How do I find public birth, marriage and divorce records?
I do not want to have to pay a fee.
Depending on who the person is you are trying to get records for — you may run up against privacy laws that prohibit you from getting those records.
If it is YOU who are ordering the information, then you may be able to fill out an order form online with your the health department/vital statistics (birth and death records) or the county clerk for marriage and divorce.
If the person is a direct relative (parent, minor dependant child, current spouse, deceased grandparent or beyond) you should have no problem, as long as you have written permission from one of the parties you are trying to get records for (minor children – if they are YOUR children excepted) or otherwise have a court order releasing the information to you. If you are not related to the person in question, don’t have their permission or a court order releasing the information – you aren’t entitled to it and the information will not be released to you.
You will still have to pay a fee for any official document you obtain. These documents are not available to the public, nor are they stored in any public online database. The cost is anywhere from $10 to $75 depending on what you are trying to get, where, and whether you are getting the information mailed to you or picking it up in person.
You need to know the date of birth, social security number, and county of birth to obtain birth records. You need to provide date and county of marriage for marriage records. The same goes for divorce decrees – date of divorce and county the divorce was granted in.