Vital Records: About Confidentiality

Vital records are confidential. Only individuals who have what is called a "direct and tangible interest" in the records can access them. This includes:

  • The person named on the certificate, a member of his/her immediate family, his/her guardian, or an authorized agent of these individuals
  • Attorneys-at-law, title examiners, or members of legally incorporated genealogical societies conducting their official duties
  • A person requiring information to determine or protect a personal or property right
  • A person who has been granted a court order instructing the registrar to provide the document

Firms, agencies, or individuals requesting information for commercial purposes are not considered to have direct and tangible interest.

Please note that is illegal to inspect or disclose information contained in vital records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any vital record except as authorized by the Office of Vital Records (more). Any person who uses false statements to obtain a vital record may be fined up to $1,000, imprisoned for up to a year, or both. (more)