First copies for new births are offered free of charge and fees may be waived for individuals who served or are currently serving in the armed forces or for their dependents.
The Division of Vital Records maintains birth and death events that occurred in Pennsylvania from 1906 to the present. Pennsylvania birth or death records should be ordered from the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Division of Vital Records. The Division of Vital Records houses birth and death certificates from 1906 to present. Birth records become public 105 years after the date of birth, while death records become public 50 years after the date of death. Public records are available for free by visiting the State Archives website at:
How to Get Your Vital Records (Birth and Death Certificates)
WHO CAN ORDER:
Birth: Person named on the birth certificate who is 18 years of age or older, spouse, parent, sibling, half sibling, stepsibling,* grandparent, grandchild or legal representative*
Death: Legal representative of decedent's estate, immediate family members, extended family members who indicate a direct relationship to the decedent, and power of attorney. If applicant is retained by a city/county/state office who has assumed administration of an estate, a letter signed by an official of the city/county/state office is required indicating for what purpose they have retained the services of the applicant and identify whose estate is involved.
*Additional documentation may be required to confirm eligibility.
ORDER BY PHONE
Place your phone order by calling 866-712-8238.
- Have your credit card and certificate information ready when you place your call.
- Proof of requestor’s identity is required, and processing time is six to eight weeks. Shipping time varies based on customer selection.
ORDER BY MAIL
Complete the application for certified copy of a birth or death record.
- Complete application and mail to: Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101.
- Include a photocopy of government-issued ID that includes your current mailing address or two proofs of address and a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the amount of your order.
- Typical processing time for certified copies of certificates is two-and-a-half to three months from the date of receipt.
ORDER IN PERSON
In person requests are accepted at the Vital Records Public Offices.
- Visit any of the six public offices located throughout the state.
- Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Closed on state holidays.)
- Please bring your government-issued ID that includes your current mailing address or two proofs of address and a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the amount of your order.
- Processing time varies based on office and current order volume. Please check the website for exact times.
The Division of Vital Records now has a
toll free telephone number. You can reach us at 844-228-3516.
Senate Bill 361
- This bill amends the Act of June 29, 1953 (P.L. 304, No. 66), known as the Vital Statistics Law of 1953, to provide for public access to certain birth and death certificates after a fixed amount of time has passed. The legislation provides that such documents become public records 105 years after the date of birth or 50 years after the date of death.time has passed.