Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records
Missouri Vital Records
In Missouri, the Office of Vital Records maintains all vital records at a state level. This includes key life event documentation. These key milestones are made up of births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and more. The records collected and maintained on these events can include, but are not limited to, divorce decrees, divorce certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, and marriage certificates. These files are all stored within one central record registry. They can then be used in the future for statistical analysis.
In Missouri, divorce records are handed out by government officials, but only after the divorce is registered by the state. When a person files for a divorce/annulment in Missouri, records of the following event are collected and maintained alongside all other state vital files. These files are made up of things such as divorce certificates, divorce decrees, and other divorce-related files. It depends on the state as to whether these can be accessed and/or copied by members of the public. There were 19,187 divorces in Missouri in 2017. In Missouri, a divorce record costs $15, with an extra charge of $15 for every additional copy.
Like divorces, marriage records are issued after the event by government officials in the state of Missouri. These records have been kept at a county level from their individual organizations. Some of these early records date back to the 1800s. This was when the area was a territory, rather than a series of counties. Most marriages before 1850 have now been transcribed into publications, for example the Missouri Marriage. In 1881, a state-wide registration of marriages was introduced. Files are almost complete from the date onwards. Records are now kept at the Bureau of Vital Records and Missouri Family Search. There were 40,316 marriages in Missouri in 2017. In Missouri, a marriage record costs $15, with an extra charge of $15 for every additional copy.
Birth records are certificates issued upon the birth of every single child in the state of Missouri, or a certified copy of the original. In 1863, a state-wide registration of births was introduced, however, it was not made compulsory. Registration was required in each county between 1883 and 1893, and past 1909. A level of 90% and over was not achieved until 1927. Most existing record copies in Missouri between 1883 and the early 1900s are kept at the Family History Library. Records can be found at the Missouri Bureau of Vital Records. There were 73,017 births in Missouri in 2017. In Missouri, a birth record costs $15, with an extra charge of $15 for every additional copy.
Death records are copies of information from a person’s death certificate upon their passing. In 1863, a state-wide registration of deaths was introduced, however, it was not made compulsory. These records are kept by county offices, but are largely incomplete. Registration was made compulsory in 1883, which was complied with between the years of 1893 and 1909. Death records from between 1910 and 1960 can be found at the Missouri State Archives. Records can now be found at the Missouri Bureau of Vital Records. There were 61,866 deaths in Missouri in 2017. In Missouri, a death record costs $13, with an extra charge of $10 for every additional copy.
Why are these records available to the public?
The Missouri Public Records Law was introduced back in 1961, with the most recent amendments coming in 2006. This law was brought in to ensure that all residents within the state of Missouri have the right to access public records. All public records held by either the state or local government can be accessed and copied by members of the public.
To access records:
Bureau of Vital Records
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
P.O. Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Telephone: (573) 751-6387
Walk-in Customer Service hours:
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CST