Vital Records FAQ
- Where are you located
- What are your hours?
- How much do certificates cost?
- How long does it take to get a certificate?
- Who can get a certificate?
- What do I need to get a birth certificate?
- Can i get a certificate from another county in Georgia?
- Can I get my birth certificate in DeKalb if I was born in another state?
- How long after birth until I can get my child’s birth certificate?
- Can I call ahead to see if my child’s birth certificate has been filled yet?
- Is the first certificate free?
- How do I add the father to a birth certificate?
- How can I make a change to a birth certificate?
For Funeral Homes/Directors
- How long after death can I get a death certificate?
- Can I call ahead to see if a certificate is ready?
- Can I get a death certificate from another county
- Can I get a death certificate from another state?
- Can I get a certificate with cause of death?
- How do I get into the GAVERS system?
- How do I file a death certificate in DeKalb County?
- Will you correct errors on the death certificate?
- What time do you stop filing certificates?
- What do I need to bring with my certificate to file?
- What if I only have some of the information required to search for a vital record?
- What do i do if the information on my vital record is incorrect?
- I need legal proof that a certain person is the father of my child. How can I get a copy of the paternity acknowledgment he signed?
- How can I get an apostle copy or an exemplified copy of a birth certificate, a marriage license or some other record?
- I’m adopted. How can I find my natural parents?
- How can I obtain the phone number for the Clerk of Superior court?
- What are the most popular baby names in Georgia?
- We are located near DeKalb Medical Center in central DeKalb County, Georgia, at the E.L. Richardson Health Center, 445 Winn Way, Suite 191, Decatur, GA 30030.
- Our office opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. We are closed for state holidays. We ask that you come into the office by 4:15 p.m. to ensure that your order is processed before the office closes at 4:30 p.m.
- There is a non-refundable search fee of $25, which includes your first certificate. Each additional certificate ordered at the same time for the same subject is $5. You may pay by cash, credit or debit card or certified money order. At this time, we do not accept personal checks.
- If you have necessary proof of identification and your certificate is in the State’s Vital Records’ system, you can expect your certificate within fifteen minutes. We strive to provide excellent customer service and are committed to providing you with your order without delay.
- Georgia Code 31-10-26 provides that the following individuals may receive a certified copy of a birth certificate:
- A legal parent.
- A spouse must provide a notarized letter of permission, POA (Power of Attorney) document or marriage license.
- A grandparent(s) must provide a copy of the birth certificate which identifies legal guardianship. If requesting by mail, fax or email, a notarized letter verifying the requestor’s identification is required.
- An adult requestor must provide a copy of the birth certificate naming the individual as the parent of the registrant. If requesting by mail, fax or email, a notarized letter verifying the requestor’s identification is required.
- An adult sibling must provide a copy of the birth certificate which identifies the name of one (1) common parent shared by the requestor and the registrant. If requesting by mail, fax or email, a notarized letter verifying the requestor’s identification is required.
- A legal guardian with temporary or permanent custody of the child must provide copies of the court order or other legal documentation, as required, that provide proof of custody.
- An attorney serving as the legal representative must submit proof of letterhead stating that the attorney has been retained by the registrant and the professional relationship.
- An individual or agency empowered by Statue or Appointed by a Court to act on the behalf of the registrant
- Death certificates
- An individual may request a Death Certificate without the cause or manner of death.
- An immediate family member (parent, sibling, spouse, adult child to registrant) or an informant listed on the death certificate or a legal representative can receive a copy of the death certificate with cause of death listed
- A valid ID (considered valid within one year of expiration).
Acceptable forms of ID:
- Any state photo ID card or state driver’s license issued by a government agency
- Resident Alien Card (Form I-551) issued by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
- Temporary Resident Alien Card (Form I-668) issued by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
- Government passport issued by any country
- Picture identification card issued by an employer
- School photo ID
- Military ID card issued by the U.S. Armed Forces
- Matricular Card
Birth Certificate Answers
- Yes. Certificates are now available for all counties in the State of Georgia.
