South Carolina Vital Records

Discover your
family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

choose a state:
Start Now

Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.

Birth Records

Birth Records Available: The State Office of Vital Records located at DHEC, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, South Carolina issues two types of birth certifications: (1) a short form certification (birth card) and (2) a long form photocopy. The birth card is a wallet-size certification that contains the birth certificate number, the name of the person whose certificate is being issued, the date of birth, sex, the county of birth, and the date the birth was filed. The long form (photocopy) is a copy of the birth certificate contained in the active files of the Division of Vital Records. Certified photocopies can ONLY be issued at the State Office location.

Restrictions: You are entitled to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate if you are the person named on the certificate (if eighteen (18) years of age), the parent(s) named on the birth certificate, the guardian, or a legal representative of one of these.

Immediate family members and/or their respective legal representatives may obtain a certified copy with the submission of a certified copy of the corresponding death record.

Cost: Please call to insure current rates are still in effect.

RECORDS SEARCH – $12.00 per record
Birth, death, marriage, divorce – Includes one certified copy, if located. If the record is not located, the search fee is nonrefundable.

ADDITIONAL COPIES – $3.00 each
Additional copies of the same type record of the same person ordered at the same time.

SPECIAL FILING FEE – $15.00 per record
The special filing fee is charged when a certificate is initially amended by reason of correction affidavit, adoption, legitimation, paternity acknowledgment, parentage affidavit, court order and for the establishment of delayed registrations.

Information Required:

  • Full name of the person whose birth certificate is being requested.
  • Full date of birth (month, day, year.)
  • County of Birth.
  • Mother’s full name before she married.
  • Full name of father.
  • Signature of the person requesting the birth certificate and their current mailing address.
  • Relationship between the person named on the birth certificate and the person requesting the certified copy.
  • The full name and complete mailing address of the person to whom the certificate is to be mailed.
  • Area code and daytime telephone number of the person requesting the birth certificate.
  • Other information you consider helpful in the search for the birth certificate (Example: full names and dates of birth of brothers and sisters, nicknames, etc.)

Form for Ordering a Birth Certificate

Send To: Send the above information and the appropriate fee to:

DHEC
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
(803) 898 3630

In South Carolina? Each of South Carolina’s forty-six (46) counties has a vital records office in the county health department. The Division of Vital Records has put into place a project to allow all forty-six (46) county vital records’ offices to issue short form certifications (birth cards) for any South Carolina birth, regardless of the county. This project is referred to as the Statewide Birth Certification Project. Statewide Birth Certification allows a customer to obtain a short form birth card from any county health department regardless of where in South Carolina the birth occurred.

Questions: The usual turnaround time for birth certificates is more than six (6) weeks.

Death Records

Death Records Available: Certified copies of death certificates may be obtained from the state vital records office located at DHEC, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29201. Certified copies of death certificates may also be issued from the health department in the county of death. The county vital records office can only certify deaths that occurred during the last five years in their county.

Restrictions: You are entitled to a certified copy of a death certificate if you are a member of the decedent’s family or if you are their legal representative. Others who demonstrate a direct and tangible interest may be issued copies when information is needed to determine a personal or a property right. Other applicants may be provided a statement that the death occurred, including the date and county of death. For additional information contact the state office of the Division of Vital Records in Columbia, South Carolina.

Cost: RECORDS SEARCH – $12.00 per record
Birth, death, marriage, divorce – Includes one certified copy, if located. If the record is not located, the search fee is nonrefundable.

ADDITIONAL COPIES – $3.00 each
Additional copies of the same type record of the same person ordered at the same time.

SPECIAL FILING FEE – $15.00 per record
The special filing fee is charged when a certificate is initially amended by reason of correction affidavit, adoption, legitimation, paternity acknowledgment, parentage affidavit, court order and for the establishment of delayed registrations.

Information Required:

  • Full name of the person whose death certificate is being requested
  • Full date of death (month, day, year)
  • County where the person was pronounced dead
  • The names of the decedent’s parents
  • Signature of the person requesting the death certificate and their current mailing address
  • Relationship between the person name on the death certificate and the person requesting the certified copy
  • The full name and complete mailing address of the person to whom the certificate is to be mailed
  • Area code and daytime telephone number of the person requesting the death certificate
  • Other information you consider helpful in the search for the death certificate (Example: nicknames, alias, place of burial, etc.)

Form for Ordering a Death Certificate

Send To: Send the above information and the appropriate fee to:

DHEC
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
(803) 898 3630

In South Carolina? Death records become public records after fifty (50) years and then any person may obtain certified copies. Deaths for 1915-1952 are available for public reviewing at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 8301 Parklane Road, Columbia, South Carolina 29223. Access to a microfiche index and microfilm of these deaths is available at the Archives’ Reference Room. No appointment is needed and there is no charge for viewing the records. If copies are needed, a work order provided at the Reference Room must be completed. The Reference Room staff will provide information about charges for copies and schedule for receiving copies. Self-service copying is available. Inquiries must be made in person or by telephone. The Reference Room is open Monday – Friday, 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. daily. For additional information, telephone  (803) 896-6104 .

