day, Walk-In Service **
Search Fee (includes one copy) $24
Expedite fee (same-day service) $15
TOTAL $39

The search fee and the expedite fee are non-refundable even if a record is not located. ** If using a credit/debit card as your payment method, an additional $2.50 processing fee will be charged by VitalChek (independent third-party processor – not affiliated with the State of North Carolina). MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards will be accepted – VISA is not accepted.

Faster Service Online or by Phone: VitalChek

Online service is available at www.vitalchek.com off-site link or you may call toll-free 1-800-669-8310. (Outside the U.S., call 1-615-372-6800.) VitalChek is an independent third-party service and is not affiliated with the State of North Carolina. An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for this service, and all major credit cards are accepted, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard or VISA.

You will be asked to provide your credit card number and its expiration date.

Provide all the necessary certificate information along with a street address (no APO, FPO, or PO Boxes) where the certificate can be delivered. Someone must be available at the address provided to sign for receipt of the documents that will be express mailed to the requesting party.

Typical Fees for Expedited Credit Card Service (shipping fees may vary)
Search Fee (includes one copy)* $24
Expedite Fee $15
VitalChek Processing Fee $12.70
Expedited Shipping within continental U.S. (UPS) $20
TOTAL $71.70

*Includes one copy if record is located. Search fees and expedite fees are non-refundable even if a record is not located.