Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records

Are West Virginia Vital Records Open to the Public?

West Virginia is a “closed records” state and as such copies of state Vital Records can only be acquired by a specified set of people when requested. These include:

  • The person named on the record.
  • Parents and grandparents of the person named on the record
  • The spouse of the person named on the record
  • Adult children of the person named on the record
  • Adult siblings of the person named on the record
  • Anyone with a legal interest in the record

 

What information do I need to search for West Virginia Vital Records Online?

To obtain information about West Virginia Vital Records online, the requestor will need to provide relevant information about the record, to aid the search. The information must include:

  • Name of the person/persons on the record
  • Date of the event
  • Location of the event
  • Mother’s full maiden name
  • Father’s full name
  • Relationship to the person on the record
  • Reason for the request

The Vital Records Research Project has created an online database, where users can search for West Virginia Vital Records and view scanned images of original records.

Publicly available vital records are also accessible from some third-party websites.* These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching a specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties must provide:

  • The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile
  • The assumed location of the record in question such as a city, county, or state name

*Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites, and record availability may differ from official channels.

 

What do I need to Obtain West Virginia Vital Records?

To obtain West Virginia Vital Records, the person requesting the record must provide sufficient information about the record for the record search. Vital Records in West Virginia are considered closed records and consequently, the requestor will need to provide an acceptable form of identification to receive the record. A fee is required for processing the request. The requestor must complete the appropriate Certificate Request Form and return to the Vital Registration Office of the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), with the complete fee and proper identification.

It is possible for ineligible persons to receive West Virginia Vital Records if a permission slip is completed and sent to the Vital Records Office. The slip must be completed by a person named on the record or parents of the person named on the record.

 

What is the difference between a Certified Copy and an Informational Copy?

A Certified Copy of West Virginia Vital Record is a copy of the original West Virginia Vital Record, is issued by the Department of Health and Human Resources or a Court and is considered valid for all identification and legal purposes. An informational copy is typically a notification of the information on the record and is not considered valid for legal purposes or identification.

Are West Virginia Marriage Records Public Information?

West Virginia Marriage Records can only be obtained by:

  • Either the bride or groom named on the record
  • Adult Children & Grandchildren of the bride and the groom
  • A legal representative of either the bride or groom

 

How do I find West Virginia Marriage Records?

The Vital Registration Office of the Department of Health and Human Resources maintains an index of Marriage Records from 1921. The Office has certified copies of Marriage records from 1964. For copies of records before 1964, contact the Clerk of the Court of the County where the marriage license was issued. To obtain a copy of a West Virginia Marriage Record a request must be submitted to the Vital Registration Office. Requests can be submitted online, by mail or in-person. Anyone requesting a record must provide enough information for a record search. Copies of West Virginia Marriage Records cost $12 each.

To submit a request by mail, fill out the Application for Certified Marriage Certificate form and return to the

Vital Registration Office
Department of Health & Human Resources
Room 165
350 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV 25301-3701

Send a check or money order, payable to Vital Registration, for the complete fee and a copy of acceptable identification along with the application.

To submit a request in-person, bring the completed Application for Certified Marriage Certificate form, the complete fee (cash, money order or check payable to Vital Registration) and acceptable identification to the public walk-in counter at the Vital Records Office.

Are West Virginia Divorce Records Public Information?

Divorce Records in West Virginia are closed records and not considered public information. West Virginia Divorce Records can only be obtained by

  • Either party named on the record
  • Adult Children & Grandchildren
  • A legal representative of either party named on the record

 

How do I find West Virginia Divorce Records?

The Vital Registration Office maintains an index of all West Virginia Divorce Records since 1968. However, to obtain certified copies of Divorce Records in West Virginia, a request must be made at the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the county where the divorce was granted. Fees for copies of the record will be determined by the Circuit Court.

Are West Virginia Birth Records Public Information?

Birth Records in West Virginia are obtainable by:

  • The person named on the record
  • Parents & Grandparents of the person named on the record
  • A spouse of the person named on the record
  • Adult children & grandchildren of the person named on the record
  • Adult siblings of the person named on the record.
  • Anyone who can establish legal interest in the record

 

How do I find West Virginia Birth Records?

The Vital Registration Office was established in 1917 and has maintained records ever since. For West Virginia Birth Records which pre-date 1917, a query should be made with the Clerk of the Court of the county where the birth was registered. To receive a copy of a West Virginia Birth Record, a request should be submitted to the Vital Registration Office. Requests can be made online, by mail or in-person. There is a fee of $12 for each copy of a Birth Record. A requester must provide enough information for a record search.

Mail requests should be sent to the

Vital Registration Office
Department of Health & Human Resources
Room 165
350 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV 25301-3701

The request should include a completed Application for Certified Copy of West Virginia Birth Certificate form, a check or money order for the appropriate fee and a copy of acceptable identification.

In-person requests should be made at the public walk-in counters at the DHHR. requestors must provide enough information for the record search, pay the complete fee and have an acceptable form of identification.

Are West Virginia Death Records Open to the Public?

Death Records in West Virginia can be obtained by:

  • Parents and grandparents of the person named on the record
  • A spouse of the person named on the record
  • Adult children & grandchildren of the person named on the record
  • Adult siblings of the person named on the record.
  • Funeral Director
  • Anyone who can establish legal interest in the record

 

How do I find West Virginia Death Records?

The Vital Registration Office of the DHHR has information on West Virginia Death Records dating back to 1917. For Death Records in West Virginia which pre-date 1917, contact the Clerk of the Court of the county where the death was recorded. A request should be submitted to the Vital Registration Office if a copy of a West Virginia Death Record is required. Requests for records can be made online, by mail or in-person at the

Vital Registration Office
Department of Health & Human Resources
Room 165
350 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV 25301-3701

For mail requests, send in a completed Application for Copy of West Virginia Death Certificate form, a check or money order (payable to Vital Registration) for the complete fee and a copy of the applicant’s valid photo ID (or an acceptable form of identification).

In-person requests are made at the public walk-in counters available at the DHHR. The requestor must provide enough information for the record search, pay the complete fee and provide a valid photo ID (or an acceptable form of identification) before the processing of the request will begin.

How do I find Sealed Vital Records in West Virginia?

West Virginia Vital Records are not typically sealed records. Vital Records in West Virginia are closed records and can only be obtained by specific people, who must provide acceptable identification to obtain the records. If a requested Vital Record is sealed, the applicant will need to submit a request to the Court which ordered the sealing of the record, to have the record unsealed.

West Virginia State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (304) 982-8439

Results Include

Full State Record Report:

  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Assets
  • Property Ownership
  • Bankruptcies
  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Public Records
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • Relatives & Associates

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

West Virginia

West Virginia

  • State archives hold over 50,000 cubic feet of records.
  • There are 2 levels of courts – trial and appellate.
  • The West Virginia Circuit Courts are the West Virginia state trial courts of general jurisdiction. They are the only state trial courts in West Virginia that are courts of record.
  • The 55 counties of West Virginia are divided into 31 circuits, each comprising anywhere from one to four counties. So there are 31 Circuit Courts in West Virginia.
  • The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is the state supreme court of the state of West Virginia, the highest of West Virginia's state courts.

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