Rhode Island (RI) Vital Records

Securely order Rhode Island birth, death, and marriage certificates online with Vital Records Online (VRO). Your private information will be kept confidential, and your records will be delivered quickly and safely to your doorstep. VRO is a US-based service that prioritizes your privacy and convenience.

History of Vital Records in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Government-Issued Vital Records

The history of Rhode Island’s vital records dates back to the early 17th century when the state’s first English settlers began keeping records of births, deaths, and marriages. In the late 1800s, Rhode Island passed legislation requiring the registration of vital events statewide. Over the years, changes were made to the state’s vital records laws and procedures, including the introduction of electronic record-keeping systems in the 1990s. Today, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is the primary agency of the state’s vital records and is responsible for ensuring the accuracy and confidentiality of birth, death, marriage, and divorce records.

Learn how to obtain official birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates in Rhode Island. Discover what information they contain, where to request them, and why they are essential documents to have in your possession.

Start your application online for RI vital records

Official Birth Certificate
Rhode Island Birth Certificate

Request a certified copy of live birth for your baby or child.

Official Marriage Certificate
Rhode Island Marriage Certificate
Obtain marriage records for yourself or a family member.
Official Death Certificate
Rhode Island Death Certificate
Get an original copy of a death certificate replacement for a lost record.

Why Do I Need Certified Copies of My Rhode Island Vital Records?

Birth, death, and marriage certificates are crucial for life’s most significant events, such as getting married, enrolling in school, joining the military, traveling, and verifying identity and citizenship. Vital records can also help resolve legal disputes, prove family relationships, claim an inheritance, and trace family history.

Vital records also reveal detailed information about your ancestors, including their full names, birth and death dates, and locations. If you have lost a copy of a vital record, file a police report immediately and request a certified replacement. You can find more information about the uses of vital records in the FAQs related to birth, death, and marriage certificates.

Where to Get Rhode Island Vital Records

Rhode Island’s vital records are maintained at the county and state level. Each health department certifies and issues vital records that occur within its jurisdiction. To find the appropriate vital record application, explore the list of Rhode Island’s county vital record issuing agencies below. The list includes locations, contact information, and online applications for all Rhode Island birth, death, and marriage certificates.

❗️If you’re seeking ancestral records for genealogy research in Rhode Island, they are freely available from various public archives.

Visiting the Vital Records Office

  • Required in-person application
  • Waiting in line
  • Complex and tedious application process
  • Strict business hours and closed during holidays
  • Phone line may be busy
  • No trackable application
  • Only checks and money orders

Visiting the RIDOH-OVR office location

Ordering Vital Records Online

  • No waiting in long lines
  • Simplified and streamlined application process
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Online assistance by specialists
  • Verification and error-checking
  • Custom trackable application interface
  • Convenient fee payment by credit card
    • Additional service fee
    • Remote Processing time

Get Started Online

How to Order Rhode Island Vital Records

The Rhode Island Department of Health accepts applications by mail, online, or in person, although online requests are the most reliable and convenient option. In-person requests at the RIDOH are available by appointment only, and the procedure may vary by county when applying through regional (county) offices.

The requirements and detailed instructions for each birth, death, and marriage certificate must be met regardless of the application submission method. The cost, eligibility, requirements, and processing times for obtaining a certificate depend on the type of certificate you need and how you apply. Review the procedure and requirements prior to making your request to ensure your documents, application, and fees are submitted to the correct vital record location.

❗️ The Rhode Island Department of Health requires appointments for in-person services.

Ordering Online

Ordering Rhode Island vital records online is quick and effortless and involves two simple steps:

  1. Complete the online application, upload your documents, and
  2. process your order.

(Choose additional options if you need to insure, expedite, or obtain premium customer support for your application.)

If you meet the eligibility requirements for the certificate type you need, you can order a Rhode Island birth, death, or marriage certificate online. VRO utilizes a streamlined system to collect and generate the required documents for the correct application and submit your packet to the health department’s vital records office. VRO also helps to avoid common mistakes or missing documents that could lead to application rejections.

You can complete the application process from any device with internet access in just five minutes. Before applying, confirm you have all the documents ready to upload during the secure online application process.

✔︎ Our $29 processing fee includes your automated document processing and first-class shipping & handling.

✔︎ Additional copies of your certified vital records can be purchased for the state’s fee during the online application to save future costs.

✔︎ Vital Records Online’s support team manages scanning and printing your application and documents. Learn more about how the online ordering and handling process works.

✔︎ A notarized sworn statement is not required when ordering a Rhode Island birth, death, or marriage certificate online.

