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Home ›› Resources ›› Public Records ›› North Carolina

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North Carolina Public Records

North Carolina Public RecordsNorth Carolina is the 10th most populated state in the U.S., with more than 9.6 million people currently calling this state home. The state was one of the English Thirteen Colonies, and was the 12th state to join the Union when it became an official state in 1789. Originally, North and South Carolina were joined in a single entity known as the Province of Carolina, but the two separated into separate areas in 1729. The long, rich history of this southeastern state can be traced in part by the many North Carolina public records on file today.   

North Carolina makes public records searches relatively simple, by organizing the majority of current documents into a single location at the Department of Health and Human Services. However, researchers who are interested in digging beyond the time frame of this department will need to explore additional resources as well.  Those who understand where the various North Carolina vital records are stored, and what is needed for retrieval of official copies of those documents, will enjoy a much smoother research process.

Before you launch a public records search in North Carolina, keep these facts in mind:

  • The majority of vital records for the state are stored at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
  • This department offers access to public records in person, by mail or online.
  • In some cases, faster service might be available at the Register of Deeds in the appropriate county.
  • Archived North Carolina public records can also be found at the State Archives.
  • Access to copies of some official documents may be restricted under state law.
  • North Carolina Public Records Search: Who is Eligible?

    To protect the identities of individuals on North Carolina public records, access to official copies of some of these documents may be restricted under state law. North Carolina limits access to birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Those who can receive certified copies of these North Carolina gov public records include the person on the document, an immediate family member or direct descendent, or a person requesting the information for legal reasons.

    While certified copies of documents are restricted in this state, uncertified copies are available to any interested party.  These documents provide essential information about those who were born, married or died in the state, but cannot serve as official identification or legal documents. Those who wish to obtain unofficial documents will need to provide all the information about the subject on the application and pay the appropriate fee to retrieve the appropriate North Carolina vital record.

    Where to Find Public Records in North Carolina

    The majority of public records in North Carolina are held at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. This office has NC birth certificates dating back to 1913 and death certificates dating back to 1930. In addition, the Department of Health holds marriage records beginning in 1962 and divorce records from 1958.  

    Researchers interested in finding documents that date back even further have several options. Older North Carolina birth records are typically kept on file at the county clerk where the event took place. North Carolina marriage and death records can also be found at the county office where the event was recorded.  NC death records can be found through the State Archives of North Carolina. 

    The State Archives of North Carolina features additional public records for NC beyond older death certificates. This state office is the go-to place for various types of county records, veterans’ and military records and census files. The office even holds some historical documents like Civil War records and Revolutionary War pay records. Whether you are doing research for academic or personal reasons, you are sure to find an abundance of interesting information at this state office.  A public records search for North Carolina can be conducted in person or by mail through the Archives.

    North Carolina Public Records Online

    For those seeking more recent vital records in North Carolina, the Department of Health and Human Services has an online option available. Although the agency is not set up to accept credit card payments for copies of official records, it has partnered with VitalChek to offer an online North Carolina public records search option to interested individuals. VitalChek allows you to search for specific documents and event order copies right from the comfort and privacy of home. Searches are fast, and relatively accurate if sufficient information is provided by the researcher. There is an additional fee for using the VitalChek service.



     
    State of North Carolina Resources & Statistics
    Separator Line

    Population:
    9,414,222

     
    Under 18:
    2,680,217

     
    Over 65:
    1,413,103

     
    Employed:
    5,153,317

     
    Land in Square Miles:
    48,710.88

     
    Acres of Farms:
    9,001,079

     
    Births:
    123,096

     
    Deaths:
    74,638

     
    Infant Deaths:
    976

     
     
    Murder:
    604

     
    Forcible Rape:
    2,284

     
    Robbery:
    14,334

     
    Assault:
    25,877

     
    Total Violent Crime:
    43,099

     
    Burglary:
    111,602

     
    Larceny \ Theft:
    234,616

     
    Motor Vehicle Theft:
    26,743

     
    Total Property Crime:
    372,961

     
    North Carolina Public Records Locations
    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Traffic Records Section
    3105 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-3105
    Phone:
    919-861-3098

    Fax:
    919-733-9605










    Attorney General's Office
    Justice Department
    9001 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
    Phone:
    919-716-6400

    Fax:
    919-716-6750










     
    Center for Health Statistics
    Vital Records Branch
    1903 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-1903
    Phone:
    919-733-3526

    Fax:
    919-829-1359










    Secretary of State
    Corporations Division
    PO Box 29622
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
    Fax:
    919-807-2039










     
    Dept of Environment, Health & Natural Resources
    Vital Records Section
    1903 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-1903
    Phone:
    919-733-3526

    Fax:
    919-829-1359










    Dept of Environment, Health & Natural Resources
    Vital Records Section
    1903 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-1903
    Phone:
    919-733-3526

    Fax:
    919-829-1359










     
    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Driver License Records
    3113 MSC
    Raleigh, NC 27699
    Phone:
    919-715-7000

    Fax:
    919-861-3919










    NC Community College System
    GED Office
    5016 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-5016
    Phone:
    919-807-7138

    Fax:
    919-807-7172










     
    Office of the Governor
    20301 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
    Phone:
    919-733-4240

     
    919-733-5811

    Fax:
    919-715-3175










    North Carolina Department of Corrections
    Combined Records
    2020 Yonkers Road, 4226 MSC
    Raleigh, NC 27699-4226
    Phone:
    919-716-3200

    Fax:
    919-716-3986










     
    North Carolina General Assembly
    State Legislative Bldg - Library
    16 W. Jones Street, Rm 2226
    Raleigh, NC 27603
    Fax:
    919-733-2599










    Dept of Environment, Health & Natural Resources
    Vital Records Section
    1903 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-1903
    Phone:
    919-733-3526

    Fax:
    919-829-1359










     
    State Bureau of Investigation
    Criminal Information & Ident Sect - SOR Unit
    PO Box 29500
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0500
    Phone:
    919-662-4500

    Fax:
    919-661-6172










    Cultural Resources Department
    Archives & History
    109 E Jones St, 4610 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27601-2807
    Fax:
    919-733-8807










     
    Administrative Office of Courts
    901 Corporate Center Drive
    Raleigh, NC 27607-5045
    Phone:
    919-890-1000










    UCC Division
    Secretary of State
    PO Box 29626
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0626
    Phone:
    919-807-2111

     
    919-807-2219

    Fax:
    919-807-2120










     
    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Registration/Correspondence Unit
    1100 New Bern Ave, Rm 100
    Raleigh, NC 27697-0001
    Phone:
    919-715-7000

    Fax:
    919-733-0126










    State Board of Elections
    PO Box 27255
    Raleigh, NC 27611-7255
    Phone:
    919-733-7173

    Fax:
    919-715-0135










     
    NC Industrial Commission
    Worker's Comp Records
    4340 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-4340
    Phone:
    919-807-2500

    Fax:
    919-715-0282