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Are Georgia Vital Records Open to the Public?

Vital Records in the state of Georgia are generally considered to be public records. These records are official documents pertaining to vital events that have occurred within the state limits. They include marriage, divorce, birth, death, and a variety of related documents. In Georgia, the state Department of Public Health serves as the central repository of records of state-wide vital events. The Department, through the Office of Vital Records, issues copies of these records to interested and eligible persons. At the county level, this service is offered by the County Board of Health as well as the county Probate and Superior Court.


What Information Do I Need to Search for Georgia Vital Records Online?

To adequately conduct a search through the various third-party managed databases, the requesting party is required to provide the basic information about the record in question such as:

  • The full name, suffix and personal information of the requestor
  • The full name, suffix, and personal information of the named party to the record
  • The relationship of the requestor to the named party in the record (father, mother, son, daughter, husband, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent, legal guardian, etc)
  • The reason for record request (personal use, insurance proceeds, authentication, death benefits, and other legal purposes)
  • The date the event occured
  • The gender of the named party on the record (if applicable)
  • The age of the named party on the record at the time the event took place (if applicable)
  • The name of the city the event was recorded
  • Father’s name and mother’s maiden name (for birth certificates only)
  • Scope of search required (statewide or county limited)

Publicly available vital records may be managed and disseminated by some third-party aggregate sites. These websites are generally not being limited by geographical record availability and may serve as an adequate starting point when researching specific or multiple records. However, third-party sites are not government-sponsored. As such, record availability may differ from official channels. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, the requesting party will be required to provide:

  • The location of the record in question including city, county, or state where the case was filed.
  • The name of someone involved provided it is not a juvenile.


What Do I Need to Obtain Georgia Vital Records?

More often than not, no document is required to obtain informational copies of a publicly available vital record. Pursuant to GA code Ann. § 50-18-70(a), members of the public have the right to access and collect copies of vital records upon request. Interested persons may search these records by contacting the custodian of the official records or by utilizing the services offered by third-party research companies. However, where certified copies of vital records are needed, requestors are required to provide a government-issued photo ID to prove their relationship to the persons named on the record. Acceptable ID includes a photocopy of a state-issued driver’s license, state ID card, state weapon permit, U.S passport, school ID card, transportation ID card, U.S military ID card, as well as other related government-issued photo documents.


What’s the difference between a Certified Record and Informational Copy?

Certified copies of vital records are stamped official copies that can be used for authentication, legitimation, and other legal purposes while informational copies are non-certified copies used for research and informational reasons. As such, certified copies are only issued to persons with “direct and tangible interest” such as the named persons in the record, the immediate family members -- husband, father, mother, sibling, etc, as well as some authorized legal representatives.

Are Georgia Marriage Records Public Information?

Marriage Records in the state of Georgia are generally considered to be public records. However, records of marriages rendered confidential by the couples involved are only available to authorized requestors. Also, parts and portions of marriage records bearing sensitive information such as social security numbers, financial account numbers, passwords, and a variety of related information may be redacted from public inspection. Typically, persons authorized to view and obtain copies of sealed marriage records include the couple themselves, members of the law enforcement agencies, some family law divisions, and persons with a court order or subpoena.

How do I find marriage records in Georgia?

Marriage Records in the state of Georgia can be found by first locating the record of interest. The Georgia Department of Public Health through the Vital Records Division holds records of marriages occurring from June 1952 to August 1996. Prior and later than this date, copies of marriage records are strictly available from the County Probate Court where the license was issued. These records are remotely maintained by third party online services. To search for marriage records in person, the requesting party is required to visit the applicable probate court with basic facts and relevant documents. At the state level, interested persons can visit or send a Marriage Application Form to:

State Office of Vital Records
1680 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 100
​Atlanta, GA 30349

The Vital Records Office charges $10 for the first certified copy of marriage certificates. Each additional copy of the same record requested at the same time attracts a charge of $5. Include these fees with the application form. Fees are payable by money order, personal check, and credit/debit card.

Are Georgia Divorce Records Public Information?