Ordering In-Person or By Mail

You can apply in person if you live within a reasonable driving distance of the state health department or a town clerk’s office that issues certified copies of original vital records. However, the state health department only accepts walk-ins by appointment. If you opt for a town clerk’s office, you should confirm that your nearest office does offer the type of certificate you need. If the office accepts walk-ins, call to verify if the office is open to the public before traveling, and be prepared for potential long queues.

If you live too far from a vital records-issuing office or prefer avoiding the hassles of ordering in person, you can order online or by mail. Mail is a suitable alternative for out-of-state residents, whereas online ordering is the most convenient option for those residing out of state or abroad. Regardless of your location, ordering online is generally the most efficient procedure.

The steps are similar whether you apply for vital records in person or by mail. If you choose to apply in person at the vital records office, prepare to complete the following steps:

  • gathering your documents,
  • getting photocopies of your documents,
  • completing the correct form,
  • making an appointment, and
  • presenting everything to the health department during your appointment

Additionally, when ordering by mail, you will need the following: 

  • purchasing an envelope,
  • including a physical check or money order, and
  • issuing it to the RIDOH.

Each certificate type has specific eligibility requirements for requesting a certified replacement. However, with VRO, you can simplify the process and minimize errors, resulting in faster processing times. Learn more about our services for replacing vital records certificates.

❗️ To avoid your application being denied due to mistakes or incomplete information, review the requirements for each vital record before mailing it.

❗️ Be certain that your documents, application, and payment are submitted to the correct health department that issues certified copies from the preserved original record.

❗️ If you choose to mail your application and documents manually, it is recommended to purchase mail tracking to confirm their arrival at the correct office.


It is important to familiarize yourself with the terms and prerequisites before beginning your vital record application.

Proof of Identity for Verifying Authorization

The table below contains the necessary information and documents for ordering certified copies of vital records in Rhode Island. The RIDOH mandates that all applicants must provide proof of their identity. A driver’s license, state-issued photo ID, or passport is acceptable for most records. However, reference the list of acceptable IDs for the specific certificate you need. If your ID is expired or unavailable, you must provide two secondary forms of identification as listed in the table below.

What Documents Are Required to Order Vital Records in Rhode Island?

The eligibility criteria and prerequisites for obtaining certified birth, death, and marriage replacement certificates in Rhode Island vary according to individual circumstances. Review the specific conditions defined by the RIDOH before applying.

❗️ Without proper ID and a fully completed application, your request will be returned, causing considerable delays in processing your order.

Certificate Required Information ID Requirements Options Secondary IDs
Birth Certificate Current Age,
Date of Birth,
Father's Name at Birth,
Full Name at Birth,
Hospital of Birth,
Mailing Address,
Mother's Maiden Name,
Phone Number,
Place of Birth,
Purpose for the Certificate,
Your Name,
Your Relationship to the Person of Record,
Your Signature
Alien Registration Receipt,
Driver's License,
US Certificate of Naturalization,
US Military ID
Bank Statement,
Income Tax Return,
Utility Bill,
Vehicle Registration
Death Certificate Date of Death,
Daytime Phone Number,
Father's Name at Birth,
Full Name of Person of Record,
Mailing Address,
Mother's Maiden Name,
Place of Death,
Purpose for the Certificate,
Spouse Name,
Your Name,
Your Relationship to the Person of Record,
Your Signature
Alien Registration Receipt,
Driver's License,
US Certificate of Naturalization,
US Military ID
Bank Statement,
Income Tax Return,
Utility Bill,
Vehicle Registration
Marriage Certificate Bride Name,
Bride's Name Before Marriage,
Date of Marriage,
Groom Name,
Groom Name Before Marriage,
Mailing Address,
Phone Number,
Place of Marriage,
Purpose for the Certificate,
Your Name,
Your Relationship to the Person of Record,
Your Signature
Alien Registration Receipt,
Driver's License,
US Certificate of Naturalization,
US Military ID
Bank Statement,
Income Tax Return,
Utility Bill,
Vehicle Registration

Who is Authorized to Order

Who can request vital records in Rhode Island?

The individual on record must provide proof of identity when making the request. If requesting a birth, death, or marriage certificate on behalf of someone else, confirm that you are eligible as an authorized third-party applicant for each certificate type. The RIDOH defines legal representatives or specific relatives of the person on record who are authorized to request a copy of a vital record. Generally, third-party applicants must have a familial or legal relationship with the individual on record and will be required to provide proof of identity.

