Maine Vital Records
Maine Vital Records
In Maine, The Office of Vital Records is responsible for the maintenance of every state level vital files. The files in question include documents relating to a resident’s key life events, which include births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. The vital records stored can include divorce decrees, divorce certificates and other divorce records, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, marriage certificates. All the records are kept together in a central registry to be used for statistical analysis.
Divorce records are handed out by Maine government officials after the event is registered. Maine also splits divorce records into two sections, before 1892 and after 1892. All post 1892 records are indexed and can be found at the Maine Family History Library or the Maine State Archives. When someone files for a divorce/annulment in the state of Maine, the records are kept in a central registry with all other state vital files. The vital files can include divorce certificates, divorce decrees, and other records. It depends on the state in question as to whether these can be viewed by the public. There were 4,300 total divorces recorded in Maine in 2017. The fee for a legal certified copy of a file is $15, and $6 for any additional copy.
Marriage records are also given out by government officials in the state of Maine after the wedding has been registered. Like divorce files, marriage documents are split into two sections, before 1892 and after 1892. All post 1892 records are indexed and can be found at the Maine Family History Library or the Maine State Archives. County clerks were charged with recording marriages when the county in question was first formed. The first law that insisted upon recording marriages was passed in 1892. There were 10,139 marriages recorded in Maine in 2017. The fee for a legal certified copy of a file is $15, and $6 for any additional copy.
Birth records refer to the birth certificates issued upon the birth of every child in the state of Maine, or a certified copy of this certificate. Birth records are split into two categories, before 1892 and after 1892. Before 1892, all records were sourced from church records, as well as the county records of vital statistics. These provide the records of the earliest evidence of births. The records collected by clerks in the early 1900s were of better quality. After 1892, all records were collected from Maine Vital Statistics. The fee for a legal certified copy of a file is $15, and $6 for any additional copy.
Death records usually refer to the copy of information from a resident’s death certificate upon their passing. Death records are also separated into two main categories, before 1892 and after 1892. The Maine Family History Library was the main source of all records before 1892. The Library still has microfilm copies of many original county records. Since 1892, the records have been collected every year from the Maine State Archives and Maine State Register. The fee for a legal certified copy of a file is $15, and $6 for any additional copy.
Why are these records available to the public?
The Maine Freedom of Access Act was passed in 1959, with the most recent amendments coming in 2004. The act aimed to allow all residents of Maine the ability to access public records at will. All records maintained by either state or local government could be accessed and copied by the public.
To access records:
Division of Data, Research, and Vital Statistics
220 Capitol Street
11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
Telephone: (207) 287-3181
Toll Free: (888) 664-9491