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Are Illinois Vital Records Open to the Public?

Illinois has a statutory period of confidentiality when vital records are private. However, following the expiration of this period of confidentiality, vital records become open for public inspection (410 ILCS 535/24). Yet, the public may obtain documents verifying that a life event, such as marriage or dissolution of marriage, happened before the statutory period of confidentiality expires.

Meanwhile, Illinois Health Statistics Act grants authorized persons unrestricted access to certified copies of vital records, including the persons named on the record, immediate family members, the legal representatives of these persons, the record custodian, and the custodian's employees. Still, concerned parties may access Illinois vital records if armed with a court order signed by an Illinois-state judge.


What Information Do I Need to Search for Illinois Vital Records Online?

Interested and eligible persons may request access to Illinois vital records by providing information associated with the record. Some of these include:

  • The subject’s personal information, i.e., name and birthdate
  • The location and approximate date of the vital event
  • Presiding judge (marriage or divorce records)
  • The case file number or license number of the record, if applicable

How Do I Obtain Illinois Vital Records?

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is tasked with generating and maintaining Illinois vital records. Vital records request forms should be filled out and submitted to the state or local county health department, along with appropriate fees accounting for the costs of searching and making copies.

Requesters who wish to obtain publicly available vital records need only provide the subject's name, the date of the life event, as well as the location. These requesters must also pay the applicable service fees and provide acceptable photo IDs if required. Meanwhile, requesters who wish to obtain vital records before the confidentiality period elapses must possess the aforementioned details as well as documentation proving eligibility to access the record of interest. Such documentation includes government-issued photo IDs like driver's license, international passport, and state ID.  

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's the Difference Between a Certified Record and an Informational Copy?

Informational copies have no legal authority to establish identity. They are typically issued to members of the public for information and research/genealogical purposes. On the other hand, certified records are legal documents strictly issued to persons who fulfill specific eligibility requirements. These records are usually notarized and bear an embossed seal.

Are Illinois Marriage Records Public Information?

Yes. Interested persons may obtain a document verifying a marriage or civil union in Illinois — this document is for informational purposes only. Certified copies of marriage records become public information after 75 years. Until then, certified Illinois marriage records are only open to the couple, immediate family members, legal representatives, and persons authorized by court order.

How Do I Obtain Marriage Records In Illinois?

Public marriage records in Illinois are available at the circuit clerk's office in the county where the marriage license was issued. To get this record, interested persons may contact the record custodian in person or via mail.

Record requests typically require that the requestor provide the necessary details to facilitate a record search, including:

  • The full names of the parties involved
  • The place and date of the marriage
  • The license number of the record (if known).

Meanwhile, any interested person who wishes to obtain a document verifying marriage or civil union must complete an application form. Next, the requesters must provide an acceptable government-issued photo ID and attach payment for the service. Then the requester must enclose the application packet in a self-addressed stamped envelope and mail it to:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Avenue
Springfield, IL 62702-2737
Fax: (217) 523-2648

Are Illinois Divorce Records Public Information?

Illinois divorce records are public information. Public requesters who wish to obtain divorce records in Illinois must contact the circuit clerk in the county where the life event happened. This record custodian only issues verification of marriage dissolution to public requesters. On the other hand, certified copies of Illinois divorce records are strictly accessible to the persons named on the record, their legal representatives, and persons who can demonstrate a direct and tangible interest in the record.

How Do I Obtain Divorce Records In Illinois?

Public requesters may visit the office of the circuit clerk in the county where the divorce happened or send a mail request. Either way, the requester must complete an application for verification of dissolution of marriage or civil union. Typically, the record custodian will require specific details to facilitate record searches and retrieval. These details include the full name of the parties involved, the date of the vital event, and the court case file number. Requestors must also cover the cost of informational copies or certified copies, as applicable.

Are Illinois Birth Records Public Information?

Illinois birth records are available to public requesters 75 years after birth per the Illinois Vital Statistics Act. Until then, certified birth records are only available to the following persons:

  • The person named on the record (if they are 18 or older)
  • The person's parents or legal guardian
  • The legal representative of the aforementioned persons
  • Persons authorized by court order to access the record

How Do I Obtain Illinois Birth Records?

Eligible persons may order birth certificate replacements or copies through the Division of Vital Records of the state Department of Public Health. Likewise, these records are also available at the circuit clerk's office in the county where the birth occurred.

Generally, intending requesters must download and complete the Illinois birth record application form. Next, the requester must sign and attach the required identification documents as well as payment for the request, as indicated on the form. Then, the requester may submit the application packet in person or send it via mail to:

Illinois Department of Public Health, 
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Avenue
Springfield, IL 62702-2737
Fax: (217) 523-2648

Are Illinois Death Records Open to the Public?

Death records in Illinois become public records 25 years after the death occurred. Until then, state laws only permit eligible persons to obtain certified death records, including the deceased's immediate family, legal representatives, and persons who can prove a personal or property right interest that justifies the record's release. Likewise, a requester armed with a court order may access death records in Illinois.  

How Do I Obtain Death Records in Illinois?

Interested and eligible persons can perform a death certificate search by downloading and completing the DPH death record application. Requesters are required to indicate the needed record (whether informational/genealogical or certified) and provide the deceased's personal information, along with details of the event.

To get a death record search by name, the applicant must sign the completed application, attach the indicated fees and ID requirements, and submit in person or via mail to:

Illinois Department of Public Health, 
Division of Vital Records
925 E. Ridgely Avenue
Springfield, IL 62702-2737
Fax: (217) 523-2648

How Do I Find Sealed Vital Records in Illinois?

Sealed vital records in Illinois can be made available to persons who fulfill the state's eligibility requirements. To be eligible to access a restricted document, the requesting party must be the bearer of a court order or subpoena or receive written and notarized permission(s) from the subject(s) of the record.

With these documents, the record custodian may waive the restrictions placed on sealed records. However, the requestor must also meet all other record retrieval requirements before accessing the record of interest. Furthermore, the record custodian will redact sensitive information, such as social security numbers, on the sealed vital record before granting access.

Illinois 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.


The Wahington County Courthouse in Nashville has served as the County’s Judicial Center since 1884.