Certificate Authorized People
Birth Certificate Attorneys, Authorized Agent, Children, Genealogists, Grandparents, Legal Guardian, Other Person by Court Order, Other person of interest (personal and property rights), Parents, Person on Record, Siblings, Spouse, Title Examiners
Death Certificate Attorneys, Authorized Agent, Children, Genealogists, Grandchildren, Insurance Company, Legal Guardian, Other Person by Court Order, Other person of interest (personal and property rights), Parents, Spouse, Title Examiners
Marriage Certificate Attorneys, Authorized Agent, Children, Genealogists, Grandchildren, Legal Guardian, Other Person by Court Order, Other person of interest (personal and property rights), Parents, Person on Record, Siblings, Title Examiners

✔︎ If you can provide documentation of legal interest or hold a Power of Attorney from the person on record, you are eligible to request the vital record.

Notarized Sworn Statement

Do I need a notary with my application?

The Rhode Island Department of Health generally does not require individuals on record or authorized third-party applicants to obtain notarized statements when requesting certified copies of birth, death, or marriage certificates by mail, online, or in person. Notary requirements are reserved for specific cases, such as amendments or changing the sex listed on a birth certificate.

For additional details requiring a notary with your application, refer to the RIDOH website at https://health.ri.gov/records/about/copies/. Further information can be found in other FAQs listed below.

✔︎ A notary is generally not required to obtain authorized copies of Rhode Island vital records. A photocopy of your ID is sufficient to verify your identity.

Costs and Fees

RIDOH determines the fees for obtaining vital record replacements. The total cost may also be affected by how you submit your application. If you use VRO to order birth, marriage, divorce, or death records, the online Application Assistant will start at $29. The RIDOH charges an initial fee of $22.00 for a certified copy of a birth, marriage, or death record ordered in person or $25.00 when ordered by mail. Each additional copy of the same certificate ordered simultaneously costs $18.00, irrespective of the order method.

Certificate Fee Additional Copy
Birth Certificate $25.00 $18.00
Death Certificate $25.00 $18.00
Marriage Certificate $25.00 $18.00
Divorce Certificate $0.00 $0.00

✔︎ Additional copies can be requested during the same order to save future costs if your vital records are lost, destroyed, or stolen.

Vital Records Online Logo VitalRecordsOnline.com processing fee is $29.

Processing and Delivery Times

How long will it take to receive my vital records from Rhode Island?

Processing and delivery times for certificates vary and depend on how you order the vital record, which record you need, and the volume of requests received by the RIDOH. Check the table below for current processing times.

VRO streamlines document gathering and application submission, saving time. You can also expedite your order for faster processing, reducing the total time it takes to receive your certified replacement in the mail.

Certificate Processing Time Rush Processing Time
Birth Certificate 8 to 12 weeks N/A
Death Certificate 8 to 12 weeks N/A
Marriage Certificate 8 to 12 weeks N/A
Divorce Certificate N/A N/A

❗️ The processing and replacement duration of birth, death, or marriage certificates by RIDOH may increase based on a high volume backlog of orders.

❗️ A simple error, typo, or missing document can cause wait times to double, repeat shipping costs, or expose personal information.

How to Track My RI Vital Record?

You can monitor the status of your application and shipping with the first-class prepaid postage included with every order through VRO. If you mail the application packet to the health department manually, purchasing first-class mail tracking is recommended to confirm the RIDOH has successfully received your application.

Note: A simple typo in your application can cause your vital record certificate to be sent to the wrong address, risking the exposure of your personal information. The RIDOH ships all vital records via USPS first-class mail to your home for protection; however, they don’t claim responsibility for any lost or misdirected certificates. In the event that a vital record is misplaced, lost, or delivered to the wrong address, report the loss immediately and reapply for a replacement.

Find more frequently asked questions below the Rhode Island counties office locations directory.

Rhode Island (RI) Vital Record Office Locations

Local Vital Records offices may be closed to the public.

Online Applications are available 24 hrs, 365 days per year.

Search (A-Z) Rhode Island vital records issuing agencies in your county.
Address Hours Application

RI Department of Health,
Office of Vital Records, 

Simpson Hall, 6 Harrington Rd.,
Cranston, RI 02920

Phone: 401-222-5960

Mailing Address:

RI Department of Health,
Office of Vital Records, 

6 Harrington Rd.,
Cranston, RI 02920

7:30 AM - 3:30 PM Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Bristol County
1 Dorrance Plaza
Bristol, RI 02809
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Kent County
222 Quaker Lane
Warwick, RI 02886
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Newport County
43 Broadway
Newport, RI 02840
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Providence County
25 Dorrance Street
Providence, RI 02903
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Washington County
4800 Tower Hill Road
South Kingstown, RI 02879
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate

Other Frequently Asked Questions


When filing a vital record with a foreign government, it’s often necessary to obtain an apostille. The Rhode Island Department of State can issue apostilles for vital records initially issued by the RIDOH.

