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Vital Registration

The Vital Registration Office is a branch within the West Virginia Health Statistics Center.  Its mission is to collect certificates of vital events such as birth, marriage, death, fetal deaths, and births resulting in stillbirth.  The Vital Registration Office is the state’s official repository of birth, death, marriage, and divorce records. These records are collectively referred to as Vital Records.

The Vital Registration Office verifies the completeness and accuracy of the records, corrects errors and omissions, and issues certified copies of these records (for a fee), which are required for such items as school enrollment, employment, and passports.  The events Vital Registration keeps track of are:

  • Live Births
  • Deaths
  • Fetal Deaths (also known as miscarriages or still-births)
  • Marriages
  • Divorces
  • Induced Terminations of Pregnancy (also known as abortions)

Vital Registration issues certified copies of birth, death, fetal death, and marriage certificates. These certificates are primia facia evidence of the event.  Together, Vital Registration processes about 20,000 births, 25,000 deaths, 13,000 marriages, 9,000 divorces, and 5,000 paternity affidavits each year.  Vital Registration is divided in to six functional units.

Registration Unit
The Registration Unit places the incoming birth and death certificates on file after checking the forms for completeness.  Registration also processes all corrections to death certificates on file less than one year and fills requests for certified copies of death certificates for new death certificates from funeral homes.  Registration also processes all paternity affidavits that are filed along with birth certificates.

Nosology Unit
The Nosology Unit does some additional checks for completeness and accuracy of the forms and codes the Industry and Occupation information on the death certificates.

Data Entry Unit
The Data Entry Unit keys information into the master databases from the vital records.

Imaging Unit
The Imaging Unit scans all vital records including some administrative files.  Maintains the over 9.5 million images of certificates in the imaging system.

Corrections Unit
The Corrections Unit handles corrections and amendments to vital records.

Customer Service Unit
The Customer Service Unit provides in person, phone, and mail assistance to customers and makes certified copies of vital records.

​To obtain a certified copy of a birth, marriage, or death certificate, click here​.
To learn how to make a correction or amendment to a certificate, click here​.
To learn more about genealogy, click here.
For more inform​ation about WV DAVE, click here​.​