Pennsylvania Vital Records - Births, Deaths & Marriages

How to Get Copies of Pennsylvania Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates

Pennsylvania state - county map
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Learn how and where to obtain birth, marriage, and death certificates and records in Pennsylvania, including the dates for which Pennsylvania vital records are available, where they are located, and links to online Pennsylvania vital records databases.

Pennsylvania Vital Records:

Division of Vital Records
State Department of Health
Central Building
101 South Mercer Street, Room 401
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16101
Phone: (724) 656-3100

What You Need to Know:
Check or money order should be made payable to Division of Vital Records. Personal checks are accepted. Call or visit the Web site to verify current fees. All requests for 1906 and later records MUST include the signature and photo ID of the individual requesting the record. The online request service is not available for genealogy requests.

Web site: Pennsylvania Vital Records

 

Pennsylvania Birth Records

Dates: From 1 January 1906

Cost of copy: $20.00 (certified from State Vital Records); $5.00 (non-certified from the State Archives)

Comments: Access to Pennsylvania records of birth that occurred less than 105 years ago is restricted to immediate family members and legal representatives (spouse, parent, siblings, children, grandparents, grandchildren). Other family members (cousins, etc.) can obtain a copy of a birth certificate only if the individual is deceased and a copy of the death certificate is submitted with the request.

Birth records older than 105 years are open to the public.

With your request, include as much as you can of the following: the name on the birth record being requested, date of birth, place of birth (city or county), father's full name, (last, first, middle), mothers full name, including her maiden name, your relationship to the person whose certificate is being requested, your purpose for needing the copy, your daytime telephone number with area code, your handwritten signature and complete return mailing address.


Application for Certified Birth Certificate 

Non-certified copies of birth certificates are only available for the years 1906—1909 and of death certificates for the years 1906–1964. These can be obtained from the State Archives, not through State Vital Records

* For earlier records, write to Register of Wills, Orphans Court, in the county seat of county where event occurred.


Persons born in Pittsburgh from 1870 to 1905 or in Allegheny City, now part of Pittsburgh, from 1882 to 1905 should write to the Office of the Register of Wills for Allegheny County. For events occurring in the City of Philadelphia from 1860 to 1915, contact the City of Philadelphia Archives (be sure to ask for a non-certified, genealogy copy).

Online:
Pennsylvania Birth Records, 1906–1908 with images and index available as a subscription database on Ancestry.com; free to residents of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Birth Indices, 1906–1910 (free)
 

Pennsylvania Death Records

Dates: From 1 January 1906

Cost of copy: $9.00 (certified from State Vital Records); $5.00 (non-certified from the State Archives)

Comments: Access to death records older than 50 years in Pennsylvania is restricted to immediate and extended family members and legal representatives.

Records older than fifty years are open to the public and accessible through the Pennsylvania State Archives.

With your request, include as much as you can of the following: the name on the death record being requested, date of death, place of death (city or county), your relationship to the person whose certificate is being requested, your purpose for needing the copy, your daytime telephone number with area code, your handwritten signature and complete return mailing address.
Application for Certified Death Certificate
 

* For earlier records, write to Register of Wills, Orphans Court, in the county seat of county where event occurred. Persons who died in Pittsburgh from 1870 to 1905 or in Allegheny City, now part of Pittsburgh, from 1882 to 1905 should write to Office of the Register of Wills for Allegheny County.

For events occurring in City of Philadelphia from 1860 to 1915, contact the City of Philadelphia Archives (be sure to ask for a non-certified, genealogy copy).

Online:
Pennsylvania Death Indices, 1906–1965 (free) 
Pittsburgh City Deaths, 1870–1905
Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915
Pennsylvania Deaths 1852–1854
 (Ancestry.com subscription required) -- available for 49 of 64 counties
 

Pennsylvania Marriage Records

Dates: Varies by county

Cost of Copy: Varies

Comments: Send your request to the Marriage License Clerk for the County Court House in the county where the marriage license was issued.

Online:
Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885–1950
Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951
Record of Marriages, 1885–1891; incomplete listing from various PA counties (free)

 

Pennsylvania Divorce Records

Dates: Varies by county

Cost of copy: Varies

Comments: Send your request to the Prothonotary for the County Court House where the divorce decree was granted.