Oklahoma Vital Records
Oklahoma Vital Records
The Office of Vital Records is responsible for maintaining all state-level vital records created, administered and maintained by the state of Oklahoma regarding a person’s most important life events. These records include such documents as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates and are compiled and stored in permanent central registry state entities uses to develop statistical analysis of its population.
A birth certificate is a vital record that documents the birth of a child. The term "birth certificate" can refer to either the original document certifying the birth or to a certified copy or representation of the original document. Some counties kept birth records as early as 1891, although most did not start until after statehood in 1907. The early records, which are quite incomplete, are at county courthouses. The Family History Library has copied some of the vital records of the Superintendent of Public Health in a few counties. The statewide registration of birth records began in Oklahoma in 1908 and was generally complied with by 1930. The records are preserved at the Oklahoma Vital Records Service. Also, the Oklahoma Vital Records Service is keeping delayed registrations of births (for persons born before registration began in 1908).
A death record is most likely a copy of the information contained in a person’s death certificate. The state of Oklahoma registered a county recording of death records as early as 1891. The records from this period were collected from the county courthouse, churches where the event occurred. The Oklahoma Family History Library has copies of some of the counties death records. The statewide registration of death records was enacted in Oklahoma in 1928 and was complied with by 1930. The records form this period are still not complete as many counties started registering the records late after the statewide registration was signed into law. The death records are available today at the Oklahoma Vital Records Service.
A marriage/divorce record is issued by a government official only after civil registration of the marriage/divorce occurs. Marriage bonds, affidavits, licenses, and certificates were kept by each county beginning about 1890 or when the county was created. Many marriages in the territorial era were not recorded, and some were recorded in county courthouses in Arkansas, Kansas, and Texas. Divorces were granted after 1907 by the district courts or the circuit court in each county. The marriage/ divorce records are available today at the Oklahoma Family History Library.
Why Vital Records are Available to the Public?
In 1984, the Oklahoma State Legislature passed a law named the Oklahoma Open Records Act. This law was enabled with the last changes in 1988 and having its basic aim in ensuring disclosure of court records and other public records to the public: Law & Legislative Reference.
Every person throughout the state can request access to access all public records through the assigned specialized offices within its determined terms.
What Does Vital Records Access mean to You?
The law is similar to the Oklahoma Open Meeting Law legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. While the Oklahoma Open Records Act safeguards the access of all public records at all government levels in the state of Oklahoma to the public.