Vital Records - Frequently Asked Questions

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    How do I get copies of my Birth, Marriage or Divorce Certificate? 

    How do I correct my Birth Certificate? 

    How do I get a Birth Certificate for my foreign born child I adopted in New Hampshire? 

    Where can I research my family history? 

    What is the cost of a copy of a vital record? 

    How do I get a certified copy as soon as possible? 

    What is the normal turn around time between the request and receipt of a certificate? 

     


    How do I get copies of my Birth, Marriage or Divorce Certificate? 
    Effective January 1, 2005 all individuals requesting a certified copy of a record (pursuant to RSA 5-C:102,VI) must present positive identification, including, but not limited to, a driver's license, passport or other government issued picture identification.  New Hampshire vital records are considered to be private and New Hampshire Statute restricts access to them to only those individuals who can demonstrate a "direct and tangible interest" in the record.  Certain older records are exempt from these access restrictions.  Birth recors prior to 1911 and death, marriage and divorse records prior to 1961 are available with unrestricted access.  Individuals wishing to research these genealogical records may do so by visiting our Genealogical Research Center.  Alternatively, a completed application, identification and fee may be mailed to the Division of Vital Records Administration and staff will perform research for you. 

    How do I correct my Birth Certificate? 
    Sometimes a person finds that the information onthe official record is not complete or that some item of information on the certificate does not agree with what he or she believes to be the facts.  When this is the case, it is possible to have missing information added, or to have errors on the certificate corrected.  Any person may apply for completion or correction of any certificate in which he or she is directly interested. Ordinarily, this will be the person whose certificate needs to be completed or corrected, one of the parents or the legal representative of the individual.  If a registrant is 18 years of age or older, he or she must approve the requested change when the application is submitted by anyone other than themselves.

    How do I get a Birth Certificate for my foreign born shild I adopted in New Hampshire? 
    New Hampshire statute requires that the Registrar of Vital Records will, upon request, issue a birth certificate when a foreign born person has been adopted in a NH court.  Contact DVRA staff for a Form VS 37 FB.  By filling out and returning this form, you will supply DVRA with the information needed to prepare a new birth certificate.  The form needs to be signed by the adoptive parent(s) and the signature(s) must be notarized.  The fee for preparing the birth certificate will be $25.00 which includes issuing a certified copy of the record.

    Where can I research my family history? 
    New Hampshire statutes allow general public access to birth records prior to 1911; deaths, marriages and divorces prior to 1961 for geanealogical research.  These records can be found in our Research Room located in the Records & Archives Building at 71 South Fruit Street in Concord.  The Research Room is open to the public frmo 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Volunteer genealogists are available to assist you in researching records.

    If you are an immediate legal family member you are considered to have a "direct and tangible interest" and are eligible to request and receive certified copies of vital records that remain restricted due to their age.

    What is the cost of a copy of a vital record? 
    The cost of a search for a vital record is $15.00.  If DVRA staff find a record after the searach, a certified copy will be issued free of charge.  Additional certified copies of the same record are available at a cost o $10.00 each.

    How do I get a certified copy as soon as possible? 
    Using a major credit card, there are several third-party vendors that can provide expedited vital record service.  They are: VitalChek and EB2Gov.  In addition to our $15.00 searach fee, your credit card will be charged additional processing and shipping fees; these fees are charged by the vendor for the services they are providing, they are not charged by our office.

    These credit card processors have no affiliation with the State of New Hampshire and we cannot mediate any dispute that may arise between you.  Until your order is complete with the credit card processor and they have forwarded it to our staff, we have no record of it and cannot assist you.  To further expedite your order, you may call VitalChek direct at 877-878-8007.  Since EB2Gov works directly with local clerks, please contact the city or town clerk where the record you seek originated.

    What is the normal turn around time between the request and receipt of a certificate? 
    If you visit our office in person, we can usually issue the certificate while you wait.  If you mail in a request, please allow 20 business days from receipt for your request to be processed although we endeavor to complete the requests as soon as possible.