South Carolina Vital Records

South Carolina Vital Records

In South Carolina, the Office of Vital Records maintains all state vital records, including a person’s most important life event documents. Divorce records, marriage licenses, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and death certificates are included in said documents.

Divorce Records

South Carolinian government officials issue divorce records after the event is registered. These records are housed at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, located at the South Carolina Family History Library. In South Carolina, it costs $12 to search for a record, which includes a copy if a record is found. Additional copies cost an extra $3.

Marriage Records

Marriage records are issued upon the registration of the event. The state did not require licenses for marriage until 1911, and the licenses issued before 1950 are held at the probate judge’s office in the county courthouse. A state-wide registration of marriages was implemented in 1950. Copies of licenses post-1950 are kept by both the Division of Vital Records and the county probate court. The governor, as judge of the Ordinary Court, could issue marriage licenses during the colonial period. After banns had been published, most people would have been married in a parish church. Two acts, the Act of 1704 and the Church Act of 1706, divided the state into seven parishes with the Church of England as the established church. Marriage records are located at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, within the South Carolina Family History Library. In South Carolina, it costs $12 to search for a record, which includes a copy if a record is found. Additional copies cost an extra $3.

Birth Records

Birth certificates are issued each time a new baby is born, and can refer to the original itself or a certified copy of said original. Birth certificates were only issued in South Carolina from 1915 onwards. From 1706, records were instead recorded in Church of England registers. The seven parish registers have been published either in book form, or within the South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine. The 1853 State Registration Act required state tax collectors to make a separate return stating how many white and black people had been born during that particular year, with the records kept by the South Carolina Family History Library. There were over 57,000 births in South Carolina in 2017, a rate of 11.4 per 1,000 inhabitants. In South Carolina, it costs $12 to search for a record, which includes a copy if a record is found. Additional copies cost an extra $3.

Death Records

Death records are issued upon the passing of a South Carolina resident. Death certificates were only required by the state from 1915 onwards. If a death certificate is under 50 years old, it must be ordered from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Before 1915, records were kept by the South Carolina Family History Library. There were over 49,000 deaths in South Carolina in 2017, a rate of 9.8 per 1,000 inhabitants. In South Carolina, it costs $12 to search for a record, which includes a copy if a record is found. Additional copies cost an extra $3.

Why are these records available to the public?

The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act was passed in 1974, allowing the public to access government documents at all levels. Every person within the state can exercise this fundamental right.

South Carolina State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (843) 480-9206

Results Include

Full State Record Report:

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  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Criminal Records
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  • Bankruptcies
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  • Liens
  • Public Records
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South Carolina

South Carolina