Georgia Vital Records
Georgia Vital Records
In the State of Georgia, the Office of Vital Records is in charge of maintaining all vital records created, including those relating to key life events. These include divorce records, marriage certificates and licenses, birth certificates, and death certificates. All of these records are kept together in one central registry so they can be used for analysis and statistics.
A divorce record refers to the document issued by the government after the divorce or annulment occurs. These records are split into two sections in Georgia, before 1952 and after 1952. When someone files for a divorce or annulment in the state of Georgia, records of the events are stored as court records or, on occasion, as vital records. These records include divorce certificates, divorce decrees, annulment files, and other divorce-related documents. Depending on the jurisdiction and events surrounding the divorce, these records may only be available to members of the family involved in the divorce.
Marriage records are issued upon the registration of said marriage, and are also stored in two sections, pre-1952 and post-1952. Marriage records are currently stored by individual counties, and can date back as far as the organisation of that particular county. Back in 1805, licenses were handed out by a county’s court or ordinary, located where ever the bride was a resident. People can write to the local clerk or court of ordinary if they wish to obtain a copy of these. A large number of the records collected before 1900 are currently kept by the Georgia Department of Archives and History. The Family History Library also has some copies dating up to the early-1900s on microfilm. Marriage records cost $10 in the state of Georgia, with each additional copy costing an extra $5.
Birth records can refer to either the original birth certificate itself, or a certified copy of the original. Unlike many states, Georgia does not store its birth records in separate categories depending on date. Instead, they started recording the documents in an organised fashion in 1919 after Georgia introduced a state-wide registration of birth records. This rule was not fully complied with until 1928, but records have been recorded in this way ever since. Before 1919, records were collected by county offices, clerks’ offices, and church registers. A few of the Georgian counties even began recording in the post-Civil War era. Some county birth and delayed registrations are stored on microfilm by the Family History Library. Birth certificate copies cost $25 in the state of Georgia.
Death records refer to the collection of information from a person’s original death certificate. In 1919, Georgia introduced a state-wide registration of death records, something that was eventually full complied with by 1922. Before this, records were collected by the church, and sometimes registered at county offices across the state. Said records are stored by the Georgia Department of Human Resources and the Georgia County Health Department. Death certificate copies cost $25 in the state of Georgia.
Why are these records available to the public?
Back in 1980, State Legislature in Georgia introduced a new law called the Georgia Open Records Act. The last amendment to this act was in 2012, and it was put in place to allow residents of Georgia to access public records.
Those wishing to obtain records can request them via mail at:
State Office of Vital Records
1680 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30349
Or online at: https://georgia.gov/webform/ask-question