Questions: The usual turnaround time for death certificates is more than six (6) weeks.

Marriage records

Marriage Records Available: Certified copies of marriage records from July 1950 to the present may be obtained from the Vital Records Office in Columbia, South Carolina, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

Copies of marriage records that occurred PRIOR to July 1950 may be obtained from the Office of the Probate in the county where the original marriage license was issued. Fees charged by DHEC for these services do not apply to copies obtained from the Office of the Probate Judge.

Restrictions: You are entitled to a certified copy of a marriage record if you are one of the married parties (bride or groom), their adult child(ren), a present or former spouse of either married party, or their respective legal representative. Other applicants may be provided with a statement that the marriage occurred, including the date and county the marriage license was issued.

Cost: RECORDS SEARCH – $12.00 per record
Birth, death, marriage, divorce – Includes one certified copy, if located. If the record is not located, the search fee is nonrefundable.

ADDITIONAL COPIES – $3.00 each
Additional copies of the same type record of the same person ordered at the same time.

SPECIAL FILING FEE – $15.00 per record
The special filing fee is charged when a certificate is initially amended by reason of correction affidavit, adoption, legitimation, paternity acknowledgment, parentage affidavit, court order and for the establishment of delayed registrations.

Information Required: Please provide as much of the following information as possible for us to locate the marriage certificate:

  • Full name and date of birth of the groom
  • Full name and date of birth of the bride
  • Full date of marriage (month, day, year)
  • County where the license was issued
  • Signature of the person requesting the marriage record and their current mailing address
  • Relationship between the married parties and the person requesting the certified copy
  • Full name and complete mailing address of the person to whom the certificate is to be mailed
  • Area code and daytime telephone number of the person requesting the marriage record
  • Any additional information you consider helpful in the search for the marriage record (Example: previous married names, nicknames, etc.)

Form for Ordering a Marriage License

Send To: Send the above information and the appropriate fee to:

DHEC
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
(803) 898 3630

In South Carolina? Certified copies of marriage records from July 1950 to the present may be obtained from the Vital Records Office in Columbia, South Carolina, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

Copies of marriage records that occurred PRIOR to July 1950 may be obtained from the Office of the Probate in the county where the original marriage license was issued. Fees charged by DHEC for these services do not apply to copies obtained from the Office of the Probate Judge.

Questions: The usual turnaround time for marriages is more than six (6) weeks.

Divorce Records

Divorce Records Available: You can obtain a copy of a report of divorce from the state office in Columbia, South Carolina.

To obtain a certified copy of the actual decree of divorce that was issued based on the divorce hearing, please notify the Office of the Clerk of Court in the county where the hearing was held. The Office of the Clerk of Court is usually in the county seat of each county.

Restrictions: You are entitled to a copy of a report of divorce if you are one of the divorced parties (husband or wife), their adult child(ren), a present or former spouse of either divorced party, or their respective legal representative. Other applicants may be provided a statement that the divorce occurred, including the date and county of divorce.

Cost: RECORDS SEARCH – $12.00 per record
Birth, death, marriage, divorce – Includes one certified copy, if located. If the record is not located, the search fee is nonrefundable.

ADDITIONAL COPIES – $3.00 each
Additional copies of the same type record of the same person ordered at the same time.

SPECIAL FILING FEE – $15.00 per record
The special filing fee is charged when a certificate is initially amended by reason of correction affidavit, adoption, legitimation, paternity acknowledgment, parentage affidavit, court order and for the establishment of delayed registrations.

Information Required: Please provide as much of the following information as possible for us to locate the divorce certificate:

  • Full name and date of birth of the husband
  • Full name and date of birth of the wife
  • Date of divorce
  • County where the divorce hearing was held
  • Signature of the person requesting the divorce record and their current mailing address
  • Relationship between the divorced parties and the person requesting the certified copy
  • Full name and complete mailing address where the certified copies are to be mailed
  • Area code and daytime telephone number of the person requesting the divorce record
  • Any additional information you consider helpful in searching the divorce indexes (Example: nicknames, etc.)

Form for Ordering a Divorce Record

Send To: Send the above information and the appropriate fee to:

DHEC
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
(803) 898 3630

In South Carolina? You can obtain a copy of a report of divorce from the state office in Columbia, South Carolina.

To obtain a certified copy of the actual decree of divorce that was issued based on the divorce hearing, please notify the Office of the Clerk of Court in the county where the hearing was held. The Office of the Clerk of Court is usually in the county seat of each county.

Questions: The usual turnaround time for divorces is more than six (6) weeks.

South Carolina Vital Record Databases

Ancestry.com  South Carolina State Database
A large collection of databases of births, deaths, marriages, census, obituaries, directories, estate records, and service records.(14 Days Free!)



MLA Source Citation:

AccessGenealogy.com United States Vital Records. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 24 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/vital-records/south-carolina-vital-records.htm - Last updated on May 11th, 2013


Categories: ,


Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Page Contents

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.