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How to Find a Birth Record in North Dakota?

What Are Birth Records in North Dakota?

A North Dakota birth record is the official documentation of the occurrence of the birth of the person named on the record in North Dakota. Birth records are important for individuals to obtain birth certificates. Without birth certificates, an individual cannot enroll in school, obtain a social security number, gain employment, or apply for social benefits. In the government's view, an individual without a birth certificate does not exist and will likely be alienated from all government benefits.

Proper documentation of births allows the government to study birth trends and effectively plan and deliver adequate services and allocate resources across all development sectors. Birth records help citizens avoid impediments to health, education, social assistance, legal protection, and economic opportunities.

A North Dakota birth record contains:

  • Date of birth
  • Time of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Child's full name
  • Mother's name
  • Father's name
  • Child's gender
  • Type of birth
  • Mother's marital status
  • Birth registration number

How to Find and Request Birth Records Online in North Dakota?

Birth records in North Dakota are not considered public information. Hence, birth records in the state are not available for lookup online. However, through the official portal for North Dakota State Government, eligible persons can obtain North Dakota birth records. The portal requires users to submit their email addresses and passwords which are used to identify their shopping carts. Hence, if users leave the portal without checking out after adding certificates to their carts, they can key the same information (email address and password) when they return later. The carts will still retain the certificates added to their shopping carts from the previous visits. The official portal for North Dakota State Government accepts major credits such as Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

Considered open to citizens of the United States, public records are available through both traditional, government sources, and through third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are considered a good place to start when looking for a specific record or multiple records. In order to gain access to these records, interested parties must typically provide:

  • The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method.
  • The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states.

How to Get Birth Records in North Dakota?

North Dakota birth records can be obtained by mail or in person. However, certain conditions are required to be met before a certified copy of a birth record can be issued by the Division of Vital Records. These include paying the statutory fees per copy of a birth record and providing acceptable identification to support eligibility requirements. The North Dakota Department of Health has a primary and secondary list of acceptable identification. A requester seeking to obtain a birth record must submit one of the identification items listed on the primary identification list or two from the secondary list.

The primary identification list comprises:

  • State Government issued Photo ID or Driver's License
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs issued tribal ID card
  • U.S. Government issued Military ID card
  • U.S. Government issued Passport or Visa
  • U.S. Government issued Permanent Resident Card

The secondary identification list comprises:

  • Social Security Card
  • Medicare/Medicaid card
  • Utility bill with current address (no more than 3 months old)
  • Bank statement with current address (no more than 3 months old)
  • Pay stub (must include your name, SSN, name, and address of your employer)
  • Vehicle registration with current address (for the current registration year)
  • IRS Tax Return (from the prior year)

As an alternative to both categories of identification, a requester can submit a notarized application. The following guidelines must be adhered to for the Division of Vital Records to accept a notarized form:

  • The form must be signed and dated in the presence of a Notary Public
  • The Notary Public must complete all five notary fields on the front of the form
  • The Notary Public must sign the form and affix their notary seal in the space provided

Individuals who cannot provide any of these forms of identification or need to make further inquiries to these identification requirements may contact the Division of Vital Records by calling at (701) 328-2360 or by email at vitalrec@nd.gov

The Division of Vital Records does not accept fax requests for birth records. For urgent requests, the Division suggests ordering the record using their secure web application.

The North Dakota Department of Health also issues genealogical copies of birth records. These are for researching family histories and are not available for births occurring after 2005. Genealogical copies of birth records can be requested in the same way as certified copies.

How to Get North Dakota Birth Records in Person?

How to obtain a North Dakota birth record in person, visit the Division of Vital Records at:

North Dakota Department of Public Health
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0200
Phone: (701) 328-2372

Appropriate fees and proper identification must be presented before requested birth records can be issued. In-person requests are typically processed between 7:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for state holidays. Note that in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Division of Vital Record is currently closed to walk-in requests until further notice.

How to Get North Dakota Birth Records by Mail?

To obtain a North Dakota birth record by mail:

  • Complete the Request for Certified Copy of a Birth Record form
  • Include a check or money order made out to the "North Dakota Department of Health" for all required fees
  • Include primary or secondary forms of identification
  • Mail form, fees, and identification to:

North Dakota Department of Health
Division of Vital Records
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Department 301
Bismarck, ND 58505-0200

Where Can I Find Birth Records in North Dakota?

Copies of birth certificates for births that occurred in North Dakota can be obtained from the Division of Vital Records, Department of Health. The Division has records on file starting from 1870 to the present.

