Arizona Vital Records—Search Guide

When looking for vital records, it’s essential to contact the relevant office of the state where the records would have been recorded originally. For information about vital records in Arizona, please refer below.

What are Vital Records?

Vital records can exist in various formats. It concerns the recording of unique information and it’s kept by the offices of state governments. Citizens and agencies need to contact these offices in order to obtain the information.

You can obtain an informational copy, but this will only be for personal reference. You would need a certified copy if you require a vital record for legal purposes.

Types of Vital Records in Arizona

The list of vital records include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Death certificates
  • Divorce certificates
  • Fetal death records
  • Stillbirth records

Public Records vs Private Records

Some of these vital documents are public records, based on the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). However, each state has the right to determine which vital records are free for public access and which ones stay private.

What are the Oldest Vital Records in Arizona?

When looking for birth and death records, Arizona Department of Health Services can produce documents the entity recorded itself, from as early as 1909. However, delayed birth and death records that this entity obtained from other sources can date back to 1855.

Do Criminal Records Fall Under Vital Records?

Officially, criminal records don’t form part of the vital records that states acquire of its residents. However, there are also measures in place that determine who may view these types of records and how they can obtain the information.

Are Arizona Vital Records Public Information?

If a state decides not to decree vital records as public record, it’s referred to as a closed record state. In these cases there are restricted access to these personal records.

Arizona falls into this category and therefore you can only obtain the information under certain circumstances. The restrictions that apply depend on the type of records you wish to access. For example, unless official entities require and request the information for legal reasons, guidelines like the following may apply:

  • Marriage records in general are public and any Arizona resident can access them.
  • For birth records, usually only the immediate family members of the individual can obtain the vital record.
  • Records may also be closed for a specific time, which is 50 years in the case of death certificates.

Vital Records Contact Details Summary

 

Type of Record Entity / Address for Applications Contact Number  Notes
Birth certificate The Bureau of Vital Records
Arizona Department of Health Services
P.O. Box 6018Phoenix, AZ 85005Arizona Vital Records
1818 West Adams Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85007
 

 

 

 

877-803-0609

Requirements:

–          Supply a picture identification OR a notarized request
–          Include stamped envelope addressed to self

Death certificate The Bureau of Vital Records
Arizona Department of Health Services
P.O. Box 6018
Phoenix, AZ 85005Arizona Vital Records
1818 West Adams Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85007
 

 

 

877-803-0609

Requirements:

–          Supply a picture identification OR a notarized request
–          Include stamped envelope addressed to self

Fingerprint Clearance Card Applicant Clearance Card Team  (602) 223-2279
Clearance Letter Criminal History Records Section (602) 223-2222

Where to Search for Arizona Vital Records

You can source records from different agencies and departments.

Firstly, the Arizona Department of Health Services can provide documents, but they don’t have a same-day-issue service anymore. You need to apply via mail. You can also make appointments with this department for the following services related to vital records:

  • Registration of foreign birth
  • Delayed birth registration
  • Putative father registrations or a search for this
  • Corrections and amendments of birth records
  • Adoptions

While some information could be sourced online, in certain cases you need to visit courthouses and county buildings to request and receive the documents. Each county should be able to provide you with any of the vital records relating to the state of Arizona, but not information from other states.

To find out where to apply for vital records from other states apart from Arizona, please refer to a complete list here.

Certain facilities offer walk in services, which could supply you with the relevant documents on the same day as application.

Can You Find Vital Records Online?

There are various online platforms to assist in obtaining vital records. You may perform an online application or obtain contact details for a department that can assist. There is no standard timeline for when applicants can expect a reply or a copy of the records.

Note that while there are various platforms to consider, the only independent online platform mentioned on the Arizona Department of Health Services website, is VitalCheck.com. Interested parties can also contact this service by phone.

In some locations, county buildings also have an online service, which you’ll use during your visit to apply and collect the documents. You don’t necessarily have to apply online before your visit. Research your local county’s policies to ensure you follow the correct procedure.

Who can Request Vital Records?

In most cases, anyone requesting vital records must be 18 years or older. The type of document determines who is eligible to request the record:

  • Birth certificates: Only the registrant and parents, or a family member or individual such as an attorney who has a proven interest for legal reasons.
  • Death certificates: Family members can apply, a funeral home if it’s within one year of passing or an individual with proven legal interests.

With regards to criminal history checks, they are often requested in relation to foreign adoption, visa applications, immigration or employment. Only authorized parties may request the documents, which in some cases may be for legal reasons.

However, state laws dictate that this type of history records can’t cross state lines. Therefore, the Central State Repository isn’t allowed to do a check on behalf of private citizens. Furthermore, even non-Arizona based agencies can’t use the Repository to do a check of this kind.

Can an Individual Review His or Her Own Criminal Records?

In order to confirm the accuracy of records and whether they’re complete, residents can follow the directions in the Record Review Packet. You can find full details and downloads of documents on the Arizona Department of Public Safety platform. It also covers the necessary steps one needs to take if you want to challenge outdated or inaccurate information.

What are Vital Records Used for?

Residents of Arizona can request vital records, including their criminal records, in order to determine if they reflect accurate facts. In the case of records appearing incorrect, a resident can challenge the relevant agency. For example, you can contact the Criminal history Records Unit associated with the Arizona State Troopers.

Job applicants may require fingerprint clearance cards for new employers’ HR departments. Note that not all records may be used for legal purposes—only certified copies can, while informational copies may not.

Individuals may need a copy for use in situations such as international travel, registering at a new school or estate matters. Some people request copies purely for personal interest, for example if they want a keepsake of a loved one.

Do You Need to Pay for Vital Records in Arizona?

Different agencies handle the various types of records in Arizona. Each of these agencies have their own policies regarding payment to obtain the information they supply. Therefore, the cost depends on the records you require. Although there’s a State Fee Schedule that most counties use, contact yours regarding the exact fees applicable for vital records.

In general, agencies won’t waiver the fee.

For payments, the Arizona Department of Health Services accept the following payment methods:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover

[Conclusion]

Arizona state laws provide protection for individuals’ privacy by regulating who has access to vital records. In addition, when individuals or entities require the information—including criminal records—for valid reasons, the relevant departments have the necessary processes in place to provide vital records upon request.

Anybody using this system needs to plan for possible waiting periods and costs involved.