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Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records

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Are Georgia Vital Records Open to the Public?

Yes. Vital records in Georgia are generally considered public records, provided there are no statutory limitations or court-ordered restrictions on the documents. These records are official documents pertaining to vital events that have occurred within the state’s jurisdiction, including a person’s birth, marriage, divorce, and death. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the central repository for vital records and processes requests for vital records through its Office of Vital Records. At the same time, this service is also offered at the county level by the County Board of Health as well as the Probate and Superior Courts.

 

What Information Do I Need to Obtain Georgia Vital Records Online?

To adequately conduct an online search for vital records, the requestor must provide the following basic information: 

  • The subject’s full name and other personal information like birthdate and legal sex
  • Proof of the requestor’s immediate relationship to the person named on the vital record 
  • The reason for record request (personal use, insurance proceeds, authentication, death benefits, and other legal purposes)
  • The date the life event occured
  • The location of the life event
  • Father’s name and mother’s maiden name (for birth certificates only)
  • Scope of search required (statewide or county limited)

How Do I Obtain Georgia Vital Records?

The Georgia DPH maintains vital records and handles vital record requests in the state. Interested parties can obtain vital records by filling out the appropriate request form and submitting the form online, in-person, or by mail to any county health department. Standard search and copy fees apply to records requests.

Pursuant to GA Code Ann. § 50-18-70(a),  requestors need not provide any document to obtain informational copies of publicly available vital records. Thus, interested persons may obtain these records by contacting the record custodian during business hours or by utilizing third-party aggregate websites. However, individuals looking to obtain certified copies of a vital record are required to provide a government-issued photo ID to prove their direct relationship to the persons named on the record. Acceptable IDs include a photocopy of a state-issued driver’s license, state ID card, U.S passport, school ID card, US military ID card, and other government-issued photo identification documents.

Publicly available vital records are also managed and disseminated by some third-party aggregate sites. These sites are generally not limited by geographical record availability and may serve as a reliable jump-off 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 third party sites, the requesting party will be required to provide:

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

 

What is 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, such as processing insurance benefits. On the other hand, informational copies are non-certified copies used for research and informational purposes only. As such, certified copies are only issued to persons with “direct and tangible interest”, such as the persons named on the record, the immediate family members, and authorized legal representatives.

Are Georgia Marriage Records Public Information?

Yes. Marriage records in Georgia are generally considered to be public records. However, marriage records rendered confidential by the couples are only available to authorized requestors. If available to the public, the record custodian shall redact the parts bearing sensitive information such as social security numbers. Otherwise, the only persons authorized to view and obtain copies of sealed marriage records are the couple, authorized government officials, and persons armed with a court order or subpoena.

How Do I Obtain Marriage Records in Georgia?

Public marriage records in Georgia are accessible through the Georgia DPH.  However, the state agency only maintains copies of marriage records for marriages between June 1952 and August 1996. Prior and later marriage records are strictly available from the County Probate Court where the license was issued. To search for marriage records in person, the requestor must visit the applicable probate court with the necessary details and relevant documents. At the state level, requestors must use a marriage record application form. Submit or mail the completed 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. Requesters must attach payment for these fees along with the application form—the record custodian accepts money orders, personal checks, and credit cards.

Are Georgia Divorce Records Public Information?

Yes. Per state code, Georgia divorce records and documents pertaining to annulment are considered public records and are therefore available to public requestors. Notwithstanding, requestors must provide the necessary information to facilitate the search, such as the name on the record, the divorce decree date, and the case number. Note that while divorce records are public information, all portions of the record containing sensitive information such as information identifying victims of domestic violence, details of minors, as well as social security numbers and financial account numbers may be sealed from public perusal.

How Do I Obtain Divorce Records in Georgia?

To successfully find divorce records in Georgia, interested persons may visit the clerk’s office in the county where the divorce was finalized. Alternatively, the requestor may utilize online third-party aggregators, provided the searcher knows the necessary information to facilitate the record search. Generally, the basic information needed to facilitate a search includes the divorcees’ names, divorce dates, and case numbers.

To adequately obtain a divorce record in person or by mail from the Vital Records Office, requestors must visit or send a completed 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?

It depends. Georgia birth records are generally presumed to be public information in Georgia. However, birth records that have been sealed or rendered confidential by statute or court order are restricted from public perusal. Essentially, persons with legal permission to view and obtain such sensitive information include the persons named on the record, immediate family members, legal representatives, and persons armed with a court order authorizing access. Furthermore, the record custodian will only release the birth record after the requestor provides the necessary details to facilitate a search.

How Do I Obtain Georgia Birth Records?

Records of births occurring from January 1919 to present are available at the State Vital Records Office. Conversely, births before 1919 may be found at the county’s vital records office where the birth was registered. There are three ways to order birth certificates and birth certificate replacements in Georgia: in person, submitting a mail request, or searching online.

For in-person and mail requests, the requester must complete a birth record application form and attach a valid identification document. The application packet must also include payment for the applicable fees. Then, the requestor must enclose the application packet in a self-addressed stamped envelope and mail it to:

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

Are Georgia Death Records Public Information?

Yes. Georgia death records in Georgia are primarily considered public records. As such, death certificates are available for public viewing and inspection. Essentially, interested persons may get records of death that occurred from 1919 to date at the State Vital Records Office. Where older records are required, interested persons are required to check the County Vital Records Office.

Note that although vital records are public, the record custodian will redact confidential information such as the deceased’s social security numbers and the financial details 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 Obtain Death Records in Georgia?

Generally, public death records may be obtained in person or by mail through the DPH. Also, third-party aggregate sites maintain databases where public requesters may also perform a death record search by name.

In-person and mail requests involve downloading and completing the death record application form, and submitting it in person or by mail. Note that requests for death records must be submitted with the appropriate identification and payment for the search fees. Enclose mail requests in a self-addressed stamped envelope and send to: 

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

Georgia State Archives

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

Georgia

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

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