Wyoming Vital Records
Wyoming Vital Records
All vital events of the residents of the state of Wyoming are first filed with the local registrar in the county of occurrence and then recorded with the state. These events include the records of births, marriages, deaths, fetal deaths, divorce and annulments. Vital Statistics Services manages the filing and access to these vital records, and now issues certifications on "Wyoming" themed paper of brown and gold color combination. The office provides annual reports on these events in the state of Wyoming and quarterly data for recent years.
The State of Wyoming began issuing Certificates of Divorce in 1941. Records prior to this period were kept and accessible at the office of the Clerk of District Court of each Wyoming county where the divorce license was issued. Varying fees are charged by most of these clerks for copying divorce records. After May 1941, these Wyoming State divorce records are maintained at the office of Vital Statistics Services. Access to these records are limited to only husband or wife named on the divorce certificate, or lawyer acting for either party.
A fee of $20 is payable to the office to obtain a divorce certificate and if the record is not located the fee is retained as a searching fee. The fee payment is made via personal check or money order. An appropriate identification must be provided by the requestor along with the following information: full names of husband and wife, including the wife's maiden name, date of divorce, city or county of divorce, signature of husband or wife named on the certificate and a mailing address where the record is to be mailed.
These State issued divorce certificates are transferred to the Wyoming State Archives after 50 years and open to the public. Some district courts registering divorce prior to 1941 has transferred their court files to the archives. Wyoming has one of the highest divorce rates in US with over 26 marriages per 1,000 ending in divorce.
Counties in Wyoming began registering marriages soon after the county was organized with records as early as the 1860s. The clerk at each county's district court still maintains marriage records to date and began to send duplicate copies of marriage records to the Vital Statistics Services in 1941 when Wyoming began issuing marriage licenses at the state level. Marriage records before 1941 have been indexed by most counties and made available to the public. Obtaining marriage records since May 1941 is charged at $20 payable to Vital Statistics Service via a personal check or money order.
The access to this record is limited to the husband or wife, or a lawyer acting for either party otherwise by the provision of proof of death. These records are made available to the public after 50 years and obtainable from Wyoming State Archives. Applicants are required to provide appropriate identification or a notarized signature along with the following information: full names of husband and wife, including the wife's maiden name, date of divorce, city or county of divorce, signature of husband or wife named on the certificate and a mailing address where the record is to be mailed.
The minimum age for marriage in Wyoming is 18 and applicants who are 16 or 17 years old are required to present a signed written consent of the father, mother, guardian or person having the care and control of the minor. A judge's court order is required for a person 15 years or younger. Application has no waiting period and expires one year from the date issued. A minimum of two witnesses are required at the marriage ceremony. Most counties in Wyoming charge $30 for marriage applications.
Wyoming began statewide registration of births in July 1909. Prior to 1909, a few counties recorded births, but these records are incomplete. The state does not issue a free birth certificate for newborn babies though some Wyoming hospitals give a souvenir certificate but this is not legally recognized. A fee of $20 is charged to obtain birth certificate which are sent by mail. This fee is payable to the office of Vital Statistics Services who offer printed certified copies that will be use throughout a person's lifetime.
This fee is acceptable as money orders or a bank-personalized check from the person making the request along with an enclosed self-addressed, stamped envelope. The office provides not more than five certified copies of a birth certificate in a person's lifetime therefore it requires an Excessive Certificate Form to be completed, notarized and returned upon the fourth request.
To obtain a birth certificate the registrant must be 18 years of age or be the parent named on the certificate or a lawyer representing the registrant or either parent or a court-ordered legal guardian. In case there is no birth record on file, instructions are sent on how to file for a Delayed Birth Certificate with the $20 fee paid applied as a searching fee.
The following information are required upon request for a birth certificate: full name on birth record, date of birth, city or county of birth, full names of both parents including mother's maiden name, signature of parent or the individual if over 18 years of age (in case of legal guardian; a copy of the court order), mailing address where record is to be mailed and a form of identification. Birth certificates older than 100 years are held at Wyoming State Archives.
Only a few Wyoming counties kept records of deaths years before statewide registration began in July 1909. These old records were filed with the county clerk and are accessible to the public. Most of these local death registers have been transferred to the Wyoming State Archives from the counties and most county clerks do not keep death records afterwards. By 1922 there has been a generally compliance with the statewide registration.
A fee of $15 is charged for obtaining the first copy of a death certificate and $10 is charged for each additional copy. When the date of death is unknown, a non-refundable fee of $15 is charged as a searching fee for every five years searched. All fees are payable to the office of the Vital Statistics Services by personal cheque or money order.
A requestor may be an immediate family member, a lawyer representing the immediate family, or an institution requiring a certificate to pay a policy or death benefit. A requestor not named on the death certificate must prove the relationship to the individual and the purpose for obtaining the record. The required information to obtaining a death certificate include full name, date of death, city or county of death, relationship to deceased, purpose for which copy is needed, signature of person making request, mailing address and a proper identification of the requestor.
The State of Wyoming also issue a delayed death certificate as a legal requirement for proof of a death where the death happened long before the certificate was issued. Death records over 50 years old can be obtained from Wyoming State Archives. Heart disease, cancer, accidents and chronic lower respiratory disease are the leading cause of death in Wyoming.
Why are these records available to the public?
The Wyoming Public Records Act (W.S. §16-4-201 through 16-4-205) was enacted by the legislature of the State of Wyoming to ensure the public have access to public records, books, and files of state governmental agencies (subject to exceptions). This Act facilitates disclosure and transparency in the workings of government, and ensures Wyoming's resident right to access and copy these public records.
To access records:
Vital Records Services
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Telephone: (307) 777-7591
Fax: (307) 635-4103
Internet: Wyoming Vital Statistics Services Program