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Research Tip - State Vital Records Dates | Print |

Vital records (civil registrations of births and deaths) are an important resource for genealogists. Before beginning to search for a particular birth or death certificate, it is important to understand when and where these records even exist.

The registration of vital records is a state responsibility, and each state passed legislation requiring registration at different dates. Also, in many states individual counties or municipalities may well have recorded births and deaths prior to state registration requirements. For example, even though the state of Missouri did not require registration until 1910, the city of St. Louis began recording birth and death information in 1880.

The following table identifies dates when laws were passed requiring state-wide registrations of birth and death.

StateYear
Alabama 1908
Alaska 1913
Arizona 1909
Arkansas 1914
California 1905
Colorado 1907
Connecticut 1897
Delaware 1881
District of Columbia 1855 (death), 1871 (birth)
Florida 1915
Georgia 1919
Hawaii 1896
Idaho 1911
Illinois 1916
Indiana 1882
Iowa 1880
Kansas 1911
Kentucky 1911
Louisiana 1914
Maine 1892
Maryland 1898
Massachusetts 1841
Michigan 1867
Minnesota 1900
Mississippi 1912
Missouri 1910
Montana 1907
Nebraska 1905
Nevada 1911
New Hampshire 1905
New Jersey 1848
New Mexico 1919
New York 1880
North Carolina 1913
North Dakota 1908
Ohio 1909
Oklahoma 1908
Oregon 1903
Pennsylvania 1906
Rhode Island 1852
South Carolina 1915
South Dakota 1905
Tennessee 1914
Texas 1903
Utah 1905
Vermont 1857
Virginia 1912
Washington 1907
West Virginia 1917
Wisconsin 1907
Wyoming 1909
 

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