Birth and Death Certificates

Vital Records Closure notice

 

Important Notice: 2021 Vital Records Law Change

New Washington State Vital Record laws are going into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. In preparation, the last day to submit birth certificate orders this year is Dec. 29, 2020. This deadline is to ensure all orders placed in 2020 are issued before the new law goes into effect. Orders placed or received on Dec. 30, 2020 or Dec. 31, 2020 will be returned.

To ensure orders are received quickly, beginning Dec. 16, 2020 place birth certificate orders online at  www.vitalchek.com .

How does the law change in 2021?

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021 only individuals with specific relationships to the person on the record being requested can receive a certified birth record. Qualifying relationships include spouse/domestic partner, child, sibling, parent, grandparent and legal representative, among others. Identity and proof of relationship documentation will be required.

The new law increases the fee for birth and death certificates and noncertified copies of these records to $25 per certificate. Additional fees include an $8.50 VitalChek fee, $10 order processing fee, and shipping fees.

Establishing parentage

Between Dec. 16 and Dec. 31, 2020 Clark County Vital Records is not accepting applications for birth certificates that are waiting for parentage to be established. Establishing parentage requires Washington State Vital Records to complete the process and they are no longer accepting new requests until Jan. 1, 2021.

If the birth record is waiting for an acknowledgment of parentage to be filed, please wait to place your order until Washington State Vital Records contacts you with a letter stating that the paperwork has been filed and the record has been released for print. This process can take up to 10 weeks to complete, once they have received the acknowledgment.

Online & mail order through Dec. 29, 2020

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, new Washington State Vital Records laws go into effect. To prepare for the changes, please note the following. 

  • 2020 orders received after Dec. 29, 2020 will be returned.
  • Due to mail delays this time of year, online ordering is encouraged. Orders must be placed on www.VitalChek.com
  • Between now and Dec. 31, 2020, Clark County Vital Records cannot accept applications for orders that are waiting for parentage to be established. Establishing parentage requires Washington State Vital Records to complete the process and they are no longer accepting new requests until Jan. 1, 2021.
  • If your birth record is waiting for an acknowledgment of parentage to be filed; wait to place your order until Washington State Vital Records contacts you, with a letter stating the record has been released for print.
  • Clark County Vital Records is closed for holidays:
    • Dec. 25, 2020
    • Jan. 1, 2021

For online orders: www.vitalchek.com

For mail in orders: Birth certificate application (English) (Spanish); Death certificate application (English) (Spanish)

Mailing Address:

Clark County Vital Records
PO Box 9825
Vancouver, WA 98666-8825

Payment Options: You may pay by check (mail order only), money order, debit card, VISA and Mastercard. For other credit cards, you must order online.

Certificates $25.00 each

Shipping:

  • $5.00 U.S. Mail
  • $15.00 UPS 3 day
  • $40.00 UPS Next Business Day
  • Most orders are processed and ready to ship within 3 business days.
  • Shipping for U.S. Mail orders take between 5-14 business days depending on distance and season.
  • All UPS orders require a street address for shipping.
  • To determine charges for orders outside of the contiguous United States, please contact the Clark County Vital Records Office.

FAQ: 2021 Vital Records Law Changes

Changes include:

  • Only qualified applicants can obtain certified copies of birth, death, and fetal death records.
  • All qualified applicants must provide identification and proof of eligibility documentation.
  • New certified short form death certificate
  • New informational copies for birth and death certificates
  • The certificate and noncertified fees are $25 each
  1. A completed application with required pieces of information.
  2. Proper documents proving identity.
  3. Proper documents proving qualifying relationship.
  4. Applicable fee(s).

Qualified applicants are:

  • Subject of the record (a person who is buying their own birth certificate).
  • Spouse or domestic partner.
  • Parent, step-parent, or legal guardian.
  • Child or stepchild.
  • Sibling.
  • Grandparent or great grandparent.
  • Grandchild.
  • Legal representative.
  • Authorized representative.
  • Government agency or the courts if the birth certificate is used to conduct official duties.
  • First, middle, and last name of the subject of the record.
  • First and last name of all parents listed on the record.
  • Date of birth (month, day, year).
  • City or county where the birth occurred.
  • Spouse or domestic partner of the decedent.
  • Parent, step-parent, or legal guardian immediately prior to death.
  • Child or stepchild.
  • Sibling.
  • Grandparent or great grandparent.
  • Grandchild.
  • Legal representative.
  • Authorized representative.
  • Next of kin, only if no one else from this list is living.
  • Funeral director or funeral establishment that is named on the record (up to 12 months from the date of death).
  • Government agency or courts if the death certificate will be used for official duties

Qualified applicants are the same as the long form death certificates, plus:

