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Where can I search for free public records?
To search for free public vital records in New Mexico, you can explore the archives of birth, marriage, and divorce records. It’s important to note that New Mexico birth records become public after 100 years, while death records become public after 50 years. Although finding free public records can be time-consuming, New Mexico offers access to some vital records for public use. Be prepared to devote a significant amount of time to reviewing these records.
Are New Mexico Vital Records Open to the Public?
In New Mexico, some vital records are public. However, the availability depends on the type of record and the year of the birth, death, or marriage. It is important to note that permitting inspection or disclosing information in vital records is unlawful without proper authorization. The New Mexico Department of Health’s Vital Statistics Bureau maintains and controls access to these records, ensuring their confidentiality and privacy. While third-party websites can provide a convenient way to research specific types of vital records, it is essential to remember that the data on these sites may differ from official government records. Therefore, it is advisable to refer to the official government sources for accurate and reliable information regarding vital records in New Mexico.
To find a record on a third-party website, the person requesting 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.
How to Verify if Your Vital Record is Official
To confirm if your birth, death, or marriage certificate from New Mexico is an official (certified) copy or an informational copy, you can examine the appearance of your copy. Vital records may have different formats depending on the state, county, or municipality. One way to identify informational copies is by looking for a stamp or large print on the document that says “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity” or something similar.
What Are the Differences between Authorized Copies Versus Informational Copies?
In New Mexico, an authorized copy of a vital record is a certified document that holds legal validity and can be used for official identification purposes. These copies are only issued to individuals who have a “direct and tangible interest” in the document.
Informational copies of birth or marriage certificates in New Mexico are unofficial (non-certified) copies, also known as “short-form,” “heirloom,” or “commemorative” certificates. These copies are intended for display or personal reference and are not considered official legal documents.
Informational copies generally cannot be used for any official purposes such as establishing identity, obtaining a passport, or proving eligibility for benefits. They are typically used for personal record-keeping or genealogical research. It’s worth mentioning that citizens have the right to inspect or obtain copies of public records in compliance with the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA).
Find more references regarding birth, death, and marriage certificates in the resources section.