- We are unable to fulfill your request for out-of-state certificates. You must contact the state or county of birth to obtain your birth certificate. Please visit cdc.gov.
- The length of time varies depending on where the child was born. We recommend waiting at least two weeks before requesting a birth certificate.
- No. We do not conduct any record searches over the phone.
- The first certificate is $25.00 (non-refundable search fee) and each additional certificate for the same subject requested at the same time is $5.00.
- If the parents of a child are not married, the father cannot be added to the birth certificate without filling out a Paternity Acknowledgement form. This form can be obtained and submitted from the State Office of Vital Records located at:
7. Any changes to a birth certificate must be made at the State Office of Vital Records, located at:
2600 Skyland Dr
Atlanta, GA 30319
Death Certificate Answers
- The length of time between certificate availability varies. Please speak with the funeral home handling the arrangements to ensure the certificate has been filed.
- No. We do not conduct any record searches over the phone.
- Yes. Death certificates may be obtained from any county vital records office in Georgia.
- You must contact the state or county in which the decedent passed to obtain a death certificate. Please visit http://www.cdc.gov for more information.
- Death certificates with the cause of death may only be obtained by next of kin, denoted as mother/father, siblings over the age of 18, grandmother/grandfather, legal guardian (must present guardianship papers), and spouse. If you need a certificate with the cause of death for insurance purposes, bring a letter from the insurance company listing the requester as the beneficiary.
Funeral Home and Directors Answers
- If you are interested in utilizing GAVERS, the online death filing system, please contact the State Office of Vital Records at 404.679.4742.
- GAVERS Certificates: If the certifying physician is not on the GAVERS system, please fax the certificate with the cause of death, intervals, and certifying physician on a cover page to our office. Our fax number is 404.508.7895. Please include a request form with the number of copies, method of payment, a return phone number, and an e-mail address. Certified copies will be prepared for pick-up by the funeral home.
- No changes or additions will be made to any certificates in our office. If certificates are mailed to the office. They will be mailed back to the funeral home. Once the certificate has been filed in our office, any changes must be made at the State Office of Vital Records.
- Certificates may be filed until 4:00pm. Any certificates received after 4:00pm will be processed the following business day.
- When filing a certificate in our office, please bring the complete and accurate death certificate, a completed request form including the name of the decedent, date of death, the number of copies you are requesting, and form of payment. Permits are required for cremation, removal fromthe state, and body donation. Please bring a completed permit if required at the time of filing.
General Questions Answers
- Please contact the Vital Records office directly at 404-294-3783 to determine if a search is feasible.
- Please contact the Changes Unit of the State Office of Vital Records office (404-679-4702) and ask for instructions for correcting a vital record.
- Under Georgia law, a court order is required before a copy of a paternity acknowledgment can be issued.
- There are two separate steps required to obtain an apostilled copy or an exemplified copy of a Georgia vital record:
First, obtain a certified copy of the record using any of the usual procedures (see birth and death certificate pages). You will be charged the usual fee for the certified copy, but there is no additional charge for a copy with an original signature. We must know at the time you request the certified copy that you need to obtain an apostilled copy or an exemplified copy. It is helpful to include the name of the foreign government that will be using the document.
Then, after you have received a certified copy with an original signature, deliver that copy to the appropriate agency along with the current fee. For current information about the fee and location to obtain apostille copies, you may call the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Authority at 404-327-6023 or visit http://www.gsccca.org/Projects/apost.asp . For information about exemplified copies (Great Seal certification), call the Georgia Secretary of State Election Division. These two agencies are not affiliated with the State of Georgia Vital Records Service.
- Adoption Records are sealed and not available. To locate your natural parents contact the State Adoption Unit at (404) 657-3550, or for information concerning sealed records contact the Changes Unit of Vital Records at 404-679-4702.
- Addresses and phone numbers of clerks of superior court are available at http://www.sos.state.ga.us/cgi-bin/OfficialDirectoryIndex.asp . Select the name of the county in the box marked “County Directories” and click “Submit.”
- To view the most popular baby names in Georgia, visit the Office of Social Security website and search by Georgia.