About Vital Records

DHEC's Office of Public Health Statistics and Information Services (PHSIS) offers a wide range of services to customers. PHSIS oversees the statewide operation of vital records registration, field consulting, correction and certification. The Division of Vital Records is the state's official records keeper for vital information pertaining to births, deaths, marriages, and divorces occurring in South Carolina. Demand for vital records services is high. For example, in 2012, approximately 696,000 certificates were issued (248,000 at the state office and 448,000 at the county offices).

South Carolina law requiring the filing of birth and death certificates became effective January 01, 1915. Today a fireproof vault in Columbia at DHEC's state office at 2600 Bull Street houses more than 9 million original birth and death records beginning July 1962.

The State Office of the Division of Vital Records in Columbia conducts searches for records of birth, death, marriage and divorce. Numerous Regional and County offices offer varied Vital Records services.

DHEC is authorized by state statute to charge for the search of vital records and for other services, including the issuance of certified copies of birth, death, marriage, and divorce records.

The Division of Vital Records:

The division provides for the correction and certification of all vital events, including births, deaths, marriages, divorces and annulments.  By law, only certain persons are entitled to copies of vital records certificates. 

The Division of Biostatistics:

The division provides for the registration of all including births, deaths, fetal deaths, induced terminations of pregnancy, marriages and divorces.  The division also provides for the quality control, statistical processing and dissemination of vital statistics in South Carolina.

SECTION 44-63-161, 1976 S.C. Code of Laws, as amended.

It is unlawful for:

"...a person to willfully obtain, possess, use, sell, furnish to another, or attempt to obtain, possess, use, sell, or furnish to another, for the purpose of deception, a certificate, record, or report required to be filed by this chapter or a regulation, or a certified copy of these, including a certificate, record, or report or certified copy that been counterfeited, altered, amended or mutilated or a document purporting to be the certificate, record, or report."

For more information, contact Constituent Services.


Vital Records