Can Anyone Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate in North Dakota?

North Dakota birth records less than 125 years old are confidential records that can only be qualified persons. Birth records over 125 years old are public and can be obtained through genealogical requests. Confidential birth records in North Dakota can only be obtained by someone a requester is above the age of 16 years and is:

  • The person named on the record
  • The mother or father of the person named on the record
  • Anyone who has obtained a court order (not a subpoena) listing the child's full name and birth date, and the confidential information form if the order lists only the child's initials
  • Anyone who can provide legal documentation verifying that the requester is an authorized representative of the person named on the record. A legal guardian must include guardianship papers. Social Services must include an employment photo ID.
  • Anyone who can present a notarized authorization form, signed by the person named on the record or the mother or father of the person named on the record.

To obtain a birth record for a deceased individual, the requester must:

  • Be an immediate relative of the deceased individual (parent, child, grandparent, or grandchild. Siblings, uncles, aunts, and cousins are not eligible); or
  • Be an authorized representative acting on behalf of the deceased individual; and
  • Submit a certified copy of their death record if the death did not occur in North Dakota.

Under NDDC 23-02.1-32(c), any person who willfully or knowingly uses or attempts to obtain a birth record for any purpose of deception is guilty of a class C felony. A punishment of up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both may be imposed on any such violators.

How Much Does a Birth Certificate Cost in North Dakota?

The fee for a search of the files maintained at the Division of Vital Records for a birth record is $15. This fee also includes the cost of one certified copy of the requested record if found. Payment can be made with a check or money order made payable to the "North Dakota Department of Health." Return of ordered copy through first class mail does not attract any fee. Shipping by USPS Priority Mail costs $10. UPS Next Day Air shipment costs $15. Note that the UPS Next Air shipping option cannot be used to send ordered copies to P.O. Boxes. Shipment of ordered copy by FedEx costs $20 except for deliveries to Alaska or Hawaii which are charged at $26.

Certified copies are sent by USPS First Class Mail unless otherwise specified by requesters. Requesters who specify other shipping options must include the funds for expedited shipping. Copies sent by FedEx, UPS, or USPS Priority Mail are processed the same day, provided the requests have arrived at the Division of Vital Records latest 10 a.m. Central Time. Otherwise, they are processed the next business day.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Birth Certificate in North Dakota?

Walk-in requesters typically obtain certified copies of birth records within a few minutes after completing the required applications and providing a photo ID. Genealogical copies cannot be guaranteed immediate service time due to the processing time required for such copies. Requesters for genealogical copies are often asked to choose between having the requested copies mailed to them or picked up when ready.

Upon receiving mail requests for birth records at the Division of Vital Records, copies are mailed out in 3-5 business days. Note that this does not include the return mail time. Requests received including FedEx, UPS, or USPS Priority Mail return shipping are processed the next business day for overnight shipping. Note that certified copies cannot be emailed or faxed.

How to Expunge Your Birth Records in North Dakota?

To expunge a record is to permanently delete it and treat it as if it never existed. Expungement is most commonly used to erase criminal records. North Dakota does not allow the expungement of vital records including birth records.

How to Seal Your Birth Records in North Dakota?

Unless otherwise permitted by law, a North Dakota birth record can only be sealed when the subject of the record has been adopted by persons other than the birth parents. Upon the conclusion of adoption proceedings, the court issues an order authorizing the expunction or sealing of the pre-adoption birth certificate and the issuance of an amended birth record. The original birth record is no longer accessible when requests are made to inspect or obtain the birth record. Only the amended birth record is available from North Dakota's birth record issuing authority. The amended certificate is a legal document useful for identity purposes. It states the adopting parents as the legal parents of the adoptee and bears no record of the birth parents.

How to Unseal Your Birth Records in North Dakota?

Per NDCC 23-02.1-18, the release of an original birth certificate in North Dakota requires a court order. An adoptee aged 18 and above seeking to obtain an original birth certificate must petition the court to order the North Dakota Department of Health's Division of Vital Records to release the requested birth record. In order to successfully petition the court to obtain an order, the petitioner must present "good cause" to convince the judge.

The court is more likely to consider it "good cause" if a request for an original birth record is due to a medical circumstance requiring contact between the adoptee and the birth family. Also, if an adoptee has already reunited with the birth parents and has obtained consent for release of the pre-adoption birth record, the judge may be more disposed to granting the required order. For more information on unsealing birth records in North Dakota, contact the Division of Vital Records at (701) 328-2360.