Vital Records

Vital Records (Birth & Death Certificates)

Certified copies of Missouri birth and death records can be obtained at the Carter County Health Center’s main office (just off Business Hwy. 60-Main St.) at 1611 Health Center Rd., Van Buren, MO. We can print birth records back to 1920 and death records dating back to 1980.

We do not have access to marriage and divorce documents. Contact your local county court house or the Bureau of Vital Records in Jefferson City to obtain those documents.

Birth Certificates

Recording of births began January 1, 1910.

Certificates may be received after completing a one-page request of information and providing a valid picture ID. The fees are as follows: Birth Certificates $15.00. Sample forms are provided for information only, forms may be obtained at the Carter County Health Department.

Certificates are usually available within 10 minutes of completing the request. However, NOT all birth certificates will be available for printing from the local health department due to various reasons.

Many Missouri residents can obtain their birth, death records locally.

To request a birth or death certificate from a local health department, you may download the application and submit it in person or by mail to the nearest local Health Department.

If necessary you can request these documents from the Department of Health and Senior Services in Jefferson City. Follow the steps below to request a record.

Step 1 – Download and complete this form

Step 2 – Determine search fee for record:

Birth and Fetal Death Records Death Records
$15 per record
$15 for each additional copy
$13 per record
$10 for each additional copy

A search fee must accompany all requests for copies of vital records. A five-year search may be conducted.

If you are sending it to Carter County Health Center please make check or money order payable to the Carter County Health Center. Checks must be drawn on a United States bank. A money order must be drawn on a United States bank or issued by the United States Postal Service. Do not send cash.

Step 3 – Take to your local health department or mail  request

Include completed application form, a legal size, self-addressed stamped envelope.  When ordering a record by mail, the form must be notarized and accompanied by a check or money order. Do not send cash. Mail to:

Carter County Health Center
Box 70
Van Buren, MO 63965


Allow two to four weeks for delivery.
*Note: Fees are deposited upon receipt.

Requests received without the appropriate fee will be returned to the sender.

Throughout life, a person uses his or her birth certificate to prove age, parentage and citizenship. Birth certificates are needed for entrance to school; voter’s registration; obtaining a driver’s license, marriage license, passport; veterans’ benefits; welfare and/or social security benefits and many other purposes.

Who may receive copies of birth certificates?

  • Registrant (the person whose certificate is filed)
  • A member of your immediate family which includes those family members and in-laws in the direct line of descent up to, but not including cousins:
  •  Wife
  • Husband
  • Son
  • Daughter
  • Mother
  • Father
  • Brother
  • Sister
  • Grandmother
  • Niece
  • Grandfather
  • Grandchildren
  • Aunt
  • Uncle
  • Nephew
  • A guardian may receive a copy of a birth certificate of a child who is under direct care and custody, with appropriate guardianship papers
  • Foster Parents with appropriate custody papers
  • A stepparent
  • An attorney acting on behalf of the person/family
  • Authorized agent of person or family
  • Others as demonstrated by a direct and tangible interest when information is needed for determination or protection of personal or property rights

Who may not receive a copy of birth certificates?

  • Cousins
  • Funeral Directors
  • An alleged father
  • Genealogists
  • Friends

Order birth certificates online at  VitalChek is a fast and secure online source for government-issued vital records.

Not all Birth Certificates are available at the local health department due to various reasons. In the event you cannot obtain at the local office, you may contact the following:

Bureau of Vital Records

930 Wildwood Drive

P.O. Box 570

Jefferson City, MO 65102

Telephone: (573) 751-6381

Fax: (573) 526-3846

House Bill No. 894 of the 86th Missouri General Assembly enables local registrars of official county health agencies to issue computer-generated certifications of birth and death records.

Whenever it is necessary to establish an applicant’s right to information from a vital record, the local registrar may require identification of the applicant or a notarized sworn statement. Missouri law also gives the local registrar authority to withhold the issuance of a copy of a vital record when they find that an application was made through misrepresentation or fraud. The registrar has the authority to withhold the issuance of a copy of the certificate until a court determination of the facts has been made.