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Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records

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Are Kentucky Vital Records Open To The Public?

Yes, they are. Kentucky’s Open Records Act allows the dissemination of most vital records to members of the public. However, there are a few exemptions to the right of public access. Disclosure of restricted records is generally limited to persons who fulfill specific state-determined eligibility requirements. Access to vital records is also impacted by the type of record requested, the legal authority of the requesting party as well as the judicial district in which the vital event occured.

 

What Information Do I Need To Search For Kentucky Vital Records Online?

When searching for records, requestors are typically required to provide information with which to facilitate searches, such as:

  • The certificate holders full name (including their maiden name if relevant to the event)
  • The place and approximate date where the event occured
  • The registrant's mother’s maiden name and father's full name (for birth/death records)
  • The license number and approximate date of issuance (for marriage records)
  • The case file number of the record (for divorce record)

Publicly available records are also managed and disseminated by some third-party aggregate sites. These sites are generally not limited by geographical record availability and may serve as a reliable jump-off point when researching specific or multiple records. However, third-party sites are not government-sponsored. As such, record availability may differ from official channels. To find a record using the search engines on third party sites, the requesting party will be required to provide:

  • The location of the record in question including city, county, or state where the case was filed.
  • The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile

 

What Do I Need To Obtain Kentucky Vital Records?

The Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics processes vital record requests of persons who submit a written and signed request detailing pertinent facts of the event. Typically, these written requests are sufficient for obtaining open records or genealogical information. However, if a closed record is being requested, additional documents will be required to process the query. This usually includes a government-issued ID to confirm eligibility and a court order to attest to the legal authorization of the requestor to access the record. In many cases, the record custodian will provide information regarding the appropriate documents required to support the request made. As such, requestors are advised to query the record custodian for information regarding the record retrieval process of a judicial district before proceeding with the request.

 

What’s The Difference Between A Certified Record And Informational Copy?

Certified records are documents authenticated by a record custodian. They provide the bearer with the legal authority to use the record for official purposes. Essentially, these records are official copies of a vital record and are usually provided to requestors who meet specific eligibility requirements. On the other hand, informational copies are primarily issued for personal, genealogical or research functions and are usually available to interested members of the public upon request. These copies do not have the legal authority to establish identity and are often watermarked with a disclaimer indicating its limitations.

Are Kentucky Marriage Records Public Information?

According to the provisions of the state’s Open Records Act, Kentucky marriage records are public information. Certified copies of these records can be made available to interested members of the public upon request.

 

How Do I Find Marriage Records In Kentucky?

The Vital Statistics Branch of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is tasked with managing and processing requests for Kentucky vital records. The office maintains records of marriages licensed in the state from June 1958 to date. As such, records of marriages from the years prior can be obtained by querying the office of the county clerk in the county where the marriage was held or licensed.

To obtain a Kentucky marriage record, interested persons may submit a written request to the Office of Vital Statistics. The request must indicate the full names of both parties involved, the county where the license was issued and the month, day and year of marriage. The full name, mailing address and contact information of the requestor must also be indicated, and the application must be enclosed along with a cheque or money order payment of $6 (per record requested). The fee must be made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer. Alternatively, requests can be made using the Marriage Certificate Copy Application. The completed form or written request may be delivered in person or via mail to:

Office of Vital Statistics
275 E. Main St. 1E-A
Frankfort, KY 40621

Are Kentucky Divorce Records Public Information?

Divorce records are public records in Kentucky. As such, there are no eligibility requirements to be fulfilled before accessing these records. They are available to interested members of the public upon request.

 

How Do I Find Divorce Records In Kentucky?

Kentucky divorce record requests are primarily processed by the County Clerk of the county where the divorce decree was granted. However, the state Vital Statistics Office also maintains a central repository of statewide divorce records. To obtain Kentucky divorce records at the state or county level, interested persons may prepare a written request stating:

  • The full names of the parties involved
  • The place and date the divorce was granted
  • Number of copies required
  • The full name and contact information of the requestor
  • Mailing address where the requested document is to be received.

Along with the written request or Divorce Certificate Copy Application, requestors must enclose a check or money order payment of $6 (per certified record requested) which should be made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer. Requests may be made in person or via mail. However, mail requests should be allowed up to 30 working days for processing. All requests are to be made to:

Office of Vital Statistics
275 E. Main St. 1E-A
Frankfort, KY 40621

Are Kentucky Birth Records Public Information?

Kentucky birth records are not public information, and are strictly available to the subject, their parent/legal guardian and the subject’s legal representative. Other persons seeking access to Kentucky records may do so by obtaining a court order authorizing their request.

 

How Do I Find Kentucky Birth Records?

The Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics maintains a repository of birth records in the state going back to 1911. Records of births prior to this year are unavailable. However, the office maintains delayed birth records authenticated by documentary proof and affidavits.

To obtain birth records from the office, interested and eligible persons may download and complete the Birth Certificate Copy Request Form or prepare a written request pertinent to the record requested. The information contained in the application/request must indicate:

  • The full name of the registrant (at birth)
  • The country and full date of birth
  • The maiden name of the registrant's mother
  • The name of the registrant's father
  • The full name and contact information of the requestor
  • The relationship between the requesting party and the registrant
  • The number of copies required and the requestor’s mailing address.

Along with the application, the requesting party must enclose a non-refundable cheque or money order payment of $10 (per record requested), made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer. Government-issued IDs and proof-of-relationship documents may also be included. Additionally, requests made by non-eligible parties must also include a copy of the court order authorizing access to the record. Requests can be submitted in person or via mail to:

Office of Vital Statistics
275 E. Main St. 1E-A
Frankfort, KY 40621

Are Kentucky Death Records Open To The Public?

Records of death that occurred within the jurisdiction of Kentucky are open to the public. Interested persons may access these records from the state’s custodians without additional documentation.

 

How Do I Find Death Records In Kentucky?

The Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics maintains and disseminates records of deaths dating back to 1911. Interested members of the public may access these records by preparing a written request stating pertinent information relating to the record, or by downloading and completing the Kentucky Death Record Form. Completed applications must be accompanied by the indicated fees and ID requirements and submitted in person or via mail to:

Office of Vital Statistics
275 E. Main St. 1E-A
Frankfort, KY 40621

How Do I Find Sealed Vital Records in Kentucky

While there are stringent restrictions placed on the dissemination of sealed vital records in Kentucky, these records may be accessed by persons who fulfill the state's eligibility requirements. To access a sealed record, interested persons who can prove a direct and tangible interest in the record may petition a Kentucky-licensed judge for a court order or subpoena. Upon receiving the court-issued order, the applicant may download and complete the appropriate request form which should be accompanied by the court order and any other supporting documents.

Kentucky State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (502) 200-1174

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

Kentucky

Built in 1816, The Washington County Courthouse is the oldest active courthouse in Kentucky. Government officials use it for civic and judicial matters.

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