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How to Find a Birth Record in Maine?

What Are Birth Records in Maine?

Birth records contain information about births and all circumstances regarding such events. They are vital records and are mostly issued as birth certificates upon request. The Vital Records Office of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) maintains and disseminates birth records in Maine. The Vital Records Office is under the Data, Research, and Vital Statistics Office (DRVS). A person’s Maine birth record commonly contain information such as:

  • The person’s full name
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Place and date of birth
  • Parents’ full names
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Date and place of registration and birth registration number

The Vital Records Office issues birth certificates as either certified copies or non-certified copies. A non-certified copy of a Maine birth certificate is commonly used for informational purposes and is generally available to members of the public. It is printed on white paper and contains all or part of the information found in an original birth record. It, however, cannot serve any legal or official purpose. It is mostly used for genealogical and investigative research. In contrast, a certified copy of a Maine birth certificate is useful for various legal functions, and access is restricted to specific individuals.

Besides proving a person’s identity and citizenship, a Maine birth record also qualifies an individual for the following:

  • Driver’s license application
  • Social security
  • Access to Medicaid
  • Enrollment in a school
  • Employment
  • Passport
  • Retirement benefits
  • Marriage license
  • Genealogy purpose

How to Find and Request Birth Records Online in Maine

The DHHS Vital Records Office does not have any provision for individuals who wish to look up or obtain birth records in Maine. Such persons can request Maine birth records online using the service of approved third-party vital records service providers. Generally, third-party vital records vendors charge requesters additional fees for using their services. A requester must provide accurate information while ordering birth records online to facilitate a quick search.

Considered open to citizens of the United States, public records are available through both traditional, government sources, and through third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are considered a good place to start when looking for a specific record or multiple records. In order to gain access to these records, interested parties must typically provide:

  • The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method.
  • The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states.

While third-party sites offer such services, they are not government-sponsored entities, and record availability may vary on these sites when compared to government sources.

How to Get Birth Records in Maine

The DHSS Vital Records Office is the repository for all Maine birth records of birth events whose registrations are less than 75 years. Records of births that occurred in Maine before 1892 are available as informational copies at the Maine State Archives. They are also available at the offices of clerks of municipalities where such births occurred. Pre- 1892 birth records are issued on letterheads from the clerks’ offices or the state archives office. The Vital Records Office provides both mail-in or in-person services for birth record requests.

To obtain Maine birth records for births occurring after 1892, requesters must first confirm their eligibility to do so since only certain persons can obtain such records. Eligible persons include individuals named on the birth records and persons with proof of relationship to them. An applicant who can show a direct and legitimate interest in a birth record is also qualified to obtain a copy of such a record.

How to Get Main Birth Records by Mail

Mail-in requesters must complete the Application of a Search and Certified Copy of a Vital Record Form and pay the applicable fees. They must also enclose copies of their valid government-issued IDs and self-addressed stamped envelopes with the applications and then mail them to the Vital Records Office. Proof of relationship to persons named on requested birth records or direct and legitimate interest in the records should also be attached if applicable. To avoid a delay in processing a request, an applicant must ensure to provide the following information accurately:

  • The full name of the record owner (Registrant)
  • Registrant’s date of birth
  • The place of birth (city/town where the event occurred in)
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • The requester’s daytime telephone number

Acceptable government-issued photo IDs for requesting Maine birth records include driver’s license and passport. Persons who do not possess valid IDs must present two other forms of identity documents bearing their names. Such documents include:

  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Car registration
  • Copy of an income tax return
  • Personal check with address
  • Previously issued vital record or marriage license
  • Letter from a government agency requesting a vital record (for example, the DHHS)
  • Department of Corrections identification card
  • Social Security card
  • License or rental agreement
  • Pay stub (W-2)
  • Voter registration card
  • Medicare or Medicaid insurance card
  • School or employee photo ID

In-person Requests

Interested persons can visit the DHHS Vital Records Office to obtain certified copies of Maine birth records in person. Requesters should complete the Application of a Search and Certified Copy of a Vital Record Form and attach copies of their valid IDs. Individuals can also visit the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) to obtain certified copies of Maine birth records. Most of the municipal offices across the state maintain birth records and process walk-in birth record requests.

Where Can I Find Birth Records in Maine?

