How Can You Look Up a Birth Record for Free?

A copy of a birth record can be obtained through the mail.
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Citizens can search a birth record for free by contacting the vital records office for the state of birth. This is a state office that keeps and issues copies of various records that take place in the state. These include records for births, deaths and marriages. You can look up records about a birth of a relative by obtaining information by mail.

Go to the vital records website ( and scroll down to the list of states. Click the state you want to search.

Click the “Vital Records Office” link that is at the top of the page. Make a note of the address on a piece of paper.

Compose a short letter to the Vital Records Office for the state you want to search.

Verify that you have included the date of the request, the full name of the person for whom you are requesting a birth record, the person's sex and date of birth. Also include the place of birth, their mother's maiden name, the father's name and relationship to the individual.

Complete the request by indicating the reason for requesting the birth record and why it is needed.

Write your name if you are the person requesting the birth record and include your address. Sign your name on the letter.

Place a self-addressed stamped envelope and the letter in a mailing envelope. The SASE is used to mail back the birth record.

Mail the letter and SASE to the Vital Records Office. It should take three to four weeks to receive the birth record you requested.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Self addressed stamped envelope


  • Do not send more than two birth record requests to the vital records office at one time.

    Some states may require your driver's license number and state to verify your information.

    Specify a date range if you do not know the exact date of birth.

    A Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope includes a mailing address and correct postage.


  • Some states may limit a birth record request to immediate family members only.

    A small fee may be required to receive a birth record.