Arkansas Department of Health, issues, documents, and stores certified copies of vital records including birth, marriage, divorce death certificates for occurrences that took place in Arkansas. To verify current fees or for information on how to expedite a document, call (501) 661-2336. The fee for Arkansas Birth Certificates is $12.00, Marriage, Divorce and Death Certificates is $10. Additional copies of the same record, when requested at the same time, are $10.00 each. The State office has some original Little Rock and Fort Smith records from 1881.
- Ordering Arkansas Birth and Death Certificates: The Vital Records Section has Birth and Death Certificates from February 1, 1914 to present.
- Ordering Arkansas Marriage Certificates: The Vital Records Section has certified coupons of Marriage Certificates from January 1917 to present. Full certified copies may be ordered from County Clerk in county where license was issued. The fee for the copy varies.
- Ordering Arkansas Divorce Certificates: The Vital Records Section has certified coupons of Divorce Certificates from January 1923 to present. Full certified copy may be obtained from Circuit or Chancery Clerk in county where divorce was granted.The fee for the copy varies.
How to Order Arkansas Vital Records
- Physical Address: Office of Vital Records, 1818 West Adams, PO Box 3887, Phoenix, AZ 85030-3887; (602) 364-1300, Fax: (602) 249-3040
- Mailing Address: Arkansas Department of Health, Vital Records Section, Slot 44, 4815 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72205. All mail orders should include a Personal check or money order made payable to Arkansas Department of Health. Do not send cash.
- Website Address: http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programsServices/certificatesVitalRecords/
- Ordering Vital Records Online – get the certificates within 2-5 days with a credit or debit card from USAVital.com or VitalChek.com
- Ordering Vital Records by Mail: You can download an application online for Arkansas Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Applications. Please allow up to 4-6 weeks for processing of all type of certificates ordered through the mail.
Background of Arkansas Vital Records
In February of 1914 Arkansas began recording both deaths and births on a statewide level. However, it took nearly 30 years for full compliance to be established. Records beginning in 1914 can be found at the Division of Vital Records, Arkansas Department of Health. The Arkansas History Commission has some records on file for both Fort Smith and Little Rock. However, all requests for information must be accompanied by proof of relationship to the person of interest and a statement of the purpose of the request. Some delayed birth registry records are also on file.
Many newspapers listed deaths. So, newspaper clippings and copies can be a good resource for those interested in death records. Annual Grand Lodge proceeding abstracts and data can also be useful. It has been compiled in Arkansas Genealogical Society’s Masonic Deaths in Arkansas, 1838-1916.
In 1917, Arkansas began recording marriage son a statewide level. However, many marriages were recorded prior to that time, from the point of each county being founded. Marriage records from 1917 onward can be found at the Division of Vital Records. The county clerk’s office in the county of interest should be consulted for earlier records. Researchers should note that most marriages took place in the county where the bride lived, but not all. Early marriage records may include information such as groom and bride names and ages, as well as their residences. More recent records may contain even more data. An index to marriage records from 1933 to 1939 is available on microfiche at the Arkansas History Commission. The listings are arranged alphabetically according to the surnames of the grooms and organized by county where the record was originally filed.
The chancery or circuit clerk in each county can supply certified copies of divorce records. The Division of Vital Records also has records on file, but only from 1923 onward. An index to divorce records for 1923 to 1927 and 1834 to 1939 that were reported to the Arkansas Health Department can be found at the Arkansas History Commission.
The Salt Lake City Family History Library (FHL) has placed many Arkansas vital records on microfilm. The Arkansas History Commission holds copies of those records.
Searchable Arkansas Databases and other Helpful Links
- Social Security Death Index (search.ancestry.com)
- USGenweb Archives Arkansas Marriage Project (usgwarchives.net)
- Arkansas Births and Christenings, 1880-1893 (familysearch.org)
- Arkansas Marriages, 1837-1944 (familysearch.org)
- Arkansas Divorce Index, 1923-1939 (search.ancestry.com)
- Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957 (search.ancestry.com)
- Arkansas Marriage Index, 1933-1939 (search.ancestry.com)
- Arkansas Marriages to 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Arkansas Marriages, 1779-1992 (search.ancestry.com)
- Arkansas, Marriage Index, 1933-1939 (familysearch.org)
- Arkansas Marriages, 1820-1949 (search.ancestry.com)
- Arkansas Marriages, 1851-1900 (search.ancestry.com)
- Arkansas Death Index, 1914-1950 (search.ancestry.com)