In accordance with the guidelines established by the Georgia Annotated Code, Records of divorce, dissolution of the union, and annulment are considered public records and are therefore available to anyone. Notwithstanding, requestors are required to provide basic facts about the record such as the name on the record, the date the marriage officially ended, the place of the event, case number, case filing date (if applicable), etc. In the general sense, while divorce records are public information, all or portions of the record containing sensitive information such as information identifying victims of domestic violence, details of juveniles, and neglected minors, as well as social security numbers and financial account numbers may be sealed and as such limited to only authorized requesters.


How do I find Divorce Records in Georgia?

To successfully find divorce records in the state of Georgia, interested persons may utilize the online services offered by third party research companies provided the basic information about the record of interest is known. The basic information needed typically includes the name of the parties involved, date of divorce, place of divorce, as well as the personal and contact information pertaining to the requestor. Divorce verifications can also be obtained in person or by mail from the applicable office. The State Office of Vital Records is tasked with providing divorce verification letters for legal separations occurring between June 1952 to August 1996. Records registered sooner or later than this date can only be obtained from the Clerk of Superior Court in the particular county where the divorce was finalized. To adequately obtain a divorce record in person or by mail from the state vital office, requesters are required to visit or send the Divorce Verification Application Form along with a government-issued photo ID, appropriate documents, and applicable fees to:

State Office of Vital Records
1680 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 100
​Atlanta, GA 30349

One certified copy of a divorce verification record costs $10 and each additional copy of the same record ordered at the same time costs $5. Mail response time varies and is estimated to be between 8-10 weeks.

Are Georgia Birth Records Public Information?

Compliant to the guidelines covered by the Georgia Annotated Code, Birth Records are generally presumed to be public information and therefore readily available to members of the public. However, birth records that have been sealed or rendered confidential by statute or court rule are restricted from public viewing. Essentially, persons with legal permission to view and obtain such sensitive information include the adult registrants, the parents, siblings, first degree relations, legal representatives, and persons with a court order authorizing access. While birth records are public, the custodians can only release them after basic facts about the record of interest have been provided. They include the full name of the registrant, place of birth, race/ethnicity, as well as legally acknowledged names of the parents.


How Do I Find Georgia Birth Records?

Records of births occurring from January 1919 to present are available at the State Vital Records Office. On the other hand, births registered before 1919 may be found at the vital records office of the county where the birth was registered. Generally, there are two types of official birth records in the state of Georgia — certified copy and apostille/exemplified copy. Simply put, the exemplified copy is a certified copy signed with an “original pen-in-hand signature”.

Birth records may be obtained online via third-party research websites, in person, or by mail. At the state level, visit the office location or send a Birth Application Form by mail. Requesters are required to download and complete the form as well as attach proper identification/notarized statement, and applicable fees to:

State Office of Vital Records
1680 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 100
​Atlanta, GA 30349

Additionally, requesters are required to cover the cost by certified check or money order (by mail) or via Visa/MasterCard when online request channels are considered.

Are Georgia Death Records Public Information?

Death Records in the state of Georgia are primarily considered public records and as such available for public viewing and inspection. Essentially, records of death that occurred from 1919 to date are available at the State Vital Records Office. Where older records are required, interested persons are required to check the County Vital Records Office of the place of death. Confidential records such as social security numbers and financial bank statements of the deceased are typically kept from public inspection. Eligible persons include the primary family members, the legal representative of the deceased, and persons legally authorized by a court order.


How Do I Find Death Records In Georgia?

Death records may be obtained in person, by mail, or online through third party aggregate sites. Requests by mail can be submitted by downloading and completing the Georgia Death Application Form. In-person requesters can also fulfill this step prior to visiting the office to reduce wait time. The completed forms along with appropriate identification and payment may then be delivered by U.S mail or in-person to:

State Office of Vital Records
1680 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 100
​Atlanta, GA 30349

Georgia State Archives

State Archives

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Police Records
  • Sheriff Records
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Probation Records
  • Parole Records
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Birth Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Personal Assets
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Political Contributions
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.


The Columbia County Courthouse in Appling is the oldest functional courthouse in Georgia. The courthouse is still used for judicial proceedings.