Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates. State government vital records offices issue these documents. To get a copy or a certified copy of a vital record, contact the vital records office in the state where the event occurred.
💡 Tips: The simplest way is to use the government-authorized platform vitalcheck.com to order certified copies of vital records.
When requesting an apostille or authentication for a vital record, a certified copy of that record is a must. A certified copy usually contains terms like "true copy", "certified copy", or "this is certified by..." and bears the original signature of a clerk or officer and embossed seal or colored stamp.
Who may request records and for what purpose:
Every citizen has a right to access public records. Because not otherwise stated in the law itself, the term “citizens” likely refers to all citizens of the United States. This includes news media, corporations, and professional organizations.
The custodian of public records may ask the purpose for a request or the requester’s intended use of the records.
N Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York (except New York City) New York City North Carolina North Dakota Northern Mariana Islands O Ohio Oklahoma Oregon P Pennsylvania Puerto Rico R Rhode Island
Any kind of vital records issued in the United States needs to be apostilled or authenticated before its use in other countries outside the United States.
If the destination country is a member of the Hague Convention of 1961, it needs to get the Apostille from the Secretary of State. Once the apostille is completed, It is ready for use.
However, if the destination country is NOT a member of the Hague Convention of 1961, more steps are needed. Specifically, the document needs to be authenticated by the Secretary of State, the U.S. Department of State (if any), and the embassy of that destination country which is located in Washington D.C.
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