Vermont has required towns to report all births, marriages and deaths since 1857. Vital records, particularly birth and death records are used to study and monitor the health of a population. The Vermont vital records system includes eight types of vital events: births, deaths, marriages, civil unions, divorces, dissolutions, fetal deaths and abortions.
Vital Records & Population Data
Vital Records & Population Data
Effective July 1, 2019 changes to the Vermont statutes will enhance the safety and security of birth and death certificates. These changes protect against misuse of these legal documents and reduce the potential for identity theft. Additionally, the changes streamline the statewide system for creating, storing and tracking birth and death certificates.
What You Need to Know
- Only family members, legal guardians, certain court-appointed parties or their legal representatives can apply for a certified copy of a birth or death certificate. For death certificates, a funeral home or crematorium may apply for a certified copy.
- Applicants must show valid identification when applying for a certified copy of a birth or death certificate.
Under Vermont law, the attending physician or midwife is responsible for filing a report of birth with the State Registrar within five business days. Once the report of birth is registered in the Statewide Registration System, a copy of the birth certificate can be issued upon application. New parents don't automatically receive a copy of their child's birth certificate. For babies born without a medical professional present, please contact the Vital Records Office via email [email protected] or phone at 802-863-7275; toll-free in Vermont at 800-439-5008.
Although a physician, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse is responsible for filing the death certificate, the task is often delegated to the funeral director. Most of the information needed to complete the death certificate is obtained from the family of the deceased. However, it must be a physician, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse who completes and certifies the cause of death information. Once a death record is completed in the Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS), it is registered and the death certificate is available to the town clerks for filing.
In addition to receiving copies of vital records from Vermont town clerks, the Health Department also receives copies of certificates of all Vermont resident births and deaths that occur in other states and in Canada. This allows the Health Department to do statistical analyses of vital events involving Vermont residents even if the birth or death occurred outside of the state.
Couples planning to marry in Vermont may complete the Application for Vermont License of Civil Marriage form online and bring it to any town clerk within Vermont. The clerk issues a license that the couple takes to an officiant. The officiant signs, dates, and returns the license to the town clerk. Then the town clerk records and files the certificate and sends a certified copy to the Health Department.
Civil unions were established in Vermont in 2000 to provide same-sex couples all the benefits, protections and responsibilities under law as are granted to spouses in a marriage. The marriage equality act, effective September 1, 2009 allows same-sex couples to marry in Vermont. This discontinued the need for the separate status of "civil unions." Civil unions entered into prior to September 1, 2009 will continue to be recognized as civil unions.
A divorce certificate or certificate dissolving a civil union is initiated by a lawyer or other individual handling the divorce or dissolution. The certificate is filed with the court as part of the divorce or dissolution proceedings. The court keeps the certificate until the decree becomes final, usually three months after the court hearing. When the decree is final, the court clerk signs the certificate and sends it to the Health Department for filing.
Effective July 1, 2012, non-resident couples joined in a Vermont civil union or a Vermont marriage who are legally barred from dissolving the union or marriage in their state of residence may file a complaint for divorce without having to establish residence in Vermont, provided certain criteria are met. For more information, please contact the family division of superior court in the Vermont county where the civil union or marriage certificate was filed: Vermont Superior Court, Family Division.
Reports of fetal death and induced termination of pregnancy (abortion) are sent directly to the Health Department by the physician, hospital, or clinic that performs the procedure. By law, these reports are for statistical purposes only. They are not public records and are destroyed after five years.
In This Section
The Vermont vital statistics system monitors vital events in Vermont, including births, deaths, marriages, divorces, dissolutions, fetal deaths and abortions.