Vital Records

 

Obtaining a Birth Certificate

Birth certificates are filed in the County Clerk’s office for all individuals who were born in Franklin County. Certified copies are available to those entitled to request them. Requests for death certificates must be in writing, whether by mail or in person, or on-line.

 You may obtain a certified birth record in the following ways:

  • In person at the County Clerk’s office during regular business hours.
  • By mail using the printable application below. A copy of your valid photo ID, proper payment and a self-addressed stamped envelope are required.

Birth Certificates are available only to:

  • The person named on the certificate (age 18 or older), or his parent or legal representative.
  • A department of the State or Federal government.
  • Any person upon order of a court

Birth Certificates Fees

Search and one certified copy of any birth certificate — $20
Additional copies of the same birth certificate — $2
 

Obtaining a Death Certificate

Death certificates are filed in the County Clerk’s office for all individuals who have died in Franklin County. Certified copies are available to those entitled to request them. Requests for death certificates must be in writing, whether by mail or in person, or on-line.

 You may obtain a certified death record in the following ways:

  • In person at the County Clerk’s office during regular business hours.
  • By mail using the printable application below. A copy of your valid photo ID, proper payment and a self-addressed stamped envelope are required.

Application for Death Certificate Copy (PDF)

Death Certificates are available only to:

  • A person, or his duly authorized agent, having genealogical, personal or property right interest in the record.
  • A department of the State or Federal government.
  • Any person upon order of a court

Death Certificates Fees

Search and one certified copy of any death certificate — $22
Additional copies of the same death certificate — $6
 

Obtaining a Marriage License

Marriage licenses are issued by the County Clerk. The application fee is $30. Both parties must be present and bring valid photo identification. Both parties will be asked a number of questions in order to complete the marriage license application. This process takes approximately 15 minutes. No blood tests are required.

The marriage license becomes effective the day after it is issued, unless you obtain a court under and expires in 60 days. You must be married in the county where the license is issued, regardless of your county of residence.

Who May Be Married?

Illinois law provides for marriages of men and women over the age of 18, so long as they are not related within cousins of the first degree. Minors under age 18 but over age 16 may be married with the consent of parents. Both parents must appear at the time the license is issued and sign an affidavit consenting to marriage.

Who Can Perform the Marriage Ceremony?

Any ordained minister or religious leader may perform your marriage ceremony. Rules for the celebration of marriage in a religious ceremony vary from church to church. Many couples are married in a short civil ceremony by a Circuit Judge. Appointments should be scheduled in advance through the Judge’s office and a $10 fee applies. The officiant will complete the marriage license following the ceremony, and both parties and their witnesses must sign. The completed license must then be returned to the County Clerk by the officiant.

Certified Copies of Marriage License

Certified copies of marriage licenses are available once they are returned and indexed in the County Clerk’s office. Certified copies are often needed to change the last name of the bride, obtain new identification, update insurance policies, etc.

Certified Copies are available for $20, and $2 each for additional copies of the same license. Copies of a certified marriage license may be obtained in person at the County Clerk’s office, upon written mailed request.

Call the County Clerk’s office at (618) 438-3221 if you have questions about obtaining a marriage license.

 

Military Discharge Papers (DD-214)

All discharged military veterans should record copies of their military discharge papers (DD-214 forms) from any branch of the Armed Forces. This should be done in the veteran’s home county as soon as possible following discharge from the military service. There is no cost for this service.

Certified copies can then be provided at no cost to veterans throughout their lifetime. Please contact the County Clerk’s office to obtain a certified copy of your DD-214 form.

Thanks to a recent change in Illinois law, DD-214 records are now considered a confidential vital record and can not be accessed by the public at large.

 

Genealogy Research and Copies

The County Clerk’s office assists many visitors and handles many mailed requests for genealogy, or family history research. State law restricts access to vital records. Only the County Clerk and staff may handle the records. Staff members will search the indexes and copy the appropriate records.

For genealogy access, birth records must be at least 70 years old. Marriage records must be 50 years old. Death records must be 20 years old.

Genealogy Copies

Copies of vital records used for genealogy purposes are $2 each. Genealogy copies are uncertified and copied on white paper. Genealogy copies must be marked “For Genealogy Purposes Only”. These copies can be used only for informational purposes and are not valid for legal purposes.

Mailed Requests

Mailed genealogy requests should be specific and include all known information for the individuals being researched and the type of record being sought (birth, death or marriage). Requestors should send $2 for each copy requested, plus a self-addressed stamped envelope. Due to the volume of requests and confidentiality of records, the County Clerk’s office can not answer e-mailed family history inquiries. The County Clerk’s staff will attempt to locate documents for specific written inquiries. Payment is required before documents are copied or mailed.

 

Vital Records FAQs

Who can obtain my birth certificate?

State law is very specific about who may obtain a birth certificate. Only you, your parent/guardian, or attorney can obtain your birth certificate. State and federal agencies may also request your certificate on your behalf for official purposes. While these rules may be inconvenient, they are done to protect your privacy and prevent identity theft and other fraudulent practices.

Why can’t my birth certificate from the hospital be used?

Many people attempt to use a birth certificate issued by the hospital as proof of identity. Unfortunately these hospital certificates, which usually contain footprints and decorative lettering, are meant for commemorative purposes only. An official certified copy bearing a raised seal and the County Clerk’s signature is required for most official purposes.

Can I make my own copies from the one you provide?

No. Official certified copies bear signature of the County Clerk and a raised certification seal. All certified original copies are printed on security paper which will show the word “Void” if photocopied.

What if I was born outside the area?

You must obtain your birth certificate from the jurisdiction where you were born. We can assist by providing the appropriate contact information.

What if no birth certificate can be found for me?

In the days when home births were common, some parents inadvertently overlooked registering the birth. Individuals can have a delayed birth certificate issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health by completing an application signed by the County Clerk and providing other documentation about their identity.

What about correcting misspellings or inaccurate information?

Typographical errors, illegible handwriting and other factors can lead to erroneous information on some birth certificates. If the inaccuracies are minor, there may be no need to correct them. If they are more serious, the individual can apply for a corrected certificate from the Illinois Department of Public Health. We can assist you in obtaining a corrected copy from the state. The County Clerk’s office can not change or correct any information on the records filed here.