Vital records refer to certificates of birth, marriage, civil union, divorce, death, and fetal death. Certified copies of Birth, Death and Marriage Licenses/ Civil Unions may be obtained at the Town Clerk’s Office for the fee of $10 per certificate. Certified copies of vital records are also available from the Department of Health or the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration (VSARA).
The municipal clerk, as the local registrar of vital records, is responsible for the proper filing, indexing and storage of all vital records to assure their accessibility and preservation.
The clerk must also send copies of certificates to the Department of Health or to other municipalities, as
mandated by 18 V.S.A. §§ 5009-5010. The state statutes concerning vital statistics can be found in 18 V.S.A. Chapter 101.
The clerk may compile, and the auditors may publish, a transcript of the town’s vital records in the town’s annual report. 18 V.S.A. § 5006.
Records for events that occurred within the past five years are maintained by the Department of Health.
All others are with the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration.
Vital Records Office
Vermont Department of Health
P.O. Box 70
Burlington, VT 05402-0070
or 800-439-5008 (toll free in Vermont)
When a birth occurs, the physician, midwife, or other birth attendant is required to complete a birth certificate and file it with the town clerk in the town of birth within 10 days. For hospital births, it is usually the medical records staff who complete the birth certificate. The completed birth certificate is recorded and filed in the town where the birth took place, and a certified copy is sent to the Health Department.
Although a physician is responsible for filing the death certificate, the job may be, and often is, delegated to the funeral director. Most of the information needed to complete the death certificate is obtained from the family of the deceased. A physician, however, must complete the cause of death information and sign the death certificate. The funeral director files the completed certificate with the town clerk who sends a certified copy to the Health Department.
Marriage and Civil Unions
When a couple wishes to marry in Vermont, they provide a town clerk with the information needed to complete the license. The couple takes the license to an officiant who signs and dates it and returns it to the town clerk. The town clerk records and files the certificate, and sends a certified copy to the Health Department.
Civil unions were established in 2000 to provide same-sex couples all the benefits, protections, and responsibilities under law as are granted to spouses in a marriage. However the marriage equality act, effective September 1st, 2009 which allows same-sex couples to marry in Vermont, 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.