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If you or someone in your family was born in the nation’s capital, Washington DC, there are proper procedures that get you access to the District Of Columbia Public Records more efficiently and in a timely manner. Like all the fifty states in the country, the District of Columbia treats its residents’ vital information with a great deal of respect and caution. That is why even though these types of documents are open to the public, in accordance to the Freedom of Information Act; necessary steps must still be taken before an individual can obtain a certified copy of any public document.
If you wish to acquire a copy of your birth certificate or a family member’s death report, for instance, the Vital Records Division in Washington DC has the capacity to disseminate these kinds of documents to the general public. Under the authority of the District of Columbia’s Department of Health, the Vital Records Division houses records of birth and death since August of 1874. Birth certificates only become open to the public 100 years after the listed date of birth, while 50 years is the allotted time for death certificates before they can be accessed by any individual. Only the next of kin can obtain copies of the documents at any given time.
To obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate or a death report, you must complete the appropriate request form, which can be obtained in person at the office of the Vital Records Division or via online download at the District of Columbia Department of Health’s official website. Just look for a link labeled “Vital Records” on the website’s homepage. In the vital records page, you will find a downloadable PDF application, as well as additional information regarding the proper procedures, requirements and application fees.
When it comes to marriage and divorce certificates, on the other hand, they will require a different source. If you want to get a hold of a certified copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree, you need to submit your application at the DC Superior Court. The Clerk of Superior Court in the District of Columbia handles all public marital documents in Washington DC. Request forms are available at the district court office or at the official website of the District of Columbia Courts. In this website, you will find portals to pages relating to the process of accessing marriage licenses, certificates, and divorce decrees.
There is, however, an alternative source of vital documents that is much more convenient and practical, especially for those performing background checks. If you are running a public records search online, there are several data retrieval websites that cater to your specific needs. All it requires is a one-time membership fee and you are free to do as many record searches as you want. With an extensive database of vital records, from Alabama to Wyoming, including the District of Columbia and the nation’s territories from Guam to the Virgin Islands, you will never have to visit multiple websites or contact a variety of offices and entities to gather the information you need.