How to order Delaware Vital Records

Delaware Birth, Marriage, Divorce and Death records, also known as vital records, give specifics about important occasions in your ancestors life. Vital records, generally maintained by a civic authority, can provide people a far more comprehensive picture of one’s ancestor, assist you to distinguish between two people using the exact same name, and assist you to uncover links to a completely new generation. They might comprise of information and facts like the occasion date and place, parents’ names, occupation and residence. The cause of death is also listed in the majority of Delaware death records.

Delaware vital records are a cornerstone of Delaware ancestors and family history research because they were usually documented at or close to the time of the occurrence, helping to make the record more likely to be reliable. This page includes links, information and facts that will help you request copies from Delaware state and county vital records keepers. Vital records (births, deaths, marriages, and divorces) mark the key events of our lives and are the foundation of family history research.

Delaware Department of Health, issues, documents, and stores certified copies of vital records including birth, marriage, divorce death certificates for occurrences that took place in Delaware.  To verify current fees or for information on how to expedite a document, call (302) 744-4549.

  • Ordering Delaware Birth  Certificates: The Office of Vital Statistics has Birth Certificates from 1938 to present. The fee  is $25.
  • Ordering Delaware Death Certificates: The Office of Vital Statistics has Death Certificates from 1969 to present. The fee  is $25.
  • Ordering Delaware Marriage Certificates:  The Office of Vital Statistics has Marriage Certificates from 1969 to present. The fee  is $25.
  • Ordering Delaware Divorce Certificates:  Certified copies are not available from Office of Vital Statistics, but there is an index that covers the years 1935 to the present. Certified copies are available from the Prothonotary in county where divorce was granted up to 1975. For divorces granted after 1975, the parties concerned should contact Family Court in county where divorce was granted. Certified copies are not available from the State office. The fee for the copy varies.

How to Order Delaware Vital Records

  • Physical and Mailing Address: Office of Vital Statistics, Jesse S. Cooper Bldg, 417 Federal Street, Dover, DE 19901; (302) 744-4549; Fax: (302) 736-1862. All mail orders should include a Personal check or money order made payable toOffice of Vital Statistics. Do not send cash.
  • Website Address: http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/ss/vitalstats.html
  • Ordering Vital Records Online - get the certificates within 2-5 days with a credit or debit card from USAVital.com or VitalChek.com
  • Ordering Vital Records by Mail: You can download an application online for Delaware Birth CertificateMarriage CertificateDeath Certificate Applications. Please allow up to 4-7 weeks for processing of all type of certificates ordered through the mail.
  • In Person:  Certified copies of certificates are at any of three locations around the state. Most certificates can be issued while you wait.

Background of Delaware Vital Records

The Department of Health and Social Services Division of Public Health holds Delaware’s vital records in their Office of Vital Statistics. The birth records held there begin in 1931 and the death and marriage records begin in 1963. A birth record becomes public after 72 years and a marriage or death record becomes public after 40 years. At that point in time, the Delaware Public Archives takes control of those records.

Currently, the Delaware Public Archives holds records from 1861 to 1863 for both births and deaths. They also hold death records from 1881 to 1962 and birth records for 1881 to 1930. The marriage records held at the archives date from1847 to 1962. Every January, the Delaware Public Archives receives one more year of records from the Office of Vital Statistics.

The registrar of vital statistics kept the records for Wilmington, Delaware from 1881 onward. However, the Delaware Public Archives holds the earlier records. In other parts of the state, records were not kept well by the county deed recorders until 1913, when the vital statistics office was created. Records from records of deeds for marriages (1847-1913) and births and deaths (1861-1863, 1881-1913) are housed in the Delaware Public Archives, but they are not complete. Marriage bonds from clerks of the peace are also at the archives. They cover 1744 to 1913, when the practice of marriage bonds was discontinued. However, the records prior to 1793 are not as complete.

There are indexes on file at the Delaware Public Archives for deaths, births, marriages and baptisms from 1680 to the present day. They have been compiled from newspapers, Bibles, church records and other sources. Some deaths from 1888 to 1910 have also been compiled in a supplemental index.

From 1832 to 1975, county superior courts handled divorces. The Delaware Public Archives has some of them on file, but the court must give permission to anyone who wants to view them. Records more current than that are held in whatever county family court granted the divorce. The governor and council handled divorces up until 1773. Then the legislature took over the handling of divorces. The Laws of Delaware, 2-20 (1777-1897) lists divorce indexes as private acts. All annulments and divorces from 1913 onward are on file with the registrar for the state.

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