Pennsylvania

Open Public Record Act:

Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act requires state and local governmental bodies to open their meetings to the public when conducting public business. This means that the agency must give prior notice and allow the public to attend, participate, and comment during the meeting.

Birth Records:

The Division of Vital Records (DVR) is responsible for maintaining all records of births that have occurred in Pennsylvania from 1906 to the present. Information on births that occurred from 1906 to 1912 is available in the Pennsylvania State Archives. Copies of birth certificates can be ordered from the DVR by mail or in person. You can also order copies online or by phone.

Only certain individuals are allowed to obtain copies of birth certificates aside from the person named on the record (if 18 years old or above). These include an attorney or legal representative, spouse, siblings, parent or stepparent, child of the person on record, stepson or stepdaughter, grandparents, grandchildren, and power of attorney for person on the record or immediate family member. Proof of relationship may be required.

The cost of a certified copy is $20 each though the fee may be waived due to certain circumstances such as if the applicant is an armed forces member. Payment for mailed and in-person applications must be in check or money order made payable to “VITAL RECORDS.”

Death Records:

Records of deaths that happened in Pennsylvania from 1906 to the present are maintained in the Division of Vital Records (DVR). Any information regarding deaths that occurred from 1906 to 1967 will be with the Pennsylvania State Archives. Requests for certified copies of death records can be submitted online, by phone, by mail, or in person.

Only immediate family members, attorney or legal representative of decedent’s estate, extended family members, and power of attorney are allowed to request for copies of death certificates. Documentation may be required.

Death certificates are $20 each. Payment must be made in check or money order made payable to “VITAL RECORDS.”

Missing People:

While there is no official clearinghouse for missing person cases filed in Pennsylvania, there are several databases of missing persons reports. One of these is the Pennsylvania Missing Persons website where you can find indexes to help you sort through the different files.

Elected Officials:

If you wish to learn who the elected officials are in the state of Pennsylvania, you can visit the state’s official website. On the home page, links to the different web pages or websites are provided. For example, if you wish to learn more about the incumbent governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, you can click on the link to his website as well as links to his social media accounts.

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Court Records

no links in this area

Recorder