Illinois Vital Records
Illinois Vital Records
In Illinois, the Office of Vital Records maintains all state vital records. This includes each and every document relating to a person’s most important life events, for instance births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. The individual files kept on these events may include divorce decrees, divorce certificates, and other divorce records, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, and marriage certificates. All of these files are stored in a central vital record registry and can be used for statistical analysis in the future.
Divorce records are issued in Illinois after the registration of the event by state officials. When a person/couple files for a divorce/annulment, records of the subsequent event are stored, along with all other state vital files in the central registry. These records could comprise of divorce certificates, divorce decrees, and other divorce-related files. It depends on the individual state as to whether the documents can then be accessed and/or copied by members of the public. There were 26,132 divorces in Illinois in 2016.
Marriage records in Illinois are also handed out by state officials, after the wedding/event is registered. A few records in Illinois date back as far as the 1790s. Most county clerks were in charge of keeping marriage records from the time said county was organized. The main change in marriage recording in Illinois came in 1877 when pre-printed register books were introduced. These had sections for the ages, residences, and birthplaces of the two parties, as well as potentially including the names of the parents. In 1962, a state-wide registration of marriages was introduced. The county clerks then forwarded records onto the Illinois Department of Public Health. There were 75,131 marriages in Illinois in 2016.
Birth records refer to the certificates distributed upon the birth of each and every single child in the state of Illinois. They can also refer to a certified copy of that original document. Birth records in Illinois are split into three sections, before 1877, 1877-1916, and after 1916. Legislature required parents to report the birth of a child to the county in 1843. Few births were recorded during these times. All births were required to be reported to the county clerk, according to the State Board of Health. However, few were recorded still as the rule was not enforced properly. The few records from this period were collected by county offices/clerks. In 1916, Illinois introduced a state-wide registration of births. This was complied with in the main by 1922. From 1916 onwards, birth records have been maintained by the Illinois Department of Public Health, along with the Division of Vital Records. There were 154,467 births in Illinois in 2016. There is a charge of $15 per first copy of a birth certificate, with an additional $2 cost per extra copy ordered at the same time.
Death records in the state of Illinois refer to the copy of information from a person’s death certificate. Death records in Illinois are split into three sections, before 1877, 1877-1916, and after 1916. Before 1877, records were collected from county and clerks offices. Relatives were required to report deaths to the county. The State Board of Health then required deaths to be reported to the county clerk from 1877, although this rule was not enforced properly. In 1916, Illinois introduced a state-wide registration of deaths. Since then, records have been maintained by the state, with copies being sent to the capital. There were 109,726 deaths in Illinois in 2017. There is a charge of $19 per first copy of a death certificate, with an additional $4 cost per extra copy ordered at the same time.
Why are these records available to the public?
The Illinois Freedom of Information Act was passed all the way back in 1800, with the most recent amendments coming in 1984. The Act aims to ensure that all residents of Illinois have the right to access all public records. Records held by the local and state government can all be accessed and copied by members of the public. The latest law was enacted in August 2009, before coming into effect in January 2010.
To access records:
IDPH Springfield Headquarters Office
525-535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, IL 62761
Phone: (217) 782-4977
IDPH Chicago Headquarters Offices
122 S. Michigan Avenue, 7th and 20th Floors
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 814-2793
69 W. Washington Street, 35th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 814-5278