Oklahoma Birth, Marriage, Divorce as well as Death records, also known as vital records, provide information about crucial occasions in your ancestors life. Vital records, normally retained by a civic office, gives a person an even more comprehensive picture of your respective ancestor, help you differentiate between two people using the identical name, and help you find links to a completely new generation. They can include information like the occasion date and place, parents’ names, occupation and residence. The cause of death is also provided in many Oklahoma death records.
Oklahoma vital records certainly are a foundation of Oklahoma ancestors and family history research simply because they were typically recorded at or near the time of the event, making the document more likely to be accurate. This page contains links, details that can help you obtain copies from Oklahoma state and county vital records keepers. Vital records (births, deaths, marriages, and divorces) mark the key events of our lives and are the basis of genealogy research.
Oklahoma Department of Health Vital Records, issues, documents, and stores certified copies of vital records including birth, marriage, divorce death certificates for occurrences that took place in Oklahoma. To verify current fees and information the telephone number is (405) 271-4040.
- Ordering Oklahoma Birth and Death Certificates: The State Department of Health Vital Records has birth records from October 1908 to present. The fee for a birth certified copy is $15.
- Ordering Oklahoma Marriage Certificates: The State Department of Health Vital Records does not have marriage records. For certified copies of marriage records, please write to the Clerk of Court in county where license was issued. The fee for the copy varies.
- Ordering Oklahoma Divorce Certificates: The State Department of Health Vital Records does not have divorce records. If the records are not available at the Vital Records office, they should be available from the Clerk of Courts or Clerk in the county where the divorce decree was granted. The fee for the copy varies.
How to Order Oklahoma Vital Records
- Physical Address: Vital Records Service, Oklahoma State Dept of Health, 1000 Northeast Tenth, Room 117, Oklahoma City, OK 73117; (405) 271-4040
- Mailing Address: Vital Records Service, State Department of Health, 1000 Northeast 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117. All mail orders should include a Personal check or money order made payable to Vital Records Service. Do not send cash.
- Website Address: http://www.ok.gov/health/
- 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 Oklahoma Birth Certificate or Death Certificate Applications. Please allow up to 4-6 weeks for processing of all type of certificates ordered through the mail.
Background of Oklahoma Vital Records
The state of Oklahoma began keeping records of births and death in 1908, but the records were not complete. It took several years after that before some counties complied and kept accurate records on everyone. In fact, some counties took over 20 years to do so. It was mandated that everyone be registered beginning in 1917. However, it took until about 1927 for 90% of people to comply with that. Information on birth and death records can be obtained from county clerks. However, in order to obtain actual certificates, one must send a letter that includes the relationship to the person of interest to Vital Records Section, State Department of Health. Also, keep in mind that older birth certificates are not the same as modern-day ones and thus may not contain as much information as one might hope for.
The land allotment and death notices in the Oklahoma Historical Society’s tribal records section include some birth record information. In fact, the birth records even list mixed marriage children, in some cases.
The Oklahoma Historical Society is also home to some of the marriage records of the Five Civilized Tribes and even includes some records for other tribes as well. The National Archives-Southwest Region is home to more of those records, including marriage records recorded by the U.S. Federal District Court for non-natives and that information even extends to information about Indian Territory residents at the time. The Pittsburg and Muskogee county court clerks’ offices hold Indian Territory records from June of 1890 through 1907, which was before Oklahoma became a state. The court clerks in both Craig and Carter counties can provide some of the marriage records from 1895 and beyond for Indian Territory as well. Other counties that house some of those records are LeFlore, Atoka, Latimore and Bryan counties. The records for marriages in Creek County do not have a central index, but many of them can be found in Muskogee, which is now part of the county of the same name. Others can be found in Drumright, Sapulpa and Bristow counties.
Some of the Oklahoma Territory marriage records from pre-statehood are available in certain counties and many of them are published, but not all. Records of divorces and marriages that post-date Oklahoma’s statehood can be found in the office of the court clerk in whatever county issued the divorce or the marriage license in the first place.
Searchable Oklahoma Databases and other Helpful Links
- Social Security Death Index (search.ancestry.com)
- USGenweb Archives Oklahoma Marriage Project (usgwarchives.net)
- Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1891-1959 (familysearch)
- Oklahoma, Marriages, 1870-1930 (familysearch)