North Dakota Vital Records

North Dakota Vital Records

The Office of Vital Records is responsible for maintaining all state-level vital records created, administered and maintained by the state of North Dakota regarding a person’s most important life events. These records include such documents as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates and are compiled and stored in permanent central registry state entities uses to develop statistical analysis of its population.

Birth Records

A birth certificate is a vital record that documents the birth of a child. The term "birth certificate" can refer to either the original document certifying the birth or to a certified copy or representation of the original document. The state of California divides the birth records catalog into two categories: early-1893 and 1893-present. In the early–1893 category, all the records were collected from North Dakota church records and county records of vital statistics, which provide the earliest evidence of births. In the 1893-present category, all the records are collected from North Dakota’s Family History Library. In North Dakota, statewide registration of birth records began in 1907 and was generally complied with by 1924. These records are kept at the North Dakota Division of Vital Records.

Death Records

A death record is most likely a copy of the information contained in a person’s death certificate. The state of North Dakota manages death records in the following categories: early-1907 and 1907-present, based on the periods of collecting the information. All records in the early-1907 category were collected from North Dakota’s Family History Library, which has acquired microfilmed copies of the original records from many county churches and clerks’ offices. In North Dakota, statewide registration of death records began in 1907 and was generally complied with by 1924. The records in the second category are collected annually from North Dakota State Registrar and North Dakota Division of Vital Records.

Marriage/Divorce Records

A marriage/divorce record is issued by a government official only after civil registration of the marriage/divorce occurs. Before statewide registration, individual towns or counties issued marriage licenses and recorded marriages.  To obtain these records one should write to the office of the judge of the county court or the clerk of the district court for these records. In counties with less than 15,000 population, the judge of the county court serves as the clerk of the district court. Statewide registration of marriages began in 1925. The University of North Dakota has a searchable database of marriages November 1875 - June 1925 in Grand Forks County. Printed indexes and licenses for later marriages July 1925 - October 1995 are available in Special Collections. North Dakota State University has an index for Cass County for the period 1872-1944. Divorce proceedings are usually kept by the district court for each county. The Daughters of the American Revolution Collection includes some North Dakota marriage.

Why Vital Records are Available to the Public?

In 1983, the North Dakota State Legislature passed a law named the North Dakota Open Records Statute. This law was enabled with the last changes in 1988 and aims to ensure disclosure of court records and other public records to the public: North Dakota FOIA Laws. Every person throughout the state can request access to access all public records through the assigned specialized offices within its determined terms.

What Does Vital Records Access mean to You?

The law is similar to the North Dakota Open Meeting Act legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted at the North Dakota Open Records Statute intent is that all records maintained by state and local government entities be available for public access and copying.


North Dakota State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (701) 212-1209

Results Include

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North Dakota Stark County Courthouse 1937

North Dakota Stark County Courthouse 1937