Arizona Birth, Marriage and Death Records
Introduction to Vital Records
Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. United States Vital Records has additional research guidance on researching and using vital records. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Arizona Department of Health Services or the County Clerk's Office of the county where the event occurred.
Arizona is one of the few states that has online free access to birth and death records. Before looking anywhere else, check Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates for births from 1855 to 1935
For birth records after 1935, Arizona is a "closed record" state which means vital records are not public records. Only immediate family and selected others may obtain certified copies of vital records.
Genealogists may obtain copies of certificates if all of the following criteria are met:
- The applicant establishes a relationship to the individual whose record they are requesting
- Acceptable types of credible documentation to establish relationship: Birth certificate, Death certificate, Marriage certificate. f
- Non-acceptable types of documentation to establish relationship: Pedigree charts, Lineage charts, Family trees.
- The applicant submits a signed application.
- The applicant provides valid government issued identification or notarized signature on the application. *The application submits the appropriate fee(s).
Statewide registration of vital records in Arizona began July, 1909 and was generally complied with by 1926. Because county clerks sent copies to the Arizona Department of Health Services, vital records are available at both the county and State Department of Health offices.
A wiki article describing this collection is found at:
Arizona's adoption records are confidential. Individuals who were adopted and are looking for their birth parents, or who are the birth parents of an adoptee and are looking for their child need to engage the services of a Confidential Intermediary. Please refer to the Arizona Supreme Court's Arizona Confidential Intermediary Program web site for more information. Access to Adoption Records" Adoption.com. Adoption Media, LLC, 1995 - 2009. Accessed 1 Sept. 2009. 
The following parties may use the services of a confidential intermediary to obtain adoption information:
- birth siblings age 21 or older;
- adoptive parents or legal guardians of adopted adults age 18 or older;
- adopted adults age 21 or older;
- the immediate, adult relatives (age 21 or older) of a deceased adopted adult;
- birth parents; or
- birth grandparents if birth parents are deceased.
After a confidential intermediary receives written consent from both parties, information may be released. Adoptive parents may prevent an adopted child& from being contacted by an intermediary without their permission and birth parents may prohibit an adopted child from contacting birth siblings without their permission. The Arizona confidential intermediary can be contacted at:
Arizona Confidential Intermediary Program
Arizona Supreme Court
Attn: Torin Scott
1501 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 542-9586 or (602) 542-9580
Arizona adoption laws allow an adopted adult over the age of 21 to provide a notarized statement granting or refusing consent to release adoption information. Any party may try to obtain identifying information by petitioning the court for compelling need.
Source: Adoption.com. Arizona Adoption Laws
There is no statewide registration of marriages in Arizona. An 1864 territorial law required county recorders to keep marriage and divorce records. From 1891 to 1912, clerks of probate courts issued marriage licenses. Marriage and divorce records in Arizona are maintained by the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where the event occurred. They are not available from the Office of Vital Records.
Many of the early marriages for the state are searchable online at no cost in the Western States Marriage Index.
Yuma, Yuma County, Arizona served many eloping couples from Arizona, southern California and New Mexico. In Yuma there was no waiting period between the time of issuing a license and the performance of the marriage.
- Gretna Greens. When an Arizona couple's marriage is not in their home county, search for it in alternate places, such as Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, or Yuma, Yuma, Arizona.
A wiki article describing this collection is found at:
The earliest divorce records were granted by the territorial legislature and are found in the published territorial statutes. Later divorce proceedings were kept by the district court of each county until 1912, when the superior court was given this jurisdiction.
1844-1961: Arizona Department of Health Services
Arizona is one of the few states that has online free access to birth and death records. Before looking anywhere else, check Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates for death records from 1844 to 1960.
You may also wish to check, Arizona Statewide Death Certificates: A free internet index and images to the Arizona Statewide Death Certificates can be viewed on the FamilySearch.org website. For a description of the collection see Arizona Statewide Death Certificates
Arizona Deaths 1870-1951 are online at FamilySearch.org
- Arizona Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates
To obtain copies of the records for dates not currently online write to the state office at:
Vital Records Section
Arizona Department of Health Services
P.O. Box 3887
Phoenix, AZ 85030
Internet: Arizona Department of Health Services
A wiki article describing this collection is found at:
- Arizona Death and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Arizona Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)
For current fees and latest information for obtaining copies of the state's records visit:VitalRecords.com (commercial site).
