Search Public Records
Where can I search for free public records?
Under Alaska law, all birth records are made public after 100 years, while all other vital records are made public after 50 years. Finding free public records can be tricky, but many of Alaska’s vital records are freely accessible to the public. If you have substantial time to review records, you can browse Alaska’s archives of birth, marriage, and death records to find the information you need.
Are Alaska Vital Records Open to the Public?
Many state records in Alaska are public, but access to them will depend on the record type and the year when the birth, death, or marriage occurred.
You can also utilize various third-party websites to research specific vital records. These websites can be good reference points in your research, allowing you to browse records beyond your physical location. However, the data on these websites may not be consistent with official government records. To search for a record on a third-party website, you must provide the following information:
- The location of the record you’re looking for, including the city, county, or state where it was recorded.
- The name of the person on record, if it is not a minor.
Alaskan residents have the right under the Alaska Public Records Act to inspect or obtain copies of public vital records.
How to Verify if Your Vital Record is Official
To ensure you have an official, certified copy of your certificate, look for details such as stamps, embossed seals, and signatures from the state health department. Remember that certified copies can only be obtained from The Department of Health’s vital records offices in Anchorage and Juneau. If your certificate is an informational copy, it will likely come with a stamp or large print stating something comparable to “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity.”
What Are the Differences between Authorized Copies Versus Informational Copies?
Certified copies of vital records are legal documents that can be used in official legal matters such as establishing identity. Therefore, only people with a “direct and tangible interest” in a vital record can certified copies.
To receive a certified birth, death, or marriage certificate, you must provide proof of identity to confirm that you are legally entitled to the certified copy.
In Alaska, you can also order informational copies of birth or marriage certificates, referred to as “heirloom certificates.” Family or friends can purchase heirloom certificates, though the requester must still provide a valid ID when applying. Note: These certificates are not official legal documents. They are intended only for display or personal reference.
Find more references regarding birth, death, and marriage certificates in the resources section.