Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Q:  What do I need to get my birth certificate?

A:  Current legal picture identification (such as drivers license or state id) is needed. If you are married a copy of your marriage license. If you have been married more than once a copy of each marriage license to the current name that you have now (if you are female). For more information click on forms then requirements for obtaining birth certificates.

Q:  I was born in Elkhart County, where do I go to obtain a birth certificate?

A:  The Elkhart County Health Department, Vital Records division, maintains records for persons born in Elkhart County. Written applications must be completed and identification is required of the applicant whether by mail or in person.

Q:  My name is spelled wrong on my birth certificate. I have never spelled it that way in my entire life. What can I do about it?

A:  An amendment can be filed with the local office or the Indiana State Department of Health for correction. Two documents, at least 10 years old, must be presented to confirm the spelling of the name. A $15.00 fee is required and an appointment is necessary. It is free if child is less than two years old at the Elkhart County office.

Q:  I was born in another state, but my adoption took place in Elkhart County, so why don't you have my birth record?

A:  Even though a person was adopted in Elkhart county, the record is maintained in the county/state of birth.

Q:  All of my identification was lost/stolen/destroyed and I need to get a birth certificate to establish identiy. Yet, I am required to present proof of who I am in order to obtain my birth certificate. How can I prove to you who I am?

A:  Under these circumstances a member of your immediate family may be eligible to apply for your birth certificate for you by presenting their identification. They must also show proof of the relationship (for i.e. their birth certificate or a marriage certificate).

Q:  I was born in another state but I have lived in Elkhart County all my life. Why can't you issue my birth certificate?

A:  Birth records are recorded and maintained in the county/state of birth regardless of where the person lives. Elkhart County cannot issue birth certificates for any place except for people born in Elkhart County.

Q:  If a person has lived all their life in Elkhart County and is buried in an Elkhart County cemetery but died in another county/state, why don't you have the death certificate?

A:  Death records are recorded in the county/state where the individual expired, no matter where he/she lived or is buried.

Q:  What should I include on my request for genealogy?

A:  The name of the person, their date of death, the parent's names and the year of death. Records date back to 1882. Anything prior to 1882 would not be available in Elkhart County Vital Records.

Q:  What about birth records for genealogy?

A:  Birth records for genealogy purposes are only available on individuals who would be at least 100 years old.

Q:  I am in a hurry to get my birth certificate and I live out of the city/state. How can I get my certificate quickly?

A:  For your convenience you can process online requests through an independent company that Elkhart County Health Department has partnered with to provide you this service; VitalChek Network, Inc. VitalChek can be reached through their website: An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for this service, and all major credit cards are accepted, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa.

Q:  How much is genealogy research?

A:   Searches by Vital Records personnel is $5 the first 1/2 hour and $3.00 for each additional 15 minutes not costing more tham $15.00. Personal checks are not accepted. Payment must be cash, certified check or money order to Elkhart County Health Department.

Q:  What is the cost of a birth certificate?

A:  The fee is $11.00 for the 1st copy; $9.00 for each additional copy. Wallet size cost $13.00 (wallet size is available in lamination or a plastic pouch). Regular size in a plastic pouch is an additional $2.00. Payment must be in cash, certified check or money order only to:
Elkhart County Health Department. PERSONAL CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.

Q:  What is the cost of a death certificate?

A:  The first copy is $11.00 and any additional copies of the same person is $9.00. Payment must be in cash, certified check or money order only to: Elkhart County Health Department. PERSONAL CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.

Q:  What are the hours that Vital Records is open?

A:  Monday hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00PM.
Tuesday thru Friday hours are 8:00 AM to 4:00PM.