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Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Public Records

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Are South Carolina Vital Records Open to the Public?

Yes. In compliance with the South Carolina Code of Laws, vital records are generally open to the public. However, the information contained in some of these records is considered confidential and so access to them may be limited to either only named registrants, registrant’s immediate family members or other authorized parties.

 

What Information Do I Need to Search for South Carolina Vital Records Online?

Typically, when interested parties carry out online searches for South Carolina vital records, the following information may be required:

  • Name of a registrant on the record
  • The date the vital event occurred
  • County or city the event took place

Additional information specific to the type of record being searched for may be required such as the case number and location of the court proceeding when searching for divorce records.

How Do I Obtain South Carolina Vital Records?

Interested parties who wish to obtain copies of a vital record in South Carolina will be required to provide a valid government, employer, or school-issued photo ID and any other document that the record custodian may require for identification purposes. Requests should be submitted to the Vital Records Office at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

Publicly available vital records are also managed and disseminated by some third-party aggregate sites. These sites are generally not limited by geographical record availability and may serve as a reliable jump-off point when researching specific or multiple records. However, third-party sites are not government-sponsored. As such, record availability may differ from official channels. To find a record using the search engines on third party sites, the requesting party will be required to provide:

  • The location of the record in question including the city, county, or state where the case was filed.
  • The name of someone involved providing it is not a juvenile

 

What’s the Difference Between a Certified Record and an Informational Copy?

The major difference between certified copies and informational copies is that certified copies of vital records may serve as legal documents that can be used for official purposes while informational copies of vital records have no legal use.

Are South Carolina Marriage Records Public Information?

Yes. South Carolina marriage records are public information in the state of South Carolina and may be requested by interested parties. However, certified copies of marriage certificates are only issued to parties named on the records, the parties’ adult children, legal representatives, and a former or present spouse of either of the named parties. Requestors who do not belong to any of the aforementioned groups may be issued a statement of the marriage, including the date and county where the marriage occurred.

How Do I Obtain Marriage Records in South Carolina?

Interested parties who wish to obtain copies of public marriage records may contact the probate court in the county where the marriage license was issued. Although this process may vary depending on the county, it usually involves an in-person visit to the courthouse to obtain these records. Finally, interested parties may also obtain copies of marriage records for marriages that occurred from July 1950-December 2017 from the South Carolina DHEC. To obtain marriage records from this office, requestors will be required to complete a vital records marriage/divorce application form, which they may submit either in-person or via mail-in to:

Office of Vital Records
SC DHEC
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Mailed requests to this office take an average of 2-4 weeks to process. Certified copies of vital records in the state of South Carolina typically cost a non-refundable $12 search fee per record and an additional $3 for every extra copy of the same document required. However, these fees may vary depending on the particular location where the required document is domiciled as well as the method through which the record is obtained.

Are South Carolina Divorce Records Public Information?

Yes. South Carolina divorce records are generally considered public information. However, in some cases, these records may be sealed and can only be accessed by obtaining a court order authorizing the unsealing of these records. This usually happens in cases that involve neglected or abused minors or if the records contain proprietary business information.

In addition, certified copies of divorce reports are typically only issued to either of the divorced parties named on the document, their adult children, a present or former spouse of the named parties, and a legal representative of any of these parties.

How Do I Obtain Divorce Records in South Carolina?

Parties who wish to obtain copies of divorce decrees may do so by contacting the clerk of court for the South Carolina family court where the divorce proceeding occurred. Interested parties may also obtain copies of divorce reports by utilizing the services of a third-party vendor online or by completing and submitting a marriage/divorce application form to the South Carolina DHEC. However, interested persons should note that this office only has records for divorces between July 1962-December 2016.

Are South Carolina Birth Records Public Information?

Yes. South Carolina birth records are public records. However, access to them is restricted and certified copies of these records are typically only issued to a registrant named on the record who is at least 18 years old, the registrant’s parents named on the record, the registrant’s legal guardian, and a legal representative of any of these parties. In cases where the registrant is deceased, the registrant’s immediate family members or their legal representatives may obtain a certified copy of the birth record. However, these parties must submit an original certified copy of the registrant’s death record along with a request for the required birth record.

How Do I Obtain South Carolina Birth Records?

In addition to searching for and obtaining copies of birth records online via the services of a third-party vendor, interested parties may also order birth certificate replacements in person from any of the regional vital records offices located in the state. Requestors will be required to complete and submit a birth application form. Applicants can submit this form in person or via mail-in to

Office of Vital Records
SC DHEC
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201

The average processing time for in-person requests at any of the state vital records offices is 30-45 minutes.

Are South Carolina Death Records Open to the Public?

It depends. Death records in South Carolina become public records after 50 years. When this happens, uncertified copies of these records may be obtained by any interested member of the public. Parties who wish to receive public death records may be issued a statement of the event, which includes the date the death occurred, as well as the county where it appeared.

Certified copies of death certificates in the state of South Carolina are only issued to an immediate family member of the decedent named on the record, a legal representative of one of these members, or an interested party that can adequately demonstrate the right to perform a death certificate search.

How Do I Obtain Death Records in South Carolina?

Interested parties may initiate a death record search by name in South Carolina by completing and submitting a death application form in person or via mail to South Carolina DHEApplicants may also obtain copies of these records online by utilizing the services of a third-party website. Finally, interested parties may also get death records from 2005-date in person at any regional vital records offices.

How Do I Obtain Sealed Vital Records in South Carolina?

South Carolina adoption records are sealed by statutory law and may only be accessed by authorized parties. According to Section 140 of the South Carolina Code of Laws Title 44 Chapter 63, non-certified copies of original pre-adoption birth records may be obtained by an adoptee born in the state who is at least 18 years old and whose adoption was finalized after July 1, 2019.

Parties who wish to obtain these records are required to complete a vital records non-certified pre-adoptive birth application. Applicants should submit this form in person or via mail to

Office of Vital Records
SC DHEC
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Requestors will be required to provide a valid school, employer or government-issued photo ID and pay a non-refundable $12 search fee. It is important to note that administrators may only release adoption records to the adoptee if the biological parents have filed the birth parents have filed an affidavit consenting to the disclosure of this information with the Division of Vital Records.

South Carolina State Archives

State Archives

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

South Carolina

Since 1792, the Charleston County courthouse in Charleston remains active for civic and government business to date.

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