How can I get an apostille for a vital record?

To get an apostille for Rhode Island vital records, you can place a request via the Department of State and Vital Records Online. VRO is a trusted apostilles service provider in all 50 US states, accepted by various governments with legal validity in over 100 countries. VRO also includes professional assistance for apostilles on birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates. Starting at $149 (plus government fees), the process is simple, quick, and can efficiently be completed online in three steps:

  1. Complete the Apostille Express online application.
  2. Submit the required documents for approval.
  3. Receive your apostille document.

In most cases, there’s no need to have a physical copy of your papers, as the entire process can be done online. Once your apostille documentation is ready, it will be sent via FedEx or DHL. Vital Records Online utilizes reliable courier services for prompt global delivery, regardless of whether you reside in the US or overseas.

You will need to provide the following information: 

  • Authentication Submittal Form
  • Certified vital record certificate (Note that this MUST come from the state health department, not from a county office. If you have a certificate you requested from a local office, you must order a new one. All Rhode Island certificates ordered via Vital Records Online come from the state health department.)
  • $5.00 per document via check or money order made payable to RI Department of State
  • Self-addressed envelope only if expedited delivery is needed

For standard or express shipping (UPS, DHL, or Federal Express), submit the request to the physical address:

RI Department of State,
Business Services Division/Apostille,
148 W. River Street,
Providence, Rhode Island 02904-2615

You can reach the office at [email protected] or online at [email protected] or https://www.sos.ri.gov/Divisions/NotaryPublic/Apostilles/GetApostille.

Correcting or Amending Vital Records

Changes to a family member’s birth, marriage, or death certificate require an addendum since no entity can alter the original document. The conditions vary depending on the correction or addition. In Rhode Island, some amendments may require a court order, necessitating the assistance of an attorney.

Correcting or amending vital records usually will require the following: 

  1. A completed amendment application;
  2. Supporting documentation;
  3. Appropriate fee(s);

For most minor amendments, a notarized statement is not required; however, some changes, such as a change of sex on a birth certificate, will require notarized documentation.

Learn more about correcting or amending birth, death, and marriage certificates.


  • The DMV prefers a birth certificate when verifying your identity for the REAL ID;
  • The deadline to obtain a Real ID has been extended to May 7th, 2025.

The REAL ID Act is a new federal law regarding driver’s licenses that may affect those individuals whose vital records do not match their driver’s licenses. To prevent delays when applying for your Real ID driver’s license, you are encouraged to review your birth and/or marriage to ensure your name, sex, and date of birth are listed correctly.

Search Public Records

Where can I search for free public records?

Rhode Island permits public access to birth, marriage, and death records after a certain period. Birth records become public after 100 years while marriage and death records become public after 50 years. Searching for free public records can be challenging and time-consuming, which requires planning to find specific information. So, be prepared to invest some time in reviewing the records carefully.

Are Rhode Island Vital Records Open to the Public?

Many records in Rhode Island are available to the public, but access depends on the certificate type and the year when the birth, death, or marriage occurred. Third-party websites can be useful for researching specific types of vital records and are not limited to your geographic location. However, it’s important to note that the data on third-party sites may not always match official government records.

To find 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.

How to Verify if Your Vital Record is Official

To confirm that your Rhode Island vital record certificate is certified and not informational, check what certified documents look like in the county where yours was issued, as they will vary in appearance by county. A non-certified informational copy of a vital record will commonly display a stamp or large print across the document that states “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity” or something similar.

What Are the Differences between Authorized Copies Versus Informational Copies?

Authorized Copy: 

An authorized copy of a vital record is considered an officially certified legal document that can serve as official proof of identity. Unlike informational copies, authorized certificates can be used for legal matters such as obtaining a passport. Only individuals with a “direct and tangible interest” in the document are eligible to receive certified copies of vital records.

Informational Copy: 

While some states offer non-certified informational copies of vital records, often referred to as short-form, unofficial, “heirloom,” or “commemorative certificates, the RIDOH does not offer “uncertified,” “informational,” or “commemorative” certificates, except for adoptees requesting their original birth certificates. Only adoptees born in Rhode Island who were 18 as of July 8, 2021, can request a non-certified copy of their original pre-adoption birth record from the Department of Health.

(Uncertified copies are not official legal documents; they are instead created for personal use, such as display, personal reference, or genealogical research. They cannot be used for official purposes such as establishing identity, obtaining a passport, or proving eligibility for benefits.)

Find more references regarding birth, death, and marriage certificates in the resources section.

Share this page: