How to Obtain Copies of Genealogical Records
Getting Copies of Genealogical Records
Genealogical Records (family history research) are:
- Birth, death and marriage records for people who are deceased
- the birth occurred more than 80 years ago until 1921
- the marriage occurred more than 50 years ago until 1931
- the death occurred more than 40 years ago until 1931
Your request cannot be processed as a genealogical request if the person named on the record is still living or the event was more recent than listed above.
The City of Elizabeth Office of Vital Statistics holds records from May 1848 to the present.
However, it is recommended for records older than 100 years the applicants please visit the Department of State, New Jersey State Archives web page or call (609) 292-6260.
The following must be sent with your application:
- all required copies of ID for proof of identity
- the correct fees
- copies of documents proving your relationship to the person named on the record, only if you are ordering a certified copy
Your application will be returned if you do not send in all required documentation.
Step 1: Identify the genealogical record
You must identify the record by providing the following required information, if you provide the optional information it may assist us in locating the record.
- Full name on the record
- City or county where the event occurred
- Year the event occurred
- Exact date of event
- Mother’s maiden name
- Father’s name
- Social security number (deaths only)
Step 2: Provide Acceptable Identification
You must provide acceptable ID in order to get a copy of any vital record. Copies of vital records must be mailed to the address listed on your identification. The following are acceptable forms of ID:
- A current, valid photo driver's license or photo non-driver's license
- A current, valid driver’s license without photo and one alternate form of ID
- Two alternate forms of ID, one of which must have current address.
Alternate forms of ID are:
- Vehicle registration
- Vehicle insurance card
- Voter registration
- US/Foreign Passport
- Immigrant Visa
- Permanent Resident Card (Green card)
- Federal/State ID
- County ID
- School ID
- Bank Statement (within previous 90 days)
- Utility bill(within the previous 90 days)
- W-2 for current/previous tax year
Please do not send in original ID documents. Only copies are required. If you want to have your order mailed to a different address than what is listed on your identification, your application must include a notarized letter that authorizes the order to be mailed to a different address.
Step 3: Payments of Fees
The City of Elizabeth Office of Vital Statistics charges:
- $8 per Certification (informational only) copy of a vital record
- If ordering Certified Copies they are $15 each, proof of relationship is required (see Step 4).
Applications mailed in may be paid by check or money order made payable to: City of Elizabeth. We cannot accept credit card payment by mail.
Please do not send cash through the mail.
Step 4: Proof of Relationship
ONLY required if ordering a certified copy of a vital record.
Proof of relationship is not required if you are asking for a certification, which is an uncertified informational copy of the vital record which is not valid for establishing identity or legal purposes.
To get a certified copy you must provide proof of your relationship to the person listed on the vital record and the proof must establish you are one of the following:
- The subject of the record
- The subject’s parent, legal guardian or legal representative
- The subject’s spouse/civil union or domestic partner; child, grandchild or sibling, if of legal age
- A state or federal agency for official purposes
- Pursuant to court order
See the How to Prove Relationship tips at the bottom of this page for information on how to prove your relationship. This is a key requirement to getting a certified copy of a vital record.
Failure to provide proof of relationship is the number one reason certified copy applications are rejected.
Step 5: Submitting your completed application and supporting documents
Regardless of the where you place your order you will have to send with your application:
- all required copies of ID establishing your identity
- the correct fee, and
- copies of documents proving your relationship to the person named on the record, if you are ordering a certified copy
Your application will be returned if you do not send in all required information.
Submit your request and supporting documentation via following order method:
Mail Orders only
Vital Statistics All requests are processed in 1 – 2 weeks
50 Winfield Scott Plaza
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
Proof of Relationship
ONLY required if ordering a certified copy of a vital record.
If you are requesting a certification (an informational copy of a vital record not valid for legal purposes), you do not need to provide proof of relationship.
If you are requesting a certified copy of
- your parent’s or sibling’s vital record
you must provide a copy of your birth certificate to show you are the child or sibling of the person whose record you are requesting.
- your grandparent’s vital record
you must establish that you are the person’s grandchild by providing proof that links the name on your ID to the name of the grandparent.
For example, if you changed your last name after marriage/civil union and want a grandparent’s vital record, you must:
- Provide your marriage/civil union certificate to show your name at birth,
- Provide your birth certificate to identify your parent, and
- Provide the parent’s birth certificate to identify the grandparent.
If you are not a person qualified to get a certified copy of a record
- but you are helping a person eligible to receive a vital record obtain a copy of a record they are eligible to receive
you must show your valid ID and a notarized, written release authorizing you to get the record on that person’s behalf including their proof of relationship to the subject of the record.
To Obtain a Certification (non-legal copy of record for informational purposes only):
Fill out the application for genealogical records.
Include a photocopy of your valid ID and proof of your current mailing address.
Fee is $8.00 payable to “City of Elizabeth”