Most vital records in Alabama will range from 1908, though some counties will have records older than that (back to 1880 if you’re lucky). If you need to get copies of birth or death records from Alabama, here is where you can get started on your search.
Restrictions on Alabama Vital Records
There are privacy restrictions on both birth and death records in Alabama, so you can’t just order up any certificates you want. For birth records, anything older than 125 years is open to public domain and can be ordered by anyone. For death records, the time limit is only 25 years. If you are looking to get a copy of a vital record earlier than these limits, you will have to be a direct relation. That means you can only get copies of birth and death records if it is for a spouse, parent, child, grandchild or sibling. You may be expected to provide proof of relationship too.
How to Order Alabama Vital Records
The main collection of records in Alabama is held at the Alabama Vital Records Office, and you can either pick up an application form at their location or print out your own from the Alabama Department of Public Health website. The mailing address to send your request is:
Alabama Vital Records Office
PO Box 5625
Montgomery, AL 36103-5625 USA
You can also put in your application at the local county health department, which may or may not be any quicker. Not only do you need to supply all the relevant details of the certificate you want, you also have to give your own name, address and contact info.
The cost for each Alabama vital records request is $15, and that is not refundable if they don’t find what you are looking for. You will just a notice back saying the files weren’t found. You’re basically paying for the search not the results. A mailed in application will take about 1 to 2 weeks for a response. If you are able to go to the office in person, you can get it while you wait.
If you are doing your research for material pre-1908, then you will have to visit the county courthouse where the event (birth or death) took place. They usually have their records on microfilm, and you’ll need to visit their location to have access.
One thing to note with Alabama birth records, pre-1908 certificates often do not have the name of the child recorded. So you will need the parents names in order to get anywhere.