Open Public Record Act:

Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act enables the public to have access to public records of all government bodies in the state. These public records are defined as all records, reports, writings, letters, memoranda, books, maps, electronic data processing records, tapes, cards, and all other documentary materials that are under the control of a government body. However, there are exceptions. For example, records that violate privacy, impede criminal investigation, and personnel records are not available to the public.

Birth Records:

The Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records maintains the birth records of all individuals born within the state. These records are not available to the public. Only the following individuals are able to receive certified copies:

  • person named on the record if 18 years old or above
  • parents shown on record
  • legal guardian or legal representative of the child (proof is required).
  • There are two types of certificate copies of birth certificates offered by the Division of Vital Records. One type of birth certificate will contain the following information: child’s name, date of birth, sex, place of birth (city, county, state), mother/co-parent’s maiden name, mother/co-parent’s place of birth (state/country), mother/co-parent’s age, father/co-parent’s name, father/co-parent’s place of birth (state/country), father/co-parent’s age, file date, date issued, and, state file number. The other type will contain information collected at the time of the birth (information has varied throughout the years).

    To obtain a copy of a birth certificate, you will need to complete the application form and submit it along with a valid government-issued photo ID and the required fee. You can submit your request in person, by fax, by mail, or online through a third party vendor, VitalChek.

    The cost of a birth certificate may vary depending on the method used to make a request. For mail and in-person requests, the cost of the first type of certified copy is $10 while the cost of the second type of certified copy is $15. An additional $2 per additional copy will be charged. Faxed and online requests will cost $15 for a certified copy containing all information collected at the time of birth. Each additional copy is $2. A handling fee of $12.95 plus $19.50 UPS fee, if selected.

    Marriage Records:

    Marriage records are kept in the County Clerk’s office in the county where the marriage occurred. The Division of Vital Records can verify the facts of a marriage that has taken place from 1962 to the present. A marriage verification includes the names of the individuals involved, their dates of birth, date of event, and city/county of event. The cost of a marriage verification is $5 and can be requested by mail, by fax, or in person.

    To obtain a marriage verification, you must submit a completed application form and a copy of a valid government-issued photo ID. Orders made by mail must include a check or money order made payable to the “Illinois Department of Public Health.” Orders by fax must include the following information:

  • Credit card number and expiration date ($5 fee, $12.95 handling fee, and $19.50 fee if UPS delivery is selected)
  • A daytime phone number, including area code, should it be necessary to contact you about the request
  • Your return address
  • Your written signature
  • A valid government issued photo identification (ID)
  • Orders sent by fax and by mail will take seven business days to process. Incomplete or illegible applications will not be processed.

    Divorce Records:

    The Division of Vital Records cannot provide certified copies of dissolution of marriage records. Those are only available from the circuit court clerk in the county where the divorce was granted. What this office can provide is a verification of a dissolution of marriage. A verification will contain names, dates of birth, date of event, and city/county of event. A dissolution of marriage verification costs $5 and can be requested in person, by mail, or by fax.

    To obtain a dissolution of marriage verification, you will need to submit a completed application form and a valid government-issued photo ID. Orders made by mail must include a check or money order made payable to the “Illinois Department of Public Health.” Orders by fax must include the following information:

  • Credit card number and expiration date ($5 fee, $12.95 handling fee, and $19.50 fee if UPS delivery is selected)
  • A daytime phone number, including area code, should it be necessary to contact you about the request
  • Your return address
  • Your written signature
  • A valid government issued photo identification (ID)
  • Orders sent by fax and by mail will take seven business days to process. Incomplete or illegible applications will not be processed.

    Death Records:

    Death records are not public records. Certified copies are only available to individuals who have a personal or property right interest with the decedent. Individuals who are not a relative of the deceased person will be required to submit a letter or document from the office or agency that needs the death certificate.

    There are two types of copies of death certificates available at the Division of Vital Records. A certified copy is suitable for legal purposes such as settling an estate or claiming a will while the uncertified copy is only for genealogical or research purposes.

    To obtain a death certificate, you will need to submit a completed application form, a valid government-issued photo ID, and the required fee. A certified copy of a death certificate costs $19 and $4 for each additional copy. An uncertified copy of a death certificate costs $10 for the first copy and $2 for each additional copy.

    Requests can be submitted in person, by mail, by fax, or online through a third party vendor, VitalChek Network. Requests will be processed within 5 to 7 business days for a certified copy.

    Missing People:

    The Illinois State Police maintains a Clearinghourse for Missing Persons. You can search the site for missing individuals. If you want to include a missing person into their database, you can call 1-800-U HELP ME (1-800-843-5763) or send an email to missing@isp.state.il.us.

    Elected Officials:

    If you wish to learn all about the elected officials serving the state of Illinois, you can visit the Illinois Government website which has links to all government bodies that have elected officials. You’ll be able to get information on the current governor, Bruce Rauner, as well as his social media accounts. You can learn about the elected officials serving under different branches of the government – legislative, executive, and judicial – such as the Secretary of State, Illinois Representatives, and Illinois Senators.

    Court Records

    no links in this area

    Recorder