Vital Records Fees
The state search fee for issuing a certified copy of a birth, death, marriage, or divorce record is $15.00. Additional copies of the same record ordered at the same time are $10.00 each. The fee for a marriage license is $45.
In order to obtain certified copies of Vital Records (births, deaths, marriages or civil unions), you must complete an application to the City Clerk and pay a state search fee. This fee is payable whether or not a record is found, so be sure to request the record from the town or city clerk where the event occurred or through the NH Bureau of Vital Records.
Effective January 1, 2005, all individuals requesting a certified copy of a vital record (birth, marriage, or death record, pursuant to RSA 5:C-16) must present positive identification including, but not limited to, a driver’s license, passport or other picture identification or, in the absence of acceptable picture identification, shall complete the form “Documentation Evidence for Individuals not Possessing an Acceptable Picture Identification.”
If ordering by mail, you must include the request form as well as a photocopy of your identification or the form, “Documentation Evidence for Individuals not Possessing an Acceptable Picture Identification” along with photocopies of the supporting documentation required with that form. Mail-in orders without positive identification will be returned without having been processed.
State regulations define a “vital record” as a certificate or report of a birth, adoption, death, marriage, divorce, legal separation, or civil annulment. City and town clerks hold birth, marriage and death records for those events that occurred in their cities or towns. Records of court orders on adoption, divorce, legal separation, or civil annulment are held by the clerk of the court where the order was handed down.
Most states, including New Hampshire, have placed restrictions on the disclosure of vital records information. Only 13 states have open birth records and 19 states have open death records. Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont are among the states that have open birth and death records, though Maine does restrict access to “cause of death.”
In NH, birth records prior to 1908 and death, marriage, divorce, legal separation or civil annulment records prior to 1958 are considered public records. The City Clerk can only issue certified records of births, deaths and marriages after those dates “to persons who have a direct and tangible interest in the requested record.” This would include, but not be limited to, the registrant, a member of the registrant’s immediate family, or the registrant’s legal representative. Obtaining a vital record without lawful authority is a Class B felony.
Search fees for the issuance of birth, death and marriage records are set by state law, not the local city or town clerk. $11.00 of the $15.00 fee for a certified record of a birth, death or marriage is forwarded to the state. $38.00 of the $45.00 fee for a marriage license is forwarded to the state.
NH Law (RSA 5-C:98) also states that “a vital record may not be issued, duplicated, sealed, or notarized by any persons other than the bureau or clerks of towns and cities.” The sole exception is for vital records in the public domain disclosed to genealogists (RSA 5-C:105). The City Clerk will not fax copies of certified records.
Nashua is a participant in the state’s NH Vital Records Information Network for the electronic filing and issuance of birth, death, and marriage records. Under this program a number of communities are linked to a centralized, state database. Data from births, deaths and marriages are entered into this database to establish a record of the event, and the database can then be accessed by any community linked to it in order to generate certified copies of the record. As this system matures and pre-1990’s data is back-loaded into the database, NH citizens will have an opportunity to obtain certified copies of vital records from any NH city or town clerk tied to the database rather than solely from the clerk of the town or city where the event occurred. The NHVRIN project is primarily funded by a portion of the revenues collected by local city and town clerks for the issuance of birth, death or marriage certificates.
APPLYING FOR A COPY OF A VITAL RECORD ONLINE
The Nashua City Clerk's Office accepts cash or check, only. The office cannnot accept payment by credit card or debit card and, therefore, cannot accept payment for requests submitted by email, fax, or telephone. However, the City Clerk's Office can accommodate online orders for certified copies of vital records, for events that occurred in Nashua, using VitalChek, an independent company that it has partnered with to provide you this service. Go to https://www.vitalchek.com/home.aspx Additionally, VitalChek can provide expedited service for speedy receipt of your certificate. An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using their services, and all major credit cards are accepted, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa. For further information, contact the Nashua City Clerk's Office at (603) 589-3010.