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Where can I search for free public records?
In Idaho, birth certificates are made public 100 years after a birth occurred, and death and marriage certificates are made public 50 years after a death or marriage occurred. Finding free public records can be difficult, but Idaho has many vital records that are freely available to the general public. Though time-consuming, browsing Idaho’s archives of birth, marriage, and divorce records can help you find the desired information.
Are Idaho Vital Records Open to the Public?
The majority of state records in Idaho are available to the public, though the access depends on the type of record and the year in which the birth, death, or marriage took place.
You can utilize third-party websites to research specific types of vital records. These websites are typically not limited to your geographic location, providing a good reference point when researching records. However, the data on third-party sites can vary from official government records. To search for a record on a third-party website, you must specify the following:
- 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.
How to Verify if Your Vital Record is Official
Every state, county, and city can have unique vital records. The appearance of your birth, death, or marriage certificate may vary based on the issuing authority, so it’s recommended to verify if you hold an official certified copy. Informational copies of these records can be identified by a stamp or bold print stating something 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 certified by the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare – Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics and constitute legal documents that can be utilized as official identification. Informational copies cannot be used for official identification; they are only for personal reference. Consequently, certified copies of vital records can only be obtained by individuals with a “direct and tangible interest” in the document.
If you request an authorized birth, death, or marriage certificate, you must verify your identity by providing a primary ID, two secondary IDs, or a notarized signature on your application. Without one of the defined identity verifications, your request will be rejected.
The Idaho Health & Welfare Department doesn’t explicitly mention generating informational copies of vital records. However, certain third-party archives house these historical documents following a specific time period. For more details, visit https://guides.loc.gov/idaho-local-history-genealogy/vital-records.
Idaho residents have the right under the Idaho Public Records Act to inspect or obtain copies of public vital records.
Find more references regarding birth, death, and marriage certificates in the resources section.