Oregon Vital Records
Oregon Vital Records
The Office of Vital Records in Oregon is in charge of maintaining all vital records on a state level, which includes any documents/files relating to a person’s key life events. These important milestones can include anything from births and deaths, to marriages and divorces. The records kept on these events may consist of divorce decrees, divorce certificates and other divorce records, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, marriage certificates, among other things. The vital files in Oregon are all kept together in a central vital record registry to be used later for statistical analysis.
Divorce records are issued after the event is registered in Oregon by government officials. When a person in Oregon files for a divorce/annulment, records of the corresponding event are kept along with every other state vital file in the central registry. The records in question may include divorce certificates and divorce decrees, as well as other divorce-related files. It depends on the individual state in question as to whether the documents can be viewed and/or copied by the public. There was a divorce rate of 3.4 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2017, in the state of Oregon. A copy of a divorce document in Oregon costs $25 each.
Marriage records are also issued by government officials in the state of Oregon, but only after the marriage has been registered. Marriage records were recorded by individual counties as soon as they were founded/organized. Some of these date all the way back to 1849. For a person to obtain copies of these early documents, they must write the to relevant county. Each county began to send copies of records to the Oregon State Health Division in 1906. Records that date beyond 1906 can be accessed if a person writes to the relevant county clerk. The Oregon State Archives holds records dating between 1849 and 1930. There was a marriage rate of 6.7 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2017, in the state of Oregon. A copy of a marriage document in Oregon costs $25 each.
Birth records usually refer to the certificates issued upon the birth of every single child in the state of Oregon. A state-wide registration of births was introduced in 1903, and can all be found at the Oregon State Archives. Before 1903, records were collected and stored by county offices, churches, and clerks’ offices. These early records can be found at both the Oregon State Archive and the Oregon Family Search Historical Records. Delayed registration for birth records began in the 1930s in Oregon. These records can be found at the Oregon State Health Division and the Family History Library in the state. There was a birth rate of 12.2 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2017, in the state of Oregon. A copy of a birth document in Oregon costs $25 each.
Death records usually refer to death certificates issued upon a person’s passing, or a copy of the information on said original certificate. A state-wide registration of deaths was introduced in 1903. Indexed deaths between 1903 and 1970can be found at the Family History Library. Original death records are held by the state. Records between 1903 and 1984 can be found indexed at the Oregon State Archives. The State Archives also holds records from between 1903 and the year before present day. Death certificates cannot be accessed by the public for 50 years after the event. The Oregon State Hospital holds an index of around 3,500 unclaimed cremated remains. There was a death rate of 8.8 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2017, in the state of Oregon. A copy of a death document in Oregon costs $25 each.
Why are these records available to the public?
The Oregon Public Records Law was passed back in 1973, with the latest amendments coming in 1997. The Law aims to ensure every resident of Oregon has the ability to access public records. Records held by both the state and local government can be accessed and copied by members of the public.
To access records:
Vital Records - Certification Unit
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 205
Portland, OR 97232
Hours of Operation
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. walk-in hours