Louisiana Vital Records
Louisiana Vital Records
In the state of Louisiana, the Office of Vital Records upholds all vital records, including documents relating to the key life events of all local residents. The milestones in question can include anything from births and deaths to marriages, divorces, and more. The corresponding files kept by the state on these events may comprise of divorce decrees, divorce certificates and other divorce records, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, marriage certificates, and more. These files are all kept in one central registry to be used for statistical analysis.
In the state of Louisiana, divorce records are distributed by government officials, after the event in question has been registered officially. When someone from Louisiana files for a divorce/annulment, records of the following event are stored with all other state vital files in a central registry. These records can range from divorce certificates and divorce decrees to any other divorce-related files. Whether the documents can be accessed and copied by the public depends on the state in question. Legislature in Louisiana granted divorces between 1805 and 1846, records of which can be found the Legislature Calendar and Official Journal at most university libraries and larger public libraries across the state. Some post-1846 records are also included in these documents. The district courts in Louisiana parishes and the parish court in Orleans Parish were tasked with registering divorces in 1827. These records can be found indexed at the Family History Library. In 2017, there was a divorce rate of 1.9 per 1,000 inhabitants.
Much like divorce records, marriage records are distributed by government officials in Louisiana, after the wedding is officially registered. Marriages used to be recorded by each individual parish, and the original records can be found at offices of the relevant court clerks, or the Office of Public Health for Orleans Parish records. A wide selection of Louisiana marriage records can be found at the Family History Library. It has 86 microfilm rolls of Orleans Parish marriage licenses/certificates between the years 1834 and 1888, as well as 185 microfilm rolls of marriage licenses from between 1870 and 1915. These extensive collections branch across the majority of parishes. In 2017, there was a marriage rate of 5.6 per 1,000 inhabitants. The cost of a marriage record copy is $5 in Louisiana.
In Louisiana, birth certificates, and certified copies, are issued upon the birth of every single child in the state. Some parishes in Louisiana have a selection of pre-1914 records. Records tend to be more complete after 1860. The Orleans Parish started keeping birth records in 1790. Some others began in the late 1800s. These can be found at the Louisiana Office of Public Health. In 1911, a state-wide registration of births was introduced. Records post-1911 can be found at the Louisiana Vital Records Registry. In 2017, there were 60,920 births in the state of Louisiana. The cost of a birth record copy is $15 in Louisiana.
Death records in the state of Louisiana usually refer to the information on a person’s death certificate. Churches, parishes, and clerks’ registers were the earliest sources of death records in the state. The Louisiana Historical Records at Family Search holds indexes on pre-1904 records, although they are limited. In 1911, a state-wide registration of deaths was introduced. Records post-1911 can be found at the Louisiana Vital Records Registry. In 2014, there were 44,172 deaths across the state. The cost of a death record copy is $7 in Louisiana.
Why are these records available to the public?
The Louisiana Public Records Act was introduced in 1940, with the latest amendment coming in 1974. The act aims to ensure that all residents within the state of Louisiana have the right to access public records. All public records held by the state and local government can be accessed and copied, and no person can be denied these rights.
To access records:
Bureau of Vital Records and Statistics
P.O. Box 60630
New Orleans, LA 70160
Phone: (504) 593-5100