Are Kansas Vital Records Open to the Public?
Certified copies of recent Kansas vital records are only open to authorized parties. However, the public may obtain abstracts of vital records created before 1989. The Uniform Vital Statistics Act of Kansas regulates the dissemination of these records. However, the statute's provisions on the disclosure of vital records do not apply to selected records created before 1911.
What Information Shows Up in Kansas Vital Records?
Kansas vital records refer to documents describing life events, including birth, marriage, divorce, and death records of any resident of Kansas.
How Do I Obtain Kansas Vital Records?
Interested persons may obtain vital records from the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE), County Clerks, or the Kansas State Archives. The typical application procedure for obtaining vital records from these government agencies involves:
- Completing an application form;
- Enclosing the completed, signed application form in a self-addressed, stamped envelope;
- Attaching a photocopy of the requester's valid, government-issued photo ID or two copies of other approved documents;
- Attaching payment for the applicable fees, i.e., certified check and money order;
- Submit the form in person or mail the envelope to the record custodian.
Publicly available vital records are managed and disseminated by some third-party aggregate sites. These sites are generally not limited by geographical record availability and may serve as a reliable jump-off point when researching specific or multiple records. However, third-party sites are not government-sponsored. As such, record availability may differ from official channels. To find a record using the search engines on third-party sites, the requesting party will be required to provide:
- The location of the record in question, including the city, county, or state where the case was filed.
- The name of someone involved, provided it is not a juvenile.
Requesters must provide relevant information associated with the record to conduct an online search for vital records. Some of these include:
- The registrant's name
- Date of the event
- Place of the event
- City or county where the life event occurred
- First and last name of parents
- Presiding judge (for marriage or divorce records)
What Information Do I Need to Search for Kansas Vital Records Online?
Generally, persons looking to obtain a vital record in Kansas must provide the necessary details to facilitate a search, including:
- The full name of the persons named on the vital record
- The place where the life event happened
- The estimated date of the life event
- The maiden name of the subject's parents, particularly for birth and death records
- The license number and date of issuance, especially for marriage records
- The number on the case file, as applicable to divorce records
Certified Copy vs. Informational Copy: Understanding the Difference
Certified copies of vital records are documents that the designated record custodian has authenticated. These copies give the holder the legal right to use the record for official purposes, such as employment purposes, immigration purposes, and processing insurance benefits. Only persons with a direct, tangible interest may obtain certified copies of Kansas vital records. Meanwhile, informational copies of vital records, also known as abstracts, are primarily issued for personal, research, or genealogical reasons. These are the copies available to residents of Kansas who do not have a direct, tangible interest in the vital record.
Are Kansas Marriage Records Public Information?
Abstracts of Kansas marriage records generated before 1989 are public records. For more recent marriage records, only persons named on the marriage records, immediate family members, or the legal representatives of these persons may obtain certified marriage records in Kansas. The Office of Vital Statistics in the KDHE is the central custodian for vital records created from May 1, 1913, until date.
How Do I Obtain Marriage Records in Kansas?
Interested persons may check the Kansas State Archives for abstracts of public marriage records created before 1989. Requesters must create an account on this website to access the records of interest. For more recent marriage records, the requester must submit a completed application for a Kansas marriage certificate. Applications are accepted by mail, phone, or in person. Mail requests go to:
Kansas Office of Vital Statistics
1000 Southwest Jackson, Suite 120
Topeka KS 66612-2221
Phone: (785) 296-1400
Mail requests cost a non-refundable fee of $15 for a certified copy and take an average of 3 - 10 business days to process. Note that this processing time is independent of arrival at the state agency and delivery to the requester. Thus, it is best practice to send requests for marriage records well in advance.
How to Get a Kansas Marriage Certificate
To obtain a Kansas marriage certificate, contact the district court where the marriage license was issued or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Eligibility is limited to the named individuals, their immediate family members, legal representatives, or those with a court order.
Are Kansas Divorce Records Public Information?
Abstract copies of Kansas divorce records before 1989 are available for public inspection on the Kansas State Archives. However, divorce records from the Department of Health are only open to persons with verifiable direct or legitimate interests. These include persons named on the divorce record and persons who own a property with a person named on the divorce record. This latter group of requesters must provide the supporting documentation before the record custodian shall release the documents.
How Do I Obtain Divorce Records in Kansas?
Persons looking to obtain abstracts of divorce records before 1989 may search the Kansas State Archives. Meanwhile, eligible requestors may send requests to the KDHE by mail, telephone, or visit in person. Generally, a requester must complete the application for a Kansas divorce certificate. The application form also contains mailing instructions.
How to Get a Certified Divorce Certificate in Kansas
Divorce certificates can be obtained from the district court where the divorce was granted or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Only the named individuals, immediate family members, legal representatives, or those with a court order can obtain a divorce certificate.
Are Kansas Birth Records Public Information?
Abstract copies of birth records before 1989 are mostly available to interested persons through the Kansas State Archives. Recent Kansas birth records are restricted to the persons named on the record, immediate family members, persons named on the record, and legal representatives.
How Do I Obtain Kansas Birth Records?
Abstracts of birth records before 1989 are available on the Kansas State Archives. Meanwhile, persons looking to order a birth certificate from 1911 to date must contact the Kansas Office Vital Statistics. Birth certificates earlier to that date are maintained by the clerk's office in the county where the birth occurred and was recorded. Generally, requesters must complete a Kansas birth certificate application and send it by mail, along with the applicable fees and valid identification. The form contains application and mailing instructions.
Are Birth Certificates Public in Kansas?
Kansas birth certificates are not public records. The Kansas Statutes Annotated §65-2422 outlines the provisions for the disclosure of birth certificates, limiting access to the individual, immediate family, legal representatives, or those with a court order.
Are Kansas Death Records Open to the Public?
Interested persons may obtain available Kansas death records recorded before 1989. Recent death records are restricted to immediate family members, persons with proof of direct and tangible interest in the death certificate.
How Do I Obtain Death Records in Kansas?
Interested persons may perform a death certificate search on the Kansas State Archives to inspect the abstract copy of death certificates created before 1989. Meanwhile, eligible requesters may obtain Kansas death records from the KDHE by submitting a signed application for a Kansas death certificate. The form must go along with a valid, government-issued photo ID and payment for the required fees. Mail requests go to:
Kansas Office of Vital Statistics
1000 Southwest Jackson, Suite 120
Topeka, KS 66612-2221
Phone: (877) 305-8315
All requests herein bear a $15 fee plus a fee of $13.95 to expedite the request. Note that death records prior to July 1, 1911, are unavailable at the Kansas Office of Statistics. Persons who wish to locate these records must contact the clerk's office in the county where the death happened.
How Do I Obtain Sealed Vital Records in Kansas
The Kansas Uniform Vital Statistics Act restricts public access to vital records because these records contain sensitive information. As such, persons who meet statutory eligibility requirements may access sealed crucial records in Kansas. Generally, these persons must prove a direct, tangible interest in the record and provide supporting documentation, e.g., a document showing joint ownership in real property. Meanwhile, persons armed with a court order issued in a court of competent jurisdiction may also obtain sealed vital records in Kansas.
What are Vital Statistics in Kansas?
In Kansas, vital statistics provide crucial data for public health planning, policy development, and resource allocation. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment collects and maintains vital statistics.