Search Public Records
Where can I search for free public records?
Delaware Vital Records are made accessible to the public after 72 years. While public vital records are available free of charge, searching for them can be difficult. You can search publicly available records of births, marriages, deaths, and divorces to find the information you are searching for. However, analyzing and reviewing the records may take a substantial time.
Are Delaware Vital Records Open to the Public?
In Delaware, many state records are open to the public. Access can be restricted depending on the type of vital record and the year when the birth, death, or marriage occurred.
Third-party websites can simplify exploring different types of vital records. Generally, these websites do not have geographical restrictions, providing a good starting point for searching and examining records. However, information from external sources may differ from official government records. To find a record from a third-party website, the requester can expect to prepare general information, including:
- 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.
Delaware residents have the right to inspect or obtain copies of public vital records under the Delaware Freedom of Information Act.
How to Verify if Your Vital Record is Official
Vital records vary across states, counties, and municipalities. Examine the document’s appearance based on its issuing agency to verify the authenticity of your Birth, Death, or Marriage Certificate. Officially certified copies can be distinguished from informational versions, which feature a stamp or conspicuous text such as “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity.”
What Are the Differences between Authorized Copies Versus Informational Copies?
Authorized copies of vital records are only issued by the appropriate governmental agency, such as the Department of Health and Social Services – Division of Public Health in Delaware, to individuals with a “direct and tangible interest” in the document. This typically includes the individual named on the record, certain family members, and legal representatives. These copies often have a raised seal or other security features to confirm their authenticity. Authorized vital records are considered official documents that can be used for official identification or legal purposes, while informational copies cannot be used to establish a person’s identity.
❗️ A notary is not generally required to obtain authorized copies of Delaware Vital Records.
In contrast, informational copies are not considered valid for establishing identity. They are typically marked with a statement such as “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity.” Informational copies are generally available to anyone interested in the information they contain. Note: they cannot be used for legal purposes.
If you seek an informational copy of a public vital record, you are not required to submit any documentation or a Sworn Statement. Citizens of Delaware are guaranteed the privilege of inspecting or receiving copies of public records in accordance with the Delaware Freedom of Information Act.
Check the resources section below for additional birth, death, and marriage certificate references.
Find more references regarding birth, death, and marriage certificates in the resources section.