How to Get Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates

Applicants in line
••• Applicants in line. Photodisc/Getty Images

Arkansas Vital Records is responsible for the collection and issuance of birth and death certificates and marriage and divorce coupons. Vital Records is open Monday through Friday. The office is closed on state holidays. Most certificate requests can be processed the same day if you are in the Vital Records office by 4:00 P.M. and have all the required information needed to search for the certificate.

They are located on 4815 W. Markham Street, Slot 44, Little Rock, AR 72205. That's right across from War Memorial Stadium in the Arkansas Department of Health. Don't enter through the main health department doors. They have their own entrance on the side of the building closest to Markham.

Birth

Vital Records has births from February 1, 1914, plus some original Little Rock and Fort Smith records dating from 1881. Arkansas Statute 20-18-305 allows release of birth records to specific persons who are related to the registrant and to his/her designated representatives, to academic research groups and to persons who demonstrate a right to the record. Births over 100 years old may be released to the public.

Supply as much information as possible with your application, helpful info can include photo identification, the person's full name, date of birth, city or town and county of birth, the father and mother's full name.

You also must supply the requester’s relationship to the person named on the certificate and reason for requesting the certificate.

Death

Vital Records has deaths from February 1, 1914. Arkansas Statute 20-18-305 allows release to specific persons who are related to the registrant, his/her designated representatives, academic research groups, and to persons who can demonstrate that they have a right to obtain the record.

Death records that are more than 50 years old can be released to the public.

Supply as much information as possible with your application government, helpful info can include photo identification, the full name of the deceased, date of death, county or city of death, the name of the funeral home, the requester's relationship to the deceased, requester's reason for requesting the certificate and note if this was a stillborn infant.

Marriage/Divorce

Vital Records has marriage and divorce records dating to 1917. Arkansas Vital Records does not have the actual marriage license or divorce decree. For that, you must contact the County Clerk or Circuit Clerk office where the marriage or divorce was recorded. They issue a certified copy of the coupon of marriage or divorce in paper form which is accepted by all state and federal government offices.

Arkansas Vital Records Statute 20-18-305 does not allow Arkansas Vital Records to release marriage and divorce coupons to the general public. (The County Clerks office where the event was recorded may operate under different rules.) The Vital Records Statute does permit the Division to release to specific persons who are related to the registrant and to their designated representatives, to academic research groups, and to persons who can demonstrate a right to the record.