Washington Vital Records

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United States > United States Vital Records > Washington > Washington Vital Records

Washington Birth, Marriage and Death Records

Washington Vital Records Online Links

Introduction to Vital Records

Birth and Death Records

Statewide registration of births and deaths in Washington began in 1907 and was generally complied with by 1917. For copies of state birth and death records, write to:

Vital Records
P. O. Box 9709
Olympia, WA 98504-9709
Telephone: 360-753-5936
Fax: 360-753-4135
Internet: Washington State Center for Health Statistics

The current fees and information for obtaining copies of the state's records are on the internet (above), or you can write for the information at the address above.

The Vital Records office has a series of indexes to state birth and death records from 1907 to the present. Copies of the indexes to death records from 1907 to 1979 are also at the Washington State Library.

The Family History Library has copies of many of the state records from 1907 to 1952. Although the files are incomplete, these records include:

  • Birth certificates, 1907-1960, and five soundex indexes, 1907-1954. [1]
  • Death certificates, 1907-1957, and five soundex indexes, 1907-1979. [2]
  • Delayed Birth Records

Individuals who were born prior to 1907, or who did not have a birth certificate, may have applied for a delayed birth certificate at a superior court or at the State Department of Health. Washington began keeping delayed birth records in 1907. Many unrecorded births were finally registered during World War II or as people applied for Social Security.

Delayed birth records are available from the Vital Records office (see address above). The Family History Library has copies and accompanying soundex indexes of the delayed birth records issued from 1936 to 1953 (65 films beginning with film: ) .

The Washington Digital Archives has added a database containing Washington State Death Records 1907-1960, Birth Records and Marriage Records for some Counties.

A searchable name index of Washington statewide death certificates 1907-1960 is also found on FamilySearch.

County Records of Births and Deaths

Although a few counties began recording births and deaths several years earlier, most Washington counties began keeping records in 1891. County birth and death records from the earliest dates to 1906 are at each county auditor's office or county health department. Some of the larger counties have copies of records after 1906, but most counties do not.

The Family History Library does not have copies of the county birth and death records. However, the library has some published birth and death records for a few counties, such as the Snohomish County death records from 1891 to 1914.

City Records of Births and Deaths MOVE TO COUNTY PAGE

Some Washington cities have kept birth and death records. For example, Tacoma birth and death records from 1887 to the present are available at the Pierce County Health Department. For information about city records, write to the appropriate county health department. Some city records have been indexed.

Adoption Records

open/closed/state statutes

Marriage Records

The following records are available:

  • State marriage and divorce records. Statewide registration of marriages and divorces began in 1968. For copies of these records, write to the Vital Records office (address above). The Family History Library does not have copies of these records.
  • County marriage records. Most counties began recording marriages soon after the county was organized. The records of some counties begin as early as the 1850s. Each county auditor has copies of county marriage records from the earliest dates to the present. The Family History Library does not have copies of these records, but has copies of transcribed marriage records published for a few counties, such as Clark County from 1862 to 1913.

Divorce Records

  • County divorce records. County divorce records generally begin in 1889, although a number of counties kept records prior to that date. Some county divorce records begin as early as the 1850s. These records are available from the county clerk.
  • Territorial divorce records. Some divorce records from 1853 to 1889 are included in the Washington territorial records. These early divorce proceedings are interfiled with other territorial records and have not been indexed. The Washington State Library has copies of the territorial records.
  • Many of the marriages for the state are searchable online at no cost in the Western States Marriage Index.

Subtitute Records

Washington Church Records

Washington Cemetery Records

Washington Census

Washington Newspapers

Washington Periodicals

Washington Military Records


Analyzing Records

Archives Libraries and Societies

Washington Archives and Libraries

Washington Societies


Key to Place Codes Washington Vital Records Indexes

136 Quincy City

183 Port Orchard City  

274 Buckley City

330 Stevens Co.

397 Selah City


  1. 1,432 Family History Library films beginning with film 1711751).
  2. 521 Family History Library films beginning with film 230399).