G U I D E T O G E N E A L O G I C A L M A T E R I A L S |
in the New Orleans Public Library's Louisiana Division & City Archives
A Note on V I T A L R E C O R D S in Louisiana
C O N T E N T S
Guide to Genealogical Materials Home
Birth, death, and marriage certificates are often among the first records genealogists seek in
building family lines. In Louisiana, birth and death records are not considered public records, and
until the records reach a certain “age,” certified copies may be obtained only by relatives or
descendants. Marriage records are public records and not subject to this restriction (see the
Marriage Records section of this guide for further information.)
Birth certificates less than 100 years old and death certificates less than 50 years old can be obtained only by relatives or descendants from the Louisiana Office of Public Health, Vital Records Registry (P.O. Box 60630, New Orleans LA 70160).
Birth certificates older than 100 years old and death certificate older than 50 years old may be obtained from the Louisiana State Archives (P.O. Box 94125, Baton Rouge, LA 70804; 3851 Essen Lane). At this point, the records are considered public and access is not limited to relatives or descendants.
The State Archives holds birth records only for Orleans Parish. The Vital Records Registry holds birth records for other parishes only if the birth occurred after 1914. Birth certificates were not required outside of Orleans Parish prior to that date.
The Louisiana Division does not hold copies of birth certificates. Birth certificates must be obtained from the Louisiana State Archives or the Office of Vital Records, the sole custodians of these records.
The Louisiana Division holds death certificates for Orleans Parish only. Researchers may make copies of these records in house, but we do not supply them by mail. Long-distance users of the guide must obtain copies of death certificates from the Louisiana State Archives or the Office of Vital Records.
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