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Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Public Records

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Are Michigan Vital Records Open to the public?

It depends on how old the vital records are. Michigan vital records are mostly open to the public per the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This law enables public access to vital records, except where restricted by law provisions or court order. Any member of the public is eligible to request a certified copy of a Michigan death, marriage, or divorce records or birth records over 100 years old if the request is made in writing and all required fees are paid.

 

What Information Do I Need To Search For Vital Records Online?

To obtain Michigan vital records online, the requesting party will need to provide pertinent information about the record when making the application. Certain records require the applicant to be eligible to request for the record. This information to be provided will include

  • The location of the event
  • Date of the event
  • Name of the party on the record
  • Name of the applicant 

How Do I Obtain Michigan Vital Records?

To obtain a certified copy of a Michigan vital record, the applicant should request from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS). Requesters will need to pre-pay the processing fee as well as any other applicable fees (which will depend on the method of application). Online applications will come with additional processing fees. For records that have eligibility requirements, the applicant will need to provide a valid form of identification or proof of legal right to obtain the record. Non-certified copies can be obtained by applying for a record search and paying a fee of $11.50. This fee is due even if the records are not located.

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 will be required to 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 Record and a Non-certified Record?

A long-form certified copy is printed on special security paper and contains a raised, embossed seal. It can only be received by mail after all conditions have been met and fees have been paid. A non-certified copy can be printed from online searches or received for a lesser fee. Furthermore, a certified record is acceptable for official purposes, but a non-certified record can only serve informational purposes.

Are Michigan Marriage Records Public Information?

Yes. Michigan marriage records are public information and covered by the Michigan FOIA. As public information, the records are mostly available to the general public on request.

How Do I Obtain Michigan Marriage Records?

Public marriage records are available through the MDHHS. The state agency maintains all marriage records for civil unions that occurred in Michigan as far back as 1867. To request a marriage record, download and complete the application form. Attach a check or money order for the search fee and enclose the application packet in a self-addressed stamped envelope. Submit the application packet in person or send the request to:

Vital Records Request
P.O. Box 30721
Lansing, MI 48909

Office hours are between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays (except holidays).

Are Divorce Records Public Information in Michigan?

Yes. Michigan divorce records are classified as public information under the Michigan FOIA. Ergo, interested persons may order divorce records unless access to the vital record is restricted by law or court order.

How Do I Obtain Michigan Divorce Records?

There are three ways to find divorce records in Michigan. For one, interested persons may perform a divorce record search via the state website or trusted third-party websites that provide online access to divorce records. Furthermore, in-person and mail requests for divorce records go to the Vital Records Office of the MDHHS. Intending requesters must complete the application form and deliver it by mail or in person, along with a money order or check to: 

Vital Records Request
P.O. Box 30721
Lansing, MI 48909

Office hours are between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays (except holidays).

Are Birth Records Public Information in Michigan?

The public availability of Michigan birth records depends on the statutory period of confidentiality. Birth records are not public records in Michigan until 100 years after the birth event. Until then, only the following authorized persons may order a birth certificate: 

  • The person named on the record
  • A parent named on the record
  • A court-appointed legal guardian of the person on the record
  • A legal representative of the person on the record

However, once a birth record is over 100 years old, state laws open the documents to the public. Interested persons can obtain these publicly available birth records through the Vital Records Office of the MDHHS.

How Do I Obtain Michigan Birth Records?

Interested persons may order birth records online or submit a request to the Vital Records Office of the MDHHS. Online searches can be done on the state website or other third-party websites. For mail and in-person requests, a requester must download and complete the application form to request the birth certificate. Then, the requester must attach payment in the form of a check or money order and a valid government-issued photo ID. Next, enclose the application packet in a self-addressed stamped envelope and mail or submit it in-person to: 

Vital Records Request
P.O. Box 30721
Lansing, MI 48909

Office hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Mondays - Fridays (except holidays). The same instructions and fees apply to eligible individuals who wish to order birth certificate replacement in Michigan.  

Are Michigan Death Records Open To The Public?

Yes. Death records in Michigan are generally open to the public because Michigan FOIA classifies death records as public records, except where restricted by a provision of the law or court order.

How Do I Obtain Michigan Death Records?

Public death records in Michigan can be found by performing a death record search by name on the Michigan Genealogical Death Indexing System. However, the database only stores information on deaths that happened over 100 years ago. For more recent death records, submit a death certificate search request to the MDHHS. Record requests can be made by mail or in person. Mail requesters must complete the application form, attach a government-issued photo ID, and payment in the form of a money order or check. Then, the requester must enclose the application packet in a self-addressed stamped envelope and mail it to: 

Vital Records Request
P.O. Box 30721
Lansing, MI 48909

Office hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Mondays - Fridays (except holidays).

How Do I Obtain Sealed Vital Records In Michigan?

Adoption records are the only records that are automatically sealed by court order following the finalization of the adoption process. To unseal an adoption record, the interested person must contact the court in the county where the adoption was finalized. There, the requester must submit a petition to unseal, citing reasons that outweigh the privacy rights of the persons named on the adoption record. If the court grants the petition, the adoption record becomes public information, and the requester may obtain a copy.

Michigan State Archives

State Archives

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Michigan

Built in 1877, the Chippewa County Courthouse is one of the oldest active government buildings in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

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