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Are North Dakota Vital Records Open to the Public?

It depends. Not all vital records in North Dakota are not open to the public. Certified copies of restricted North Dakota Vital Records can be requested and received by specific persons, such as the individual named on the record, a legal guardian of the person named on the record, and immediate family relatives of the individual named on the record. Restricted North Dakota Vital Records can also be obtained by other individuals, but these persons must present one of the following:

  • A court order requiring the Department of Health to issue a certified copy of a record;
  • A legal document listing the individual as an authorized representative of the person named on the record;
  • A notarized authorization form granting permission and signed by the individual on the record or an immediate family member.


What Do I Need to Search for Vital Records Online in North Dakota?

To search for North Dakota Vital Records Online, interested parties will need to provide relevant information about the record, including: 

  • The name of the person named on the record
  • Date of the event on the record
  • Location of the event on the record
  • Father’s full name
  • Mother’s full maiden name

The person searching for the record may also be required to indicate their relationship to the person named on the record and why the record is required.

How Do I Obtain Certified North Dakota Vital Records?

The North Dakota Department of Health is the central custodian for vital records in North Dakota. The state agency maintains a web portal where interested persons may search for vital records online. In the same capacity, requesters may visit the record custodian in person or submit a mail request to obtain vital records of interest. Either way, a requester must possess the necessary details to facilitate the vital records search, pay the applicable fees, and provide documentation in support eligibility to receive the vital record.   

Publicly available vital 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 must provide: 

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


What is the Difference Between a Certified Copy and an Informational Copy? 

A certified copy of a North Dakota Vital Record is a copy of the complete record containing facts about the event, information about the event, and the social security number of the individual on the record. This is a valid document that can be used for legal purposes and is only issued to eligible persons or persons with a court order. An informational copy (where issued) is issued for requests by members of the general public and only contains demographic information about the decedent.

Are North Dakota Marriage Records Public Information?

Yes. Marriage records in North Dakota are public records and are considered to be public information. As such, any person who can provide adequate information for a record search can request a marriage record in North Dakota.

How Do I Obtain North Dakota Marriage Records?

The North Dakota Department of Health (DoH) maintains a central repository for marriage records in the state. Interested persons may obtain public marriage records from this state agency or apply to the county where the marriage license was issued. Either way, the requester must cover the applicable costs for obtaining certified copies of marriage records as determined by the record custodian.  

Are North Dakota Divorce Records Public Information?

Yes. Divorce records in North Dakota are considered public information and can be requested by anyone who can provide enough information about the record for the search.

How Do I Obtain North Dakota Divorce Records?

An application for a North Dakota divorce record must be made at the county where the divorce decree was granted. If assistance is needed to determine which county the divorce decree was granted, contact the Department of Health office on (701) 328-2360 or email the required information.

Are North Dakota Birth Records Public Information?

Birth records in North Dakota are restricted from public inspection until 75 years pass since birth. Until then, only the following persons may perform a birth certificate search or order birth certificate replacement in North Dakota:  

  • The individual named on the record (must be at least 16 years old);
  • Parents of the individual named on the record;

Persons other than the above who request North Dakota birth records must possess the following documentation: 

  • A court order requiring the DoH issued a certified copy of the Birth Record
  • Legal documentation which identifies the person as an authorized representative of the person named on the record
  • A notarized authorization form signed by one of the three eligible individuals, granting permission. 

Birth records for deceased persons in North Dakota can be requested by immediate family relatives of the deceased person or an authorized representative, and a certified copy of a death record must be submitted if the death occurred outside of North Dakota. Immediate family relatives are parents, grandparents, adult children, and grandchildren of the deceased.

How Do I Obtain North Dakota Birth Records?

North Dakota birth records are stored by the North Dakota Division of Vital Records. The state agency retains records starting from 1870, though birth records between 1870-1920 are incomplete. Requests to the state agency can be submitted online, by mail, or in person, and each certified copy costs $15.

To submit a request by mail, complete the birth record application form and include a check or money order made out to the North Dakota Department of Health. Then, attach an acceptable form of identification and enclose the application packet in a self-addressed stamped envelope. Send the request to:  

Department of Health
Division of Vital Records
600 East Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 301
Bismarck, ND 58505-0200

Are North Dakota Death Records Open to the Public?

Yes. North Dakota death records are public records, and interested persons may perform a death record search by name. However, certified copies of death records are only available to the following persons: 

  • A relative of the deceased. A relative is defined as the person's current or surviving spouse, a parent or legal guardian, a child, a grandparent, or a grandchild.
  • An authorized representative of the deceased
  • A funeral director
  • A person armed with a court order 

However, a death record that does not include the cause of death information can be obtained by any person eligible to obtain a complete record or a licensed attorney. Interested members of the public may obtain informational copies of public death records.

How Do I Find North Dakota Death Records?

Death records in North Dakota are stored by the Department of Health Division of Vital Records. The state agency has maintained death records from 1893, though records between 1894 and 1920 are incomplete.

Eligible requesters can perform a death certificate search online or submit a record request by mail or in person. Certified copies of death records cost $15 each, while additional copies ordered at the same time cost $10. For mail request, complete the death record application form, attach payment, and enclose the application packet in a self-addressed stamped ND 

Department of Health
Division of Vital Records
600 East Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 301
Bismarck, ND 58505-0200

How Do I Find Sealed Records In North Dakota?

North Dakota vital records are not typically sealed when stored with the Division of Vital Records. Vital records only become sealed when the documents contain sensitive information or the persons named on the record petition the court to seal the record for privacy or security reasons. In such cases, a requester who wishes to obtain sealed vital records must make an argument that supersedes the reasons for removing public access to the documents. Even if the court grants this request, the record custodian will redact sensitive information before making it available to public requesters.

North Dakota State Archives

State Archives

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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.

North Dakota

Built in 1912, the historic Richland County Courthouse in Wahpeton housed local government and judicial offices.