How to Get a Copy of a Birth or Death Certificate in Memphis

Hernando DeSoto Bridge, Memphis
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There are many instances in which you might need a certified copy of a birth certificate or death certificate. Birth certificates are needed when enrolling in school, getting a passport, getting a driver's license, and other important events. Death certificates are a legal record of a person's death and are sent to insurance companies, the Social Security Administration, and to settle the affairs of the person's estate.

If you need a birth certificate or death certificate for a resident of Shelby County, there are two ways to obtain one:

Requesting a Birth Certificate by Mail

You can request both long form and short form birth certificates by mail. Print and fill out this form for a birth certificate and this form for a death certificate and mail it to:

Birth / Death Records Office
Memphis and Shelby County Health Department
814 Jefferson Ave.
Room 101
Memphis, TN 38105

In Person

You can go to the health department to request a certificate in person. Only birth certificates from 1949 to the present may be obtained in person. Likewise, only death certificates from 1955 to the present may be obtained. To get a certificate in person, go to:

Vital Records Office
Memphis and Shelby County Health Department
814 Jefferson Ave.
Room 101 - 103
Memphis, TN 38105

Genealogical Needs

If you are in need of older birth or death records for genealogy research, there are two great resources to obtain information.

You can obtain complete records at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Limited information is also available at the website of the Shelby County Register of Deeds.