African American Research
Arizona Indian Research
To locate birth, marriage, or death information on Native Americans living in Arizona you must know which tribe the individual belonged to. Indians of Arizona has more specific information about Indian tribes in Arizona.
Online Arizona Birth, Marriage and Death Records
The following is a list of online resources useful for locating Arizona vital records. Check Arizona Vital Records Online for more information about the resources listed below. Most online resources for Arizona Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to confirm the information in the index.
- Images of Birth 1855-1934 & Death Certificates 1844-1959
- Western States Marriage Index
- Arizona Links from fhlfavorites.info - Free
- Arizona Databases listed on Rootsweb.org - Free
- Arizona Newspaper Obituaries - Locate old or current obituaries. - Free
- State of Arizona Obituary and Death Notices Collection from GenealogyBuff.com - Free
- Arizona Vital Records Free guide to locating AZ vital records at AncestorHunt.com.
- USGenWeb.org Arizona Site - Free
- Search for Arizona Collections on FamilySearch.org under Canada, USA, and Mexico - Free
- The Vital Records Search and Information Directory for Arizona - Free/$
- Wee Monster Links for Arizona Birth & Marriage and Death Records - Free/$
- Linkpendium Links for Arizona Genealogy and History, including individual Counties - Free/$
- Progenealogists Links for the United States. Press Ctrl + F on the keyboard to search for Arizona or AZ - Free/$
- Search the Arizona Birth, Marriage & Death Records at Ancestry.com - $
- Order Arizona Certificates online - $
- Obtain services of Confidential Intermediary to find information about parents/children lost through adoption - $
Check substitute records to either verify information already found or to locate birth, marriage, death and other information when government records do not exist.
- Arizona Church Records: Depending on the denomination, church records may contain information about birth, marriage and death.
- Arizona Census Records :Census records are a valuable source for birth and marriage information. You may also determine approximate time of death when the individual disappear from the census. This is a good place to begin a search.
- Arizona Cemetery Records: Cemetery records are a rich source of birth and death information. These records may also reveal family relationships.
- Social Security Death Index (SSDI): The SSDI indexes deaths for those who had social security numbers and the death was reported to the Social Security Administration. Most records start in 1962.
- Arizona History: Local histories, family histories and biographies can all be sources of birth, marriage and death information. Often this information is found in county-level records or in surname searches of the Family History Library catalog.
- Arizona Newspapers: Besides obituaries, local newspapers may contain birth and marriage announcements and death notices. Also check newspaper social columns for additional information.
Periodicals: Local genealogical and historical societies often publish periodicals which may contain abstracted early birth, marriage and death information
- Arizona Military Records Military pension records can give birth, marriage and death information. In addition, soldiers' homes records can included this same information:
- Arizona Periodicals: Local genealogical and historical societies often publish periodicals which may contain abstracted early birth, marriage and death information.
See also Arizona Statewide Indexes and Collections at the Family History Library.
Archives, Libraries & Societies
Statewide archives, libraries, historical and genealogical societies of Arizona have collections that can be of great value in Arizona research. Individual counties usually have historical and genealogical societies as well. Contact the Arizona Archives, Societies and Libraries listed below for specific information on availability of records and how to access their collections online, in person or through a local agent that will search the records for a fee.
- The information given on a birth or death certificate is given by an informant. Learn the relationship of the informant to determine the accuracy of the record.
- If you are unable to locate vital records recorded by governments; search for a church record of christening, marriage, death or burial. A family Bible may have been used to record family births, marriages and deaths.
- Privacy laws may restrict your access to some vital records. Copies of vital records recorded in the last 100 years may be unavailable to anyone except a direct relative.
- If the survival of a baby was in question, the birth may not have been recorded. Search for a delayed birth record if the child survived.
- Search for Vital Records in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Place Search and then choosing Vital Records. Search for Arizona to locate records filed by the State and then search the name of the county to locate records kept by the county.
- Arizona Department of Health Services, Office of Vital Records. Vital Records. Accessed 28 May 2011.
- Arlene H. Eakle, "Have you searched and searched for a marriage without finding it?" accessed 8 January 2011.