South Carolina Department
of Health and Environmental Control's
Office of Public Health Statistics and Information
Services offers a wide range of services. The
Division of Vital Records is the state's official
records keeper for vital information pertaining to
births, deaths, marriages, and divorces occurring in
South Carolina. South Carolina law requiring the
filing of birth and death certificates became
effective January 01, 1915. Today a fireproof vault
in Columbia at department's state office at 2600
Bull Street houses more than 9 million original
birth and death certificates. State law also
requires the department to house copies of marriage
records beginning July 1950 and divorce records
beginning July 1962. The state office of the
Division of Vital Records in Columbia conducts
searches for records of birth, death, marriage and
divorce. Each of South Carolina's 46 counties has a
vital records office in the county public health
department. Branch vital records offices in the 46
county public health departments can search for
birth and death records only.
Whether you need your birth certificate to enroll
in school or obtain a passport, if your parents did not keep your
birth record, you will have to get it yourself. No two states are
the same in how they store birth records. Here are the steps to
obtaining a birth record.
You must determine where you were born.
Your birth record will often be in the county where you were
Once you determine the county and state,
you have to find out which agency in that area keeps the
records. In many states, the Department of Health is
responsible for keeping the birth records. In some states
births are recorded at local courthouses.
After you find out who has the birth record,
you need to determine the policy for obtaining a copy. Some
larger states will allow you to order a copy of your birth
certificate online. If you order a birth record online, you
have to wait for it to be mailed. Most states however, will
require you to apply in person. Some states have extended
the requirement to allow immediate family members to pick up
the records. Make sure you ask about fees as most states
charge for copies of birth certificates.
You can make the task of searching for birth
records easier. You can eliminate an important step by searching for
birth records online. How does it work?
- Find a reputable online record search company that has
access to birth records.
- Fill out your information. Reputable
companies will keep your information confidential.
Learn about the specific payment plans. In
many cases, if you are just looking for one birth record, it
will cost less than $20. If you need a lot of birth records,
you can sign up for a plan that will give you unlimited
searches for less than $50.
You will not be able to purchase a copy of the
birth record from an online search service, you will be able to find
the birth record faster. An online record search company stores
birth records from across the country in one place. You won’t have
to call agency after agency in different parts of your state or in
different parts of the country. By the time you get ready to request
the birth record of make the drive to health department, you will
know that the record is in that county.