Indiana Vital Records

Indiana Vital Records

The Office of Vital Records is responsible for maintaining all state-level vital records created, administered and maintained by the state of Indiana regarding a person’s most important life events. These records include such documents as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates and are compiled and stored in a permanent central registry state entities uses to develop statistical analysis of its population.

Birth Records

A birth certificate is a vital record that documents the birth of a child. The term "birth certificate" can refer to either the original document certifying the birth or to a certified copy or representation of the original document. The law of the state of Indiana required the recording of births beginning in 1882, although a few larger Indiana cities began recording births earlier. Early compliance with the 1882 law varied and many births that occurred in Indiana between 1882 and 1900 were not recorded. Most birth record ledgers are in the courthouse or another government facility in the county in which the event took place. In 1907, the state of Indiana passed a law requiring all counties to register their births with the Indiana State Board of Health. Compliance was not complete until after 1920.

Death Records

A death record is most likely a copy of the information contained in a person’s death certificate. Death records began in a few Indiana cities as early as the 1870s, but the first law requiring county registration of death was passed in 1882.  In 1900, all deaths were to be registered with the state.  Compliance with the law varied until 1920 and deaths that occurred were now always recorded. The requester can obtain a copy of the death records by contacting the county health department where the death took place, or from the Indiana State Board of Health.

Marriage/Divorce Records

A marriage/divorce record is issued by a government official only after civil registration of the marriage/divorce occurs. Marriage records usually date from the formation of each county and are found in the County Clerk's Office in each county. Marriages can exist as early as 1788, as the first law regulating marriages was passed by statutes of the Northwest Territory. Marriage records prior to the late 1800s usually include only the names of the couple, the date of the marriage and sometimes the date of the license, the clerks’ name, the county of marriage, and occasionally the names of witnesses. Late in the 19th century, more detailed marriage application forms were being used. Original marriage records can be obtained from the county courthouse in the county the marriage took place.  Marriages after 1958 were also registered with the Indiana State Department of Health.

Why Vital Records are Available to the Public?

In 1980, the Indiana State Legislature passed a law named the Indiana Access to Public Records Act. This law was enabled with the last changes in 2003 and aims to ensure disclosure of court records and other public records to the public: State and Local Administration. Every person throughout the state can request access to access all public records through the assigned specialized offices within its determined terms.

What Does Vital Records Access mean to You?

The law is similar to the  Indiana Open Door Law legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted at the Indiana Access to Public Records Act intent is that all records maintained by state and local government entities be available for public access and copying.

Indiana State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (317) 245-3439

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Indiana Valparaiso CourtHouse 1912

Indiana Valparaiso CourtHouse 1912

  • State Archives holds over 21,000 cubic feet of records.
  • There are 2 levels of Courts: trial and appellate.
  • There are 91 Trial courts through the state of Indiana.
  • There are 5 Courts of Appeal districts in 5 locations.
  • The highest Court in Indiana is Indiana Supreme Court.
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