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Home ›› Resources ›› Public Records ›› South Carolina

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South Carolina Public Records

South Carolina Public RecordsSouth Carolina boasts a long piece of American History, as the eighth state to join the Union in 1788. Originally known as the Province of South Carolina, the area was originally settled by English immigrants from Barbados. The area also played a key role during the Revolutionary War, with more slaves than Anglo-European colonists by the time the war broke out. The state was well known for tobacco farming at that time, and the ports of the state became a popular location for trade of all kinds. Much of South Carolina’s research can be traced through the vital records that document the people who were born, married and died in the state throughout its long history.  

The first step in completing a successful search for historic, academic or personal reasons is finding public records in South Carolina. Many of the vital records for the state are consolidated into a single location at the Department of Health, making it fast and easy to find the records you are looking for. Older documents may also be found on file in the state, often through a separate government office that specializes in archival information. When you launch a public records search in South Carolina, keep these facts in mind:

  • Most of the South Carolina vital records can be found through the state’s Department of Health.
  • This agency provides access to records in person, by mail or phone, or online.
  • South Carolina restricts access to some public records to protect the identity of those on the documents.
  • Application forms for documents can be found at the Department of Health’s website.
  • Additional records are kept on file at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
  • South Carolina Public Records Eligibility

    South Carolina birth records are restricted to the person on the document or the parents of that person. Legal guardians or representatives can also be granted access. This law is in place to protect the identity of South Carolina residents, since official copies of birth certificates can be used for identification purposes. If the person on the record is deceased, immediate family members may also obtain access to the document, as well legal representatives of those individuals.

    South Carolina death records are also restricted to immediate family members of the deceased or their legal representatives. Others may receive a copy of the document to prove a personal or property right. Marriage and divorce records in South Carolina are also restricted to the individuals on the document, their children, previous spouses or legal representatives of any of these parties. Those that do not have legal access to these official documents may be provided information that the event occurred and the date of the event. Additional information is restricted under state law.

    Locations for South Carolina Public Records

    The majority of South Carolina public records are stored at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. This agency holds all the South Carolina birth, death, marriage and divorce records for the state. The agency offers access to all its SC public records in person, by mail or through the Internet. The office will provide searches as well as copies of documents for additional fees. The standard processing time for searches and retrieval of documents is less than one hour in person, or two to four weeks by mail. Expedited mail service is also available.

    Additional public records for South Carolina can be found at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Death indexes, census records and military listings are all included in the archives of this office.

    Serious genealogists or those researching South Carolina history for academic reasons will find a wealth of additional resources available at this office. Some of the files are digital, meaning they can be accessed through an online South Carolina public records search. Others require investigation to find specific files, which can be done in person at the office, or by sending a request to the researchers on staff.

    Online Public Records in South Carolina are Available

    Although the state does not provide an online South Carolina public records search option, the state does partner with a third party to make this option available for interested individuals. VitalChek allows those looking for South Carolina public records online to find the documents they want from the comfort and privacy of home. The service provides fast response time on searches and a two-day turnaround on document copies. There is an additional fee to use the service.



     
    State of South Carolina Resources & Statistics
    Separator Line

    Population:
    4,800,470

     
    Under 18:
    1,917,059

     
    Over 65:
    573,098

     
    Employed:
    2,522,441

     
    Land in Square Miles:
    30,109.47

     
    Acres of Farms:
    4,923,845

     
    Births:
    57,711

     
    Deaths:
    38,707

     
    Infant Deaths:
    487

     
     
    Murder:
    305

     
    Forcible Rape:
    1,638

     
    Robbery:
    6,599

     
    Assault:
    24,149

     
    Total Violent Crime:
    34,691

     
    Burglary:
    45,967

     
    Larceny \ Theft:
    126,064

     
    Motor Vehicle Theft:
    17,652

     
    Total Property Crime:
    189,683

     
    South Carolina Public Records Locations
    Accident Reports
    Financial Responsibility Office
    PO Box 1498
    Blythewood, SC 29016-0050
    Phone:
    803-896-5000

    Fax:
    803-896-8443










    Attorney General's Office
    PO Box 11549
    Columbia, SC 29211
    Phone:
    803-734-3970

    Fax:
    803-734-4323










     
    South Carolina DHEC
    Vital Records
    2600 Bull St
    Columbia, SC 29201-1797
    Phone:
    803-898-3630

    Fax:
    803-898-3761










    Corporation Division
    Capitol Complex
    PO Box 11350
    Columbia, SC 29211
    Phone:
    803-734-2158

    Fax:
    803-734-1614










     
    South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED)
    Criminal Records Section
    PO Box 21398
    Columbia, SC 29221
    Phone:
    803-896-7043

    Fax:
    803-896-7022










    South Carolina DHEC
    Vital Records
    2600 Bull St
    Columbia, SC 29201-1797
    Phone:
    803-898-3630

    Fax:
    803-898-3761










     
    South Carolina DHEC
    Vital Records
    2600 Bull St
    Columbia, SC 29201-1797
    Phone:
    803-898-3630

    Fax:
    803-898-3761










    Department of Motor Vehicles
    Driver Records Section
    PO Box 1498
    Blythewood, SC 29016-0028
    Phone:
    803-896-5000










     
    GED Testing Office
    1429 Senate St, #402
    Columbia, SC 29201
    Phone:
    803-734-8347 Ext. 8

    Fax:
    803-734-8336










    Governor's Office
    PO Box 12267
    Columbia, SC 29211
    Phone:
    803-734-2100

    Fax:
    803-734-5167










     
    Department of Corrections
    Inmate Records Branch
    4444 Broad River Rd
    Columbia, SC 29221-1787
    Phone:
    803-896-8531

    Fax:
    803-896-1217










    Legislative Printing
    1105 Pendleton St
    Blatt Bldg Rm 223
    Columbia, SC 29201
    Phone:
    803-212-4420

    Fax:
    803-212-4450










     
    South Carolina DHEC
    Vital Records
    2600 Bull St
    Columbia, SC 29201-1797
    Phone:
    803-898-3630

    Fax:
    803-898-3761










    Sex Offender Registry
    c/o SLED
    PO Box 21398
    Columbia, SC 29221
    Phone:
    803-896-7043

    Fax:
    803-896-2311










     
    Archives & History Department
    8301 Parklane Rd
    Columbia, SC 29223
    Phone:
    803-896-6100

    Fax:
    803-896-6198










    Court Administration
    1015 Sumter St, 2nd Floor
    Columbia, SC 29201
    Phone:
    803-734-1800

    Fax:
    803-734-1355










     
    UCC Division
    Secretary of State
    PO Box 11350
    Columbia, SC 29211
    Phone:
    803-734-1116

    Fax:
    803-734-1610










    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Title and Registration Records Section
    PO Box 1498
    Blythewood, SC 29016
    Phone:
    803-896-5000

    Fax:
    803-896-6685










     
    State Election Commission
    Records
    PO Box 5987
    Columbia, SC 29250
    Phone:
    803-734-9060

    Fax:
    803-734-9366










    Workers Compensation Commission
    Research
    PO Box 1715
    Columbia, SC 29202
    Phone:
    803-737-5700

    Fax:
    803-737-5768