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Vital Records
January 2003

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The fee for a certified copy of Vermont vital records (birth, marriage,
divorce & death) is $7.00 each, whether you obtain it from a Town Clerk
or the Division of Public Records. An uncertified copy is $2.00 each.
In Vermont, statewide vital registration began in 1857, when the General Assembly passed a bill requiring that towns report to the Secretary of State all births, marriages, and deaths occurring in their jurisdiction. Prior to that time, some towns kept such records in order to resolve questions concerning the distribution and inheritance of property. Vital records, particularly death records, gradually became recognized as an important tool in studying the location and spread of epidemics. In 1896, the Legislature transferred responsibility for the vital statistics system to the newly formed Board of Health, the forerunner of the Vermont Department of Health. The Health Dept. has retained this responsibility to the present day. Until recently, the Vermont vital records system included six types of vital events: births, deaths, marriages, divorces, fetal deaths, and abortions. In 2000, with the passage of Act 91, the establishment and dissolution of civil unions and reciprocal beneficiaries relationships were added to the list.
Births: When a birth occurs, the physician, midwife, or other birth attendant is required to complete a birth certificate and file it with the town clerk in the town of birth within 10 days. For hospital births, it is usually the medical records staffwho complete the birth certificate. The completed birth certificate is recorded and filed in the town where the birth took place, and a certified copy is sent to the Health Department.

Deaths: Although a physician is responsible for filing the death certificate, the job may be, and often is, delegated to the funeral director. Most of the information needed to complete the death certificate is obtained from the family of the deceased. A physician, however, must complete the cause of death information and sign the death certificate. The funeral director files the completed certificate with the town clerk who sends a certified copy to the Health Department.

Marriage and Civil Unions: When a couple wishes to marry or establish a civil union in Vermont, they provide a town clerk with the information needed to complete the license. The couple takes the license to an officiant who signs and dates it and returns it to the town clerk. The town clerk records and files the certificate, and sends a certified copy to the Health Department.

Reciprocal Beneficiaries: A reciprocal beneficiaries relationship occurs when two people who are eligible to form such a relationship present a signed, notarized Declaration and Certificate of Establishment of Reciprocal Beneficiaries Relationship to the Health Department and pay a filing fee. Either party can end the relationship by paying a fee and filing a signed, notarized Declaration and Certificate of Termination of Reciprocal Beneficiaries Relationship. A reciprocal beneficiaries relationship automatically terminates by law if either party enters into a valid civil union or marriage.

Divorce and Dissolution: A divorce certificate or certificate dissolving a civil union is initiated by a lawyer or other individual handling the divorce or dissolution. The certificate is filed with the court as part of the divorce or dissolution proceedings. The court keeps the certificate until the decree becomes final, usually three months after the court hearing. When the decree is final, the court clerk signs the certificate and sends it to the Health Department for filing.

Fetal Deaths and Abortions: Reports of fetal death and induced termination of pregnancy (abortion) are sent directly to the Health Department by the physician, hospital, or clinic that performs the procedure. By law, these reports are for statistical purposes only, are not public records, and are destroyed after five years.

In addition to receiving copies of vital records from Vermont town clerks, the Health Department also receives copies of certificates of all Vermont resident births and deaths that occur in other states and in Canada. This allows the Department to do statistical analyses of vital events involving Vermont residents even if the birth or death occurred outside of the state. Health Department staff code and enter all vital records received into a computerized database, and send a data file containing some of the information from the records to the National Center for Health Statistics to become part of a national database.
The above information courtesy of:
Vermont Department of Health
108 Cherry Street, Burlington, VT 05402-0070

Town Clerks 
Most town clerks have vital records for the events that took place in their township.To find current town clerk information click on this link. Town records are open to the public to search, but you may be charged $2.00 an hour to look through them. Some clerks will give you a non-certified "record copy" for the price of a photocopy, but this depends on the town clerk.
Vermont Vital Records 
Vermont Vital Records are houses in the Middlesex Complex, located behind the State Police on US Route 2 in Middlesex. The public is allowed to search through the records free of charge between the hours of 8:00 am - 4:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday (the office is closed on all state holidays). The staff are Janet Walker (Record Research Specialist) and Cathy MacDonald (Clerk C). Not only can you find Vermont birth, death, marriage, and divorce records here that are more than ten years old, you can also access many land, burial and cemetery records and probate indexes through the 1970's, miscellaneous genealogical records like town, church, naturalization and census records as well as agency records like Act 250 plans and permits, earnings records, and court dockets.
Reference & Research
Route #2
Middlesex, VT 05633
Information: 802-828-3286
Phone: 802-828-3286
Fax: 802-828-3710
You can order copies by phone or fax using your credit card, but there may be shipping charges involved.

You can also order records on-line at:
(this is a secure site) or through snail mail at the addresses below.

For records from 1760 to 1991:

Division of Public Records
General Service Center
Drawer 33
Montpelier, VT 05633-7601

For records from 1991 to present:

Vermont Department of Health
Vital Records Section
Box 70
108 Cherry St.
Burlington, VT 05402
802-863-7275 (from outside Vermont)
800-439-5008 (from inside Vermont)

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This Site was created by Jalanne C. Barnes. If you know about a web site that contains information on Vermont
Genealogy that is not included here or you find a link that doesn't work, email the URL  with a description of the web site/problem to me at: <> and I will make the changes when I do my next update.