  • A title insurer or title insurance agent handling a transaction involving real property.
  • A person who demonstrates the certificate is necessary for a determination related to the death or protection of a personal or property right related to the death.
  • Parent.
  • Sibling.
  • Grandparent.
  • Parent’s legal representative.
  • Authorized representative.
  • Funeral director or funeral establishment listed on the record (up to 12 months from the date of fetal death).
  • Government agency or courts if the fetal death certificate will be used for official duties.
  • First and last name of the decedent.
  • Approximate date of death (month and year).
  • City or county where the death occurred
  • One government-issued identification document that has not expired more than 60 days.
  • Copies of vital records, like birth or marriage certificates, from Washington or another state that links the applicant to the requested record.
  • Copies of certified court orders linking the applicant to the requested record (ex. legal guardianship court orders or court orders listing someone as the foster parent).
  • Document or letter from a government agency or courts stating the certificate will be used for official duties (for government agency or courts only).
  • Document or letter from title insurer or title insurance agent handling a transaction on behalf of the decedent (for short form death certificates only).
  • The long form death certificate contains cause and manner of death information and social security number of the decedent. You might need this certificate to close out bank accounts or claim benefits like life insurance policies.
  • The short form death certificate is for deaths that were registered electronically Jan. 1, 2018 to present. They don’t contain cause and manner of death information or social security number of the decedent. You can use this certificate for titles, real estate transactions, and probate cases.
  • Check with the agency or business to determine which type of certificate you will need before you purchase it.
  • Identified in a notarized form signed by a qualified applicant.
  • An agent identified in a power of attorney.
  • Noncertified informational copies of birth and death records are not issued on the certified paper with security features and you can’t use them for legal purposes. It will contain a watermark stating it is for informational purposes only. Check with the agency or business about whether they will accept informational copies before you purchase it.
  • Informational copies of birth records contain the same information as a certified birth copy.
  • Informational copies of death records contain the same information as the certified short form death copy. They don’t contain cause and manner of death information or social security number of the decedent.
  • Noncertified informational copy of long form death, fetal death, marriage, or divorce records are not available.

Noncertified informational copies of birth and death records are available to anyone who completes an application form with required pieces of information and pays applicable fees.

Required pieces of information for a noncertified informational birth copy are:

  • First, middle, and last name of the subject of the record.
  • First and last name of all parents listed on the record.
  • Date of birth (month, day, year).
  • City or county where the birth occurred.

Required pieces of information for a noncertified informational death copy are:

  • First and last name of the decedent.
  • Approximate date of death (month and year).
  • City or county where the death occurred.

The certified and noncertified informational copy fee is $25. Additional service fees may apply:

  • All orders have a $10 processing fee.
  • Shipping fees: U.S. Mail -$5, UPS -$25, Expedited -$40.
  • Online orders through www.vitalcheck.com have an $8.50 service fee required by Washington state.

As per the new state law, refunds are not provided for records that cannot be located with required information, if the documentation you provide doesn’t prove you were eligible to receive a birth, death, or fetal death certificate.

The fee for certificates has not increased since 2009. These fees support the vital records system across the state and help fund the death investigations account (a fund operated by Washington State Patrol to pay for the state toxicology lab, investigations, and training).

Local fees also help maintain the level of service—expediting online and phone orders so you receive the records faster.

  • Online.
  • In-person: For the protection of our clients and staff, our lobby is currently closed to walk in service.
  • By mail.

It depends on the way you order. The time depends on when we receive full payment and all required documentation. Missing information or documentation delays orders.

  • The fastest way to receive an order is to place an order online through www.vitalchek.com
  • By mail—We process and ship the order once we receive it, generally within two business days.

Certified copies or certificates of birth and death records are base documents that prove identity, provide access to important services (school, medical, etc.) and accounts. Extra steps to limit access to certified copies of records is an important step to protect personal information and prevent fraud.

You can’t use noncertified informational copies for legal purposes, which limits the use. Noncertified informational copies of birth and death records are not issued on the certified paper with security features - it will contain a watermark stating that it is for informational purposes only.

If you are not listed as a qualified applicant, you may access vital records information in a variety of ways:

  • Use the authorized representative process.
  • Purchase a noncertified informational copy of a birth and death record.

Important notice: Clark County Public Health has received an increased number of calls about third party vendors selling birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates. These companies charge customers high fees to “process” or “help apply” for certificates issued from State of Washington or Local Health Departments. VitalChek.com is the ONLY third party vendor that consumers can use to obtain state issued documents. If you have ordered through one of these third party companies and would like to file a consumer complaint, visit the Washington State Attorney General Consumer Protection Division.

Birth: 1907 - present

Death: 2002 - present (Most certificates for deaths that occurred in the State of Washington, from 2016 to present, may be available electronically.)

Funeral Homes: please visit our new page for information on the online ordering system.

Related links & information

For a death prior to 2002, contact Washington State Vital Records at 360.236.4300.

Information about Oregon certificates can be found at the Oregon Center for Health Statistics or by calling 503.731.4095.

Not born in Washington or Oregon, contact the state or county where you were born for ordering information.

Washington State Vital Records

Vitalchek

Oregon Center for Health Statistics