Birth records are available at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the legal custodian of all the Maine birth records. To obtain certified copies of birth records in Maine, requesters may submit completed applications in person or by mail at/to:

Vital Records
11 State House Station
220 Capitol Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0011

Before May 1, 2015, the State Archives maintained and disseminated birth records dating from 1892 to 1922. But these records are no longer available there, having been electronically stored in digital formats. They are now available at the DHHS Vital Records Office.

Eligible requesters can also obtain certified copies of Maine birth records from the Maine CDC, the DRVS office, and Municipal Offices.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC)

Eligible requesters can also submit completed applications via mail or in person to/at:

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC)
11 State House Station
220 Capitol Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0011

Data, Research, and Vital Statistics (DRVS) Office

The DRVS is the division of the DHHS that administers Maine’s vital statistics system. It also compiles birth statistics and processes mail-in birth record requests. Applicants can send their birth record requests to the DRVS at:

Data, Research, and Vital Statistics Office
220 Capitol Street
11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
Lobby Hours: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Monday - Friday
Municipal Offices

Birth records registered in Maine before 1892 are available at the municipal offices where such births occurred. Interested persons can obtain such records by contacting the clerks of the towns/cities where the events happened. State law mandates the filing of birth records at the municipal clerk’s office in the town/city where births occur.

How to Get Birth Records From a Hospital in Maine

Hospitals in Maine are not authorized to issue birth records. Persons interested in obtaining one should do so at the DHSS Vital Records Office.

Can Anyone Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate in Maine?

Maine birth records are closed records, and members of the public are restricted from inspecting or copying them. Per state law, access to birth records is limited to individuals legally qualified to obtain them. Such individuals include:

  • The person whose name appears on the birth certificate (Registrant)
  • Registrant’s spouse or their registered domestic partner
  • The parent(s) named on the record
  • Descendants of the person named on the record
  • The legal custodian, authorized representative, or guardian of the person named on the birth certificate
  • Genealogists who have a Maine CDC issued researcher identification card.

However, registered genealogists can only obtain non-certified copies of birth records if they meet all the required criteria for obtaining certified copies. Maine birth records older than 75 years are open records and can be accessed by anyone.

How Much Does a Birth Certificate Cost in Maine?

In Maine, a certified copy of a birth certificate costs $10 per copy, while a non-certified copy attracts a $10 fee. Additional copies of the same birth certificate cost $6 per copy when requested at the same time. These fees apply for both mail-in and in-person birth record requests. The $10 fee covers the cost of a record search and one certified copy of the birth certificate if found. All payments are non-refundable regardless of whether the records are found or not. A record search is usually conducted within three years - one year before and a year after the stated date of birth. The Vital Records Office only accepts payments made with checks or money orders. They do not permit credit card payments, except for online orders entirely handled by third-party vital records providers.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Birth Certificate in Maine?

The standard processing time for mail-in birth certificate requests in Maine is between seven to ten business days. Most in-person requests are processed on the same day of application. The Vital Records Office reserves the right to mail out certificates requested in-person the following business day, depending on the volume of requests. Online birth records requests are generally processed the next business day.

How to Expunge Your Birth Records in Maine

Generally, Maine does not make provisions for expunging records, birth records inclusive. Expungement is the deletion of the content in a person’s record in a way that makes it seem the event never happened.

How to Seal Your Birth Records in Maine

Per state law, Maine adoption records are sealed and removed from public inspection. The following persons can, however, access a sealed birth record in an adoption file and obtain a certified copy of an adoptee’s birth certificate:

  • The adoptee
  • The adoptee’s attorney
  • The adoptee’s descendants (if the adoptee is deceased)

How to Unseal Your Birth Records in Maine

In Maine, adult adoptees have unrestricted access to their birth records and do not require court orders to unseal them. Nevertheless, they are required by law to provide documentation to confirm their identities. Other persons eligible to request adoption records are the adoptees’ attorneys and adoptees’ descendants (if the adoptees are deceased). Adoptees must satisfy the following requirements to unseal their birth records in Maine:

  • They must be at least 18 years of age
  • Their births must have occurred in the state.

The State Registrar issues non-certified copies of adoptees’ original birth certificates upon requests. Applicants must submit completed Applications for Copy of Non-Certified Original Birth Certificate along with a valid proof of identification and applicable fees to be eligible. The Registrar typically provides adoptees with any contact preference form or medical history form completed by birth parents at the point of adoption.