Open Public Record Act:

In Delaware, the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requires government agencies to conduct public business in an open and public manner. This means that the public have access to public records and the opportunity to observe public officials as they conduct public business during meetings. There are certain exemptions which include any trade secrets of a privileged or confidential nature, personnel or medical files that would constitute an invasion of privacy, and criminal records.

Birth Records:

The Delaware Division of Public Health’s Office of Vital Statistics is responsible for maintaining all records of birth that have occurred in the state since 1946. Any records of births prior to this year will be housed in the Delaware Public Archives. Only certain individuals are allowed to request a copy of a birth certificate from this office. These are the following:

  • the registrant (name on the record)
  • current spouse of the registrant
  • child of the registrant
  • parent of the registrant
  • legal guardian
  • authorized agent, attorney, or legal representative of one of the five individuals mentioned above
  • To obtain a copy of a birth record, you can visit any of the Vital Statistics Offices around the state or online through a third party vendor approved by the Delaware Office of Vital Statistics, GoCertificates. You can also submit a written request to the Office of Vital Statistics located in the Jesse S. Cooper Building in Dover. You will need to submit a completed application form, a copy of your official valid photo ID such as a driver’s license, and payment for the copy. The cost of a copy is $25. Only checks and money orders made payable to the Office of Vital Statistics will be accepted.

    Marriage Records:

    All records of marriages that have occured in the state of Delaware from 1977 to the present can be found in the Office of Vital Statistics. For marriages prior to 1977, you will need to get in touch with the Delaware Public Archives. Only certain individuals are allowed to request a copy of a marriage certificate from the Vital Statistics office. These are the following:

  • the registrant (name on the record)
  • child of the registrant
  • parent of the registrant
  • legal guardian
  • authorized agent, attorney, or legal representative
  • genealogy
  • Please note that all of these individuals will be required to provide proof of relationship such as a birth certificate or a court order.

    To obtain a copy of a marriage certificate, you can go to one of the three offices of Vital Statistics around the state or order online through a third party vendor approved by the Delaware Office of Vital Statistics, GoCertificates. You can also submit a written request to the Office of Vital Statistics. You will need to submit a completed application form, a copy of your official valid photo ID such as a driver’s license, and payment for the copy. The cost of a copy is $25. Only checks and money orders made payable to the Office of Vital Statistics will be accepted.

    Death Records:

    The Delaware Division of Public Health’s Office of Vital Statistics is responsible for maintaining all records of deaths that have occurred in the state. Only certain individuals are allowed to request a copy of a death certificate from this office. These are the following:

  • spouse of the deceased
  • child of the deceased
  • parent of the deceased
  • legal guardian of the deceased
  • genealogy
  • authorized agent, attorney or legal
  • representative of the registrant
  • Please note that all of these individuals will be required to provide proof of relationship such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate, or a court order.

    To obtain a copy of a death certificate, you can visit any of the Vital Statistics Offices around the state or online through a third party vendor approved by the Delaware Office of Vital Statistics, GoCertificates. You can also submit a written request to the Office of Vital Statistics located in the Jesse S. Cooper Building in Dover. You will need to submit a completed application form, a copy of your official valid photo ID such as a driver’s license, and payment for the copy. The cost of a copy is $25. Only checks and money orders made payable to the Office of Vital Statistics will be accepted.

    Missing People:

    There is no single unit that handles all the missing persons cases in Delaware. If you wish to search for a missing person case, you can use the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) which was created by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). NamUS is a national information clearinghouse and resource center for missing persons as well as unidentified and unclaimed person cases across the US.

    You can perform a search by entering the name, state, or county. Each file has a NamUs case number as well as all the information that has been gathered about the missing person such as demographics, circumstances, photo, and the clothing and accessories the individual was wearing when he/she disappeared.

    Elected Officials:

    If you wish to learn who your elected officials are, you can check the Delaware government website. All elected officials from the national level to local government officials. Each legislator listed, such as Senator Tom Carper, has a link to his/her website or webpage which also shows any press releases and new relating to the official.

    Public Records

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    Court Records

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